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What does the New Trade UNION Law bring?

The draft law which Ministry of Labour and Social Security sent to workers’ and employers’ confederations in October, involves provisions which will block collective bargaining system and make workers UNIONs ineffective and nonfunctional, as well as favorable features.

Ministry of Labour and Social Security sent a new draft law to workers’ and employers’ confederations in October that provides changes in Trade UNIONs Law.

The purpose of the law is redefined and “protecting UNION rights and freedoms” is emphasized on the draft.

The draft involves the establishment of “sector”, “working place”, “profession” trade UNIONs and organizations of federation and confederation type. Thus inhibition of establishing “working place” and “profession” trade UNION is being lifted.


On the draft which the Ministry prepared as part of compliance with European UNION, number of sectors which is 28 in the current Trade UNION Law, is demanded to decrease to19.
The draft on which the Ministry is still working, involves rearrangements like:

* Sector threshold of 10% will be lifted. Number of sectors will be decreased.
* Notarization necessity about membership to and resignation from trade UNIONs will be lifted.
* Age limit to be a trade UNION member will be decreased from 16 to 15.
* Necessity of being Turkish citizen in order to establish a trade UNION will be lifted.
* Trade UNIONs and confederations will not be allowed to carry on trade and to distribute their gains to their members.
* Collective bargaining will be possible for trade UNIONs under confederations which are either represented in Economic an Social Council or involving at least 80 thousand members if they hold more than half of workers in a workplace.
* Inhibition of setting huts, sheds or tents for pickets will be lifted. Strike ban will be narrowed.


DISK (Confederation of Progressive Trade UNIONs of Turkey) declared their suggestions about New Trade UNION Law draft on their website. The outstanding suggestions are:
* Double threshold on collective bargaining should be lifted,
* Authority procedure should be simplified,
* Strike ban should be narrowed,
* Number of sectors should be decreased to 12-14.

Tayfun Görgün, General Secretary of DISK said that they demand full application of ILO standards.


Turk-Is (Confederation of Turkish Trade UNIONs) made a report about the draft law and demanded numbers of sectors to be increased from 19 to 24.

Turk-Is also objected to lifting authority threshold of 10% and demanded increase in threshold to 3%.

Some of the suggestions from the report which highlights difficulties of organizing are:

* Difficulty of getting information about working place and enterprise. Dismissal of organizing workers.
* Detection of lawsuits filed over 1-3 years of riding. Public employers’ attitude towards the UNIONs.
* Notarization necessity in trade UNION membership. Slow execution of authorization process by Ministry.
* Not applying the penalty about preventing use of UNION rights.

Mustafa Kumlu, General Chairman of Turk-Is, is saying that they demand a framework which is compatible with standards of EU and ILO and also Turkey’s condition. Salim Uslu, General Chairman of Hak-Is (The Confederation of Turkish Real Trade UNIONs) says “The draft law is better than Turk-Is’s report”.

Gülay Aslantepe, ILO Turkey Representative, declares that Turkey is being critized about UNION rights since 1984 and UNION laws should be changed from now on and says “The government should support the minister”.