Turkish workers celebrate “landmark moment”

7 Oct 2013

Global union federations the ITF (International Transport Workers’ Federation) and UNI Global Union announced last week that Turkey’s TUMTIS union has secured recognition from DHL as the lawful union of choice for DHL Turkey Supply Chain staff.

The announcement that DHL will not contest TUMTIS’ success follows two and a half years of work by the union, which initially met withresistance and obstruction by local DHL management. But TUMTIS never relented, and received unwavering support, visits and solidarity actions from supporters mobilised by the ITF and UNI – who also took their case direct to Deutsche Post DHL’s head office in Germany.

Ingo Marowsky, ITF global head – supply chain and logistics, said: “This is a true landmark moment. These workers have fought for two and a half years for their basic rights, and today they have triumphed. They have gone through all the massively stringent tests laid out by the Turkish government for union recognition, When the government gave DHL the chance to object we’re pleased to say that DHL chose to do the right thing and respect their workers’ choice.”

He continued: “We will continue to keep the closest eye on how the company behaves from this point onwards.”

TUMTIS president Kenan Ozturk thanked all those who had supported them in their struggle. “After a long struggle we now have the collective bargaining competency notice from the Ministry of Labour and Social Security for DHL Turkey,” he said. “This victory is not just TUMTIS’s victory but it is the victory of collective struggle and international solidarity. I thank each union, sister, brother and comrade that put  great effort in this victory.”

Christy Hoffman, UNI deputy general secretary, also commended the victory and hailed DP-DHL’s decision to recognise the union without a legal challenge as a hopeful sign for the future, and a positive turning point for labor relations in Turkey.

For the whole story of TUMTIS’ two and a half year struggle and the international solidarity that has sustained them in it please see www.respectatdhlturkey.org