In Turkey, the price of Unionization is steep

In Turkey, the price of Unionization is steep
Jan 10, 2006

15,532 workers were fired for belonging to a trade union. A report by TURK-IS, a leading trade union confederation, shows that the most firings occurred at local government and municipal offices.

The report, prepared by Turk-Is, details the number of workers fired for being a labor union member between the years 2003-2005 and shows that the number of workers who lost their jobs totaled 15,532 during that period.

Local governments and municipalities led the firings with 7,551 workers. In the same period, 1,650 workers lost their jobs due to being a member in a trade union in Izmir, the third largest city in Turkey, and, 650 workers lost their jobs at the Municipality of Ankara, the capital.

Second in number of workers fired is the THY, the state owned airline company with 1,755 workers who lost their jobs. Next in line is the leather industry with 1,360 workers being fired for being organized under a trade union. Many plants producing for world famous labels also fired workers for trade union activity. In addition to these workers, more than 3,977 people were forced to quit their jobs for the same reason.

The report states that the legislation is full of loopholes left there to allow interpretation in favor of the employers.

The current labor law gives the decision to the employer to either re-hire or to pay compensation to an illegally fired worker. There is a demand to give this decision to the workers rather than the employers.


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