Global union federations challenge Turkish labour minister over labour law changes and strike ban 

June 14, 2012

Representatives from five global union federations (ITF, IUF, UNI PSI, ICEM) met with Farut Çelik, the Turkish labour minister on 12 June in Geneva. Their aim, was to raise a number of concerns, including pending changes in trade union and collective labour relations laws, imprisoned trade unionists, and alarming levels of occupational accidents and deaths.

David Cockroft, ITF general secretary attended the meeting to express the grave concern of the entire Global Unions movement at the total ban on all strikes in civil aviation which was introduced in Parliament by an MP from the ruling party and quickly approved last week by the president.

Çelik said that the government was opposed to a blanket ban on strikes in the aviation sector and that it would encourage an urgent process of dialogue involving Turkish Airlines Management, Hava-Is the ITF affiliated civil aviation union and the government about bringing the law into line with International Labour Organization standards.

Cockroft made it clear that as Turkish Airlines was a leading member of the Star Alliance, unions from other airlines in the group would be following events in Turkey with great attention. He also made it clear to the minister that the reinstatement of more than 300 airline employees who had been dismissed last week for participation in industrial action would be an important step forward in establishing constructive dialogue.

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