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Renault dismisses workers and using police violence

On 29th of February, 10 of our members including the spokepersons whom are recognized as workers’ representatives by company since May, were dismissed from Oyak Renault plant in Bursa.

The last few days have seen violent clashes between the police and dismissed workers, peacefully protesting to get their jobs back and the right to organize at car manufacturer Renault’s Turkish plant Oyak in the city of Bursa.


With Renault central management and local management, we reached an agreement on 4th of February for the election of “Social Dialogue Committee”. These elections supposed to take place on 29th of February. But suddenly Renault management stepped back on their commitment and they told that these elections won’t take place because of the Government pressure on them. On 28th of February, our union organized a meeting on 28th of February with all of our UET representatives, in that meeting with long discussions, we took decision to normalize the plant in order to not to help those who wants to provoke a conflict in the workplace. In that meeting, we also decided to end our actions on not staying overtime.

But during our meeting we heard that company cancelled night shift on Sunday because of a “technical failure” according to their explanation, afterwards on Monday morning (29th of February) they also declared that they are cancelling the 08.00-16.00 shift. Then around 8 am in the morning on 29th of February, they started to call 10 workers one by one and told them that they were dismised because of their actions in canteen on 10th of February. Two of these ten workers were spokepersons who company recogize as workers’ representative give them right to free circulation, these people even joined meeting with representatives of Renault Headquarters. Other 8 were department spokepersons of our union so all of these workers were leaders of Birlesik Metal Is in the workplace. Company also cancelled other shifts that day and they called workers to work on 1st of March at 08.00 am shift.

In the morning of 1st of March, dismissed workers and workers from all shifts started to gather in front of the factory in order to show their solidarity with their dismissed colleagues. But Renault management called hundreds of police officers and a water cannon in front of the factory. Since the minute workers started to gather police atacked them quite violently, using tear gas and violence, they also arrested 15 of the workers. Below you can find videos ad photos from the police attack.

Meanwhile, those workers who were called for work, went inside but they didn’t work. Company built barricades around these workers inside the factory with pivate security and they cut their access to water and food which is inhumane and also against most basic human rights. They also ddn’t let people from outside to provide them water. And they fired 12 of the workers again who are leaders in their units. Same thing happened in the next shift and company again cut their access to basic needs and dismissed 38 workers from that shift. So until now, as far as we know number of the dismissed workers 60 but it is increasing every minute. Another 54 people were asked to leave with severence package. Also last night police started to arrst Renault workers and our union staff and people from elected leadership of our union. At this minute, number of people who are under arrest is 21 but probably this number will increase.

What is going on in Renault Bursa plant is quite severe and urgent not just for workers rights but also for most basic human rights.


Please see IndustriALL’s letter to Renault  joint_letter_of_industriall_global_and_european_trade_unions_to_renault_