Union pressure wins removal of strike ban

October 25, 2012

Turkey’s government has withdrawn a ban on strikes in the country’s civil aviation sector following an international campaign led by the ITF and Turkish aviation union Hava-Is.

The aviation strike ban was added to Law 2822, passed earlier this year. This is now being replaced by a new Collective Labour Relations Law, which is awaiting presidential approval. Although the new law falls seriously short of international standards in relation to trade union rights the amendment that took away aviation workers’ right to withdraw their labour has been completely removed.

ITF general secretary David Cockroft commented: “This ugly attack on fundamental rights was rightly decried by Turkish aviation union Hava-Is and by the ITF. We are delighted that those protests have paid off and this shabby piece of legislation has been buried. This fulfils the promise made personally to me by the Turkish labour minister that this provision would be dropped. However, we are still awaiting the results of his promise to intervene to get 305 workers at Turkish Airlines – who were sacked for protesting against the proposed change to the law – reinstated.”

ITF president Paddy Crumlin added: “The ITF and its affiliated unions shone an international spotlight on Turkey over this ban, and the government has rightly decided that it has to be cancelled. The new law bows to international opinion on the ban, but it fails to address fundamental trade union rights, and its provisions potentially breach ILO standards and European Union norms.”

He added: “It is well past time for Turkish Airlines to put back to work the 305 people who rightly resisted the same legislation that has now been dropped like a hot potato.”

Commenting on the Collective Labour Relations law ITUC general secretary Sharan Burrow said: “Although we have seen some progress, this bill is still very far from complying with international labour standards.”

For more details of the campaign please see www.reinstate305.org

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