Posters put together by unionists from across the globe have arrived at the DHL picket line in Istanbul, Turkey; they are symbolic of the labour movement’s support for and solidarity with the workers there.
The posters, which the Canadian Auto Workers (CAW), the International Association of Machinists (IAM) from the US and unions representing workers at National Express Group sent, have also wended their way by courier to DHL headquarters in Bonn.
They denounce the company’s sacking of workers at its subsidiary in Turkey, which appear to have been spurred by an organising drive by the ITF-affiliated union Türkiye Motorlu Tasit Isçileri Sendikasi (TÜMTIS). Signatories include Peter Kennedy, ITF executive board member and CAW national secretary-treasurer and Sito Pantoja ITF civil aviation section chair and IAM general vice-president, transportation
Ver.di, the only DHL union in Germany, publicly called on the company to honour the freedom of association rights of workers at its subsidiary in Turkey, following a meeting in Berlin on 19 September between Ver.di deputy chair Andrea Kocsis and TÜMTIS president Kenan Öztürk.
The posters condemn DHL Turkey's “active obstruction of workers’ right to join a union free from intimidation or dismissal.” They demand that the workers be reinstated and allowed to exercise their rights in line with international instruments and the company’s own corporate responsibility policies.
Last Saturday marked 100 days of the TÜMTIS workers’ picketline protest.
Öztürk commented: “On its 100th day, our struggle is still decisive. At the end of the dispute, the winner will be DHL workers and international solidarity, but not the despotism of DHL Turkey. Today, I confirm that we will not step back. We will keep up our struggle and build solidarity until victory, until DHL Turkey respects workers’ fundamental right to join union."
On 19 September, over 40 works council members from all DHL branches across Belgian signed an online petition and vowed to question Deutsche Post DHL at the next works council meeting.
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Visit www.respectatdhlturkey.org or www.itfglobal.org/campaigns/respectatDHLturkey.cfm for more information.