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Won't pay for crisis, say UNIONs

UNIONs will take action against redundancies in Turkey by gathering in a meeting in Istanbul on Feb. 15 under the banner, “We won’t pay the price of crisis.” “This crisis should not be turned into an unemployment crisis. Poverty increases parallel to the increase in unemployment,” said Mustafa Kumlu, president of the Turkish Confederation of Labor UNIONs, or TÜRK-İŞ, at a press conference yesterday.

The top three UNIONs in Turkey, TÜRK-İŞ, the Confederation of Revolutionary Workers’ UNIONs, or DİSK, and the Public Employees Trade UNION Confederation, or KESK, called people to gather in Istanbul’s Kadıköy on Feb. 15 in a joint press conference yesterday.

“Although billions of dollars are allocated to saving the capital, the measures to shrink public services have increased,” said Kumlu reading the joint statement of three UNIONs. It is clear that the effects of the crisis are not bypassing workers, said Kumlu criticizing economic policies that have worsened work and living conditions.

He said widespread and massive layoffs, especially in industries such as metal and textiles, have rapidly expanded to other industries. In cities such as Denizli, Bursa, Kocaeli and Gaziantep that are export workshops and operate on cheap labor, there are many jobless people. He said reports indicated around 57,000 people had been laid off but with unregistered workers the number rose to 400,000. UNION leaders will meet Labor Ministry officials this week and request measures be taken to prevent the laying off of workers.