5 – No guarantee of rights
The ITUC Global Rights Index

Turkey

The ITUC affiliates in Turkey are the Devrimci Isçi Sendikalari Konfederasyonu (DISK), Kamu Emekçileri Sendikalari Konfederasyonu (KESK), Türkiye Hak Isçi Sendikalari Konfederasyonu (HAK-IS) and the Türkiye Isçi Sendikalari Konfederasyonu (TÜRK-IS).

In practice

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Authorities tear down union calendars and prevent distribution of posters10-10-2015

The General Directorate of Mineral Research and Exploration (MTA) prevented the Energy, Industry and Mining public sector union ESM from displaying posters condemning the 10 October massacre in Ankara and from handing out of leaflets about it.

Elsewhere both posters and calendars showing photographs of those lost in the Suruç and Ankara massacres were torn by some directors and executives and some members of pro-government trade unions. Pro-government trade union members tore down posters at the Mufti’s office in Mardin İpek Yolu for example. The 2016 Calendar published and distributed by the health workers’ union SES depicting those lost in the 10 October Ankara Massacre was torn off the walls of the Bakırköy Hospital on the orders of the chief physician.
Medeni Alpkaya, former chairperson of the Diyarbakır Branch of the TUM BEL-SEN municipal workers’ union, was detained for distributing leaflets about the press conference held to draw attention to the civilian deaths in Sur, Diyarbakır, on 24 December 2015. He was released pending trial.

Disciplinary action and judicial proceedings against thousands 12-10-2015

In the wake of the authorities’ crackdown on the demonstrations and strikes held on 12 and 13 October in protest at the 10 October Ankara terrorist bombing, in addition to the arrests listed, many trade unionists faced disciplinary procedures and judicial proceedings. Similarly, following a day-long strike strike The most common form of industrial action, a strike is a concerted stoppage of work by employees for a limited period of time. Can assume a wide variety of forms.

See general strike, intermittent strike, rotating strike, sit-down strike, sympathy strike, wildcat strike
on 29 December 2015 organised by the trade union confederations DISK and KESK, together with the Turkish Doctors’ Union (TTB) and the Union of Chambers of Turkish Engineers and Architects (TMMOB), calling for an end to government-led military operations in south-eastern Anatolia against Kurdish militants, what the KESK describes as a witch hunt began against the participants. KESK estimates that at least ten thousand union members have become the subject of investigations.

Earlier in the year, members of the SES union faced disciplinary proceedings, including suspensions and demands that they be dismissed, for attending a press conference condemning the Suruç Massacre in Ağrı, in July 2015, when a student suicide bomber killed 34 students.

The KESK also reported on hundreds of cases of trade unionists suspended, sent into internal exile or forced to retire as a result of the trade union membership or involvement in trade union activities.

More workers arrested for their trade union activities19-05-2015

İbrahim TUNA of the United Transport Workers’ Trade Union (BTS) was arrested on 19 May 2015, further to the police operation on May Day 2015 in İzmir. He was released on 20 May by the prosecutor’s office.
On 3 August 2015 Mr. Sinan Ok, a representative of the office workers’ union (BES), was arrested when police attacked a march organised by KESK about collective bargaining collective bargaining The process of negotiating mutually acceptable terms and conditions of employment as well as regulating industrial relations between one or more workers’ representatives, trade unions, or trade union centres on the one hand and an employer, a group of employers or one or more employers’ organisations on the other.

See collective bargaining agreement
negotiations in front of the Ministry of Labour and Social Security in Ankara. Mr. İlhan Yiğit, the KESK Secretary for Training, Organisation and Media was also arrested.

Health workers’ arrested for their trade union activities in early 2016 15-01-2016

Four members of the SES health and social workers’ union employed at Kocaeli University as academic staff (Prof. Phd. Onur Hamzaoglu, Phd. Nilay Etiler, Phd. Ümit Biçer and Phd. Mehmet Cengiz Erçin) were arrested in their homes in the early morning of 15 January 2016. The reason for their arrest was their signing of a peace declaration by 1,128 academics. They were later released from police custody but investigations were ongoing at the time of writing.
Yasin Sezgin, a member of the SES Van Branch was arrested on 15 January 2016 for sharing news on social media. Social media was being checked by the security forces for comments that could be seen as insulting to the President.
Öner Öztürk a member of the SES Batman Branch was also arrested for his social media sharing. Three separate investigations were launched against him.
Mr. Recep Altındağ, representative of SES Ağrı Branch was arrested by the police from his house on 2 February 2016 for his visit to the peace tent at the foot of the Agrı Mountain. He was sent to the jail on 9 February 2016 on charges of being a member of an illegal organisation.

Members of the health workers’ union arrested in 2015 01-05-2015

The Confederation of Public Sector Workers’ Unions, KESK, reported that many members of the Health Employees Trade Union were arrested between May 2015 and April 2016.

On 1 May 2015, members of the SES health and social service workers’ union were arrested for holding a press conference after defying orders not to do so. Mr. Kadri Abalak, executive member of SES Şırnak Silopi, was detained for his statements made under duress. He alleged that he was subjected to violence while in police custody.
Twenty eight people including Mr. Ruken Kılınç and Mr. Reşat Doğan co-chairpersons of SES, as well as other members of trade unions, political parties and human rights associations were arrested by the police for their participation in Urfa protest to condemn the Ankara Massacre on 10 October 2015 and for allegedly insulting the President of the Republic.

