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Trade Union Rights

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 (...)

Turkish police go after trade unionists of KESK –again. Stop harassing the unions.

(19 February 2013) EPSU has been informed that almost 100 people have been arrested in raids including on trade union offices in Turkey. Trade unionists have been detained. The arrests are made in an attempt to find people linked to the suicide bomber that killed a security guard at the US embassy and which has been linked by the police to the organisation DHKP-C. EPSU rejects such acts of violence. We condemn the massive attack by the Turkish state ruled by the AKP on trade unionists of (...)

Another tradeunionist killed in Colombia as Europe signs Free Trade Agreement

(20 December 2012) Hours after EU-Colombia Trade Agreement was signed, another assassination took place in Colombia. On 11 December, in the Colombian municipality of Puerto Gaitan, gunmen assassinated Milton Parra Rivas, an operator and electrician at Termotécnica Coindustrial SA, a subcontractor of Spanish-based CEPSA. This assassination happened after Human Rights Day and the demands by European trade unions, EPSU included, not to sign the Free Trade Agreement unless a Human Rights (...)

Attending the Ankara hearing of jailed KESK colleagues – a personal impression

Jan Willem Goudriaan, EPSU (13 December 2012) We were waiting outside in front of the Ankara court building. It was almost four thirty. The staff of the Court had ushered us out while the judges were deliberating what to do with the three colleagues of KESK, the Turkish confederation of public employees standing trial. The three colleagues were put in jail on 13 February 2012 for their union activity. They were organizing events in preparation of Women’s Day on 8 March. The three (Guler (...)

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