The head of Turkey’s largest labor union Türk-İş, Ergün Atalay, has said he was told by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan that the government was working on a plan to improve the minimum wage.
Atalay made the comments on June 16 following his meeting with Erdoğan at the headquarters of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).
“We had a chance to explain the decreasing purchasing power of minimum wage earners, low-income earners, the situation of the retired people, what the public knows, what you know, from A to Z. And the President said, 'We are conducting a work about these issues, our colleagues are doing this; we will give you information about this in the upcoming days; we will then invite you and talk,” Atalay told reporters.
CUMHURBAŞKANI ERDOĞAN TÜRK-İŞ GENEL BAŞKANI ERGÜN ATALAY’I KABUL ETTİ https://t.co/jvA3hA8Hf5— TÜRK-İŞ (@turkiskonf) June 16, 2022
The Türk-İş head said that Erdoğan had not given any specific “figure” with regards to the expected improvement in the minimum wage.
Atalay said Erdoğan had expressed that he “was aware of” the financial difficulties people were going through in the face of soaring inflation. “It was a good, constructive meeting. The President said, 'I am aware of everything; I know what is happening.' They also have the numbers that we have. He [Erdoğan] expressed, 'The Labor Minister is well-informed, he is working [on the issue].' So, it was a good meeting; hopefully, they will give the public positive news in the upcoming days,” Atalay said.
According to a May report of Türk-İş, Turkey's poverty threshold increased to 19,602 liras, while the hunger line reached up to 6,017 liras, well above the minimum wage of 4,250 liras.
The poverty threshold indicates the money needed for a family of four to feed itself sufficiently and healthily, and it also covers the expenditures on basic necessities such as clothing, rent, electricity, water, transportation, education and health.
The hunger threshold indicates the minimum amount of money needed to save a four-member family from starvation a month.