ITUC OnLine – September 27, 2007(1)

Brussels, 27 September 2007 (ITUC OnLine) The International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) and European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) condemned the violation of the rights of women workers in Antalya Free Trade Zone in Turkey. The Presidents of the Women’s Committees of the two organisations issued the following statement on the case.

The Women’s Committees of the ITUC and ETUC are expressing their full support of and solidarity with the women workers of Novamed, now on strike for exactly one year in the Antalya Free Trade Zone of Turkey.

They condemn totally the inhuman treatment imposed on these women workers, which is infringing on human and fundamental rights enshrined in the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, the Social Charter of the Council of Europe, and Conventions of the International Labour Organisation (ILO).

The Women’s Committees are particularly shocked by the clear and unambiguous assault on the dignity of these women workers, and the way these women are discriminated against on the basis of their gender.

We understand that the company owning Novamed is a German company, Fresenius Medical Care, which should be fully aware of European and ILO standards and values with regard to gender equality, trade union rights and collective bargaining rights, and should be held accountable for the refusal of Novamed to negotiate with the trade union freely chosen by the workers.

We demand first and foremost for the discrimination and harrassment of women workers to stop and for dignity of these workers to be respected and restored, for the workers to be reinstated with full rights, and secondly we demand from the employers to recognise the union and start negotiations with them about a proper settlement of the situation safeguarding employment for all the workers.

More information contact:

Patricia Grillo, Head of Press and Communications

Tel: + 32 (0)2 224 04 30 – GSM: + 32 (0)477 77 01 64

E-mail: <>

Mathieu Debroux, Press Officer International Trade Union Confederation

Tel:+32 (0)22240204 GSM +32 (0)476621018 <>

The ETUC exists to speak with a single voice, on behalf of the common interests of workers, at European level. Founded in 1973, it now represents 81 trade union organisations in 36 European countries, plus 12 industry-based federations.