16.7 C
Frankfurt am Main

18-day strike by Migros warehouse workers ends on high note

Must read

A settlement has been reached following an 18-day strike to meet the demands of the warehouse workers of the Migros supermarket chain, Deutsche Welle Turkish service reported on Monday, citing a statement from the Warehouse, Port and Shipyard Workers Union (DGD-SEN). 

DGD-SEN tweeted the announcement late on Sunday with the hashtag “Migros workers have won.”

Haluk Levent, a Turkish rock star and human rights activist who founded the Ahbap network to help those in need across the country, had stepped in to mediate between DGD-SEN officials and the Us Grup, the subcontractor that employs the workers.

“I have been talking to both the union and the subcontractor for the last 9 days. We have held the last meeting at Ahbap (it lasted for 8 hours). All problems have been settled,” Levent tweeted late Sunday.

Migros agreed to re-hire 259 workers fired from the European Distribution Center, located in Esenyurt, İstanbul, and comply with workers’ demand for wage increases, premium payments and the elimination of occupational health and safety problems.

Launched 18 days ago, the strike has enjoyed extensive coverage in the media as some 100 workers were briefly detained when they tried to stage a protest in front of the house of Tuncay Özilhan, the owner of Migros.

The photo showing Gülabi Aksu, a protesting worker, crying after he was handcuffed and taken to the police bus, led to public outrage.

Social media users expressed support for Aksu and other strikers, harshly criticizing the police’s attitude toward the protesters and calling for a boycott of Migros. The tweets supporting the workers with a call for boycotting Migros became trending topic on Saturday.

“Do you still go to Migros? Anyone who visits the supermarket owned by a guy who made so many laborers cry is actually lending support to that exploitation, that cry, and the arrogance of that immoral boss. There are many alternatives,” journalist Zafer Arapkirli tweeted with the hashtag #BoycottMigros.

“We are deeply sorry for the images of handcuffed detainees made public during the process we monitored with great caution and dealt with due tolerance,” the İstanbul Police Department said in a statement.

Minister of Labor and Social Security Vedat Bilgin announced that an investigation was launched into complaints by the Migros workers.

“Did we have to be handcuffed so that this settlement is eventually reached? This is our bread and butter. What happened in the end? We’ve made a deal. Wouldn’t it be better these things had not happened at all?” Aksu asked, talking to the Özgür Gelecek daily.

Meanwhile, the victorious strikers gathered on Monday in front of their workplace in Esenyurt and celebrated their victory by dancing the halay.

Liked it? Take a second to support Turkish Minute on Patreon!
Become a patron at Patreon!
More News
Latest News