Norwegian unions step up pressure on THY with disinvestment call

September 14, 2012

Norwegian trade unions have increased the pressure on Turkish Airlines (THY) by questioning whether their national investment bank should disinvest in the company.

The Norwegian Cabin Crew Union, the Norwegian Union of Commercial and Office Employees, and the Parat union have all contacted the Norges Bank Investment Management – the investment arm of Norway’s central bank – to warn it that to continue to back THY financially is incompatible with its stated principles.

The unions warned the bank that: ‘305 Turkish Airlines’ employees were sacked in May after participating in protests against legislation to deprive them of the right to strike … we find it reprehensible that Norges Bank Investment Management is a shareholder in a company which is in violation of basic international democratic principles … Should Turkish Airlines fail to reemploy the 305 workers, the Norges Bank Investment Management has no choice but to pull out of the airline.’

Elisabeth Goffeng, president of the Norwegian Cabin Crew Union, explained: “Several Norwegian unions have fought against attacks on the legal rights of workers in national and international aviation.  The representatives of our unions are working internationally through the ITF, the ETF and The Nordic Transport Workers’ Federation (NTF) to fight for safe, predictable and regulated working conditions. It is important that we unite for common civil rights across borders and we refuse to accept discrimination and any form of attack on democratic principles.”
She added: “Due to the actions of Turkish Airlines we, as representatives of Norwegian trade unions, consider it to be unacceptable for the governmentally owned Norges Bank Investment Management to have interests in a company that blatantly disregards the democratic rights of their workers.”

The three unions’ action is the latest move by trade unions around the world in support of the sacked workers and their union, Hava-Is. For details of the ITF’s campaign and how to get involved please see

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