Turkish Airlines workers' protest
Turkish workers denied right to strike
As reported in my blog yesterday Turkish trade unionists are being subject to brutal repression through the misuse of Turkish anti-terrorist laws. This means of handling dissent by the current Turkish government is particularly alarming because of the long prison sentences that can be handed down. This is not however the only means by which the Turkish government seeks to neuter Turkish trade unions.
Turkey’s repressive labour laws directly deny trade union rights to public sector workers. Public sector workers have no right to strike or to collectively bargain – they are merely consulted by the employers. To legally join a union a worker has to inform his employer he is doing so and is often subject to intimidation. In addition, even where workers have the legal right to strike, the Turkish government can ban such action on what amounts to a broadly defined notion of ‘public interest’.
There are now proposals to deny trade union rights to even more Turkish workers .On 10th May, Metin Külünk, a deputy of the ruling political party, proposed an amendment to Article 29 of the existing Collective Labour Agreement, Strike and Lock-Out Law as follows: “It shall not be lawful to call a strike or order a lock-out in the following activities … Banking, public notaries and aviation services. Turkish trade unionists are under no illusion that the removal of the right to strike will be followed by attacks on their pay and conditions.
As a reaction to this unprecedented attack Turkish Airlines workers went on mass sick leave on May 29, 2012, at 3am. In fact Turkish Civil Aviation Union (Hava-IS) members have been left with no alternative other than to take such action. The response from the employer has been to inform hundreds of aviation workers that they are sacked without compensation.
If you want to show your solidarity with the Turkish aviation workers, please send an email from Labourstart’s action page, calling for the right of these workers to be able to take industrial action and for the sacked workers to be reinstated.