250 Migros warehouse workers fired after protesting low pay raise

Turkey’s leading supermarket chain Migros has fired 250 workers for staging a strike against poor working conditions and low wages, a union head announced on Feb. 9.

Duvar English

Some 250 warehouse workers of Turkey's leading supermarket chain Migros were fired during their ongoing strike against poor working conditions and low wages, daily Birgün reported on Feb. 9. 

The protest started on Feb. 3 at the Migros warehouse in Istanbul's Esenyurt district after the company offered only an 8 percent pay raise. 

On Feb. 8, police detained more than 150 protesting workers and later released them.

The workers were not taken to the warehouse on Feb. 9 morning. The workers waited in front of the warehouse and chanted slogans of "We will not return from this road, we will not die of hunger," "Migros will answer to the workers," and "Victory will belong to the workers who resist."

Warehouse, Port, Shipyard and Marine Workers (DGD-SEN) Union Head Neslihan Acar said that the workers cannot make ends meet with the minimum wage.

“We cannot pay our rents, our bills; we cannot live in a way that fits human dignity; that is why we are asking for a pay raise. And we did not ask for an exorbitant raise. We said, 'At least let us pay our 600-700 lira worth bills with the raises we received,’” Acar stated.

“Currently, about 250 workers were fired overnight. We know this power, we know this limitlessness. Today, workers are resisting this recklessness, this unlawfulness, not only in Migros but all over Turkey. Here is our call to the people. Hear the sound here. We have nothing to lose except the service of slavery,” Acar further said.

Meanwhile, social media users, including several public figures, announced that they will be boycotting Migros under the hashtags of #MigrosBoykot and #MigrosuBoykotEdelim.

Turkey on Feb. 3 reported an annual inflation rate of 48.69 percent in January, the highest in two decades, whereas the independent inflation group ENAG put the figure at 114.87 percent.

The official minimum wage for 2022 is 4,250 liras.