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5 February 2016

Turkish union TARIM ORMAN-IS increase their organizing skills and defend the rights of refugees

107 union representatives and shop stewards gathered in Antalya, Turkey, to learn and share experiences on how to organise new members to fight for better working conditions – especially for rural forest workers and migrants who work in precarious employment.

The training was organized by the Civil Servants Union of Agriculture, Forestry, Husbandry and Environment (TARIM ORMAN-IS) between 20-22th of January 2016 and was carried out with financial support from the BWI and the Swiss union Unia.

The union also launched a new website with the aim to attract the attention more young members.

On the second day of the training, the participants organized a protest on the shore of the Mediterranean sea and a press statement calling for an end to the on-going refugee tragedy. The union protested against the current negotiations between the Turkish government and the EU to stop the flow of refugees arriving from Turkey.

“We have unfortunately become immune to the images of the bodies washed ashore after drowning in the Mediterranean, showing the tragedy of the millions of people trying to escape the war, poverty and oppression. We need to protect the rights of refugees for a better future. We protest against the secret agreements between Turkey and European Union and the border controls. We demand immediate solutions to provide refugees fleeing the war with decent living conditions and to end the war in Syria,” said Sukru Durmus, president of TARIM ORMAN-IS.

The training was closed with the remarks of a comprehensive organising campaign. All participants were highly motivated to run a successful organising campaign for their union. It has been decided to set up committees of women, young people and the environment to reinforce brand new working principles for a more democratic and active union.