ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
A Turkish Airlines employee bursts into tears during yesterday’s negotiations. DHA photo
Turkish Airlines will not rehire the 305 workers who were laid off after participating in labor action to protest a draft legislation banning strikes and lockouts in the aviation industry late last month, the carrier’s chairman said yesterday.
“[The layoffs] were the hardest decision of my life,” said Turkish Airlines Chairman Hamdi Topçu at a meeting with economy reporters from several newspapers.
“But I had to apply the rules. The ordinance [regarding lay-offs] is still in effect. But I promised the president of the trade union [Hava-İş] to discuss it once again at the board of management,” he said according to daily Radikal, adding that he would call the board for a meeting in a few days’ time.
Hava-İş members conducted a slowdown strike May 29, resulting in the cancelation of 223 flights and a loss of about $2 million, according to Topçu.
The draft law banning strikes and lockouts in the aviation industry went into effect after it was announced on June 3 in the Official Gazette following President Abdullah Gül’s approval.
The move came amid a collective agreement dispute that has been lingering for months. The dispute is now on the agenda of the High Board of Arbitration, Radikal reported.
Topçu also said Turkish Airlines paid its cabin staff more than Germany’s Lufthansa.
The flagship carrier creates $8.5 billion of the Turkish aviation industry’s total $12.5 billion in annual turnover, officials said.
Meanwhile, Turkish Airlines has begun pursuing the parties responsible for hacking the company’s website on the day of the slowdown strike, according to Doğan news agency. The cyber attack was conducted from abroad, according to the company, which has now taken action to expand the case to an international level.