AKP rejects strike right for public servants
ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
This file photo shows a group of public workers protesting against a recent law implementation against doctors’ working hours in public hospitals. DAILY NEWS photo, Emrah GÜRELThe ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has objected to the inclusion of an article in the new constitution that would protect the right to strike for public servants, although it was supported by the other three parties represented on Parliament’s Constitution Reconciliation Commission.
In a Sept. 18 meeting of the Constitution Drafting Commission, a sub-commission of the Parliament Constitution Reconciliation Commission, concerning the articles on “collective agreements and the right to strike” and “the limitation and protection of fundamental rights and freedoms,” all of the opposition parties -- the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) and the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) -- agreed that the right to strike should be recognized for all workers, including public servants. AKP deputies, however, resisted the opposition’s joint proposal and refused it, instead arguing in favor of the existing arrangement, which recognizes the right to collective bargaining and the right to strike only for labor unions, but not for public servants. In the end no agreement was reached and the issue was set aside to be discussed later by the higher commission.
Postponements and bans of the right to strike were also discussed in the meeting. The AKP and MHP asked that the law allow postponement or banning of the right to strike in certain situations, while CHP opposead this idea.
“If the security of living conditions or health of a segment of society or the entire society would be jeopardized in the event of interruption of a public service, the service will be provided at a minimum level. In such cases, the right to strike can be limited,” read a clause drafted by the CHP and supported by the BDP. No agreement was reached on this clause, due to the objections of the AKP and MHP, and the issue was held for discussion later by the higher commission.