The three trade union confederations, TÜRK-İŞ, HAK-İŞ and DİSK, have issued a joint statement condemning new proposals for more flexible labour law. The provisions would allow for a wider use of temporary contracts and discriminate specifically against workers aged under 25 or over 50. The changes would also promote more part-time working. The confederations are particularly concerned about the impact on rights to severance pay, pensions and social security and are calling for a withdrawal of the draft legislation. They have strongly criticised the attempt to push through the legislation with
On 18 June 20 trade union activists and officers from Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Turkey took part in a webinar on organizing and recruitment. It was third online meeting prepared and run by the EPSU’s recruitment and organising team.
Civil servants this year will see pay rise by 8% for the first six months with a further 4% for the second six months. Workers on less than TL 3500 (EUR 555) a month will get an additional TL 150 (EUR 25). Not all public sector trade unions are happy with the outcome as inflation is currently running at 16.7%. Pay in 2020 is set to increase in two instalments of 3%, although this could be increased if inflation is higher.
Against the background of the dismissal of mayors and the imposition of trustees in major towns in the South East of Turkey, delegates of the municipal services union Genel-Is gathered for their 17th Congress.
The Hizmet-Is public service union has been running a major campaign for the reinstatement of 97 workers sacked by the mayor of the Bolu municipality in North West Turkey. No reasons were given for the sackings and the workers have been protesting for over 110 days and even marched the 200 km to Ankara in protest. EPSU has sent a letter of protest to the mayor asking for the workers to be reinstated. See also the campaign involving Genel-Is, fighting for the rights of workers sacked by the Aliağa municipality, reported in the previous issue of the newsletter.
Local government workers employed by the Aliağa Municipality in Izmir are being sacked without justification and the newly elected mayor is also forcing workers to resign from their union, Genel-İş, and to join another one. The number of dismissals reached 187 on July 24 and workers have been picketing since the 20 May, demanding reinstatement and respect for trade union rights and freedoms. Online support is being coordinated by the Labourstart campaigning organisation and promoted by EPSU and PSI.
EPSU has joined with the global and European doctors' organisations - WMA and CPME - in condeming the prison sentences imposed on 11 members of the Turkish Medical Association (TMA) and has written to the European institutions calling for action.
Unions have reacted negatively to new government proposals for economic transformation. The unions are particularly concerned about the possbility of changes to severance payments which they see as a fundamental employment right especially where workers experience widespread restructuring and precarious employment conditions. The unions are also worried about plans to give a greater role to private pensions and about possible changes to taxation. While proposals for a reduction in indirect taxation might be welcome the unions are unhappy that the measures could further reduce the contribution