Workers stage demonstration at major petrochemical plant

Amid the inability to come to an agreement with management regarding pay increases, 1,500 factory workers employed by the Petkim petrochemical firm walked off the job at a facility in the Aegean city of izmir on Wednesday morning, according to news reports.
The demonstrations follow a series of strikes that took place at various automotive plants in the city of Bursa, some of which lasted for over a week. Factory workers at the Bursa Renault plant finally reached a deal with the company earlier this week after taking much longer to come to an agreement than striking workers from other automakers.
Referencing these strikes, the Petkim workers shouted slogans such as and”Everywhere Bursa, Everywhere Resistance!and” as they marched off the job.
Workers and management were unable to come to an agreement regarding wage increases after a series of negotiations that had been ongoing since the beginning of this year.
Petkim authorities told the press that production had not been halted and would continue as usual despite the demonstrations. It said that, prior to the protest, the company had come to agreements with workers on other conditions not related to wage hikes.
The company announced earlier this week that it plans to build a large container port in izmir, a facility employing 600 people to be built at the cost of around $400 million.
Meanwhile, the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan (SOCAR) will invest $10 billion in Petkim Petrokimya Holding over the next seven to eight years, according to an announcement made by SOCAR President Rovnag Abdullayev in Baku earlier this month.
Abdullayev said SOCAR aims to increase Petkimand’s share in the Turkish petrochemical market by 40 percent.
SOCAR, the sole producer of petroleum products in Azerbaijan, currently holds shares in Petkim and invested $2.2 billion in Petkim between 2008 and 2014.

SOURCE: Today’s Zaman