A delegation sent by ITF which is a federation TÜMTİS is affiliated to visited the picketing workers outside DHL Express Headquarters on the 53rd day of our struggle.
The ITF delegation which included Head of Inland Transport Noel Coard, Campaign Director Liz Blackshaw and Senior Section Assistant Deniz Akdoğan visited the picketing DHL Express workers and expressed their support and solidarity.
President Öztürk: Our struggle received international support
TÜMTİS and the ITF delegation made a joint press statement during the visit. In his speech, TÜMTİS President Kenan Öztürk said that our 53-days long struggle has received international support and added that “Representatives of our federation ITF which has 19 million members worlwide visited us today to show their solidarity. Our struggle will continue and get stronger.”
President Öztürk also provided information about the process at DHL Express: “Our union recruited the majority of workers at DHL Express and received official recognition in February. However the employer objected and filed a lawsuit, started to pressure our members to make them resign from the union. When the workers didn’t resign, 9 workers were dismissed. The dismissed workers have picketed here with determination for 53 days.”
Kenan Öztürk mentioned DHL’s protocol with ITF and UNI Global Union: “DHL promised to respect workers’ right to organise with this protocol. Despite the protocol DHL Express Turkey adopted an anti-union attitude. These practices violate the protocol, the Turkish law and international conventions. DHL Express workers became our members by using their fundamental rights. They were punished for this.”
President Öztürk said that TÜMTİS will not step back and keep up the campaign with our sister unions and international federations. He called on DHL Express to drop the anti-union and anti-worker attitude, reinstate the dismissed workers and withdraw the objection.
Öztürk concluded his speech by thanking the ITF delegation and the labour organisations which gave their support.
Noel Coard: ITF stands with TÜMTİS
In his speech, Head of Inland Transport Noel Coard said that the purpose of the visit was to investigate the issues closely. He added: “This is our first visit but it will not be the last.”
Coard said that ITF’s history was full of struggles for workers’ rights; “ITF supported and campaigned for workers everywhere who faced injustice and pressure. ITF also works with TÜMTİS and other affiliated unions. We will keep supporting you in your struggles, especially against multinational companies.”
Coard stressed the importance of unity and determination: “Trade unions and workers in Turkey are strong. ITF will not give up on this struggle. We are honoured to be here as an ITF delegation.”
Liz Blackshaw: We are honoured to be with DHL workers
Blackshaw said that ITF’s support for TÜMTİS’ DHL Express campaign in Turkey will continue: “We are honoured to be here to support our brothers and sisters fighting for their rights.”
Liz Blackshaw also said that “We have a protocol with DHL. According to the protocol, local issues must be solved through dialogue on the global level. We call on DHL Express to withdraw the objection, start a dialogue with TÜMTİS and reinstate the dismissed workers.
ITF will always be here. We will support workers’ struggles like the DHL Express struggle.”
Support from Unionised Workplaces and Labour Organisations
Istanbul No 1 Branch officials, Gebze Branch officials, shop stewards and members from warehouses, UPS, DHL Supply Chain, representatives of various labour organisations participated in the press conference to support our struggle.
PHOTOS OF THE PRESS CONFERENCE AND ITF’S VISIT