Turkish unions win fight against labour law amendments


This was the resounding shout of Turkey’s major labour confederations after their government decided to shelve attempts to amend the country’s labour law through an Omnibus Law that seeks to expand the coverage of fixed-term labor contracts and undermine workers’ right to severance pay. 

It was earlier reported that the TURK-IS, DISK and HAK-IS have launched various protest actions online and off, warning the government that it is courting a general strike if it insists on passing the bill.

The BWI- affiliated Turkish Union of Road, Construction and Building Workers (YOL-IS), Turkish Cement, Ceramics, Pottery and Glass Industry Workers’ Union (CIMSE-IS), Turkish Wood and Paper Industry Workers’ Union (AGAC-IS) and Turkish Forestry Workers’ Union (ORMAN-IS), which are all under the TURK-IS, joined the Turkish working people in celebrating their triumph over the government’s latest attempt to erode workers’ rights.     

The trade unionists said that since the early 2000s, the Turkish government has been attempting to amend the Labour Act and undermine the right to severance pay, which it sees as an added burden cost for employers. 

Last June, the government attempted to transform the workers’ severance pay into a pension fund system but was thwarted by the trade unions’ strong resistance.