Unite the union has condemned the sentencing of 26 Turkish Renault trade union leaders and workers to five months in prison suspended for five years.

The workers were found guilty of ‘disobeying the law on meetings and demonstrations’ after taking part in a protest in front of Renault’s Oyak plant in March 2016, where they were victims of police brutality and unlawful detention.

If any of the convicted workers commit a ‘crime’ in that five year period, they will go to jail.

Unite is supporting Turkish Renault workers in their demands for the right to organise and expressed outraged at the court’s decision. Even though Renault was not involved in the judicial persecution of the workers, Unite believes the company bears responsibility for having failed to solve the dispute through social dialogue, rather than calling the police to repress the striking workers in 2016.

As a result Unite believes Renault is in violation of the Global Framework Agreement signed with IndustriALL Global union federation in 2013. Unite joins with IndustriALL Global and Europe in calling on the company to address this unacceptable violation of the Global Framework Agreement.

Tony Burke Assistant General Secretary of Unite said: “This sentencing, combined with the arrests and intimidation of trade unionists at the Istanbul airport site and the horrific assassination of Abdullah Karacan of DISK confederation, is part of the ongoing targeting and criminalisation of independent trade unions and all opposition in Turkey.

“Unite will continue to raise this on the international stage and stands in solidarity with all progressive forces in Turkey.”

ENDS

For more information please contact Alex Flynn Unite head of media and campaigns on 020 3371 2066 or 07967 665869 

Notes to editors:

  • Unite represents workers in Britain and Ireland with members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.