Sunday, February 06, 2011


For a long time now labour activists in Turkey have been fighting an uphill battle, hamstrung by repressive labour legislation. The following appeal for solidarity with the Confederation of Progressive Trade Unions of Turkey asks for international solidarity to pressure the government into reform. This appeal is being broadcast by the online labour solidarity site Labour Start.
Turkey: Reform labour laws now
Although Turkey was earnestly criticized and warned by ILO committees in International Labour Conferences, she has not made necessary legal changes in compliance with ILO Conventions No. 87 and 98. Because of the legal prohibitions and regulations, millions of workers cannot exercise their fundamental rights. Thousands of workers are subject to various pressures such us being dismissed or being arrested. Since 2002, despite the ruling party AKP’s repeated commitments, reform on trade union law has not been realized yet. Industrial relations of Turkey are still being shaped by the laws enacted during the military coup of 1980. The Confederation of Progressive Trade Unions of Turkey (DISK) is asking for your support, and believes that the messages to be sent to Prime Minister and Labour Minister will be very effective and that your efforts will create an international pressure on the government of Turkey and will force the government to reform the trade union law which should be in compliance with ILO Conventions and Revised European Social Charter.
Please go to this link to send the following letter to the Turkish Prime Minister and Labour Minister.

I have been informed that the trade union laws regulating working conditions in Turkey were made during the military coup of 1980. Although your country has already signed the ILO conventions No. 87 and 98 that form the backbone of the perspective of ‘decent work’ and of the trade union rights and freedoms, the domestic laws in your country have not been amended in compliance with these conventions yet. By these reasons, as the ILO emphasizes, the government of Republic of Turkey should make a new trade union law in line with the requirements of ILO conventions immediately. In order to realize this, all thresholds both at sectoral level and company level should be removed, the prohibitions on strikes should be removed, the notary clause should be removed, and the fact of being dismissed on the grounds of trade union membership should be prohibited.

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