ISTANBUL (June 16, 2008) — Workers at tire plants of Bridgestone Corp., Goodyear and Pirelli Tyre S.p.A. affiliates in Turkey ended a 14-day strike by 4,000 workers at four factories and returned to work June 14 after agreeing to a new two-year contract.
The tire makers and workers represented by Turkish labor union Lastik-Is agreed on June 13 to the new deal, which calls for a 14-percent pay increase for 2008 and an increase equal to the Turkish rate of inflation for next year, according to the International Federation of Chemical, Energy, Mine and General Workers' Unions.
The new agreement also calls for all levels of social benefits to increase by the inflation rate over the life of the contract, according to the ICEM, which called the deal a “major achievement” in light of wage and social benefit gains being stymied in the late 1990s and early years of this decade because of strike bans imposed by the Turkish government.
“We didn't make any concessions, we preserved our contractual and work-rule provisions, and we posted substantial economic gains,” said Lastik-Is President Abdullah Karacan. “The decisiveness of our union members at these four factories was effective and ultimately proved successful in bargaining.”
The affected plants were the Izmit factories of Bridgestone Brisa Sabanci, Pirelli and Goodyear as well as Goodyear's second plant in Adapazari.
In 2007, the Turkish rate of inflation was 8.39 percent and is expected to rise above that this year, the ICEM said. Lastik-Is had sought a 12-percent wage hike for the first six months of 2008, with increases matching the inflation rate in each six-month period through 2009.