Global cosmetics and skincare giant Yves Rocher received harsh criticism after the company laid off 124 workers in Turkey on the grounds that they had joined a trade union, according to a report on the cosmeticsdesign-europe.com website.
Sacking workers at its Turkish subsidiary Kosan Kozmetik, the French giant has been the target of a campaign to reinstate the workers, who have been protesting and demanding their jobs back outside the facility in the industrial district Gebze.
SumOfUs, a global advocacy group that campaigns for workers' rights, claimed that the workers were laid off after joining the trade union Petrol-İş, an affiliate of IndustriALL Global Union.
SumOfUs has made the Yves Rocher case as a priority campaign. Thousands of supporters are signing the online SumOfUs petition daily, calling for Yves Rocher to stop the union busting in Turkey.
The group expressed that the workers joined the union in response to degrading working conditions, stagnating wages, loss of benefits, long working hours, no medical leave after workplace accidents and psychological stress, the report said.
An online petition that calls on Yves Rocher to reinstate the workers has so far collected 107,653 signatures.
Drawing attention to the Yves Rocher marketing strategy that emphasized the empowerment of the women, the petition said: "Yves Rocher pretends to defend great human values and take action for the emancipation of women, but it should practice what it preaches with its own employees! As the vast majority of these workers are women who work in undignified conditions to make the cosmetic products that are then sold under an ethical label."
Yves Rocher has not made a public statement about the issue so far except for a dismissive tweet claiming that the Yves Rocher Turkey subsidiary in question, Kosan Kozmetik, is producing under the Turkish brand logo Flormar and has no connection with Yves Rocher.
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