Istanbul unions throw support behind Sputnik employees’ strike

Istanbul Trade Unions Branch Platform visited Sputnik Istanbul employees on the 67th day of their strike, and threw their support behind them. Sputnik laid off its unionized employees in Turkey due to "downsizing" after they decided to go on a strike.

Duvar English

Istanbul Trade Unions Branch Platform on Oct. 22 visited the Sputnik Istanbul bureau whose employees have been on strike for 67 days.

The platform members marched to Beşiktaş from Taksim regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the right to severance pay, tax injustices and the strike of Sputnik employees.

They visited Sputnik employees in front of its bureau at Süzer Plaza in Beşiktaş district, and said “Sputnik bosses should give up being strikebreakers, immediately sit at the negotiation table and give their workers their rights.”

The Journalists' Union of Turkey (TGS) chair Gökhan Durmuş said Sputnik employers broke the law by laying off its unionized employees. Durmuş reiterated his demand for the reinstatement of those who were fired and called on the Labor Ministry to take action.

The platform members also emphasized that Israel was carrying out ethnic cleansing in Gaza and called on the Turkish government to cancel all agreements with Israel. 

Sputnik Turkey journalists went on strike on Aug. 17 due to a disagreement of collective bargaining talks. They hung the paper of the decision to strike in front of Sputnik Istanbul and Ankara bureaus on July 24.

After the decision to strike, Sputnik Turkey, established by the Russian government-owned news agency Rossiya Segodnya, has begun laying off its unionized employees due to “downsizing.”

Turkish Penal Code (TCK) penalizes anyone pressuring workers from becoming or not becoming a member of a trade union or preventing union activities.

The unionization rate, which was 58 percent when the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) came to power in 2002, dropped to 14 percent in 2022.