Twenty six members and board members of the SES Muğla Branch including Mr. Huseyin Sarıefe were taken into police custody on 11 October 2015 in Muğla for taking part in protests against the 10 October Ankara massacre. Court proceedings were started against them.
Mr. Hüseyin Çalı, Financial Secretary of SES Adana Branch was also arrested and judicial proceedings were launched against him.

Ms. Sevgül Tekin was arrested for reading a statement at a press conference organised by SES in Silvan.

Mr. Mesut Aslan, a member of the SES Gaziantep Branch was detained for sharing news on social media.

Abdullah Köçeroğlu , a member of the SES Nusaybin branch and an employee of the Nusaybin State Hospital was sent to jail for helping the injured.

Members of the Education and Science Workers’ Union arrested24-07-2015

The Confederation of Public Sector Workers’ Unions, KESK, reported that at least seven members of the Education and Science Workers’ Trade Union, Eğitim Sen, were arrested during 2015, in addition to those caught up in the mass arrests following the May Day celebrations and the protests that followed the October Anakara bombing.
Mr. Ali ALPER, Mr. Emin Kılıç and Mr. Ö. Faruk Gürbüz of the Eğitim Sen Adıyaman branch were arrested on 24 July. Mr. Ali KAYA the director of the Eğitim Sen guest house was arrested on 25 July after a police raid of the union’s headquarters.
Mr. Yaşar ARSLAN, head representative of Eğitim Sen Lice Branch was arrested on 29 July, while another member, from Siirt, Mr. Mehmet AZGER was arrested on 30 July.
Kadri Baysal, head representative of Eğitim Sen Nusaybin Branch and Şevin KARSLI a teacher member were arrested on 30 December 2015 for participating in the programme on 12 December for children who were not able to continue their education because of curfews in Nusaybin Fırat Distinct.

Union busting continues at Hugo Boss26-03-2016

Hugo Boss fired Meryem Bicakci in March 2016 because she supported the Teksif trade union organising organising The process of forming or joining a trade union, or inducing other workers to form or join one. at her factory. It was another sacking in a long-running union-busting campaign by the luxury fashion label at its largest production facility in Izmir, Turkey. Management also increased pressure on two other leading union members, Fikri Mutlu and Murat Akgün. They had already seen other colleagues facing threats, intimidation and ultimately dismissal for their union activities.

Arrests and police intimidation following anti-union dismissals at Renault28-02-2016

The end of February 2016 saw violent clashes between the police and dismissed workers, peacefully demonstrating to get their jobs back and for the right to organise at car manufacturer Renault’s Turkish plant Oyak in the city of Bursa.
Workers had been due to hold trade union elections at the plant, following an agreement reached on 4 February between IndustriALL Global Union, its Turkish affiliate Birlesik Metal-Is, representing the overwhelming majority of workers at the Oyak plant, and Renault management. The agreement, which also included the composition and duties of a Social Dialogue social dialogue Discussion and co-operation between the social partners on matters of common interest, such as economic and social policy. Involves participation by the state where tripartism is practice. Committee (SDC), was the result of discussions on employee representation. The elections for the workers’ representatives were due to be held on 29 February.
Renault management cancelled the elections however just days before they were scheduled to take place, claiming that the Ministry of Labour and Social Security had declared them illegal. There is nothing in Turkish law that makes such elections illegal.
Management then called in workers one by one, including two spokespersons, and dismissed them immediately. The dismissals continued. Over 60 people lost their jobs, and a further 54 were asked to leave with severance packages.
When the protests began, local management asked the police to intervene. They intimidated workers at their homes and as they were coming on and off their shifts. On 2 March, police arrested 21 workers as the night shift ended.

Police raid on union offices21-09-2015

The Kesk-affiliated health and social service workers’ union SES reported that their branch office in Diyarbakir in the Kurdish south east of Turkey had been raided by the police, the door smashed in and staff and members terrorised on 21 September 2015. The police claimed to be looking for terrorists.

Trade unionist killed and others detained by Turkish security forces06-01-2016

Mehmet Kaplan, a sanitation worker employed by the Cizre Municipality and a member of DİSK/Genel-İş Union, and father of three, was shot in front of his house on 17 January 2016 by Turkish security forces deployed to surround towns in the south of the country. His family could not remove his body from the street because of the curfew imposed.

Four weeks earlier, Mr. Ramazan Uysal, also a member of DISK/Genel-İş was shot and lost his arm on 14 December 2015 while he was working on water valves for the Cizre Municipality. Three other members of DISK/Genel-İş were arrested for their trade union activities: Mr. Mazlum Özmen, union representative and a municipal police officer, Mr. Mesut Ayık, driver and Mr. Nedim Oruç, press officer.

If trade union leaders protest at such events, the authorities seek to silence them. Selahattin Barinc, a board member of the Sirnak branch of the Trade Union of Public Employees in Health and Social Services (SES), was arrested and taken into custody on 6 January 2016 for criticising the behaviour of the security forces. He was charged with spreading propaganda and his union was termed an illegal organisation.

Mass dismissals of workers who joined food workers union14-09-2015

International Flavors & Fragrances (IFF), a leading supplier of specialty ingredients to the global processed food industry, dismissed 30 workers between July and September 2015 for exercising their right to join a union. The Tobacco, Drink, Food and Allied Workers’ Union (Tekgida-Is) in Turkey organised workers at the Gebze factory and the Labour Ministry recognised the union as the bargaining unit bargaining unit A group of workers within a particular company, establishment, industry or occupation that constitutes an appropriate unit for the purpose of collective bargaining.

