Turkey was again named by an international labor union federation among the 10 worst countries for workers in the world.
In its 2021 report released over the weekend, the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) said that the COVID-19 pandemic was used as an excuse to single out trade union members for forced unpaid leave in Turkey.
“In 2021, the government of Turkey continued to impose severe restrictions on civil liberties, and workers’ freedoms and rights were relentlessly denied with police crackdowns on protests, while trade union leaders were arbitrarily arrested and their homes raided,” the report said.
The report recalled that Istanbul police blockaded the DİSK Confederation Central Office on May Day in 2020 and detained DİSK president Arzu Çerkezoğlu, DİSK general secretary Adnan Serdaroğlu and twenty-five members of DİSK.
Noting that this was the third time that DİSK leaders had been detained in 2020, the report said that the Turkish government used the COVID-19 curfew as a pretext to engage in systematic union-busting.
The eighth edition of the ITUC Global Rights Index ranks 149 countries based on the degree of respect for workers’ rights.
The ten worst countries for workers in 2021 are the following: Bangladesh, Belarus, Brazil, Colombia, Egypt, Honduras, Myanmar, the Philippines, Turkey and Zimbabwe.