Unexpected Wave of Strikes in Turkish Automotive Industry
Emre Eren Korkmaz
Unexpected, spontaneous waves of strikes in the Turkish automotive industry in main industrial centres as Bursa, Ankara, Sakarya, Eskişehir and Kocaeli crashed the labour relations model of the industry designed by the 1980 military government. Over 20.000 metal workers in Renault, Fiat, Ford, Türk Traktor and some suppliers of these MNCs initiated spontaneous strikes to protest both the employers’ association (Metal Employers Association; MESS) and the labour union (Türk Metal). Also in Mercedes and some other suppliers, employees initiated different forms of protests to raise their joint demands. Employees claim that the labour union has been betraying its members by signing an undesired collective agreement without consulting members and their wages do not allow them to live in decent conditions.