See bargaining agent
on 18 June 2015. Workers formed a union in response to poor working conditions and serious health and safety concerns. IFF challenged this decision at the local labour court and began to dismiss union members.

Following the dismissal of a prominent union supporter, Tekgida-Is organised a protest action in front of the factory gate and issued a press statement on 7 September calling on IFF to respect union rights and stop pressuring workers to resign from their union.

When two active union members were dismissed the following day, workers demonstrated in front of the factory gate. Management increased the pressure on workers to resign from the union and suspended production for three days from 11 to 13 September. When workers returned to work on 14 September they learned that 17 more workers had been dismissed; ten more workers were dismissed later in September.

Bomb attack on peace march by unions and CSOs31-10-2015

Around 100 people were killed and hundreds injured in two suicide bomb attacks on a rally called by trade unions and civil society organisations in Ankara on 10 October 2015.

A “Work, Peace and Democracy” rally and mass meeting had been organised by four organisations, DISK (Confederation of Progressive Trade Unions), KESK (Confederation of Public Employees), TMMOB (Union of Turkish Cambers of Engineers and Architects) and TTB (Union of Doctors of Turkey).

Two explosions, apparently from suicide bombers, took place in quick succession, as marchers sang and danced and held banners demanding an end to the violence between the Kurdish separatist PKK militants and the Turkish government. The protestors were also calling for the rights of the unemployed and the poor to be respected.

In the aftermath of the bombings, as the survivors rushed to the injured, the security forces blocked access to medical services for the victims, and used teargas to disperse the peaceful demonstration.

The authorities were equally heavy handed in dealing with a planned demonstration three days later to protest at the mass killing. KESK, DISK, TTB and TMMOB wanted to hold a march on 13 October to protest against the bombing and commemorate the victims of the massacre. Permission was refused however because the route went through “places citizens use frequently,” and because of “the sensibility of the current period.”

Police reportedly attacked people trying to reach the planned demonstration routes, and initially refused to allow people to board the Kadıköy-Eminönü ferry between the Asian and European side of the city on the morning of 13 October, on the grounds that the march was illegal. Plainclothes policemen were filmed violently pushing ferry users to the ground in an attempt to detain them. Elsewhere riot police and water cannon were used to deter people from joining the protest.

Protests against the massacre were also held in cities across the country. Police used teargas to attack a group of around 30 lawyers and another 150 people who came to support them in front of the courthouse in the Alanya district of Antalya.

Police disrupt public sector workers march03-08-2015

The police disrupted a march on 3 August 2015 by the Confederation of Public Sector Trade Unions (KESK) members who were on their way to the Labour and Social Security Ministry. Collective bargaining collective bargaining The process of negotiating mutually acceptable terms and conditions of employment as well as regulating industrial relations between one or more workers’ representatives, trade unions, or trade union centres on the one hand and an employer, a group of employers or one or more employers’ organisations on the other.

See collective bargaining agreement
had begun on public servants’ wages, but the union wanted the process to be suspended until the interim government had been replaced by a permanent government. Police used teargas and shields to stop the march, but did eventually allow it to continue after it was agreed the demonstrators would remain on the pavement.

Enpay sacks 65 for joining union 31-07-2015

The Turkish company Enpay, which manufactures electric power transformers and transformer components for multinationals ABB, Alstöm, Schneider and Siemens sacked 65 workers in July 2015 after they started to join Birlesik Metal-Is, the United Metalworkers’ Union.

Industriall Global Union twice urged Enpay management to stop anti-union aggression and reinstate dismissed workers. However, despite a reply from the company stating that Enpay was acting in compliance with national law and international labour norms, the sackings continued.

When a large proportion of the workforce joining Birlesik and elected their own worker representatives, Enpay dismissed 11 union members on 13 July, a further 12 on 20 July for joining demonstrations calling for reinstatement, and now a total of 65. All of the elected worker representatives were sacked.

Workers’ protests against management violations have included work stoppages, pickets, and sit-in demonstrations. The company applied to the public prosecutor claiming that the work stoppage was illegal, but the claim was rejected and opening a court case was refused.

On Sunday 26 July, police arrested workers and the local president of Birlesik Metal-Is in Kocaeli for simply assembling peacefully in front of the factory. They were released in the evening of the same day.

Mass dismissals after car workers strike24-06-2015

Turkey’s automotive giant Tofaş – a joint venture owned by Koc Holdings and FIAT, laid off 142 workers on 24 June 2015 following strikes that crippled the industry in May. Thousands of workers at the Renault, Tofaş and Ford Otosan plants – along with many other spare part factories located in north western Bursa and Sakarya provinces – went on strike strike The most common form of industrial action, a strike is a concerted stoppage of work by employees for a limited period of time. Can assume a wide variety of forms.

See general strike, intermittent strike, rotating strike, sit-down strike, sympathy strike, wildcat strike
on 15 May, to protest against low wages, wage differences among workers employed in the same sector and poor working conditions.

The strike strike The most common form of industrial action, a strike is a concerted stoppage of work by employees for a limited period of time. Can assume a wide variety of forms.

See general strike, intermittent strike, rotating strike, sit-down strike, sympathy strike, wildcat strike
lasted nearly two weeks before agreement was reached over a pay rise, and in many cases management guarantees that no-one would be sacked.

