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Belgesel: Petrol-İş Tarihi

Turkish woman fired for union organising at Izmir Packaging Mill

Müzeyyen Acunal is a 27-year-old single mother of one who was and still should be employed at the Tezol Tütün ve Kagit (Twezol Europap) recycled pulp, paperboard, and tissue mill in Izmir, Turkey. In July, she and 35 others at the 250-worker mill tried to organise with ICEM affiliate Selüloz-İş.

Management then maliciously called each of the 35 in individually and gave them a choice: resign from the union and maintain employment, or resign from the company and collect the meager, statutory state entitlements under Turkish law. Acunal did neither. When she turned up for the work the day following her interview, managers put her in the middle of the workplace to perform meaningless and humiliating work chores for the sole purpose of other workers to witness.

When she complained and said she wanted to return to the machine operator job she had held for seven years, she was fired. She has filed suit, through her union, with both a labour court and a civil prosecutor. In the meantime, she and her child are living on stipends coming from the individual pockets of Selüloz-İş officials, while long court cases wait.

In your own words and in your own language, send a message of support to Müzeyyen Acunal at muzeyyen-acnl@hotmail.com.

If you care to make a contribution to help with her subsistence, write to ICEM Pulp and Paper Officer Dick Blin at dick.blin@icem.org. He will provide bank details in order to make a bank transfer.

Also in Turkey during the final week of October, at the Mondi Tire Kutsan Paper Mill in Tire, near Izmir, seven workers were fired for attempting to organise with Selüloz-İş. Reportedly, South African-based Mondi, which owns 64% of the recycled pulp and corrugated packaging mill, is trying to install a yellow union inside the 400-worker mill. ICEM will provide more details on this as information becomes available. (2 November 2010)