Kocaeli governor bans work stoppage in Turkey even if the workers are testing positive to coronavirus

Hiding behind the seriousness of the pandemic, the governor, while banning work stoppage, also made it illegal to distribute leaflets, any meetings in the open or closed environments including scientific or cultural, any press conferences, hunger strikes, sit-ins, opening a stand, demonstrations, erecting tents, carrying torches, distributing printing advertisements, or any protests.

Kocaeli governor bans work stoppage in Turkey even if the workers are testing positive to coronavirus

Turkish corporations and businesses are unwilling to protect their workers from the deadly coronavirus pandemic. Workers are being forced to work at close quarters to each other. Many places like the construction sites provide the place where the workers can sleep, however, usually up to 10 workers may share a small room or make-shift construction container. It is obvious that these places of work of residences become the breeding places for all kinds of disease.

The coronavirus pandemic has stirred the labor movement in Turkey where it is now undeniably obvious that this life-and-death situation for the workers mean nothing for the bosses as they want the production to continue even if it means the workers are risking their lives.

In the Sarkuysan factory in Gebze the workers found out that several workers had already been infected with the virus but the production continued as if the infection had no consequence. Unable to make their voices heard, the workers had to threaten the management that if precautions were not taken they would stop work. And they did, when the management refused to heed their call.

However, the management had other plans and threatened the workers with legal action if they dared to stop production.

Rushing to the help of the industrialists and the bosses, the Kocaeli governor, where the Gebze factory is located, signed a decree yesterday announcing that if coronavirus cases are found at a workplace the workers would not be allowed to stop work!

Turkish Labor Law allows workers to stop work in the case of a serious and imminent danger. However, the governor’s decree annuls this law and forces the workers to continue producing even if their co-workers are taken to the hospital on a stretcher.

Hiding behind the seriousness of the pandemic, the governor, while banning work stoppage, also made it illegal to distribute leaflets, any meetings in the open or closed environments including scientific or cultural, any press conferences, hunger strikes, sit-ins, opening a stand, demonstrations, erecting tents, carrying torches, distributing printing advertisements, or any protests.

Kocaeli becomes the last example of how government rushes to the aid of any corporation even if it costs the life of the workers.

Sendika.org news (M.B.)

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