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Trade unionists detained in Turkey on 1000th day of resistance in fight for reinstatement

AT LEAST eight Turkish trade unionists sacked by global agricultural company Cargill were detained in Ankara today during a sit-in on their 1,000th day of action.

They are demanding their jobs back after being dismissed for forming a workplace union in April 2018.

Fourteen workers who decided to camp out overnight as part of a sit-in protest were set upon by police after a static demonstration at the Ministry of Agriculture & Forestry was blocked.

They moved the protest to the food and auxiliary workers’ union Tek-Gida-Is’s offices in the Turkish capital, setting up log-burners to protect themselves from the cold and displaying a banner with the slogan: “We are in resistance” on the street.

But police threatened the trade unionists, saying: “We are the power of the state. We will show you what we can do.”

Eight of the Cargill workers and two supporters were detained as riot police blocked them from setting up a stove, insisting that it made the area a living space.

In 2019 a court found that the workers had been sacked for their union activities and ruled they should be reinstated. But Cargill rejected the court’s decision and has refused to re-employ them, opting to pay compensation instead.

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