The International Textile, Garment and Leather Workers' Federation has intervened in two labour disputes in Turkey following requests from local leather workers' union Deri-Is.

The general secretary of the ITGLWF went to Turkey to meet with Deri-Is' leadership to discuss two cases involving the sacking or victimisation of workers attempting to join a trade union.

Commenting on the cases, general secretary Klaus Priegnitz said: "These two cases highlight the length to which Turkish employers are willing to go to prevent workers from exercising their fundamental right to unionise.

"On the one hand we have an employer that has continually failed to abide by agreements negotiated with the union following the sacking of 38 unionised workers in 2008.

"On the other hand we have an employer that has tried to shake off the union and its obligations to workers by constantly shifting the site of production in the hope that workers and unions will simply give up."

Following the visit, the management of the Desa leather factory and Deri-Is have agreed to begin negotiations on steps to ensure that basic worker rights are respected. Management have also been given three weeks to respond to the union's proposals on how to overcome barriers to freedom of association.

"We are hopeful that the employer will continue to engage with the union in good faith," said Priegnitz.