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9 Jul 2022

Turkey: Steel producer Posco allegedly refuses to reinstate workers fired for joining a union despite court win

Hans Braxmeier | Pixabay

In December 2017, Business & Human Rights Resource Centre invited Posco to respond to allegations that 80 workers were fired at its steel plant in Kocaeli for joining IndustriALL Global Union affiliate Birleşik Metal-İş. The company's response is provided below.

IndustriALL issued a rejoinder asking Posco for further information to support their statement. We invited Posco to respond, they did not issue another response.

In June 2022, Turkey’s highest court, the Court of Cassation, ruled that Birleşik Metal-İş has the 50 per cent +1 membership of the overall workforce required by Turkish law and that Posco therefore has to recognize the union as a collective bargaining partner. According to IndustriALL, the company had changed the registration of their office in 2017 to prevent Birleşik Metal-İş from gaining the required majority at the factory. The court had in a previous decision also ruled that as the dismissals in 2017 were for joining a union, the 80 workers should be reinstated.

However, IndustriALL says that Posco has so far still refused to reinstate the workers and instead paid extra compensation. Business & Human Rights Resource Centre invited Posco to respond, the company said it acted in harmony with Turkish regulation on union rights. Their full response is available below.

In February 2023, IndustriALL Global Union and industriAll European Trade Union issued a rejoinder to Posco's response dated July 2022, disputing some of the claims made and calling on Posco to recognize Birleşik Metal-İş as the collective bargaining agent and engage in good faith negotiations as required by the court ruling and as enshrined in core labour standards. Posco did not issue an additional response.

Company Responses