Turkey: Port workers win agreement


The article below is reprinted from www.itfglobal.org.

A long and bitter struggle at the Turkish port of Mersin paid off after unionists won a ground-breaking agreement, giving members collective bargaining rights for the first time.

Port drivers, represented by the transport union TUMTIS, signed an agreement on December 21 following a year-long battle against the anti-union land-side company, Akansel Nakliyat.

Last year the company dismissed 192 workers for joining TUMTIS; union protests eventually led to their reinstatement.

Covering a two-year period, the agreement provides workers with a 22% pay increase in the first year; and an average 15% rise, plus other social benefits, in the second.

Annual leave entitlement has been increased from 14 to 21 days and there are provisions to ensure job security.

A statement by TUMTIS's board of directors said that the win "is not only for our members and our trade union; it is also a gain for the working class in Turkey".