DHL Turkey is attempting to destroy the hard-won representation within the company of ITF-affiliate Tumtis by forcing its workers to join a newly-established union, according to reports Tumtis has received and eye-witness accounts from its own officials.
It appears that DHL Turkey is exerting increasing pressure on its workers to join Taşıma-İş, a union set up on December 5, 2012. Workers have told Tumtis that, under the coordination of the HR manager, DHL warehouse and other managers are taking them by car and minibus to the offices of Hak-Is, to which Taşıma-İş affiliated, to force them to join the new union.
These reports are backed up by Tumtis officials who witnessed seven workers being driven by Hayri Guner, manager of DHL’s Bayrampasa Warehouse, to the union’s office on the morning of January 11.
Workers also claim that managers threaten them in the evenings as they are about to leave the warehouses by demanding that either they join Taşıma-İş or not return to work the next morning.
Since April 2011, over 20 workers have been dismissed for attempting to organise a union. Many of the sacked workers remain on peaceful pickets outside DHL Turkey warehouses which have been in place for over 200 days.
ITF president Paddy Crumlin said: “These reports give us serious concern. Behaviour of this kind will not be tolerated by the international community. Tumtis has made every effort to facilitate negotiation with local DHL managers to end the dispute.
“We call on DHL Turkey to investigate this matter urgently and to stamp out any intimidation of workers and any efforts to trample on the internationally-recognised legal right of workers to join a union of their choice.”
In support of the dismissed workers, the ITF has run a Respect at DHL Turkey campaign since the start of the dispute.