Deputies from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) recently passed legislation to further delay the mandate for small workplaces to employ safety experts. Although the workplace safety bill was passed in 2012, it hasn't been implemented yet.
The Turkish Medical Association (TTB) deemed the July 3 explosion at a fireworks accident a "workplace homicide," a term used to describe accidents caused by gross neglect. There had been six accidents in the same factory in the past 11 years, the TTB noted, and said that July 3's fatal blast was a long time coming.
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.
Turkish Health Ministry denies responsibility to qualify COVID-19 as work disability for health workers
Turkey's Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said that determining whether COVID-19 qualifies as a work disability for health workers was not within their jurisdiction. However, the ministry is legally bound to both consult on determining work disabilities and also has the authority to determine as a public institution.
A nationwide ban on layoffs will be extended for another three months after mid-July, news broadcaster NTV reported. A new "employment shield" financial aid package is predicted to include continued cash aid to workers on unpaid leave as well as incentives for employers to hire new employees.
Turkey's transportation workers marching to the Turkish State Railways (TCDD) headquarters in the capital Ankara to criticize the "unlawful layoffs" in the institution arrived on June 4. Condemning the layoffs of dozens of TCDD workers and dozens more have been assigned to remote locations in an unprecedented practice. After a confrontation with police, the workers held a press conference and met with the TCDD general manager.
Filiz Gazi reports: Turkey’s labor union representatives agree that Ankara dropped the ball on protecting worker’s rights during the COVID-19 outbreak. On a grim May 1, International Workers’ Day, union representatives realize they need a new way of resistance in the post-coronavirus world.
Istanbul’s May Day under COVID-19 measures ends up with detentions, police confrontation, a destroyed wreath
Istanbul police detained the chair and 25 members of one of Turkey's largest labor unions on the morning of May 1, International Workers' Day also known as May Day. The confrontation took place as police blocked the march of Chair Arzu Çerkezoğlu and a group of representatives to Istanbul's Taksim Square, the site of the 1977 Workers' Day massacre and the traditional address for May 1 demonstrations. The group were released in the afternoon of May 1 after giving official statements.
Hacı Bişkin reports: An Istanbul workers union urged the government to take action against the poor conditions that Turkey's laborers are working in during the COVID-19 outbreak. The union noted that more that 3,500 workers have been diagnosed with coronavirus in Turkey, and that many workplaces are exempt from and expected to operate during weekend curfews.
A report from the Platform of the Branches of Istanbul Worker Unions that was published on April 3 revealed that the majority of Istanbul’s four million workers do not belong to a labor or trade union. The report noted that this leaves the workers in a particularly vulnerable position amid the COVID-19 outbreak, as the epidemic is expected to trigger mass unemployment.
The Confederation of Turkish Trade Unions urged all employers March 31 to temporarily ban layoffs to prevent unemployment during the coronavirus outbreak. The confederation also called for a 15-day pause in production, except for urgent goods, and for the allocation of Turkey’s unemployment fund to workers in need.
Bosses close to the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) have forced workers to take unpaid leave amid the increasing number of coronavirus cases in the country. According to the workers at The Ankara Hotel, which is owned by Cengiz-Kolin-Limak, those who have annual leaves are forced to use them, while those who don't have any leaves are obliged to take unpaid leave between March 23 and April 15.