22 July 2010, Thursday

Support comes from Germany and Austria for the UPS Workers

NGG Union from Germany, OGB/Vida Union from Austria, and a member of the parliament from Germany made a visit to the transshipment center of UPS in order to show their support for the fired UPS workers.

The international support for the 120-fired UPS workers is growing increasingly.  The fired UPS workers have been resisting to the UPS for 71 days in front of the Mahmutbey Transshipment Center. Harald Voitl, from OGB/Vida transport union in Austria; Sylivia Gabelmann, advisor to Andrej Hunko (member of the German Parliament); and Selahattin Yildirim from the German NGG Union visited the UPS workers at their tents where they continue their struggle. Members from Turkish political parties such as CHP and ESP, and representatives from Tekstil-Sen were also present during the visit.

Photo Gallery: Support UPS workers

During the visit, general secratrary of TUMTIS, Gurel Yilmaz, made a speech and stated that despite all holdbacks they will continue their struggle for their bread and honor. He also underlined the importance of international support during their struggle.


Addressing the managers of the UPS, Yilmaz said “you won’t solve this problem by more firings, by threatening our officers at the union, asking for police involvement or by hiring new workers from subcontractor companies. The only way to solve this problem is to negotiate with our union. You will recognize our union; you won’t suppress our members’ work. Otherwise UPS will be known as an enemy of the workers. You won’t scare us, we will continue our resistance till our members are hired again and start their work.”


During the visit Sylvia Gabelmann, advisor to Andrej Hunko (member of the German Parliament) also made a speech to present the support message of Hunko. During her speech, Gabelmann said “it is unacceptable what is happening here while union related rights are considered fundamental rights for the citizens of Europe. We invite the governor of Istanbul, as well as the Istanbul police department to remain neutral in this issue. Your struggle is our struggle.”

Herald Voilt, from OGB/Vida transport union in Austria responsible for UPS greeted workers for all the transportation workers of Austria and during his speech he said, “UPS is violating human rights. We are also working in Austria to support your struggle: we sent a letter to the Turkish embassy and we tried to raise the issue on the Austrian media.”

Selahattin Yildirim from German NGG union also raised similar issues in his speech. Yildirim said, “We have been working in Europe to support your resistance. We are trying to organize international support.  Ministry of Labor and Governor of Istanbul have been receiving letters in reaction to your case from all over the world. It is unacceptable that the police, who are funded by your tax revenues, attack you. Any campaign that tries to hurt the reputation of TUMTIS is in vain. The international community knows very well about the rightful struggle of the UPS workers organized by TUMTIS.”

Workers’ wives and children were also present during the meeting and they also chanted slogans with the workers. “Right to unionize cannot be stopped,”  “we won’t be intimidated by the pressure,” “unions will organize UPS, there is no other way,” “long live international and class solidarity,” were among the most commonly chanted slogans

İstanbul - Labour World