Trade union mission challenges Turkish state of emergency and draconian decree laws

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

EPSU's General Secretary, Jan Willem Goudriaan gained first-hand knowledge of the troubled situation in Turkey as a member of a European and global Trade Union delegation to Turkey. The mission gave support and showed solidarity to the embattled trade unionists, who have been dismissed or imprisoned, in a series of purges, which have taken place since the failed coup of July 2016. 

The delegation also engaged in a fact-finding exercise, hearing from trade unionists, politicians and those in civil society about the depth and full impact of the repressive measures introduced by the Turkish government, following the failed coup. 

In this latest edition of the EPSU newsletter, read more on the General Secretary's intervention at the Congress of the Turkish Municipal Services Union Tum-Bel-Sen, supporting demands for an end to Turkey's state of emergency and a repeal of the decree laws, which has given the state unprecedented powers to dismiss and imprison Citizens. 

From a public services perspective, more an 100,000 public service workers have lost their jobs, their incomes and their pension rights. As families lost income, these measures are contributing to a humanitarian crisis, in Turkey. 

This issue also carries the full joint statement of the ETUC, ITUC and Turkish unions calling for reform in Turkey. Also find out how the contribute the Turkish solidarity fund, for those who have been affected by the dismissals. 

Solidarity and action  is a theme running through this newsletter. Our Netherlands affiliate FNV offered a trade union award to the jailed South Korean unionist, Han Sang-gyun, the President of the South Korean Union Confederation KCTU. He has been in prison since December 2015, for standing up for workers rights.

Read how Europe’s prison services unions, came together in Brussels for our Quality Employment and Quality Public services in the Prison Services Sector, stressing how much austerity policies continue to have a negative impact on Europe’s prison services, leading to increased disenchantment among staff, due to more violence against staff, increased job insecurity and higher levels of psycho-social risks in the workplace. Attendees contemplated whether we wish to we wish to create a quality prison service which actively contributes to the rehabilitation of prisoners back into society? Or do we want a resource starved prison service which focuses on the incarceration and control of prisoners? 

Today is the International Day of the fight against homophobia and transphobia. Trade unions condemn all forms of discrimination in the work place and in society.