Published: 11/01/2021

Police and security forces have used COVID-19 prevention measures to stop a union event to mark 1000 days of struggle for trade union rights at Cargill Turkey.

  • For January 11, IUF-affiliate Tekgıda-İş, was preparing to call on the Minister of Agriculture & Forestry, Dr. Bekir Pakdemirli to ensure that court orders, requiring the reinstatement of workers unfairly dismissed on April 17, 2018 for joining Tekgıda-İş, were implemented.
  •  The union planned a press conference in front of the Ministry of Agriculture & Forestry. However, police intervened to stop the dismissed workers, Tekgıda-İş officials, and supporters from leaving the union office to go to the Ministry. The police ordered supporters to disperse and detained the workers.
  • The victimised workers and supporters have marched, demonstrated, and rallied for 1,000 days, making this labour dispute one of Turkey’s highest profile and longest running in recent history. Since the start of the pandemic they have done this respecting sanitary requirements.
  • Cargill has refused to reinstate the sacked workers and instead has opted to pay court ordered compensation for its human rights violations. This is allowed in Turkish law but is in violation of international jurisprudence.
  • The IUF, its affiliates and sister global unions around the world took part in an international solidarity day across social media in support of the sacked workers. The IUF is now liaising with Tekgıda-İş to discuss a response to the police intervention.

On the 1000th day of our resistance, January 11, 2021, we continue our Cargill actions...We set out on this road by saying 'Let our children live better'. We do not just give up.

Suat Karlikaya, Tekgıda-İş