Turkey remains among top 10 worst countries for workers

Turkey remained among the 10 worst countries for workers in 2024, according to the International Trade Union Confederation's (ITUC) Global Rights Index. Since 2016, Turkey has been among the countries with the lowest respect for workers rights.

Duvar English

In 2024, Turkey maintained its position among the top 10 worst countries for workers, as per the International Trade Union Confederation's (ITUC) Global Rights Index, a spot it has held since 2016.

The report grades countries on a scale of 1 to 5+ based on their respect for labor rights, with Turkey receiving the one of the lowest grades (5, no guarantee of rights), consistent with the previous year.

ITUC underscored, “For years, the freedoms and rights of Turkish workers have been relentlessly attacked. Civil liberties have been crushed and trade unions and their members have been systematically targeted, particularly through prosecution on fabricated charges.”

The report particularly highlighted the attempts by employers against the workers’ right to unionize.

As an alarming instance, the report mentioned the employer’s gun attack against Makum Alagöz, President of the Leather Weaving and Textile Workers’ Union (DERITEKS), while he was visiting a factory where he was seeing employers to negotiate unpaid wages and benefits.

The report also noted the ongoing “terrorism charges” against the Health and Social Service Workers Union (SES) since May 2021.

In her statement on the report, Confederation of Revolutionary Trade Unions of Turkey (DİSK) President Arzu Çerkezoğlu said, "In Turkey, many fundamental rights are under attack, including the right to join or form a union, the right to collective bargaining and the right to strike. As a result, millions of workers are condemned to low wages, poor working conditions, long hours, work accidents, and occupational fatalities."

Bangladesh, Belarus, Ecuador, Egypt, Eswatini, Guatemala, Myanmar, the Philippines, and Tunisia also ranked among the top 10 worst countries for workers' rights.