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UPDATE 2-Protests halt production at Turkish car factories owned by Renault, Fiat
May 15, 2015 / 12:51 PM / 3 years ago

UPDATE 2-Protests halt production at Turkish car factories owned by Renault, Fiat

(Recasts with production stoppage at second carmaker)

By Birsen Altayli

ISTANBUL, May 15 (Reuters) - Production at two separate Turkish car manufacturers part-owned by European carmakers Renault and Fiat ground to halt on Friday as workers protested wages and other employment conditions, company officials and media reports said.

A Renault spokesman said work at the Turkish factory had stopped late on Thursday. Workers are protesting at the country’s biggest automobile exporter, according to news reports.

“This halt in output is not in line with employment laws and relevant regulations,” the spokesman told Reuters on condition he was not named.

Efforts were underway to resolve the stand-off with the 2,500 protesting workers outside and inside the plant in the northwestern city of Bursa, he said.

On Friday, workers at Tofas, a joint venture between Italy’s Fiat and Turkey’s Koc Holding, staged their own protest, stopping the assembly line, CNN Turk television reported.

No one at Tofas was immediately available to comment.

Some 5,000 people work at Tofas’ Bursa plant, the channel said, adding that talks between workers and management were continuing.

A union official earlier said the action at the Renault plant amounted to a protest, but a strike had not been formally declared.

Oyak Renault, a joint venture with Turkey’s army pension fund Oyak, produced around 318,000 cars last year, according to industry association figures, accounting for more than 43 percent of the total car market.

Dogan News Agency reported that around 400 vehicles are manufactured at the plant in a single shift.

Tofas builds Fiat’s Linea car, Doblo van and other models for Peugeot, Citroen, Opel and Vauxhall. It produced 240,000 units in 2013, according to its website. (Writing by Ayla Jean Yackley and Humeyra Pamuk; Editing by David Goodman, Keith Weir, Toni Reinhold)

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