Intimidation soon set in however. The strikers found themselves the subject of investigation by the Bursa Public Prosecutor’s Office for supposedly “aiding and abetting a terrorist organisation”. The Bursa Counterterrorism Unit subsequently summoned the workers, who were questioned as to why they walked off the job and whether or not they were intending to form a new trade union.

The workers had been trying to set up a new union, of their own choosing, frustrated at the failure of the management-favoured union to negotiate effectively on their behalf. All of the workers had resigned from the Metal Workers Trade Union of Turkey (Türk Metal) during the protests. Those who retained their jobs in the factories have reportedly been obliged to reregister with Türk Metal.

The dismissals continued and a total of 250 workers, some with hearing and speaking disabilities, lost their jobs. Nor did the promised pay rise materialise. There was no ambiguity as to the cause of dismissal. The workers learned that they had been fired via a text message that said “Your employment contract has been terminated because of your protests.”

Tear gas and arrests for May Day protesters31-05-2015

Turkish police used water cannon and tear gas on hundreds of protesters on May Day, after the demonstrators attempted to march on Taksim Square in central Istanbul.

The Square has symbolic meaning for the Turkish left. Over 30 people were killed in 1977 when suspected nationalists opened fire on May Day participants, and it had become the traditional site for Labour Day celebrations. The Governor of Istanbul announced however that Taksim Square would be closed on 1 May, citing security reasons.

Istanbul police decided to deploy around 10,000 officers to enforce the ban, cancelling all leave and bringing in officers from outside the city. It also planned to have water cannon at the ready. All roads leading to the square were closed, as were public transport links surrounding the area.

The May Day Organising organising The process of forming or joining a trade union, or inducing other workers to form or join one. Committee, consisting of the Confederation of Progressive Trade Unions (DİSK), the Confederation of Public Sector Trade Unions (KESK), the Union of Chambers of Turkish Engineers and Architects (TMMOB) and the Turkish Medical Association (TTB), protested at the decision to block access to the square and urged the authorities to lift the ban, to no avail. They called on union members and the public to go ahead with May Day rallies in the city centre.

The rallies turned into a protest, leading to the use of water cannon and tear gas. The Contemporary Lawyers’ Association’s (ÇHD) reported that 479 people were detained and 20 people were arrested and charged, some for violating the law on meetings and demonstrations and others for “making propaganda for a terror organisation”. Lawyers who later went to the Court House to assist those arrested were beaten by riot police, and 16 of them were injured.

Union members unfairly dismissed08-04-2015

On 8 April 2015 the management of TÜVTÜRK, a consortium which operates over 200 vehicle inspection centres and employs 3,000 workers nationwide dismissed 51 members of the TÜMTİS union. The grounds for dismissal were supposedly that their performance levels had ‘decreased’ or that they ‘had refused overtime’, although there was little to substantiate these claims. The real explanation appeared to be that they were all active members of the union that had gained recognition recognition The designation by a government agency of a union as the bargaining agent for workers in a given bargaining unit, or acceptance by an employer that its employees can be collectively represented by a union. as the representative union at the two new plants where the workers were dismissed TEM Kocaeli and Osmaniye, and that wanted to negotiate a collective agreement. Management brought in workers from other plants to replace the dismissed workers, and began intimidating other workers to persuade them to leave the union.

Leather workers who wanted to join union faced intimidation and dismissal14-10-2015

The handbag manufacturer, SF Leather, which produces mainly for luxury handbag brand Mulberry, sacked fourteen workers for joining the Deriteks union in March 2015. Deriteks had just begun organising organising The process of forming or joining a trade union, or inducing other workers to form or join one. workers at the factory, located in the Aegean Free Zone in Izmir.

SF Leather then began suing workers and Deriteks, claiming that its “commercial interests” had been damaged by the union’s organising organising The process of forming or joining a trade union, or inducing other workers to form or join one. tactics and the workers’ protest rallies calling for the reinstatement of their sacked colleagues. The company also got a local court to impound a banner appealing to Mulberry to respect workers’ rights, and to order a news blackout of the union protests on Turkish websites. In the meantime it continued to exert pressure and intimidation over workers not to join the union.

Further to union pressure, including the support of the Industriall global union, SF Leather later announced it would reinstate the dismissed workers – but only on condition that they withdraw their trade union membership. When Deriteks refused this condition, SF Leather launched a smear campaign against the union with fabricated allegations.

Agreement was finally reached between the union and management on 14 October. SF Leather would not reinstate the dismissed workers but it did agree to pay them compensation. It also agreed to allow the union to organise at the factory and both sides agreed to drop their court cases (the union had also brought a court case into the rights violations at the factory).

Hugo Boss factory continues attacks on textile union31-03-2015

At the beginning of March 2015 the Turkish Union of Textile, Knitting and Clothing Industry Workers TEKSIF reported that management at the Hugo Boss factory in Izmir was continuing to sack union members and supporters. The attacks on the union began shortly after it started to organise workers three years earlier.

Long drawn-out court processes proved 20 trade union supporters sacked between 2011 and 2014 had been illegally dismissed. A further eight cases were still pending in court in early 2015. After the High Court of Appeals confirmed that those workers were dismissed by HUGO BOSS because of their union membership and ordered their reinstatement, however, management opted to pay them extra compensation instead.

