Published: 08/03/2012

Production at Tate & Lyle’s Amylum Starch Corporation in Adana, Turkey halted on March 5 when members of the IUF-affiliated Tekgida-Is launched an unlimited strike after 6 months of fruitless negotiations for a first collective agreement at the plant.

Tekgida-Is, which last year successfully organized the factory to obtain legal certification, said they were compelled to go on strike as a result of management’s consistent refusal to recognize the union and enter into meaningful negotiations. Management in fact challenged the union to a strike vote, following which a majority of the 140 workers voted in favour of industrial action.

Pay and benefits at the plant have not changed for the past four years. The union is calling for recognition and good faith negotiations, improved wages and benefits, and the conversion of 28 contract workers to permanent employees covered by the collective agreement, with full rights and benefits.

“We sought an agreement with the Amylum Nisasta management until the very last moment, but the managers left us with only one choice, with their uncompromising attitude against our trade union. They asked for a strike vote meeting and suffered a majority defeat, explained Tekgida-Is President Mustafa Türkel.

The workers and their families are determined to keep up the fight until they win their rights and demands.

UK-based Tate & Lyle operates 30 production facilities and a network of research centres throughout the Americas, Europe and South East Asia. Amylum Nisasta AS in Adana is a corn wet mill which supplies a range of products to local food and beverage customers as well as exporting to Europe and the Middle East.