Renault in Turkey offers concessions to striking workers

Sat May 23, 2015 2:32pm EDT
 
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ANKARA (Reuters) - The Turkish arm of French carmaker Renault on Saturday offered concessions including future salary adjustments and a cash lump sum to striking workers if they return to work.

Production at the company's joint venture Oyak Renault has been halted for a week in a dispute with workers over pay and working conditions, which has also affected other producers in the northwest city of Bursa, including Tofas and Ford unit Ford Otosan.

In a statement on Saturday, Oyak Renault said workers would not face disciplinary action, and would receive a cash payment of 1000 Turkish lira ($370) if production resumed at midnight on Monday. Unspecified pay adjustments for workers would be announced ahead of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, due to start in mid-June, the company added.

It remained unclear on Saturday evening if the workers would accept the offer.

The strikes have shone a light on pay and conditions for Turkish workers at an awkward time for the ruling AK Party, which has for more than a decade presented itself as the party of the working class, with a parliamentary election due on June 7.

Speaking at an electoral rally on Saturday in the coastal city of Izmir, the co-chair of the opposition HDP, Selahattin Demirtas, called for solidarity with the strikers.

(Reporting by Birsen Altayli Writing by Jonny Hogg; Editing by Alison Williams)

 
People stand in front of Renault car plant in Bursa, Turkey, May 21, 2015. REUTERS/Murad Sezer