The Confederation of Progressive Trade Unions of Turkey (DİSK) has protested a factory run by the tuna fish company Dardanel in the province of Çanakkale after it imposed a closed-circuit working system on some of its employees after they contracted coronavirus. The workers have been forced to stay in quarantine dormitories since July 26.
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.
The ruling AKP government is preparing to submit a bill to parliament which proposes to lift severance pay rights for workers younger than 25 and older than 50 years of age. The legislation, which comes as part of what the government calls an 'employment shield' package, would affect 3.5 million workers who belong to the age groups in question.
A Turkish youth forum launched an interactive online map that revealed the age group's biggest issues during the COVID-19 pandemic to be access to education and to work. The right to health and shelter were referred as the second largest issues.
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.
Turkish police fired plastic bullets and teargas on a crowd at a union protest for the layoffs of three health workers in the southeastern province of Batman, who were sacked for being union members. Police also detained eight persons, six of whom were union officials.
The initiative of an industrialists' union in Turkey to hang electronic tracking devices from the necks of workers received harsh criticism from labor unions. The Platform of Istanbul Labor Union called the measure “downright slavery”.
Pınar Ögünç writes: In the depths of the mines, the conditions of workers, whose lungs are already strained, have gotten darker amid the coronavirus epidemic. While production has come to a halt in Turkey's state-run mines, most of those working in the private sector carry on squeezed between hunger and death. 35-year-old Ahmet, a miner who hails from the province of Zonguldak and has been working in the Soma mines, tells his side of the story.
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.
Turkish grocer Şok under fire over reports of forcing staff to work overtime due to weekend lockdown
Turkish grocery chain Şok is under fire over reports that it is abusing its workers by extending working hours during the coronavirus outbreak in order to make up for hours lost to weekend lockdowns. One of the Şok workers told Bianet that she had been forced to work 12 hours a day last week and had been threatened by managers not to talk to journalists about this issue.
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.