TARIM ORMAN-IS (Civil Servants' Union of Agriculture, Forestry, Husbandry and Environment Sectors) President Sukru Durmus attended the Forest and Water Affairs Commission Meeting on 15 March 2018. This meeting represents a startup meeting chaired by the Minister of Forest and Water Affairs to collect information prior to further discussions on the new forest and water affairs bill.
After receiving the draft of the new bill including harmful amendments accelerating deforestation by authorizing zoning of large forest areas undermining the principles of sustainable forest management and violations on workers’ rights, Sukru Durmus made an offical application to attend the Commission meeting, which was approved by the members. It is the first time the Commission hosted a unionist to obtain information on the bill and current problems of workers in the field. The union expressed its concerns about constant violations of forest workers’ rights including high rates of workplace accidents in forestry sector and demanded an immediate action to provide decent working conditions for forest rangers and rural workers directly from the Minister of Forest and Water Affairs.
The commission will offically start discussions on the new bill on 20 March 2018 and TARIM ORMAN-IS is planning to submit a resolution demanding the following rights:
Removal of the rotation system – Union members have been exposed to rotation along with degradation as they have been appointed unrelated job positions in other cities without their consent.
Providing equal rights for equal jobs. – The Union is demanding same rights with police and gendarmerie for forest workers who have to work as police force in forest areas by giving them the same standards of compensation and by authorizing them to carry licensed guns to defend themselves against criminal acts.
Providing decent social security rights to rural workers – The nion is demanding amendments guaranteeing a social security scheme for rural workers provided by the state.
Additionally, the union will start an emergency campaign enabling participants to sign the resolution and send it directly to the email addresses of Commission members.