Nine workers dismissed from Uyar Çelik ,a steel plant in Karabük, due to their union membership went up to the roof of their factory yesterday in order to protest exploitation and unfair dismissals. Workers unfairly dismissed by their employers due to their membership to the United Metal Workers' Union (Birleşik Metal-İŞ), have been struggling for their rights for 38 days now.
After 12 hours, the workers on the roof ended their protest due to the initiative of union representatives. Adnan Serdaroğlu, the Chair of Birleşik Metal-İŞ, said that the workers in resistance ended their protest on the roof for now, but that they will continue their struggle by setting up resistance tents in the area.
The Communist Party of Turkey (TKP) visited these iron and steel workers protesting capitalist exploitation and oppression on Wednesday.
Speaking to soL news in their resistance tents, the workers said that they have suffered oppression from the day they started to work at Uyar Çelik.
"The boss had made many promises regarding raising our salaries at the beginning of the job, but he did not keep his side of the bargain", the workers stated.
Emphasizing that the employer evades taxes and neglects occupational safety, the workers said: "The minimum wage portion of our salaries were paid via the bank and the rest were delivered by hand."
Noting that workers were fired on the pretext of the shut down of the factory, the workers stated, "Uyar Çelik received a work permit but it appeared as if they were shutting down the factory and working only on manufacturing assemblies because they forged some documents. Thus, the employer recruited wire drawers instead of welders or assemblers."
"Since the first day of our struggle, we expected support from the mayor, governor and deputies. Yet, nobody came. They do not want to negotiate with us, because the Confederation of Progressive Trade Union of Turkey (DİSK) is a dissenting union. They were talking about human rights and justice. Where are our rights?", workers continued.
Stating that some of the dismissed workers could not feed their families and as a result had started to have problems with their spouses and children, the workers said, "We have no choice to act insensitively; the success of our resistance will be hope for other workers struggling for their rights."