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190 Petrol-Is members in Turkey dismissed for belonging to a union

Some 190 Petrol-İş members in Turkey at the Sanovel İlaçları pharmaceutical company, located in Silivri, Istanbul, were sacked after joining the ICEM-affiliated Turkish union.
Petrol-İş started an organising effort at the plant a year ago. Sanovel İlaçları, one of the top ten pharmaceutical companies in Turkey, dismissed five union members on 4 April 2007, after all production workers joined the union.
On the 6 June, the company announced that it had terminated the employment of 190 union members. Management said union status disqualified the workers from being able to continue to perform their jobs.
Protesting the firings, all workers at Sanovel İlaçları began a protest in front of the plant.
A large majority of the workers are paid only the minimum legal wage at Sanovel. The average wage at the company is YTL 500, the equivalent of € 275. While working under extremely difficult conditions, workers are not paid any social benefits.
Public opinion in Turkey is on the side of the sacked workers, and other trade unions, as well as a number of political parties, are backing efforts to get the 190 workers reinstated. On 27 June, Salih Kilic, President of Turk-Iş, the national centre to which Petrol-İş is affiliated, visited the dismissed workers and offered the federation's support. (2 July 2007)