DISK President Arzu Çerkezoğlu Visits Union Member Journalists at Artı Media Publishing

The DISK confederation president visited the journalists working at Artı yesterday to give support to their protests against the management. The union had called on the management to rescind this decision and to respect the signed agreement. After these disagreements, the president of the energy sector union Enerji-Sen also visited and gave support to the resisting journalists. He emphasized the importance of the signed agreement and asked Artı management to honor the deal. In yesterday's visit, Arzu Çerkezoğlu said the journalists' struggle at Artı was DISK's struggle, and DISK stood firmly behind the workers there.

DISK President Arzu Çerkezoğlu Visits Union Member Journalists at Artı Media Publishing

On March 8th, it was all cheers and congratulations; celebrations were due for a protocol signed between the progressive Artı publishing and the Journalist Union Basın-İş, belonging to the Confederation of Progressive Labor Unions.

This was the first time a business and a union signed an agreement of understanding without the union obtaining the authority to represent all workers at the site. The agreement covered both the Artı offices and other units that provided services for Artı. The deal was officially enforcing a dialogue mechanism between the management and the workers and guaranteeing a 15% raise for the lowest-paid workers. The workers were also guaranteed a bonus pay on New Year’s Day.

The basis of the agreement between the union and the management was the ILO agreements that force Turkey to honor workers’ fundamental rights.

The new understanding provided a limit on the difference between the highest-paid and the lowest-paid workers, guarantee safety measures at work, preserve seniority rights, and provide occupational growth tools for the journalists.

The Basın-İş Union, the journalists’ organization, was proud to have signed the agreement, a first in Turkey. It stated, “We are giving a very pleasant message today. This message comes from the editors, the authors, the reporters, the presenters, the hosts on TV, the cameraman, the audio technicians, and other workers in the industry. It is a hopeful message because we started to gather the fruits of our struggle, a struggle we won because we stood together.”

The union belongs to DISK, the Confederation of Progressive Labor Unions. The confederation is known for its tenacious defense of workers against the bosses and driving a hard bargain in negotiations.

The agreement was signed by Artı publishing, a very progressive media outlet.

Both being progressive, the union had nothing but praise for the Artı management for having the courage to sign the deal.

That was March 8th.

Then, the bosses at the progressive Artı media immediately started breaking the terms of the understanding. As we reported at Sendika.org the management initiated moves to lay off the workers. Using the authoritarian government’s repressive new law that allows businesses to fire workers for “immoral” reasons, Artı fired the union leader for the immoral act of “disregarding hierarchy” at the workplace.

The media publishing outlet also took measures that will allow the laying-off of 50 workers from the business.

The DISK confederation president visited the journalists working at Artı yesterday to give support to their protests against the management.

The union had called on the management to rescind this decision and to respect the signed agreement.

After these disagreements, the president of the energy sector union Enerji-Sen also visited and gave support to the resisting journalists. He emphasized the importance of the signed agreement and asked Artı management to honor the deal.

In yesterday’s visit, Arzu Çerkezoğlu said the journalists’ struggle at Artı was DISK’s struggle, and DISK stood firmly behind the workers there.

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