Workers for UPS’ Turkish subsidiary have won the right to be represented collectively by the TÜMTİS trade union, fifteen months after the dismissals of 163 workers – all of whom had registered to join the union or were members of it. Non-stop picket lines, backed by an international campaign, won the right to return and compensation, and TÜMTİS has now triumphed again, after a majority of an estimated 3,000 direct-hire employees filed for union recognition. Now Turkey’s Ministry of Labour and Social Security has legally-certified the union as the workers’ representative.
This achievement is the culmination of the campaign by UPS workers and their union to improve job conditions at the workplaces of global delivery companies operating in Turkey.
Kenan Öztürk, TÜMTİS’ general President, commented: "This achievement is not only ours. It is the result of the collaboration of many trade unions under the umbrella of the Global Delivery Network of the International Transport Federation (ITF), and especially the Teamsters union in America, which represents hundreds of thousands of UPS workers in the company’s home country. The European Transport Federation and its affiliates also played an integral role in this victory."
He continued, "We will now continue toward negotiating a strong collective agreement for UPS workers and we will continue to apply our organisational efforts at MNG-Fed Ex, DHL and TNT in Turkey."
According to the ITF, in Turkey, where trade unions have only a few dozen collective agreements with multinational companies, TÜMTİS’ victory demonstrates to workers that, with determination, unions can still be victorious in a highly globalised and competitive market.
The ITF sees this latest development as a positive pointer to the future for all global delivery company workers who are thinking about joining a union, and who may be struggling for union recognition and good contracts. As part of its organising globally campaign the ITF is working for union recognition and good working conditions across all the worldwide global delivery companies.