Turkish petrochemical workers continue demonstrations

Workers for Turkish petrochemical company Petkim continue demonstrations in Izmir

Photo by: AA
Photo by: AA

Updated Jul 28, 2015

On Monday, nearly 1,500 workers of Turkey’s petrochemical company Petkim continued demonstrations which started four days ago in Izmir, a western province of Turkey.

Petkim workers started demonstrations due to failed negotiations regarding a collective agreement with the company administration on May 27.

The Petroleum, Chemicals and Rubber Workers Union (Petrol-Is) members of Petkim continue to hold the protest in front of and inside the company’s plants in Izmir.

Petkim employees whistled together and shouted slogans such as “Victory will be for resisting labourers.”

Ahmet Oktay, Branch Chairperson of Petrol-Is, said that there had not been any progress in negotiations regarding the collective agreement and they would continue to protest until their demands are met.

Stating that they did not previously stop production entirely due to the company’s strategic position, Oktay said “the sales are stopped completely.”

The company announced earlier this week that it plans to build a large container port in Izmir, a facility employing 600 people to be built at a cost of around $400 million.

Turkey’s only petrochemical manufacturer Petkim started this year with 13-percent growth and announced 44 billion TL ($16.44 billion) in revenue and 937 billion TL ($350 billion )endorsements in the first quarter of 2015.

Recently, a series of strikes took place at various automotive plants in Turkey’s northwestern province of Bursa, some of which lasted for over a week.

Factory workers at the Oyak-Renault finally reached a deal with the company on May 27 after a 12-day strike over wages, which had halted operations at the factory.

The company, Oyak-Renault, agreed to pay workers a lump sum of 1,000 Turkish liras ($370) within one week and grant workers a performance-based annual cash bonus.

Meanwhile, doctors went on a nationwide strike on June 1 following the murder of Kamil Furtun, a thoracic surgeon who was shot dead while on duty on May 29 in a public hospital in the Black Sea province of Samsun.

Several other protests were held in multiple provinces, including the southern provinces of Antalya, Isparta, Mugla and Burdur.

TRTWorld and agencies