Birlesik Metal Is decided to go to strike at 33 companies!

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Birlesik Metal-Is Members are calling international trade union movement to support their struggle and to be in Solidarity with their strike!








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In Turkey at metal sector we are living historical days because we as Birlesik Metal Is decided to go to strike at companies who are in the MESS group collective agreement.(Every 2 years we are negotiating with Metal Product Industrialists’ Association for the companies who are affiliate to the it. There are 33 companies in total in the group).

The negotiation was continuing since September 2010 and in November 2010 we declared dispute and the case went to the conciliator and there were no development. Between 10-15 February we declared strike in MESS affiliate companies and we are planning to begin to strike in the beginning of March.( according to the Law after the strike declaration there is 12 working days time that union should wait to begin the strike. In the first 6 days unions or employers have the right to call a strike vote with the ¼ signature of workers in the company and if it will happen in the 6 working days the strike vote is implemented. If the majority of workers-blue colors + white colors- says no to strike the situation go to the Supreme Court of Arbitrators if the majority says yes to strike, the strike should begin after at least these 6 days.

We are now at the point that we declared strike and probably in most of the companies employers will ask for strike vote.


We are planning to begin to strike in the beginning of March 2011.



At metal sector group agreement every year we were living the same scenario MESS and Turk Metal(the yellow union in the sector) were signing agreements at januis clausis at nights for years. Turk Metal every year makes collaboration with MESS and generally they sign the agreement just before of the long holidays that their members don’t show big reactions to Turk Metal.

This year also was the same: Turk Metal signed the proposal that MESS offered at one night-without discussing with their members- and with the agreement, they got an hourly wage increase of %5.35 which means a wage increase between 20 to 40 Kr.(0,1 to 0,2 Euro). The method of increase also was different the wage increase is calculated from the average hourly wage of every company. Most of Turk Metal members learnt the real increase when they got their payroll and in most of the companies there are reactions from the workers against the agreement.


The Reason of Strike Decision

1- A wage increase of % 5,35 is very low and unacceptable from our members side. Especially in this time period (after crisis) in which the production and profits at companies who are affiliate to MESS is very good and high.

2- The method of implementation finished the principle of Group collective agreement which was based to equal payment to equal jobs. Workers who were getting the same hourly wage got different wage increase because of working in different companies.

3- The possible changes at Labour Law. In the collective agreement there are articles in which is written “the current Labour Law will be valid”. The current government declared that they plan(they even began with omnibus laws to change labour conditions little by little) to make changes at Labour Law which will make the working conditions more flexible. It means that these possible changes will effect the signed collective agreement without the will power of sides.

This situation is unacceptable from our side because we believe that collective agreements are signed with the own will and decision of two sides and anything should change this without the decision of them.

We declare one more time that our strike reasons are these three points: the unsatisfactory wage increase, the method of distribution of the increase and agreement articles which are referring to the Labour Law which is planned to be flexibilized.


Who Decided?

Dear Colleagues,

We want to highlight a point which is very important for Birlesik Metal-Is:

This strike decision is taken by our members. The collective agreement process is a time period that our different councils are coming together and discuss the process.

Our union representatives from the companies who are MESS affiliates met several times since September and evaluated the process.

And in the last meeting that they made our Executive Committee accepted these 3 points which are red lines for us and the declaration of strike for each company began.


We call all labour unions to support our strike and be in solidarity with Birlesik Metal-Is members. This decision is not taken only for the future of Birlesik Metal-Is members but it is also important for all workers in Turkey. Because this fight is not only for a wage increase but it is also against the imposition of flexible working conditions.





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