January 23, 2006
Attacks against the representatives of Tuzla Deri-İş Leather Workers union and the workers they have organized at Cevahir Deri are continuing.
There was an attempt to kidnap the branch manager of Tuzla Deri-İş union Hasan Sonkaya by some people presenting themselves as the security forces on January 20. Next day, on January 21st, the branch secretary Mustafa Yiğit was beaten by goons hired by the Cevahir Deri Leather factory bosses and was taken to the hospital.
The workers at Cevahir Deri Leather factory started a labor resistance to the factory management on 24th of November 2005. Since then, attacks either by the boss’ hired goons or by the Gendarmerie (soldiers doing police work in the rural areas) have been reported against the workers. In several events, although the workers captured the armed goons, the Gendarmerie set them loose.
The last incident occurred on January 23rd when the Boss’ gangs attacked the resisting workers. When the workers fought back, the Gendarmerie was called again for help and they too attacked the workers. In the incident, 5 workers and the union representatives were arrested.
In the leather industry, other union organizing efforts are facing similar attacks in Gönen Deri leather factory in Balıkesir, Bilsinler and İleri Deri factories in Çorlu where Deri-İş union is active and is organizing. The workers have expressed that neither the attacks of the bosses fascist goons or the attacks of the Gendarmerie or the police will deter them from organizing against living under slavery conditions for the leather industry bosses.