Sputnik Turkey dismisses unionized members after strike decision

Sputnik Turkey has started laying off its unionized employees due to "downsizing" after they decided to go on a strike.

Sputnik Turkey workers on July 24 go on strike; the banner reads "We want our right."

Duvar English

Sputnik Turkey established by the Russian government-owned news agency Rossiya Segodnya has begun laying off its unionized employees who went on a strike after failure during collective labor agreement negotiations.

Sputnik Turkey journalists organized under the Turkish Journalists' Union (TGS) and hung the decision to strike in front of Sputnik Istanbul and Ankara offices on July 24.

Journalist Atilla Güner, who was preparing the main news bulletin of Sputnik Radio, on Aug. 7 announced that he was fired from his job due to “downsizing.” Güner said that the main reason for his dismissal was his support for the employees who had decided to go on strike and noted that many unionized journalists had been dismissed.

The TGS stated, “Sputnik fires our members instead of respecting their union rights and meeting their demands. Stop committing crimes, and get dismissed journalists back to work!”

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.