Cablegate: No Progress On Turkish Truckers' Strike

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

141500Z Dec 04




E.O. 12958: N/A


Sensitive But Unclassified.

1. (SBU) Summary: The wild cat strike by Turkish truck
drivers that began on December 7 continues to halt nearly all
fuel deliveries to Iraq -- the only exception being JP-8
coalition sustainment fuel and three trucks of gasoline. The
largest Turkish contractor, Petrol Ofisi, said the five
companies working for SOMO are having trouble communicating
with SOMO officials. However, Petrol Ofisi, which is also a
contractor for DESC, said it will begin negotiations without
prior approval from SOMO. End Summary.

2. (SBU) Petrol Ofisi (PO) is the largest of five
contractors providing fuel for SOMO; it is DESC's sole
Turkish contractor. PO Transportation Manager Dogan Mutluay
told Econoff that PO hosted a meeting of the five Turkish
companies on Monday to coordinate a joint bargaining
position. However, because the Turkish companies have not
been able to communicate directly with SOMO officials in
Baghdad, they did not feel that they could proceed with
talks. Mutluay said that PO will consult today with DESC on
a bargaining position, and will use that as a basis to
negotiate with the truckers without receiving prior approval
from SOMO. Mutluay said PO followed the same course in the
2003 strike. However, the other companies want to wait until
they receive approval to negotiate from SOMO, which Mutulay
feared could take another week.

3. (SBU) Mutluay said that PO continues to load trucks with
JP-8 without interference from truckers. He said that
company officials convinced the strike leaders that the
delivery was for military purposes and should not be included
in the strike. He added that PO had managed to load 33
trucks of gasoline for U.S. troops in Iraq; however, strike
leaders managed to stop 30 of the 33 at the Turkey-Iraq
border. (We will try to confirm this information.)

4. (U) Baghdad Minimize Considered.

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