Yves Rocher under fire for ‘union busting’ at Turkish factory: over 100,000 demand action

By Lucy Whitehouse

- Last updated on GMT

Yves Rocher under fire for ‘union busting’ at Turkish factory: over 100,000 demand action
The global cosmetics and skin care player has attracted criticism for its move of laying off over 120 employees in Turkey, allegedly for joining a Trade Union.

The French company has reportedly fired 124 workers at is Turkish subsidiary Kosan Kozmetik, and as a result has become the subject of a NGO’s campaign to reinstate the workers, and draw public attention to the situation.

According to the group, SumOfUs, the workers in question were fired after they organized to join a trade union: Turkish union Petrol-Is, affiliate to IndustriALL Global Union.

They did this in response to “degrading working conditions, stagnating wages, loss of benefits, increased work hours, psychological stress, and refusal from management to allow medical leave after workplace accidents”​, says SumOfUS.

“SumOfUs is calling on Yves Rocher’s management to reinstate the illegally dismissed union workers and ensure that its workers’ labor rights are respected​,” the group states.

Treatment of women

An online petition has attracted over 100k signatures​ at the time of writing, with SumOfUs saying their action on this situation is particularly in response to the hypocrisy over the treatment of women by Yves Rocher.

Women reportedly form the majority of the laid off workers in Turkey.

Yves Rocher's hypocrisy is staggering: At the same time the company markets itself as an empowering brand for women, it is violating the fundamental labor rights of its women workers, who make up the vast majority of its employees at its Turkish factories,​” explained Fatah Sadaoui, Campaign Manager at SumOfUs.

“Make no mistake: Yves Rocher’s vicious campaign to fire its workers who dare join a union is illegal.​”

Not the first beauty brand to come under fire

According to Fatah Sadaoui, Campaign Manager at SumOfUs, Yves Rocher is not the first beauty brand to act in a way that suggests it would rather its workers did not unionise.

“Yves Rocher is following the same union-busting playbook as other beauty brands like Avon, punishing their factory workers for daring to unionize and improve their working conditions,” ​he says.

“But Yves Rocher's punishment of its factory workers—the majority of whom are women—is particularly ironic. The company takes pride in the pro-woman image it has manufactured, but this is nothing but a marketing facade as it flagrantly violates the UN’s international labor rights standards.”

He repeats the call for the company to reinstate the workers. Yves Rocher for comment did not respond to our request for comment before publication.

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