Migros warehouse workers’ strike results in success

Workers of supermarket chain Migros have secured their demands for an improvement in wages and working conditions following an eighteen-day strike. The company also vowed to reinstate all of the dismissed workers.

Duvar English

Following an eighteen-day strike, the strike of warehouse workers from Turkey’s leading supermarket chain Migros has resulted in success.

Warehouse, Port, Shipyard and Marine Workers (DGD-SEN) Union has announced that Migros had agreed to improve the workers' wages, bonus payments and working conditions, and vowed to reinstate all of the dismissed workers. 

The union said that Haluk Levent, Turkish musician and founder of Ahbap organization, took part in the negotiations as a mediator, and helped to finalize it.

Migros also announced the agreement on Twitter, saying: “The employees of the Esenyurt Distribution Center decided to return to their work with our close dialogue. Thank you to everyone who showed a sensitive approach in this process.”

The announcement came after several employees of Migros warehouse in Istanbul’s Esenyurt district were detained for staging a protest in front of Migros owner Tuncay Özilhan's villa in Istanbul's Beykoz district on Feb. 18.

The picture of one of the detained workers, Gulabi Aksu, triggered public anger and calls to boycott Migros. “I wanted a pay raise to buy milk for my children,” Aksu said, as he was seen crying on a police vehicle.

A day after the detentions, Labor and Social Security Minister Vedat Bilgin said on Feb. 19 they started an investigation into Migros. “We will not allow any of our workers to be victimized,” Bilgin tweeted. 

The strikes of delivery workers have been expanding throughout Turkey in recent months, with many of them demanding an increase in their pay and improvement in their working conditions.

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.