Cockroft Istanbul visit boosts morale

January 18, 2013

ITF general secretary David Cockroft lent his personal support to workers fighting for reinstatement by Turkish Airlines when he joined their protest in Istanbul on 12 January.

Since early September 2012 the Turkish Civil Aviation Union (Hava-Is) has organised a weekly protest in a different part of central Istanbul against the unfair dismissals of 305 workers on 2 June 2012 via email, text messages and phone calls. 

Addressing the workers, David Cockroft said: “Hava-Is and the ITF rightly decried the hideous anti-democratic attack on the right to strike in the aviation industry. Our efforts have paid off, and this shabby piece of legislation was buried two months ago. However, 305 workers at Turkish Airlines who were sacked simply for peacefully protesting against the proposed change to the law haven’t been reinstated yet.

“In June 2012, I had a meeting with the Turkish Labour Minister in Geneva. I warned him that if Turkey and its national airline don’t act to reinstate these workers, cease raiding trade unions and limiting their members’ rights, they risk a wave of dissent breaking over them. We will continue to target Turkish Airlines until the 305 are reinstated.”

Since his visit, a further four workers have won their cases for reinstatement, bringing the number of successful cases to 34. The situation with the company remains poor, however, with Hava-Is reporting that at the first meeting to discuss collective bargaining, on 16 January, Turkish Airlines representatives categorically rejected the union’s proposal for reinstating the 305 sacked workers.

The ITF launched an international campaign after the dismissals in June 2012. For more information, latest news and resources see

Comments are closed.