The 2nd Ordinary General Assembly of our Bursa-Emek Branch was held on 20 March 2021 with the participation of only delegates and a certain number of guests, in accordance with the mask and social distance rules. Our President Pevrul Kavlak was elected as the Chairman of the Council. Our Vice President Uysal Altundağ and our Bursa No.1 Branch President Ali Noyan served as the Vice President of the Council.
“Our President Pevrul Kavlak, who addressed the general assembly delegates and guests as the Chairman of the Council, started his speech by mentioning the social negativities in the pandemic process that affected the whole world. Reminding that the working class continues to produce and work in this process, our President Kavlak said: “Healthcare workers, basic vital service providers, transport sector workers and many others continued to work at the beginning of their duties. Also, you metal workers, you took care of their workplaces. You have produced, you have earned. As a result of your work, nobody felt the impact of the epidemic in industrial production. You gave power to production, you shoulder the entire burden of the economy. You didn't stop for a moment. You are the export champion again. That was not enough, you produced it for patients waiting for healing in intensive care. You have made breathing apparatus. You made a health cabinet and test kits. You worked for your life. Renault workers, brothers and sisters, you are the heroes of this difficult process like other laborers. You are our pride. I am proud of you. I sincerely thank you all. "
Behind you is Türk Metal like a mountain.
Stating that our union Türk Metal has taken the necessary measures for its members since the first days of the pandemic process and implemented these measures, Kavlak said, “You see what happens in other workplaces, especially in unorganized workplaces. Everyone is miserable, unemployed, worried about the future… That's why we are still on the alert. We are at the beginning of our work in order not to sacrifice any of our lives, for the health and safety of our members, and to avoid any harm. Do not worry, my friends. Don't worry. You have a union. Türk Metal is like a mountain behind you” he said.
Pointing out that the importance of labor and laborers was once again understood by the whole world during the epidemic process, Kavlak said, “During the epidemic period, all laborers were at the frontline of their duties. They produced it for their lives” and continued his speech as follows:
“The key to real salvation for working people is union organization. While organized workers survived this process almost without loss, unorganized workers lost their jobs while going through this difficult period with the least damage. They were taken on unpaid leave. They lost their wages and social rights. Unfortunately, they had to pay for the crisis. They lost their wages and social rights. Unfortunately, they had to pay for the crisis. Therefore, our duty is to gather non-unionized metal sector workers under the roof of our union. To provide them with union security is to protect their rights and freedoms. This is an indispensable task for us, and beyond that it is our responsibility to the laborers. Based on that responsibility, we have never been idle during this epidemic period. We organized in 52 new workplaces in various provinces. We added about 11 thousand friends to our family. On this occasion, I would like to welcome them, too. Welcome to the Türk Metal family. From now on we are stronger with you. You are safer with us, too” he said.
Kavlak stated that our country's economy was going through a difficult period during the epidemic process, and said that workers were the most losing during this period and continued as follows: “Don’t forget. In such times, nobody interests in the money of rich people. They always keep an eye on us. They always try to take from us. Could you want an example? Here are the games played on severance pay during the epidemic period. Yes, we worked and produced at the expense of our lives. So what did we see? While everyone was struggling to protect their health, struggling to survive, trying to protect their jobs, wages, families and livelihoods, they drafted a law on severance pay twice.
They took advantage of the environment and kept an eye on our severance pay. Again they tried to buy it from us. Again, they glared at our right. They coveted our last hope. Moreover, not once. Although we resisted and repelled the first draft, this time they tried to take away our seniority under another name. Prior to 1980, severance pay was seven and a half times the minimum wage. After 1980, a ceiling for severance pay has been introduced. In the past, the severance pay ceiling and the insurance ceiling were equal. Now, the insurance ceiling is approximately twenty three thousand liras, and the severance pay ceiling is seven thousand liras. You have already received what you will receive. What more will you get from us. Are you going to take our life?
Unfortunately, the recognition of a right in the constitution or laws does not mean that that right is exercised.
