Operating under the roof of the Koç Holding, one of the oldest and biggest conglomerates in Turkey, the tractor-manufacturing Türk Traktör company started to fire people by saying that the sale numbers have dropped, though “investment presentations” show the contrary.
It is seen that the production and export numbers in the automotive sector in Turkey have dropped more than 3% in the first 6 months of 2018. However, the tractor manufacture seems to be the best-looking sub-segments of the automotive sector with a 10% increase in the same period of the year.
Despite the given conditions, Türk Traktör had earlier decreased the working days by one day and cut the pays of that day. Afterwards, the night shift in the production line was cancelled, dropping the number of the shifts to 2, and it was told by the factory management that the practice would end on June 24. Although the union and the management had told the workers that there would not be any discharges, a significant portion of the contracted workers was fired.
One of the workers who has been working at the company for nearly 2 years told the Evrensel newspaper: “They have fired our contracted fellows. Unemployment is very high, and we are concerned to lose our jobs. The way things are, they will first fire those who haven’t done their military duties, and then the rest. The union says nothing. They told us that there would not be any discharges, but some cut from the pays, but people are now afraid to be fired.”
Another worker said: “They offer us our damages, and say that anyone who wants to go can go. Who can dare to leave when everyone is in so much debt, unemployment is so high, when the crisis is around the corner?”
Türk Traktör is the largest tractor manufacturer in Turkey. “Investors’ presentations” show that the company has regularly increased its production rate between the years 2012 and 2017. It is seen that the company’s production rate did not regress in the first 6 months of the year. However, its endorsement did regress in dollars due to the exchange rate in the first 3 months, and the company seems to try to repress the workers in order to increase its profitability by manufacturing more with fewer workers.