Broad strike hits exports in Bursa industrial hub

A major strike in Bursa, which suspended auto production for more than a week in Turkeyand’s industrial hub, pulled down the cityand’s automotive exports in May by 29.4 percent compared to the same month a year ago.
According to figures released by the Uludai Automotive Industry Exportersand’ Union (OiB) on Monday, auto exports slumped to $1.28 billion in May. Exports in the first five months of this year, meanwhile, amounted to $7.5 billion, 10.5 percent lower than the amount in the corresponding period in 2014.
Employees at car manufacturer Renault, Tofai and Ford along with those at several auto-part producers across the country, walked off their jobs for more than a week in mid-May, in a bid to protest low wages and poor working conditions. While the workers were on strike, the firms had to compromise on wage increases, bonuses and similar other improvements. Yet, the cost of the lengthy work stoppage took its toll on Bursa exports.
While exports in the overall Turkish automotive industry decreased by 27.4 percent, the drop in the province of Bursa reached 29.4 percent in May. In the meantime, exports in other sectors apart from the auto sector also declined in the same period.
Bursaand’s textile industry in May recorded an 18.5 percent decline in exports, the Uludai Textile Exportersand’ Association (UTiB) said on Monday. Performing more poorly, the Uludai Apparel Exportersand’ Association (UHKiB) saw a 23.3 percent decrease in the same period.
While the Uludai Fruit and Vegetable Products Exportersand’ Association (UMSMiB) said its exports dropped 26 percent year-on-year in May, exports carried out by Uludai Fresh Fruit and Vegetables Exporters Union (UYMSiB) members decreased by 40.7 percent in the same period.
Turkeyand’s overall experts fell by 19 percent year-on-year in May, dipping to $10.8 billion, the Turkish Exportersand’ Assembly (TiM) said at a press conference on Monday. TiM also pointed to major strikes as the main reason for the fall. According to statistics pertaining to 2014, Turkey is the 16th largest automotive producer in the world, making more than 1 million vehicle units annually.

SOURCE: Today’s Zaman