TURK METAL WILL CONTINUE ITS ORGANIZATIONAL WORK WITH VESTEL!

TURK METAL WILL CONTINUE ITS ORGANIZATIONAL WORK WITH VESTEL!

9/9/2021 2:47:20 PM

VESTEL, one of the world's leading ODM (Original Design Manufacturer) manufacturers in consumer electronics and household appliances. Producer of Turkey's first locally designed and manufactured smartphone, Venus. Exports its products to 157 countries around the world.

 

Founded in 1984 and acquired by Zorlu Group in 1994, Vestel is today a global group of companies comprising a total of 27 companies, of which 16 are located abroad. Vestel offers consumers a wide product range, which includes consumer electronics, major household appliances, digital and mobile products, small home appliances and LED lighting products.

 

With its approximately 19,000 employees, production capacity built on advanced technology and contribution to country’s exports, Vestel represents an important source of power for the Turkish economy. Established over a 1.3 million m2 area in Manisa, Vestel’s manufacturing base Vestel City is one of the largest single-site industrial manufacturing complexes in Europe.

 

PRESIDENT KAVLAK WAS IN MANISA, TURKEY

 

Manisa Extended House of Representatives Meeting was held on Tuesday, September 7, 2021 with the participation of our Chairman Pevrul Kavlak. At the meeting, our Chairman Kavlak made important statements about the MESS Group Collective Bargaining Agreement process that will start shortly between our union Türk Metal and the Turkish Metal Industrialists' Union (MESS) and the organizational activities carried out by our Manisa No. 1 Branch in Manisa. While the Extended House of Representatives of our Manisa No. 1 Branch was broadcast live with the joint broadcast of Manisa TV and ETV, nearly 4,000 members from the workplaces where our union is organized in Manisa and İzmir attended the meeting.

 

Headlines from the speech of our Chairman Pevrul Kavlak;

 

There is Turkish Metal in this country. There is TÜRK-İŞ in this country.

 

“When we took over this sacred duty, we got 81. Today, we are 215 thousand. We are the biggest, the strongest, and the most organized in Turkey. But we never thought to settle for that. We were not the captain who saved his ship. We did not say long live the snake that did not touch us. We have sworn to include as many unorganized metal workers as there are in this country under the roof of Türk Metal. We set out on this road, first for the metal workers, their job security, their future and their families, and finally for the Turkish working class. We have a long way to go, our job is difficult. But you and I are both travelers on this road until we pass the torch in our hands to those who come after us. This way is our way. This road is our destiny. It is our way of life. We will not return from this road until we put an end to this exploitative system. We don't do this job from where we sit. Let's go to the fields. We resist exploitation. We resist de-unionization. We resist the subcontractor. We resist politicians arm in arm with employers. We resist hunger, poverty, unscrupulousness. We resist and we resist. So, are we years? Are we afraid? Do we run away? Never… Because there is a fire burning inside of us. We have a beating heart to put our hands under the stone, not to put our hands in our pockets. That heart is here, in this hall, in Manisa. Now, let's underline a fact together. Let's call out to those who have eyes but do not see, those who have ears but do not hear, those who have a heart but do not have a conscience. Gentlemen, there are workers in this country. There is an organized power of labor in this country. There are unions. There is Turkish Metal in this country. There is TÜRK-İŞ in this country.”

 

We followed the social distance rules, but we did not put any distance between us and we did not stay clear from struggle.

 

“Both our Manisa Branch and our other branches are trying with all their might to organize our non-unionized brothers into the collective bargaining order so that there are no unorganized metal workers in our line of business. As I have just underlined, we have made the struggle for organization a way of life. We made it one of our basic principles. Even during the pandemic period, we never stopped when everyone took a break from their activities. 62 at work. We recruited 24 thousand of our friends. We followed the social distance, but we did not put any distance between us and the struggle. Our branches in various provinces, such as our Manisa Branch, are struggling in many workplaces. Our fire of struggle burns with great strength wherever we are organized in Thrace, Istanbul, Bursa and Gebze. There are resistance tents in front of many factories. There are workers waiting for their bread in front of the factory overnight with hope. In the last 5 months, we have done organizational work for 6 mobile phone brands that have recently entered Turkey. We resisted them all. We struggled in all of them. Let me give you an example. Just last week, our 850 working brothers who wanted to become Turkish Metal members in order to live a life worthy of human dignity in Istanbul displayed a great example of resistance. They are still exhibiting. These friends of ours have been lying at the door of the factory for exactly 11 days. Their struggle is actually your struggle. It is the struggle for the rights of the entire working class. Bread struggle. It is the struggle for freedom. Just like the Bodo-Bode workers that we organized during the pandemic period, like the Akwel workers and many others, Salcomp workers who resisted emerged victorious from this process. The authorization certificate reached our union yesterday. I congratulate the Salcomp workers who fought that struggle from here, I kiss them on their eyes. I welcome the Türk Metal family.”

 

Let's sway Turk Metal flag in Vestel altogether!