The sackings didn’t stop. Management dismissed three more key union supporters in February 2015. At no stage throughout the process did the Izmir management of HUGO BOSS accept offers from TEKSIF to resolve the issues through social dialogue social dialogue Discussion and co-operation between the social partners on matters of common interest, such as economic and social policy. Involves participation by the state where tripartism is practice. , and there was no intervention from international management either. When Industriall, the global union to which TEKSIF is affiliated, contacted the HUGO BOSS CEO in August 2014 to request his intervention to ensure an end to the violations and the start of constructive social dialogue social dialogue Discussion and co-operation between the social partners on matters of common interest, such as economic and social policy. Involves participation by the state where tripartism is practice. at the plant, the response was to threaten legal action and to deny all responsibility.

Dairy company dumps manure to intimidate picketing unionists 09-02-2015

In response to organising organising The process of forming or joining a trade union, or inducing other workers to form or join one. efforts by the union Tekgida-Iş, the dairy company Sütaş started to target workers who joined unions for dismissal. So far 83 workers have been dismissed after joining the union in two factories in Bursa-Karacabey and Istanbul-Aksaray. Many workers are harassed and compelled to resign their union membership by threats and calls to their families. Other workers have been dismissed for posting comments critical of the company on social media. Management forces workers to give their passwords for government institutions so that the company can establish who is a union member.

Dismissed workers together with their families have been picketing picketing Demonstration or patrolling outside a workplace to publicise the existence of an industrial dispute or a strike, and to persuade other workers not to enter the establishment or discourage consumers from patronising the employer. Secondary picketing involves picketing of a neutral establishment with a view to putting indirect pressure on the target employer. at the factory gate since April 2014. Management surrounded the area with trucks to prevent the picketers from being seen. When the dismissed workers refused to disperse, management poured 13 tons of liquid manure on the sit-in area. While this was intended to end the picket and disperse the protesters, it attracted flies onto the dairy plant and compromised food safety. Eventually management had to clean up the area and disinfect the surrounding villages.

The owner of the factory, Turkish Industrialists’ and Businessmen’s Association Chairman Muharrem Yilmaz, stood down from this position after news broke of the manure scandal at the Sütaş factory.

Deva sacks workers for joining a union09-02-2015

Public authorities instructed the company Deva to recognise Petrol-Is and begin collective bargaining collective bargaining The process of negotiating mutually acceptable terms and conditions of employment as well as regulating industrial relations between one or more workers’ representatives, trade unions, or trade union centres on the one hand and an employer, a group of employers or one or more employers’ organisations on the other.

See collective bargaining agreement
on 14 October 2014. Instead, the company sacked three more workers for supporting the union. Already in 2010 Deva used a range of union busting union busting Attempts by an employer to prevent the establishment of a trade union or remove an existing union, e.g. by firing union members, challenging unions in court, or by forming a yellow union. tactics to dismantle a 40-year industrial relations industrial relations The individual and collective relations and dealings between workers and employers at the workplace, as well as the institutional interaction between unions, employers and also the government.

See social dialogue
system at plants in the Çerkezköy, Kartepe and the Topkapı area of Istanbul. Deva Holdings sacked 74 employees at that stage in 2010 when they refused to replace their collective agreement with individual contracts. Deva then sacked eight more workers on 22 July 2014 for exercising their right to join Petrol-Is. A total of 24 sackings had occurred in this latest union organising organising The process of forming or joining a trade union, or inducing other workers to form or join one. process.

Despite the mass sackings and other illegal anti-union pressure, Deva employees managed to organise the required majority to then file for and receive the official “Certificate of Competence” from the Ministry of Labour. Yet, Deva management announced it would never recognise and bargain with any union.

Below are the details regarding these three latest workers to be sacked for supporting a union.

1) Ramazan Atasever: He had one-and-a-half-year seniority. He was told that the reason for his dismissal was his physiological problems.

2) Şenol Aygün: He had eleven years seniority. The apparent reason for his dismissal was that he does not possess a sufficient level of academic qualifications for the technological processes required in his job. However, with eleven years’ service in his position, it is a non-credible excuse for sacking someone for supporting a union.

3) Hasan Yiğit: He had seven years seniority. He was told that he was dismissed because of his earlier records inside the company. This once again sent a message to the workforce that they will be sacked for no valid reason if they support the union.

Government interferes in strike20-06-2014

In June 2014, the government issued a decree to suspend a strike strike The most common form of industrial action, a strike is a concerted stoppage of work by employees for a limited period of time. Can assume a wide variety of forms.

See general strike, intermittent strike, rotating strike, sit-down strike, sympathy strike, wildcat strike
in the glass industry for 60 days on the grounds that it posed a risk to “public health and national security”. The union Kristal-Is launched a strike strike The most common form of industrial action, a strike is a concerted stoppage of work by employees for a limited period of time. Can assume a wide variety of forms.

See general strike, intermittent strike, rotating strike, sit-down strike, sympathy strike, wildcat strike
at ten factories of the company Sisecam on 20 June 2014. The decree is based on article 63 of the legislative act no. 6356, the Law on Trade Unions and Collective Agreements. The Turkish government uses the regressive law on a routine basis to stifle workers from exercising their right to strike strike The most common form of industrial action, a strike is a concerted stoppage of work by employees for a limited period of time. Can assume a wide variety of forms.

See general strike, intermittent strike, rotating strike, sit-down strike, sympathy strike, wildcat strike
. This was the ninth major strike strike The most common form of industrial action, a strike is a concerted stoppage of work by employees for a limited period of time. Can assume a wide variety of forms.

See general strike, intermittent strike, rotating strike, sit-down strike, sympathy strike, wildcat strike
stifled in this way by the government since the year 2000. The government has never indicated a reason why any of the suspended glassworker strikes would be harmful to public health and national security.

