Özçelik-İş Union Prepares to Enforce its “Policy Paper on Zero Tolerance for Violence”, Prepared in the Light of ILO Convention

Having prepared and adopted a “Policy Paper on Zero Tolerance for Violence” in compliance with ILO Convention No. 190 on the Prevention of Violence and Harassment, the Özçelik-İş Union is planning a series of works including to promote the inclusion of zero tolerance principles in collective labor agreements.

News | 21 November 2023
To ensure the more effective enforcement of the “Policy Paper on Zero Tolerance for Violence” prepared by Özçelik-İş Union in compliance with ILO Convention No. 190 on the Prevention of Violence and Harassment, the ILO Office for Türkiye hosted a training session entitled “Training on the Development of an Implementation Strategy for Özçelik-İş Union’s Policy Paper on Zero Tolerance for Violence, on the basis of ILO Convention No. 190” on November 15–16, 2023 in Ankara.

The participants of the two-day event, held under the "More and Better Jobs for Women" Program of the ILO Office for Türkiye with financing from Sweden, included members, representatives and experts of Özçelik-İş Union – a TÜRK-İŞ Confederation member operating in the metal sector. The training included presentations and group works related to the content of the "Policy Paper on Zero Tolerance for Violence" that was prepared based on ILO Convention No. 190; the importance of the policy paper for the world of work; and the methods and steps to be followed in the implementation of the policy paper.

“For the Convention to become law, all parties must embrace the issue.”

Delivering a speech at the meeting, Yunus Değirmenci, Chairman of Özçelik-İş Union, stated that they attached considerable importance to ILO Convention No. 190 and its goal of eliminating the violence and harassment in the workplace, and stated that they had taken a pioneering step by adopting its “Policy Paper on Zero Tolerance for Violence” prepared in line with the Convention.

“Since the Convention is a key factor supporting peace in the workforce, we are striving to ensure that it is reflected in collective labor agreements. For the Convention to gain a legal basis, we must all do our part, and all parties must embrace the issue.”

Meltem Toraman Soğuksu, President of the Women's Committee of Özçelik-İş Union, said: “We have developed and adopted our “Policy Paper on Zero Tolerance for Violence” with a view to ensuring that women are not exposed to violence or harassment in their working lives. This policy paper and the related courses are testament to our determination in this regard.”

“We support ILO Convention No. 190 on the Prevention of Violence and Harassment”

“It is for this reason that we put our support behind ILO Convention No. 190 on the Prevention of Violence and Harassment.”

Ebru Özberk Anlı, Senior Program Officer at the ILO Office for Türkiye, provided information on the works of the ILO Office for Türkiye with unions related to the employment of women and the Convention, stating: “By developing its own policy paper, Özçelik-İş Union has demonstrated its willingness to contribute to the prevention of violence and harassment at work. We would like to thank Özçelik-İş for their pioneering approach and efforts in this field.”

During the training, Dr. Ayşe Emel Akalın, Gender Analyst at the ILO Office for Türkiye, made a presentation about women’s employment in Türkiye and the work of the ILO in this field, while the presentation of Canan Güllü, President of the Federation of Turkish Women's Associations, focused on the scope, importance and role of the Convention to combat violence and harassment in the workplace.

The Training Focused on the Implementation Process of the “Paper on Zero Tolerance for Violence”

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Ceyhun Güler from Izmir Dokuz Eylül University, and Dr. Seher Demirkaya from Karamanoğlu Mehmetbey University provided information about the importance of policy papers on zero tolerance for violence for unions, their role and frameworks, and how they can be implemented more strongly. They went on to highlight the requirements that may emerge during the implementation of the policy paper in terms of occupational health and safety, risk assessment and prevention plans, as well as awareness studies and collective bargaining processes.


The training included a presentation by Lawyer Umut Çiftçi on how to approach victims of violence, and informing and guiding employees who file complaints about violence and harassment; the establishment of administrative application and grievance mechanisms; in-house application mechanisms; confidentiality; national legislation on violence and harassment, including the issues of investigation and protection against retaliation; and the use of grievance and application mechanisms to combat violence and harassment.

The event ended with the presentation of attendance certificates to the participants by Yunus Değirmenci, Chairman of Özçelik-İş Union.