Arçelik, a household appliances manufacturer and a company of one of Turkey’s largest conglomerates, Koç Holding, announced on March 3 to their workers in the factory in the Beylikdüzü district of the city of İstanbul, Turkey, to take a day off because of “a shortage of production materials”. The workers were also told that it would be taken off from their annual leaves.
The workers, who did not expect such a thing in mid-winter, protested the decision.
One of the workers told soL that: “This is a robbery of our annual leaves. This is forced upon workers in various departments from time to time.”
Explaining that the company does not only rob them of their right to leave, the workers stated that those who started to work recently and have not yet earned the right to leave are also exposed to this, thus becoming in debt with the company.
The workers also note that they were made members of the Turkish Metal Union (a pro-government union), and that when they went to discuss the issue with the union directors, they were told that the union could not do anything if this was the decision of the company.
The Koç Holding, owned by one of Turkey’s wealthiest families, the Koç Family, is widely known for their violations of workers’ rights from many aspects in countless incidents, including a mass occupational murder, while continuing to increase their profits especially under AKP rule since 2002, and in this way, their level of luxury.
Last year, in January, Arçelik had fired 650 workers in their factory in the Çerkezköy district of the city of Tekirdağ. Yet, in August, the Koç Holding was on the agenda for purchasing a brand-new model aeroplane for 200 million Turkish Lira (approximately $58 million). It is also known that the Koç Holding is one of the many who have increased their profits incrementally.
In last year’s October, an explosion had killed four workers and injured 2 in TÜPRAŞ oil refinery, another company owned by the Koç Holding. The reason was then revealed to be that no controls or necessary gasometrics had been applied in the refinery.
Koç Holding is also a conglomerate that keeps increasing their profits during the State of Emergency following the attempted coup of July 15, 2015.