Turquía - Police use pepper spray and arrest 108 striking workers at Farplas factory

In the early days of January, workers at Farplas automotive factory in Kocaeli province demanded a wage increase. However, finding the pay rise offer made on 19 January insufficient, the workers halted work at the factory in protest. The employer started negotiating with workers, promising that no workers would be dismissed in this process.
While production resumed on 20 January, the negotiations also continued. In the meantime, the workers who were not members of a union started joining the United Metalworkers’ Union. They also received their authorisation certificate to engage in collective bargaining from the Ministry of Labour and Social Security.
Amid these developments, the employer summarily dismissed nearly 150 workers, both members and non-members of the union, referring to their protest on 19 January as justification for their dismissal.
The workers of the Farplas locked themselves up in the factory for their union rights on 31 January. While production stopped at the factory, the dismissed workers started protesting inside the factory.
Police stormed the Farplas factory, dispersing them with pepper gas. They arrested workers, including United Metalworkers’ Union Gebze No. 2 Branch Chair Necmettin Aydın and Branch Secretary Engin Kulu, and took them out of the factory in five detention minibuses. Police continued to spray pepper gas on workers who tried to prevent the detention vehicles from leaving the factory. Two people fainted during the intervention. One worker reportedly had his leg broken.
One hundred eight people in total – 106 workers and union representatives at the factory and two executives of the DGD-SEN Union who came to the factory in support – were taken to the Gebze District Security Directorate.
The 108 detained workers, union representatives and executives were released after giving their statements.
Farplas is a supplier for Renault, FIAT, Toyota, Hyundai and Ford.

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