Thousands of Renault Workers Strike in Turkey Keith Tsuji, Getty Images

Thousands of Renault Workers Strike in Turkey

About half of all workers at the company's Istanbul factory launched their strike at the end of a shift.

ISTANBUL — More than 2,500 workers in a factory run by French carmaker Renault in western Turkey have gone on strike over wages and benefits, the company said Friday. 

Workers stopped production overnight Thursday in the company's factory in the Bursa province, state-run Anatolia news agency said. 

Some workers refused to leave the factory — which employs 5,000 people — at the end of their shifts, while others staged demonstrations in the factory's courtyard, chanting slogans against both the company and the union representing them.

The workers were angered when employees at a nearby car parts plant recently won a 60% wage increase thanks to efforts of the same labor union that represents the Renault workers, Anatolia said.

A Renault official said no negotiations had been scheduled, adding that the carmaker would take measures "to protect both the company and its workers and get back to normal." 

"For us, this is an unforeseeable situation. It's absolutely unjustified because what they are doing is against the law," the official said. 

The factory, one of the larger car plants in Turkey in terms of production capacity, produces nearly 400 cars in each shift. 

Renault has operated in Turkey since 1969 when it established a joint venture with OYAK, the Turkish army's pension fund.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2015

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