Court rules in favour of sacked Turkish Airlines worker

November 8, 2012

A court in Istanbul has ordered that a Turkish Airlines employee, sacked for his involvement in a legal protest action, be reinstated.

The court made the decision in favour of the worker, a member of the ITF-affiliated union Hava-Is, on 6 November. He was one of 305 workers whom Turkish Airlines dismissed after they participated in a protest against a legal amendment that banned aviation workers from taking strike action. The government withdrew the strike ban last month amid widespread protest across the international labour movement.

The court rejected Turkish Airlines management’s official justifications for the dismissals and it is understood that the airline’s representatives failed to present any credible evidence in support of its case. However, although the court ordered the company to reinstate the worker, Hava-Is expects Turkish Airlines to appeal the ruling in the supreme court.

Atilay Ayçin, Hava-Is president, explained: “This first ruling means that it seems likely that identical decisions will be made by other labour courts regarding the remaining unfair dismissal cases. Unfortunately, Turkish Airlines has the right to refuse to reinstate the workers and to exercise its option to pay extra compensation instead.”

ITF civil aviation secretary Gabriel Mocho said: “Once again we urge the management of Turkish Airlines to reinstate the 305 workers and start a process of dialogue with Hava-Is. This will create a respectful environment ensuring a safe and good quality service. If management prolongs the confrontation and chooses to continue losing credibility and court cases, it will only be more difficult – and more expensive – to go back to the safe and high quality service that passengers deserve."

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