Turkey: Union reports over 134,000 garment workers laid off as brands move production elsewhere
"Factories collapse, unemployment explodes", 29 July 2023
Rafi Ay, Chairman of Öz İplik-İş Union, organized in the textile and apparel sectors, said that the economic crisis hit their sectors and their employees, and that famous brands moved their factories abroad. Ay stated that the factories where many famous brands in the textile and apparel industry are produced went to countries such as Egypt, Algeria, Tunisia and Bangladesh, 604 small businesses were closed, and 134 thousand workers were laid off. Calling the economy management to develop new solutions and policies that will keep the sector alive, Ay warned that otherwise there may be huge losses in the sector, which has 20 billion dollars of exports and 1.5 million jobs…
…President Rafi Ay… stated that a serious problem has arisen in the ready-made clothing and textile industry recently and said, “Global brands, which have been manufacturing in Turkey for years, started to go to other countries for the first time. When these brands are gone, it's hard to come back. There is a decline in exports. There is a loss of employment," he said. Stating that the workers are very angry because of what happened, Ay said that while employment is decreasing, the domestic market is shrinking, brands are leaving Turkey and exports are falling, no one moves a finger. Ay said, “As workers, we do not want to be a victim of this. If the sector cannot be saved, we will lose 20 billion dollars of exports and 1.5 million workers,” he said. Ay suggested focusing on branding for a solution, purchasing existing brands and providing tax support to employment.
[Translation via Google Translate]