Before the 2021-2023 MESS Group Collective Bargaining Agreement process to begin between the Turkish Metalworkers’ Union (TMS) and the Turkish Employers’ Association of Metal Industries (MESS), our President Pevrul Kavlak announced our union's proposal for wage of increase at a press conference held on Wednesday, August 25, 2021. The press conference was broadcast live from our union's social media accounts.
Our President Pevrul Kavlak, take air our union's offer of a raise with the public with these words:
“We started our work about two months ago for this agreement, which will cover the 2021-2023 period. First of all, we carried out a survey, which is an important pillar of democracy within the organization, which is perhaps the only one we do in our country. Approximately 120 thousand members participated in the survey prepared by the research center of our union.
Furthermore, this time we had a private company make a survey. Approximately 10 thousand members participated in this survey. Thus, we have determined the expectations of our members. Afterward, we held a Workshop last Saturday with approximately 700 of our representative colleagues working in MESS-affiliated workplaces. In this Workshop, the expectations of our workplace representative friends emerged. Then on Sunday we convened our board of presidents and finalized our proposal.
Today, we will announce it to the public opinion through you. Before I present to our proposal to you, I would like to give some technical information. This agreement will cover 210 workplaces affiliated to a total of 179 workers who are members of MESS. The agreement will affect approximately 127 thousand workers who are members of Turk Metal. These workplaces are evaluated in three different groups according to the levels of monetary social payments. There are proximate 89 thousand 500 workers in the first group workplaces, proximate 27 thousand workers in the second group workplaces, and proximate 11 thousand workers in the third group workplaces. The agreement covers Turkey's largest industrial enterprises. These are the leading companies of our country's economy. The most important companies of our line of business operating in the automotive, white goods, iron and steel and electrical-electronics sectors are within this scope.
The collective bargaining agreement that we will sign will comprise 20 companies among 100 industrial organizations and 13 companies among the first 50 companies. Within the scope of the contract, apart from the members of our union Türk Metal, there are also members of the Birleşik Metal-İş Union affiliated to DİSK and Özçelik-İş Union affiliated to Hak-İş. However, 91 percent of the workers in the scope are Türk Metal members. As for the details of our offer to be submitted to MESS in the coming days, we would like an improvement of 0.90 TL for the members whose hourly wage is below 20.50 in the first six months of the first year of the proposal. That means an improvement of 270 TL, not exceeding 6150 TL, for our members whose wages are below 6150 TL. Then we demand a 27% raise for all our members. This comes to 29.57% in the first six months of the first year. We have inflation demand for the second six months, inflation for the third six months +1 TL for hourly wages, and inflation for the fourth six months. In social rights, we want an increase of 35% in the first year and an increase of 4% in the second year.
In our other requests, we have a request to expand the scope of our complementary health insurance, which was included in our collective bargaining agreement for the first time in 2017, and to extend it to mates and children. Apart from this, our members work overtime on public holidays and receive three wages in total, and we demand to increase this to four wages. Apart from this, our members work overtime on public holidays and receive three day's wages in total, and we demand to increase this to four days. Our night workers receive a 10% increase in their wages, and we have a request to increase this to 15%. We have a new item called maintenance repair and technical personnel compensation. Accordingly, we demand an increase in wages of 10% of the hourly wages of our members, who perform maintenance and repair works in all production units, and follow the control and automation processes. Apart from these, my dear friends, we have a request for compassionate leave. A request that we want to be included in our collective bargaining agreement for the first time is that our members be given 3 days of annual leave to accompany their first-degree relatives in their inpatient treatment, to use them for their wedding or circumcision feast, and to document their excuse. Another item is the starting rate. We demand an increase of 10% of the minimum wage and the minimum wage in order to close the huge gap between our workers who are employed after signing the collective agreement and those who are covered by the collective agreement. In addition, we would like to include education assistance in our collective agreement, and expand the scope of this and add kindergartens to this scope. The last item I will mention is the reserved rights clause in our agreement. This article aims to prevent the possibility of regression in some rights in the enterprises that are members of MESS during the contract period, and we demand an increase in the issues included in this article as well as the increases in the collective agreement.
These are our demands in the MESS Group Collective Bargaining Agreement, among the companies that are party to this Collective Bargaining Agreement, there are export champion enterprises of Turkey. I wish the process beneficial for the working class of Turkey”.
Before the end of the press conference attended by many press members, our President Pevrul Kavlak answered the questions of the press.