Turkish retail firm puts quake-victim workers on unpaid leave

Turkish retail company A101 has forced earthquake-victim workers to take unpaid leave after Feb. 19, Mağaza Market-Sen announced.

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The Shop and Market Workers Union (Mağaza Market-Sen) has announced that retail company A101 put earthquake-victim workers to take unpaid leave, effective from Feb. 19. 

In a statement released by the Mağaza Market-Sen A101 Workers Coordination, A101 workers from Hatay’s Kırıkhan district and other provinces in the earthquake zone said that they suffered great financial losses and lost their homes and jobs after the earthquake. 

Accordingly, the workers in quake-stricken provinces were put on paid leave until Feb. 18, and offered to work in an A101 store in a different province.

“The workers will try to go and find a job in another city and try to maintain their lives at the same time,” the statement said.

The union said A101 executives are still considering their profit amid the destruction of the earthquake in 11 provinces, adding that “Even in this earthquake, market workers are of no importance to them. In this case, the workers are told, 'The store is not demolished, either keep working or find another store'.”

The union demanded from A101 that inspections should be carried out immediately and precautions should be taken for the safety of the workers in the stores damaged by the earthquake.

Turkey’s southeastern region was hit by two powerful earthquakes on Feb. 6, one at a magnitude of 7.7 and the other 7.6, affecting 11 provinces.

Turkey passed a legislation at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic that allowed for employers to place workers on unpaid leave, who were then allocated "cash aid" by the state.