DHL’s Attack on Turkish Workers’ Rights

August 15, 2012

In the last year, DHL  claims it has fired 24 workers in Turkey for “performance related” reasons. But the express parcel delivery company is fooling no one. TÜMTİS, the Turkey Motor Vehicle and Transport Workers’ Union, has been trying to organize the DHL workers for more than a year. DHL management in Turkey has fired workers for trying to organize and threatened to fire other workers for joining TÜMTİS. The company is also refusing to meet with the union over the firings.

Between last April and November, eight workers were fired for what the DHL called poor performance and endangering worker safety and health. But the workers said managers openly threatened one worker at a time with dismissal for organizing.

The International Transport Workers Federation (ITF) has been working with TÜMTİS to get the workers reinstated. Even after the ITF started talks with management in June, DHL fired seven more workers for supporting the organizing effort. Nine of the workers currently have cases pending in courts. Eight have been paid but haven’t gotten their jobs back despite a court order.

According to the LabourStart Act Now petition posted by ITF,

Sacked workers are currently standing outside the warehouses in an act of resistance over their unfair dismissal. TÜMTİS has made every attempt to engage local management and seek a resolution to the ongoing dismissals, but to no avail. Local management continues to approach workers who have joined TÜMTİS, reportedly telling them that they must resign from TÜMTİS or they will lose their job. The workers demand the right to become members of TÜMTİS, and organize a union in their workplace, free from intimidation and threat of dismissal.

Last week, DHL International’s Human Resources department agreed with Turkish managers. They said the firings were performance-related and the company is obeying Turkish law. They also said management doesn’t need to meet with TÜMTİS because the company doesn’t recognize the union as legally representing the workers.

Currently, 335 DHL Turkey workers are members of TÜMTİS. In addition to ITF, UNI Global Union is helping TÜMTİS and the workers organize free from harassment and intimidation by management at DHL Turkey.

Last year, TÜMTİS was bolstered by international labor solidarity from its brothers and sisters in the U.S. when members of the Teamsters union helped Turkish UPS workers win the right to TÜMTİS representation after a drawn out battle with the company. DHL workers in Turkey derserve no less when it comes to global solidarity and support from working people in the U.S.

Sign the ITF petition to support DHL workers in Turkey.

About SubterraneanDispatcher

Brian Tierney is a longtime socialist activist who works as a communications specialist for a labor union in Washington, DC. After completing his undergraduate studies in International Affairs and Latin America Studies, he has been working in the labor movement and writing reports and analyses on various struggles for social and economic justice. In addition to reporting on protests in the DC area, he also writes about union struggles, immigrant rights, the fight to defend public education, and struggles of the poor and working class in general. His work has been published in The Washington Post, The Nation, The Progressive, Common Dreams, CounterPunch, Socialist Worker and The Neoprogressive. Brian can be reached via email at

Posted on August 15, 2012, in Corporate Greed, Labor Movement, SubDisp Exclusive, Union Rights, Workers Rights. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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