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Turkey: Cargill responds to alleged 'unfair' dismissal of union members

"Cargill’s response to allegations of unfair labour practice towards 14 employees at its Orhangazi plant", 10 April 2019

The starch based sugar industry in Turkey is governed by a national quota system… In March 2018, a change to the law meant that Cargill’s annual quota was reduced from 10%...to 5%...the quota has been further reduced to 2.5%.

As a result…Cargill’s business in Turkey has had to take immediate measures to ensure that it can remain a viable business in the long term in the country. After analysing the Orhangazi facility’s capacity utilization, efficiency and sweetener production operations, the business carried out a mitigation plan across its Turkish operations.  The cost cutting measures put in place…led to a reduction in force of 16 positions at the Orhangazi plant in April 2018.

The selection process was carried out in accordance with Turkish law, and Turkish law prohibits terminating employment relations on the basis of union membership…Cargill did not take into consideration union membership in making selection decisions…

...Turkish law does not permit Cargill to collect and process the names of any employees who might be union members.  Employees were not singled out because they belonged, or intended to join a union, nor was union membership or any other form of activity taken into consideration during the process…Cargill respects the rights of its employees to belong to unions of their choice…

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