Olam Prodiga, Turkey

On November 6, 2018, the FLA accepted a Third Party Complaint filed by the Tekgida Union concerning the Piraziz factory, which is owned and operated by Olam International and located in Giresun, Piraziz. The Third Party Complaint filed with the FLA was based on allegations of workers’ rights violations focused on the freedom of association rights of the workers in the factory. 

Olam, following the established process, proceeded with an investigation by commissioning an investigator. Under the scope of the inquiry, the investigator conducted interviews with dismissed workers, as well as workers and supervisors currently working at the factory, and held meetings with company management and union representatives. The investigation started on November 26, 2018, and the TPC Report was published on April 19, 2019.

This verification report documents that Olam has completed action on a substantial majority of the items in the corrective action plan, though certain important matters remain in the Ongoing category. These actions are welcomed by the FLA and reflect progress on a number of significant procedural issues in the workplace. At the same time, a decision not to reinstate the dismissed workers, consistent with what is permissible under Turkish law and concerning which the investigator did not issue a determination, remains a key element of the continuing impasse between the company and the union. Prospects for resumption of a constructive dialogue do not seem great at present, especially with the ongoing litigation in the Turkish judicial system concerning the second set of dismissals (with the lower court finding for Olam and the union’s appeal of that decision).

The FLA will monitor relevant developments and hopes that the constructive actions reflected in this report might extend to a future dialogue between the parties both on the issues where progress clearly has been made and those for which it has not occurred to date. The FLA is prepared to provide updated information on the issues covered in this report as that becomes available.