Türkiye: Unionists triumph in the battle for equal bonuses

The BWI-affiliated TARIM ORMAN-IS, a member of the BIRLESIK KAMU-IS confederation, played a key role in a successful campaign against a policy that imposed a 2 percent sector threshold on public unions to qualify for "collective bargaining union support." This bonus payment was designed to offset union fees for their members.

TARIM ORMAN-IS argued that the threshold unfairly disadvantaged public unions with a membership below the required number, denying them access to the said bonus, and consequently undermining their organisational strength. Furthermore, the policy reportedly triggered a significant wave of resignations from members of smaller unions who feared missing out on the bonus payment.

BIRLESIK KAMU-IS took the matter to court, seeking the annulment of the threshold. After nearly a year of legal proceedings, on 18 January, the Constitutional Court delivered a landmark decision in favour of the trade unions, nullifying the proposal. The court deemed it a violation of trade union rights and incompatible with the principles of equality. This decision ensures that all trade unionists will receive equal bonuses, marking a significant step towards fairness and equality within the union system.

Building on this success, the trade unions are now gearing up to exhaust all legal means to reclaim their members' bonuses, which were withheld since the imposition of the threshold.