900 strike at Nestlé plant in Turkey for third day

By Oliver Nieburg contact

- Last updated on GMT

Union members have been blocking the entrance to the Karacabey factory since June 21. Photo: Tek Gıda İş Union.
Union members have been blocking the entrance to the Karacabey factory since June 21. Photo: Tek Gıda İş Union.

Related tags: Trade union, Turkey

Nestlé is facing industrial action at its Karacabey factory in Turkey following a dispute with the Tek Gıda İş Union.

The strikes relates to a pay and calls for improved working conditions. Production has been halted at the plant, but Nestlé says it won't affect the supply of goods to the market.

Nestlé and the union failed to reach consensus on a collective bargaining agreement initiated in February this year.

Union members began to strike for an indefinite period on Tuesday (June 21), which continues today.

The union is seeking improved pay for its members. Some workers also report tough working conditions such as problems with air conditioning in the factory during hot weather, according to the union’s website.

The 900 workers are blocking the entrance to the factory, which produces Nestlé tablet chocolate and wafers among other products, said the union.

Nestlé’s offer

Nestlé told ConfectioneryNews it paid fair compensation in line with market conditions globally.

“Throughout the current process, we have proposed an increase in base pay and benefits by on average double the rate of inflation in order to reach an agreement.

“The offer is in line with industry standards, ensuring there are no full-time employees on the minimum wage at the factory and that every full-time employee will also receive a substantial benefits package.

“Unfortunately, the union has not materially moved from its original demands from February.”

Nestlé: Unions demands threaten factory’s future

The Nestle spokesperson said the union’s demands would place a huge burden on the competitiveness of the factory and its long term sustainability.

Nestlé added that although complaints about working conditions were outside the collective bargaining, it has taken account of the demands and will continue to make the necessary improvements.

Nestlé in Turkey

The Karacabey factory first opened in 1989. It is one of Nestlé’s two factories in Turkey. The Karacabey site and the separate Kestel-Bursa facility produce around 50 brands with around 95% volumes sold domestically.

Nestlé employs around 3,800 people directly and more than 5,000 people indirectly in the country.

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