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On behalf of EFFAT, I wish to express our solidarity and support to Öz Gıda-İş and their representatives working to protect the rights of seasonal workers at a tea production factory in Pazar, Turkey.
According to our affiliate, eleven seasonal workers have been singled out for their role in union organising in Turkish tea producer Ofçay, part of the Jacob Douwe Egberts (JDE) group. Since the gradual resumption of the tea harvesting season, none of the group have been invited to return to work as usual at the Pazar factory, while many other seasonal workers not so involved in union activity have been recalled.
Given JDE’s aggressive anti-union history, we agree that this is unlikely to be a coincidence. EFFAT and the IUF have observed a regrettable pattern of hostile or dismissive behaviour to unions and collective agreements from JDE, with notable cases in the Netherlands, Germany and Italy. Only in March this year, members of the EFFAT Executive Committee staged a photo action in solidarity with workers at a JDE coffee processing plant in the UK – thankfully, efforts by Unite the Union were successful in persuading management to behave more constructively. Once again, EFFAT stands ready to offer all available support and solidarity.
EFFAT joins in your protests at the unfair treatment of eleven workers who took up their right to organise. We send our solidarity and commend your determination to defend their legitimate rights at work. And we echo your call for a just solution which allows these workers to get back to work before the tea season is over without fear of further punishment.
In solidarity,
Kristjan Bragason
EFFAT General Secretary

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