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Trade Union Rights

Ukrainian unions threatened by nationalists and separatists

(1st July 2014) Ukrainian trade unions are reporting that there are now constant attacks against their leadership and members by nationalist radicals. A recent meeting of the Presidium of the confederation was interrupted by a crowd seeking to intervene in the meeting. Similar elements in the Verhovna Rada, the Ukranian Parliament, have tabled a resolution seeking an investigation into the union activities and especially the use of the properties of the union. For many years there have been (...)

Jailed Turkish trade unionists released

Update (27 June 2014) EPSU has been informed that the 17 trade unionists which were arrested, have been released. EPSU has asked the Turkish authorities for an independent investigation of the police force used. Free Turkish trade unionists inmediately! EPSU call for an immediate halt to trade union repression (25 June 2014) We just got the worrying news that General Secretary of DISK, Ms. Arzu Çerkezoğlu was beaten and detained during a sit-in in front of the national parliament in Ankara. (...)

Ukrainian trade unions publish election manifest: democracy, wages, corruption, independent state

(23 April 2014) With tensions very high following the annexation of Crimea by Russia, the unrest in the Eastern part of Ukraine, threats to gas supplies as well as the policies announced by the government and IMF, the country is also facing Presidential elections in May. The trade unions have issued their election manifesto taking as their reference democracy and achieving European standards of living. They expect the future President of Ukraine to ensure the development of Ukraine as a (...)

EPSU supports imprisoned trade unionists in Turkey

EPSU General Secretary joins international delegation to join court hearing against 27 KESK members and leaders on 23 - 24 January 2014 in Istanbul (24 January 2014) An international delegation of trade unionists from Austria, Belgium, France, Sweden and the UK, together with representatives from Labour Start and the International Institute for Trade Union Rights and coordinated by the trade union rights department of the ITUC observed a court hearing against 27 KESK members and leaders. (...)

EPSU asks Turkish government to respect trade union rights and stop criminalisation trade union work

(14 January 2014) Edgar and Günter summarised it well what we had heard this morning sitting on the wooden benches in a cold courtroom in Ankara. "We are shocked that trade unionists are prosecuted in this manner in Turkey. If participating in strikes and demonstrations, and organising them is a criminal activity and seen as radical, then we are all radicals". Together with the Austrian colleagues of EPSU affiliate GdG we had participated in the first hearing of the trial brought against (...)

Turkish municipality infringes on workers’ right to strike

(26 August 2013) Following a deadlock in collective negotiations, and failure to reach an agreement during the subsequent mediation process, our colleagues of Genel-Is took the decision to call a strike for 26 July 2013. The two affected companies of Izmir Metropolitan Municipality, Izelman and Izenerji respectively tried to prevent this strike from taking place by appealing to the authorities. They used a reference to the Law on Trade Unions and Collective Labour Agreements that prohibit (...)

An eye-witness account of the resistance to bulldozer the public park in Ankara, Turkey

(11 June 2013) The protests continue in Turkey. What started as a protest to keep a public park, has grown into a protest against the ruling party AKP and the effects of its policies. Workers and citizens have demonstrated and some unions went on strike. Others unions are part of the Taksim Solidarity Platform as the project of the prime-minister has much in common with his project as mayor of Istanbul – to build a mosque and Ottoman baraques at the square which is a symbol of the struggle (...)

EPSU demands respect for the right to expression, right to demonstrate and the right to strike action in Turkey

(4 June 2013) EPSU has expressed (see letter below) its concerns to the Turkish government over the reports of police violence and arrests of opponents of the government. People have the right to express their concerns and engage in protests and industrial action against government policy they disagree with. ITUC and others have launched a campaign to protest against the police brutality. (picture: KESK banner for demonstrations and strike 5 June) The world has been shocked by the brutal (...)

International trade union confederation protest brutal police intrusion in offices of GENEL-IS

(11 April 2013) Turkish police forced themselves into the offices of GENEL-IS, 25 March. They were looking for people linked to a bomb attack. According to the information available this was an excuse to search the union offices. The police used it to intimidate the trade union leadership in a pattern that is familiar now. The International trade union confederation issues a strong statement condemning these attacks and asking the Turkish government to respect its international (...)

KESK delegation visits EPSU office – Hand in Hand for Freedom Campaign

(7 March 2013) With almost 100 colleagues in jail, trade unionists of the public sector trade union confederation KESK are amongst the most prosecuted and harassed trade union colleagues in Europe. Many of these union colleagues are still awaiting their first hearing in Court. 22 colleagues jailed on 25 June 2012 out of over 70 arrested on that day have yet to see their first judge. There is no indictment even after 8 months. A delegation of KESK spoke with EPSU Deputy General Secretary to (...)

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