Turkish delivery service starts layoffs concealed as 'safety measures'

Popular delivery service Getir is laying off motor couriers under the guise of safety measures, daily Birgün reported. Workers reportedly said that the layoffs were simultaneous with slower business compared to the boom they experienced during COVID-19 isolation.

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Popular delivery service Getir ("bring" in Turkish) began layoffs after the mandatory COVID-19 isolation ended on the grounds that employees had breached safety measures, daily Birgün reported on July 3.

While the motorcycle carriers were laid off under pretenses of having broken a speed limit or traffic regulation, most workers reported finding out about their dismissal upon arriving at work.

An Ankara employee said that they worked 15 hours a day during mandatory isolation as demand had spiked, but that business had slowed down now that the country has been operating "normal" for a month.

"Now business is slow, so they're kicking us out 'for safety,'" said the worker. "They're letting my friends go on the grounds that they broke rules."

The worker also noted that the company has a safety commission that monitors worker behavior.

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"We formed a WhatsApp group. We wanted to do a strike. [The commission] found out about it and dispersed it. They were fine when business was booming, but now they're kicking us all out."

Meanwhile, another motorcycle courier reported that one worker was forced to resign in an attempt to avoid paying them damages.

Explaining that the former worker had violated a speed limit marginally and for a short time, the courier said the former employee was made to resign.

"They threatened him and said 'you can't find a job if you get fired, just quit.' He left without damages," the courier said.

The courier added that he had heard of 20 to 25 workers who have been laid off so far.

Turkey returned to "normal" on June 1, lifting curfews, resuming transportation and reopening businesses.

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