Actually, similar problems are sounding not only in Turkey but also in some other countries. IBM Italy workers, for example, had a virtual protest meeting on the Second Life platform in September 2007.
It is announced that after the union registry process of 209 employees out of 400 was completed, IBM Turkey was informed about this action and the company immediately responded objecting the action.
It is seen that IBM workers, who became union members, has stated their problems in all scales through web. Below are the claims of these workers, taken from their web statement:
We are the 258 IBM Turkey workers, who are now also members of Tez-Koop-s (Turkish Commerce, Cooperative, Education, Work Office and Arts Workers) Union.
Our union applied to Ministry of Labor for an authorization on collective representative right on 26 March 2008.
Ministry of labor has confirmed the registration appliance of 209 IBM Turkey workers (our member number on 26 March 2008) sent via Notary channel, approved the appliances and then sent an information notice to IBM on 11 June 2008.
However IBM administration raised an objection, which is based on false and fictitious justifications, on 17 June 2008 in order to delay our collective represantative and strike rights.
We are reproving, protesting and blaming this behavior of IBM Turkey administrators, who are trying to disclaim our unionization rights and delay our strike and cumulative salary negotiations.
Please support us in constituting an example within the information sector and expanding this move to all over the country.
We are grateful for your future attention and support messages
This statement suggests that Big Blue, once the most attractive company for all the employees, is not paying the deserved attention to its employees in Turkey any more. Here are some of the reasons that workers stated for their unionization decision:
- In contrast with the increasing expenses, IBM employees are working without any rise in salaries for 5 years.
- Since the cumulative inflation of the last 5 years is 56% according to Consumer Price Index (CPI) data, employees have been growing 50% poor for these years.
- Inequity growing among the workers: There is a great difference (up to 4 times) in salaries of the workers who are carrying almost same responsibilities and this fact is harming the peace within the company.
- Appliance of the employment politics that are contradicting as while claiming to be in service of Turkey for 70 years, also growing poorness among the workers.
- Loss of job security due to unfair dismissals and threatens.
- Disloyalty to the obedient workers, who served dozens of years for the company.
- Fusing worker rights.
- Administration model dismissing the workers and their rights.
- Appointment of new, foreign administrators in place of our valuable domestic administrators who were resisting against false company policies.
- Failing to avoid IBM Turkey from joining the third world countries like Middle East/ Eastern Europe countries.
What is next?
It is reported that IBM has objected to the union move on 17 June 2007. And here are the IBM’s objection reasons:
- IBM workers who joined the union has not reached the required number to claim the collective represantative and strike rights
- IBM Turkey workers are not in the “Business Office Workers” sector so they can’t join the mentioned union.
But the workers are remarking that neither of these two reasons are valid. They are supporting their claims with the report taken from Ministry of Labor and Social Security and they are claiming that in 1968 IBM recognized the BIL-IS union who were also servicing in “Bro workers” sector.
According to relevant Business Acts, if 1 worker above the half of the workers of IBM, that menas 201 of 400, register for a union, then this Union can get the collective represantative and strike rights within the company. According to the report sent by Ministry of Labor and Social Security, 209 IBM workers are now members of Tez-Koop-Is Union. That means if the objection is dismissed or these workers don’t quit the Union, the company will have to negaotiate the salaries and social rights with this Union within the extent of 2821 numbered Unions Act and 2822 numbered Collective Represantative, Strike and Lock-out Acts.