 

“Our Manisa Branch is currently struggling to organize in 8 workplaces. The case for determination of authorization in 9 workplaces continues. Hopefully, we will waive the Turkish Metal flag in these workplaces as well. By completing our organization, we will bring our friends there to a collective agreement. But my friends, there is a workplace in Manisa where we are not organized. Unfortunately, non-unionism continues at Vestel, which is a world brand and a source of pride for all of us, which makes the Turkish flag fly around the world, making the name of our country known. Our colleagues working at Vestel are not satisfied with this situation. They are looking for us. They say, "Come, give us union security, and bring us under the umbrella of collective agreements." Because, my friends, they know very well that there are mountains between them and Türk Metal members who do almost the same job in similar factories in the same industry. Our friends at Vestel know very well that even though they have more than 10 or 15 years of seniority, they still earn a little over the minimum wage, while the wages of a member with 10 or 15 years of seniority in the workplaces we are organized is 7 thousand 500 TL gross, excluding social benefits. Our friends at Vestel know that there is job security in the workplaces where we are organized. There are advanced social rights. There are four bonuses. There are rights such as fuel aid and educational aid. Complementary Health Insurance is available. There is, there is. But there is also work peace in our workplaces. There is also social dialogue. Because our basic understanding is to produce and earn first, and then to get our fair share from what we have gained. Our workplaces are sacred to us. We take care of our workplace, our machine, like our honor. However, we do not leave the right of our sweat to anyone. That's why I want to call out to Vestel's officials from here. This situation does not suit a world brand. Let's join the Vestel workers to the Türk Metal family in a social dialogue and collaboratively. Let's establish trust, peace and efficiency in the workplace. Let's protect the working peace. Let's grow this world brand company together. Let's produce, let's earn, but let's earn fairly. Let's jointly remove this company from the shame of being a workplace that does not respect workers' rights and freedoms. Let's plant the Turkish Metal flag for Vestel together. This is a very big business, there are thousands of workers. Therefore, this organizational work is not something that will happen from today to tomorrow. This is a long-term struggle. Yes, we have a considerable number of members as of today. However, this process will take a long time to complete. I expect patience, solidarity and determination from you. Hold on, hug each other, and believe. Be sure that as long as you resist, are determined and have faith, there is no business that we cannot plant the flag of Türk Metal. I am sure that sooner or later, one way or another, victory will be ours. A Vestel worker will join the Türk Metal family.”

 

We rolled up our sleeves again and started preparations.

 

“We are at the beginning of a new process. We rolled up our sleeves again and started preparations for the 2021-2023 MESS Group Collective Bargaining Agreement. First of all, we conducted our survey, which is an important contribution to the trade union movement in our country, an indispensable part of democracy within the organization. We learned the expectations of our members through both our own research centre and a private company we have contracted with. By the way, I came together with our friends who have been on holiday in our hotels in the last three months. I participated in conversations with them. I listened to them all and took notes. I tried to find out their expectations. By the way, I would like to point out that with the start of the annual permits, we have offered a holiday opportunity to approximately 70 thousand members both in our own hotels and in the hotels we rent seasonally for this purpose. Our friends still continue to spend their holidays in our hotels. When the process is completed, this number will be 210 thousand with his wife and children. Easy to say, 210 thousand people will have a holiday. Then, on August 21, we met in Ankara with the representatives of our MESS-affiliated workplaces. We did a workshop. We received their requests and suggestions. Then we convened our Board of Presidents again. We have finalized our draft. We announced our draft contract to the public at a press conference we held on 25 August. For the first six months, we requested a total increase of 29.57 percent in our wages.”

 

Everyone does the easy, the important thing is to achieve the difficult.

 

“Is this process easy? Not… Not really… When you say the problems caused by the pandemic, stoppages in the workplaces, the contraction in exports, the decrease in automobile and white goods sales. Our job is getting harder every day. You know, we also have the chip problem. This problem originating from the Far East puts our workplaces in trouble. Unexpected stops happen. Therefore, our job is not easy. Difficult. It's also very difficult. But remember this. There is a word. They say everyone can do the easy, the important thing is to achieve the difficult. Türk Metal has always been the hardest hit. It has survived the toughest times. This time, we will do whatever it takes to achieve the difficult task. With your strength, resistance, and never-ending support behind us, we will win again. We will win again. Let no one doubt that. We say to our employers: Yes, the pandemic conditions have bent everyone's back. Business decreased, exports contracted. There were problems in the supply chain. Yes, we know these. We also live in this country. However, you should know this well, when everyone was at home, in quarantine, afraid of illness, running away, we did not run away, we were at our counter. We worked at the expense of our lives to keep our country's economy alive, to support industrial production, for your profits. We worked to death.”

 

 

Time is approaching to settle the account.

 

“We did our part. Now it's your turn… You owe us. Our employers, those who turn the wheels, owe us money. The rulers of this country owe workers who were martyred for the unity and solidarity of our country, as well as those of our brothers, our lives, who died due to the Covid-19 virus, who fell ill and became martyrs on the job to keep the economy alive. This is not a debt that can be dismissed with a dry thanks. It's a big debt. Not long now. Those days are coming. This debt will be collected in the way you deserve very soon. Now the time of reckoning is approaching. The time is approaching to get our share of what we produce, without mask, without distance, with our receivables accumulating in our palms, with the whites of our foreheads. Don't worry. Our employers, those who smoked their chimneys, while we were producing to death, turning the wheels at the expense of our lives, those who buried our friends who lost their lives due to the epidemic and returned to our looms, those who added profit to their profits, will pay their debt to you in memory of those lives we buried. Because we worked with our lives, at the cost of our lives… We worked to death… To death…”

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