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Workers united to protest new laws

Workers and public employees will meet Thursday in Ankara in a show of protest against the government’s proposed omnibus laws, labor representatives announced Monday during press statements made in all of Turkey’s 81 provinces.

Labor organization members arriving from Istanbul, İzmir, Diyarbakır and Trabzon will surround Parliament’s premises on Thursday, creating a “chain” to oppose the omnibus laws, the statements said.

“We are not opposing for the sake of opposing,” said Confederation of Progressive Workers’ UNIONs, or DİSK, head Süleyman Çelebi. “The only will in Parliament is the prime minister’s. Thousands are protesting but the government is not paying attention. These laws bring exploitation to the internship system, and they are robbing the unemployment insurance fund.”

Meanwhile, the Ankara Governor’s Office warned in a written statement Tuesday that the protest is illegal and will be stopped by the security forces.

Necessary legal measures will also be taken against those who participated in the protests, the statement said. 

In addition to DİSK, the Confederation of Public Sector Trade UNIONs, or KESK, the Turkish UNION of Engineers’ and Architects’ Chambers, or TMMOB, and the Turkish Medical Association, or TTB, also plan to take part in the protest.

The ruling Justice and Development Party, or AKP, has launched the biggest attack on labor workers and the poor in the history of the Turkish Republic, said KESK chairman Döndü Taka Çınar.

“We have to say no to these laws that steal the future of workers between the ages of 16 and 18, who will receive less than an 85-Turkish Lira paycheck,” said Çınar.

Deadly traps are hidden between the ornate articles of the law, said TMMOB Chairman Mehmet Soğancı.

HAK-İş chief Salim Uslu said they found the new regulations dangerous to labor peace. The “flexible regulations” will take away control and rules from working life, said Uslu.


Turkish Daily News