BWI affiliate AGAÇ-IS, the Turkish Wood and Paper Industry Workers, signed a collective bargining agreement with Starwood Forest Products for two additional years which guarantees equal payment and advanced breastfeeding breaks for women. The company is a pioneering example of employing women especially as forklift operators.
According to the latest statistics, a wide gap remains between the annual average principal occupation income of men and women in Turkey. Despite the fact that the income inequality is alarming in all sectors, the union finalized long term negotiations with Starwood on 16 March 2018. The company now guarantees equal payment for women workers. It is important to emphasize that the company embraces a general non-discrimination policy in all areas of work.
Addionally, the agreement provides a special breastfeeding right for women. The common policy in Turkey allows breaks of 1h30mn per day during working days as long as the employee returns to work afterwards. With this agreement, the union grants an exceptional breastfeeding break to mothers as they do not need to go back to work and are still paid as full time workers.