Anti-union discrimination30-06-2014

In April 2014, the company TÜVTÜRK dismissed eight union members at various vehicle inspection stations across Turkey for their organising organising The process of forming or joining a trade union, or inducing other workers to form or join one. campaign. Unions were able to sign collective agreements at certain plants of the company after successful organising organising The process of forming or joining a trade union, or inducing other workers to form or join one. campaigns despite the fact that the company continued to discriminate against trade unions.
In June 2014, members of the union Birlesik Metal-Is protested against union busting union busting Attempts by an employer to prevent the establishment of a trade union or remove an existing union, e.g. by firing union members, challenging unions in court, or by forming a yellow union. by advertising company M&T Reklam by holding several pickets. The company unlawfully dismissed 45 workers in total at its plants in Gebze and Duzce after the union conducted a successful organising organising The process of forming or joining a trade union, or inducing other workers to form or join one. campaign at both plants. Even though the union has been certified for collective bargaining collective bargaining The process of negotiating mutually acceptable terms and conditions of employment as well as regulating industrial relations between one or more workers’ representatives, trade unions, or trade union centres on the one hand and an employer, a group of employers or one or more employers’ organisations on the other.

See collective bargaining agreement
by the Ministry of Labour, management chose to victimise workers instead of engaging in good faith bargaining.
In March 2014, the Turkish subsidiary of Crown Holdings, Crown Bevcan, dismissed four trade union leaders with false and groundless charges, as they had led union organising organising The process of forming or joining a trade union, or inducing other workers to form or join one. at the company plant located in Izmit. Along with consistent union busting union busting Attempts by an employer to prevent the establishment of a trade union or remove an existing union, e.g. by firing union members, challenging unions in court, or by forming a yellow union. and de-recognition recognition The designation by a government agency of a union as the bargaining agent for workers in a given bargaining unit, or acceptance by an employer that its employees can be collectively represented by a union. in Turkey, Crown dismissed four workers – Haluk Efe, Mehmet Akbay, Mustafa Bayram and Ahmet Bal – who are members of the local union local union A local branch of a higher-level trade union such as a national union. organising organising The process of forming or joining a trade union, or inducing other workers to form or join one. committee of the union Birlesik-Is. In the beginning of March the employer summoned the workers demanding them to write an explanatory note, called a defence document, to the accusations put forward by the management. The dismissed union leaders were accused of encouraging other workers not to work overtime along with disturbing the peace of the working environment, even though there recently was no overtime work announced inside the workplace. All four workers were kept outside the factory while management required that they take leave. After the announced period of leave came to an end, the management arbitrarily dismissed the workers.

Police violence01-05-2014

In January 2014, Istanbul police used tear gas against a group of people trying to hold a sit-in protest in front of Çağlayan Court in support of 56 members of the Confederation of Public Sector Trade Unions (KESK) standing trial on charges of being members of an illegal organisation.
In April 2014, police stormed the Greif plant in Istanbul Hadimkoy and arrested 91 workers who held a sit-in. After negotiations with management over higher wages and the use of sub-contractors at the company failed, workers resorted to the strike strike The most common form of industrial action, a strike is a concerted stoppage of work by employees for a limited period of time. Can assume a wide variety of forms.

See general strike, intermittent strike, rotating strike, sit-down strike, sympathy strike, wildcat strike
action.
In April 2014, the Governor of Istanbul stated that unions would not be permitted to hold May Day celebrations at Taksim Square. Unions were told to hold the celebrations in Yenikapi Square instead. On 21 April 2014, police detained several trade unionists in Taksim square when union members were about to issue a press statement regarding May Day celebrations. Police used tear gas against the activists in order to prevent them from reading out the statement. On May Day 2014, about 142 demonstrators were detained and several people were injured when police attacked unions and political activists. About 40,000 police officers were deployed to cut all roads connecting to Taksim square.

Arobus dismissed 19 workers27-06-2013

The company Arobus dismissed 19 workers in response to their trade union activities as members of the union Birleşik. When the union achieved the representativity requirements for bargaining, the company summoned workers at its Bursa plant to the management’s office and offered the choice between dismissal and relinquishing their Birleşik membership in favour of another union. Arobus also called a public notary to the company to pressure workers to change their union membership.

8 trade unionists were released05-08-2013

On 5 August 2013, 8 trade unionists were released. As of 15 August 2013, 66 executives and members of KESK, including 40 members of the teachers’ union Egitim Sen, are still languishing in jail in connection with various court cases.

Refusal to bargain in good faith07-08-2013

Petrol-Is continues to have disputes with the pharmaceutical company Deva which refuses to negotiate a new collective agreement with the union in 2012. In April 2012, the labour court ordered the reinstatement of 66 workers who had been dismissed for their union membership in late 2010.

Anti-union discrimination31-12-2012

The company Teknik Plastik Sealed Air dismissed five trade unionists after Petrol-ls launched an organising organising The process of forming or joining a trade union, or inducing other workers to form or join one. campaign at the plant in Istanbul. Other workers were threatened and intimidated by management. The dismissed workers were reinstated in December 2012.

Anti-union discrimination07-08-2013

Petrol-ls organised a considerable number of workers at TransAtlantic Petroleum Ltd company and Viking Services BS company, a company operating in the Middle East, North Africa and Eastern Europe in the fields of petroleum and gas exploration and production. As soon as management became aware of the organising organising The process of forming or joining a trade union, or inducing other workers to form or join one. efforts 24 trade unionists were dismissed and six trade unionists were transferred to oilfields in Northern Iraq. Moreover, the company uses intimidation, assaults and threats to deter trade unionists. Petrol-ls has brought the case to court and stages pickets outside the plant.

