After the French transnational dairy company Groupe Bel continually refused to bargain collectively, members of IUF affiliate Tekgıda-İş have been forced to take indefinite strike action. The strike is now in its third week.
- For six years Bel Karper, the Turkish subsidiary of Groupe Bel, argued through various court hearings and appeals, that Tekgıda-İş did not meet the legal threshold of representation and therefore the company was not obliged to negotiate with the union; when the legal appeals ended in January 2021 and this lengthy union avoidance tactic failed, the company rejected the authority of the Turkish Courts and refused to bargain
- Members of the IUF Dairy Division and French affiliates have contacted Groupe Bel demanding the company enter into good faith negotiations immediately to conclude a collective bargaining agreement
- The IUF has discussed the rights violations with corporate management in Paris on several occasions, but the company still refuses to meet its international obligations to respect and protect human rights; the IUF will intensify its campaign until the company respects the rights of its employees in Turkey
Tekgıda-İş President Mustafa Türkel stated, “We will not hide at the negotiating table. If Bel Karper Turkey management presents their problems to us honestly and openly, we will sit down and talk with our shop stewards and members. We are doing our best to keep Bel Karper’s business doing well in Turkey and we will continue to do so. But Bel Karper needs to meet us at the negotiating table as soon as possible. No one should doubt that the strike will continue. Tekgıda-İş trade union will support the strike and its members at Bel Karper until a collective bargaining agreement is negotiated and signed.”