Deri-İş Organising Campaign at Trexta Company, Çerkezköy
In summer 2011, Deri-İş union started its organising campaign at Trexta in Çerkezköy, a leather company producing mobile phone covers for international companies such as Blackberry, Nokia and Iphone and with a predominantly female workforce. The employer responded with hostility and fired several female workers who joined the union for better working conditions. Since then Deri-İş mobilised international support which resulted in Nokia visiting and auditing the company in Turkey. Strategic research and organising campaign continue. Yet due to the employer’s anti-union campaign and limited resources of Deri-İş, activities can not gain full momentum. More support is needed to accelerate Deri-İş campaign which is located at the intersection point of the issues of gender, labour and human rights.
Objective and significance
This workshop aims at bringing together workers, different unions’ staff and leaders, labour academics and feminist activists in order to share ideas and experiences to build better strategy, organising and training at Trexta campaign. It will be probably the first in its genre in Turkey and can open up ways to bring together isolated efforts of organising and campaigning. The workshop has also the long term objective of cultivating a collective working culture between trade unions, academics and other stakeholders in society in the organisation and empowerment of the most marginalised workers in Turkey.
Morning session: Mapping the company and organising with Trexta workers
This session will start with a brief presentation by the union representatives abut the situation. Participants will have a chance to listen to working conditions at Trexta company from the language of the workers. There will be a mapping exercise to guide the discussion. Participants will be allowed to ask questions to union representatives and the Trexta workers in order to have a clearer understanding of the situation but also to get the best information which can prepare for thinking about strategies of action, the subject of the next session
Afternoon session: SWOT analysis, strategy-building and action points
The session will start with a presentation about During this session strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats will be discussed in order to make a planning for strategy building and action for the organising campaign at Trexta. Different participants will be kindly invited to think about how they can contribute to the campaign (e.g. media coverage, strategic research, actual organising, mobilising public support, training, dealing with specific problems of female workers… etc.). They will also share their experiences which can shed light on how to strengthen the organising campaign at Trexta.