The company Pakpen dismissed eleven Petrol-Is members when it learned about the organising organising The process of forming or joining a trade union, or inducing other workers to form or join one. campaign of the union. Petrol-Is has filed a case at the labour court and is negotiating with management.

The company Plaskar , based in Bursa, dismissed 45 workers organised by Petrol-Is in May 2012 and threatened workers with further dismissals.

Local management of the Demo Plastik company dismissed ten trade unionists when it heard of the union organising organising The process of forming or joining a trade union, or inducing other workers to form or join one. in 2012.

Turkish Airline undermines strike09-07-2013

An Istanbul Labour Court ordered Turkish Airlines to stop hiring workers to replace workers who were on strike strike The most common form of industrial action, a strike is a concerted stoppage of work by employees for a limited period of time. Can assume a wide variety of forms.

See general strike, intermittent strike, rotating strike, sit-down strike, sympathy strike, wildcat strike
. The airline had hired 700 workers and had made arrangements with its SunExpress joint venture to replace 1,600 striking cabin crew workers. Hava-Is went on strike strike The most common form of industrial action, a strike is a concerted stoppage of work by employees for a limited period of time. Can assume a wide variety of forms.

See general strike, intermittent strike, rotating strike, sit-down strike, sympathy strike, wildcat strike
on 15 May 2013.

The state holds 48 per cent of the shares in Turkish Airlines. The Minister of Finance, Transportation, Maritime Affairs and Communications Minister and the Minister of Labour explicitly threatened Turkish Airlines workers with dismissal in their public statements.

Interference in May Day celebrations31-07-2013

The public prosecutor initiated an investigation into the involvement of the Confederation of Progressive Trade Unions of Turkey (DISK) Chairman Kani Beko and General Secretary Arzu Çerkezoğlu in the 2013 May Day celebrations. The Governor of Istanbul prohibited May Day demonstrations on Taksim Square arguing a construction site would put demonstrators in danger. Police used violence to stop hundreds of protesters trying to reach Taksim Square.

Refusal to recognise unions for bargaining16-08-2013

The textile companies DESA and the ISMACO refuse to recognise unions in their companies and to enter in a dialogue with trade union members. In January 2013, IndustriALL Global Union and Deri-Is lodged a series of demands to DESA which were dismissed.

Anti-union discrimination31-03-2013

In March 2013, the courts found that four DHL workers had been dismissed because of their trade union activities. DHL has also been accused of actively supporting unions which are more favourable to management in order to undermine existing independent unions.

By January 2013, the Tekgida-Is union had recruited a significant number of workers at the East Balt company, the key supplier to McDonald’s restaurants, as trade union members. When Tekgida-Is applied to the Labour Ministry for a bargaining certificate in January 2013, management started to dismiss union members. Only after the union threatened to place pickets in front of McDonald’s restaurants did management reinstate the dismissed trade union members.

Four trade union members were dismissed from their positions at ISMACO because of their trade union membership. Management said that it does not want union representation. The Deri-Is union has been picketing picketing Demonstration or patrolling outside a workplace to publicise the existence of an industrial dispute or a strike, and to persuade other workers not to enter the establishment or discourage consumers from patronising the employer. Secondary picketing involves picketing of a neutral establishment with a view to putting indirect pressure on the target employer. against this decision since December 2012.

Interference in trade union premises25-03-2013

On 25 March 2013, the head offices of Liman-Is, the National Port and Land Stevedores Union of Turkey and of Genel-Is were raided by security forces. Serious damage was done to the building gateway, entrance door and accounting office door.

Outsourcing undermining workers’ and trade union rights31-12-2011

The steady rise of outsourcing outsourcing See contracting-out in Turkey is undermining workers’ rights. The Confederation of Revolutionary Workers’ Unions (DİSK) estimates that around 3 million workers in Turkey are employed by outsourcing outsourcing See contracting-out companies, often in inhumane conditions. Work accidents and occupational diseases are on the increase because safety measures are ignored by subcontracting firms. Pay can also be a problem as even though the real employer may pay salaries on time, the sub-contracting company may first use the money for their own investments and delay passing the money on to the workers.

It is difficult for outsourced workers to improve their conditions because they are prevented from joining unions. If they try to organise, they lose their jobs. Even if they succeed, the contracting company often launches a new tender, hiring a new outsourcing outsourcing See contracting-out company. Outsourcing outsourcing See contracting-out is primarily used in the public sector for services like cleaning, transportation and health, although it is on the increase in the private sector. Even big factories that use mass production are changing their system and prefer to hire outsourced workers without unions.

Worryingly, the Turkish government is preparing to amend legislation in a way that will increase the number of outsourced workers, including by facilitating the hiring of workers on a seasonal basis.

EU Commission report deplores limited progress in the area of social dialogue31-12-2011

In its October report on accession, the European Commission stated that “There has been limited progress in the area of social dialogue social dialogue Discussion and co-operation between the social partners on matters of common interest, such as economic and social policy. Involves participation by the state where tripartism is practice. ". The ban on the contractual personnel of state economic enterprises from establishing trade unions or engaging in trade union activities has been lifted. However, the ban on these personnel engaging in any kind of strike strike The most common form of industrial action, a strike is a concerted stoppage of work by employees for a limited period of time. Can assume a wide variety of forms.

