Employer threatening workers takes lion’s share from privatization

Yolbulan Inc., an iron and steel factory in Turkey’s Karabük, had threatened workers with sacks due to their membership to a progressive labour union. It revealed that anti-labour and anti-union iron company got a huge amount of unearned income from privatization of Kardemir, Turkey’s first heavy iron and steel industry
Wednesday, 29 August 2018 19:15

Employers at Yolbulan Inc. in Turkey’s northern province of Karabük, an iron and steel company active for 40 years, had forced workers unionized under United Metalworkers’ Union (Birleşik Metal-İş) connected to the Confederation of Progressive Trade Unions (DİSK)  to resign the union and to join the yellow union.

As the iron and steel company continues to attack workers by anti-labour and anti-union policies, the truth is that it got a huge amount of unearned income from privatization of Kardemir, Turkey’s first heavy iron and steel industry established in 1937.

Karabük Iron and Steel Works, which is one of the first public institutions of the young Republic of Turkey, was privatized during the 1990s despite having functioned as a state-owned company for decades until that date. After privatization, Yolbulan Group also took part in the administration of the company under the name of ‘KARDEMİR A.Ş.’. As one of the principal shareholders of the company, Yolbulan Group has also carried on its activities in the iron steel industry, metal industry and freight sector.

Having the right to purchase goods from Kardemir with priority and having the strongest marketing network of Kardemir nationwide as the principal shareholder of the company, Yolbulan Inc. made a fortune in that period of privatization. Yolbulan Metal, one of the companies within Yolbulan Group, had entered the list of ‘‘Turkey’s biggest 500 industrial enterprises’’ (ISO 500). Yolbulan Metal endorsed 488 billion TL and made the profit of approximately 80-90 billion TL in 2017.

In Yolbulan Iron Industry and Trade Inc., another company affiliated with Yolbulan Group benefited greatly from Kardemir A.Ş.’s profit, employers now impose anti-labour and union busting policies.

Workers unionized under the United Metalworkers’ Union are forced to resign in the interrogation rooms in Yolbulan Iron Industry and Trade Inc. as a result of collaboration between capitalist employers and yellow union, the Steel Industry Workers’ Union  (ÇELİK-İŞ).