Some 2,000 textile workers last week initiated a strike in the southeastern Gaziantep province over not receiving a sufficient wage raise despite skyrocketing price levels.
Gaziantep Mayor Fatma Şahin, from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), on Aug. 14 visited the factory of company Şireci Textile and praised the firm owner.
“The children of this city have to work. Şireci (the firm’s owner) is a man who has built a school so that your children can get education...Neither you nor Şireci is the reason for what is happening right now. It is the high inflation, (low) purchasing power parity. When our President (Recep Tayyip Erdoğan) lowers this inflation to a single-digit number in a two-year period, none of these problems will be left. Just a little patience. This is why we will solve this together,” she said.
The workers reacted against Şahin by saying, “She is telling us about Şireci. We know Şireci better than you.”
On Aug. 8, Şireci Textile firm workers did not accept the 34% wage raise and stopped working. Following this protest, approximately 2,000 workers were laid off via a message sent to their mobile phones.
On Aug. 13, Şireci workers gathered at the Gaziantep center in protest of both the low wage raises and their dismissal. Afterwards, the firm management sent a message to workers, saying “Those accepting the employer’s conditions can go back to work.”