Turkey's biggest food delivery service Yemeksepeti violates workers' right to unionize

Several trade unions and organizations announced on Sept. 27 that they are boycotting Yemeksepeti, the biggest online Turkish platform of food delivery, for violating workers' fundamental right to join a union. Many Turks joined in with the boycott decision, with the hashtag of #YemekSepetiBoykot (Boycott YemekSepeti) becoming trending on Twitter.

Several trade unions and organizations, including TBF, DİSK, KESK, TMMOB and TTB, held a press statement on Sept 27 in support of Yemeksepeti workers.

Duvar English

The biggest food delivery service in Turkey, Yemeksepeti, has been firing its employees for their membership to the freight workers' union Nakliyat-İş, said representatives of several major unions in a press statement on Sept. 27, while protesting the lay-offs.

The protest was held in front of Yemeksepeti Headquarters in Istanbul's Şişli district on Sept. 27, and was attended by fired workers as well as representatives of leftist trade unions and organizations.

The trade unions announced that they support the struggle of Yemeksepeti workers and called on the company to listen to their demands.

The demonstrators unfurled a banner reading “We invite our people to boycott Yemeksepeti which adopts a stance of animosity against workers and unions” during the demonstration, Mezopotamya New Agency reported. They also shouted slogans of “We will win by resisting” and “Long live the workers' union.”

The head of the Consumer Union Federation (TBF), Mehmet Bülent Deniz, said that Yemeksepeti was switching the legal registration of the employees at some of its branches to office personnel, thus robbing the workers of their ability to sign a contract with the Nakliyat-İş.

Deniz also said that the company was firing employees should they be in efforts to organize themselves in the union.

Deniz said that they wanted to talk with the Yemeksepeti management about the fired workers' situation, but their demand was turned down.

“We are in solidarity with Yemeksepeti workers. Within the framework of this solidarity, a boycott decision was taken against Yemeksepeti firm,” said Deniz, adding that they would not buy services from the company until their stance against unionization changes.

"As of now, Yemeksepeti boycott has started. We will defend the rights of motorcycle couriers until the end," said a statement of the TBF on Twitter. 

The topic went trending on Turkish Twitter on Sept. 27, with many people tweeting #YemekSepetiBoykot (Boycott Yemek Sepeti) and expressing their support for the workers.

The Nakliyat-İş administration has been appealing to the company's attempts to interfere with the Social Security Institution (SGK) records and change the line of business in which the workers are registered, as well as protesting the poor working conditions.