See general strike, intermittent strike, rotating strike, sit-down strike, sympathy strike, wildcat strike
action remains in place. A Prime Ministerial circular allows the participation of civil servants’ trade unions on the boards dealing with the social rights of public employees and disciplinary issues. Constitutional amendments regarding workers’ rights have not been put into effect as the necessary changes in the relevant trade union legislation have not been made.

Social partners social partners Unions and employers or their representative organisations. have failed to agree on key issues such as the right to organise at workplace level and thresholds for collective bargaining collective bargaining The process of negotiating mutually acceptable terms and conditions of employment as well as regulating industrial relations between one or more workers’ representatives, trade unions, or trade union centres on the one hand and an employer, a group of employers or one or more employers’ organisations on the other.

See collective bargaining agreement
. The Economic and Social Council did not meet during the reporting period. The coverage of workers by collective bargaining collective bargaining The process of negotiating mutually acceptable terms and conditions of employment as well as regulating industrial relations between one or more workers’ representatives, trade unions, or trade union centres on the one hand and an employer, a group of employers or one or more employers’ organisations on the other.

See collective bargaining agreement
agreements has not increased.

Employers’ anti-union tactics31-12-2011

It is common practice for Turkish employers to file a complaint alleging that a trade union organisation does not have the required majority for bargaining purposes. This is a common method to block trade union recognition recognition The designation by a government agency of a union as the bargaining agent for workers in a given bargaining unit, or acceptance by an employer that its employees can be collectively represented by a union. . Furthermore, during legal proceedings, union members are often dismissed. In addition, most court cases take years to resolve, which prevent trade unions from functioning freely and efficiently.

Dismissed unionists reinstated by court13-12-2010

After two years of struggle, the Sinter Metal workers dismissed on 22 December 2008 won their reinstatement cases on 13 December 2010. The legal cases were launched by their union Birlesik Metal-Is, a DISK affiliate, immediately after their dismissal in December 2008. The workers had been dismissed under the pretext of poor performance and of economic crises, but the court declared that the reason behind the dismissals was the workers’ trade union membership. The court ordered that the workers be reinstated.

More workers forced to change union affiliation31-03-2010

In March, in Eleşkirt hospital in Ağrı, workers affiliated to KESK-affiliated Health and Social Service Workers’ Union (SES) were visited by a delegation of Saglık-Sen, a union which is friendly to the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP). They were threatened and forced to resign from SES, and promised better contracts if they would join Saglik-Sen, which around 30 of them eventually did.

The TEKEL workers’ case - workers forced to accept inferior working conditions31-12-2010

The Turkish government’s decision to privatise TEKEL (former state tobacco and alcohol monopoly) warehouses led to the dismissal of 12,000 workers. These workers, along with their families and supporters, started demonstrating on 15 December 2009. The protest began in front of the headquarters of Prime Minister Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party (AKP), but the police cleared the area on 16 December and forced the demonstrators to a nearby park. The following day, police put up barricades around the park and then used water hoses and tear gas against the demonstrators. Police violence escalated and clubs were used against the demonstrators, many of whom had to be hospitalised. Mustafa Türkel, President of Tekgida-Is, which represents these workers and is affiliated to TURK-Is, and General Secretary of Türk-Is, were arrested, but then released later that evening. The police violence caused an outcry in the Turkish Parliament, but the government continued to refuse to accede to the workers’ demand that they be given alternative employment with full employee benefits, as the law on privatisation provides.

In 2010, after 78 days of protesting, the workers ceased their action only to return to the streets of Ankara on 1 April for a one-day protest against working under Article 4/C of Law No. 657 (on working conditions of public employees), which restricts them to lower wages and fewer employee rights. Workers coming from different provinces were not allowed to enter the city in groups and convene at their previously scheduled meeting point in front of TURK-Is headquarters. Police and workers subsequently clashed in different parts of the city. Workers from KESK, who came to the city center in a show of support for the Tekel workers, similarly faced police using pepper gas.

The union took the Article 4/C case to court, as the measure in itself contravened Turkish law. The government, however, financially forced workers to resume work under Article 4/C after it blocked the union’s solidarity fund account in September. As the court case was postponed time and again, most workers, in need of an income, saw no other option but to resume working.

Bargaining obstructed30-11-2009
Severe limitations to the right to strike30-11-2009

On 21 April, in the Yapi-Yol Sen (an affiliate of national public sector union KESK) case, the European Court of Human Rights unanimously ruled that the general ban, issued by the Turkish government, preventing public-sector employees from taking part in a one-day national strike strike The most common form of industrial action, a strike is a concerted stoppage of work by employees for a limited period of time. Can assume a wide variety of forms.

See general strike, intermittent strike, rotating strike, sit-down strike, sympathy strike, wildcat strike
in support of the right to a collective-bargaining agreement, was a violation of Article 11 of the European Convention on Human Rights on freedom of assembly and association.

Judicial harassment of trade unions30-11-2009

2009 saw a dramatic increase of trials aimed at curtailing trade unions, a trend which started earlier but seems to be steadily on the rise. There is a basic pattern, with unionists being treated roughly, or even mistreated, following their arrest, after which the authorities invoke some legal clause to keep the cases “confidential”, so the defence lawyers have no access to their clients’ files, sometimes for more than one month. The accusations are generally related to some form of “terrorist activity”, and the trials are usually marked by a lack of compliance with both national and European legal requirements.

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