Referring to the constitutional work that has been on the agenda of the country recently, Kavlak said that, as TÜRK-İŞ, they convey their opinions about the constitutional changes and reforms to the Ministers of Labor, Justice and Economy. He stated that they conveyed the problems of the workers' movement and their solutions to the government representatives in these meetings and he added: “The existence of any right in the constitution and laws, unfortunately, does not mean the exercise of that right. If those rights remain on paper, they don't make sense to us. I am asking, does anyone have the right to unionize in this country? There is. Is it a constitutional right? Yes, it is a constitutional right. Well, can we use this right freely? No, we cannot use it. All of my friends in Bursa saw how we struggled to organize in workplaces during the pandemic process and how our friends slept in front of the factory in winter. Despite our actions and struggles in a workplace in Bursa for a while, we cannot prevent the dismissal of workers. You all witness these. Finally, 70 of our friends were fired at this workplace in Bursa. Their only blame was being a member of Türk Metal. From here I am calling out to those employers who are anti-union. The hands of those workers you threw out on the street on the winter day are on your side. We will not forget you. Türk Metal's hands are on your collar” he said.
Kavlak, drew attention to the problems faced by workers in non-unionized workplaces during the organizing process and continued his speech as follows: “Now I ask those who prevent the right to unionize, is there any prison sentence in the Turkish Criminal Law? Yes there is. Well, have you ever heard of an employer who has been imprisoned for all these years, when there are as many workers in the world who have been dismissed from their jobs just because they have unionized? You haven't heard. Someone dismisses the workers without question, they do not give their severance pay. Later, under the name of the Mediation system, someone intervenes and expects the dismissed worker to accept a payment far below his compensation. This order is such a system... These laws do not work for someone, someone does not pay any price. It is the laborers who pay the price. Workers who are members of the union are dismissed with Code 29, which is the termination code for a just cause specified in Turkish Labor Law. For these reasons, we will have a lawyer in each branch, and we will support all the victims while going to the mediator meeting, whether they are our members or not. We will break these games. We will not alone the laborers in this black order. "
Without mentioning workers' rights and freedoms, neither human rights nor democracy can be mentioned.
Continuing his evaluations about the Constitutional studies by stating that they do not want a change that remains only on paper, Kavlak said, “Dear friends, we do not want an order in which rights remain on paper. Constitutions, laws can change. But we mainly demand a change in thinking about the exercise of rights. When talking about human rights, no one in this country should ignore the rights of working people. Remember that without talking about workers' rights and freedoms, neither human rights nor democracy can be talked about… I'm calling out to those who rule the country from here, whatever you are going to do. Know what right you will recognize. If these are left on paper, I don't want reforms or anything. "If a worker is to be blamed of "immorality "just because he is a union member if he will be dismissed without compensation under the name of Code 29, if my state will not speak to that employer, I do not want reform or anything."
Following the speech of our President Pevrul Kavlak, Oyak Renault Human Resources Director Tolga Görgülü, Bursa Metropolitan Municipality Deputy Mayor Murat Demir and the İyi Parti Provincial Chairman Selçuk Türkoğlu made their greetings to the delegates of the general assembly.
Then, the Annual Report of our Bursa-Emek Branch was unanimously approved by the delegates of the general assembly. And, our members Arzu Çimen and Nahit Çilingir from the Oyak Renault factory members took the floor and made speeches.
Among the guests attending the General Assembly were TÜRK-İŞ 8th Regional Representative Ruhi Biçer, MESS Bursa Regional Representative Murat Batur, Oyak Renault Human Resources Manager Neslihan Akkozak and Oyak Renault Human Resources Manager Ömer Başaran.
According to the results of the election, Nizamettin Bilik was elected as the Branch President, Recai Gündoğdu as the Branch Secretary, Cengiz Kapcan as the Branch Financial Secretary, Ercan Altındişoğulları as the Branch Organization Secretary and Aydın Çaça as the Branch Education Secretary.