The 13-digit Karabük village, which has iron and steel factories, whose foundations were laid in 1937 and were put into operation in a short period of two years, started to rapidly receive workers and laborers migration.
Karabük, a gateway to many people, became a municipality in 1939, a subdistrict in 1941, a district in 1953 and the 78th province of Turkey in 1995.
In Karabük, where there is a large labor movement and unionization has become inevitable, Özçelik-İş Union, which is now completely composed of steel workers, was established.
With the solidarity of workers that started under the leadership of the union, Karabük witnessed great rights seeking.
137 day strike
In 1989, a strike was held in 1989, in which approximately 30 thousand laborers participated and lasted for 137 days.
When the laborers of steel learned that their factories would be closed in 1994 on the grounds that they suffered damage, they clamped again and showed the world an example of solidarity.
In the face of this solidarity, the people, who could not remain insensitive to the workers, also went to the streets, the children did not go to school, the shopkeepers closed the shutters, and all transportation to and from the city stopped.
Workers buy the factory
Workers in Karabük, which witnessed various actions and initiatives lasting exactly 1.5 years, bought the factory where they worked by giving a lesson of solidarity to the world.
Steel laborers, who protect their current name Karabük Iron and Steel Factories (KARDEMİR) and keep their chimneys to smoke, have become a symbol of the country with this example of solidarity.
“Karabük is one of the symbol cities of labor and solidarity”
Deputy Chairman of Hak-İş and Chairman of Özçelik-İş Union Yunus Değirmenci told Anadolu Agency (AA) that May 1 is celebrated as “Labor and Solidarity Day” all over the world.
Stating that Karabük is remembered in Turkey every May 1, Değirmenci said, “Today is May 1, the day of labor and workers. It is celebrated as ‘Labor and Solidarity Day’ in our country. And it is one of the symbol cities of solidarity. It showed the whole world over time. Our workers, who worked against 1800 degrees and literally gave life to steel, knew well their integration, interlocking and solidarity in the face of injustices and loss of rights they faced. ” he spoke.
Expressing that Karabük is a source of inspiration for other laborers in the country, Değirmenci congratulated all workers on May 1 Labor and Solidarity Day.