Unions refused to recognise the strike ban scheduled to begin on 2 February 2018 and vowed to continue the struggle, resulting in a remarkable achievement, advancing their wages and working conditions through a new sectoral level collective bargaining agreement covering 130,000 workers in 179 enterprises.
The two-year agreement, backdated to 31 August 2017, was signed by the three unions representing metal workers, including industriAll Europe affiliates Birleşik Metal-İş and Çelik-İş, with the Metal Industry Employers’ Association, MESS.
The employers’ association MESS withdrew from its previous concessions due to the determined stance of metalworkers, and made a substantial increase in their final offer to the unions: a 24.6 per cent increase in wages, a 23 per cent increase on social benefits and complementary health insurance.
In its statement, IndustriAll affiliate Birleşik Metal-İş said: “Signing this collective agreement is an achievement of metalworkers who did not recognize the strike ban. We thank everyone for their effort in this process.”
The general secretaries of industriAll Europe, Luc Triangle, and IndustriALL Global Union, Valter Sanches, wrote to the Turkish metal affiliates saying:
“We congratulate all the Turkish metalworkers on their determined stance in these hard negotiations. Your unity, struggle and determination made it possible for such a great victory.
“You have made a great example to the whole world that when you stick together, anything can be achieved. We trust that this unity will be maintained.”