Few Turkish workers are unionized: official data

Few Turkish workers are unionized: official data

ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
Few Turkish workers are unionized: official data

There are were 376,230 registered food sector workers across Turkey in 2011, recent figures by the Labor Ministry say.

There are some 11 million service contract workers across Turkey, according to recent figures revealed by the Labor Ministry, which points at the low rate of unionization in the country.

The ministry’s “2011 Work Life Statistics” study came at a time when the Cabinet is preparing to vote on a new code that will redefine the limit for collective contracts for unionized workers, which the ministry reports number less than 1 million.

Turkish Parliament was set to discuss a new labor code urgently at its Oct. 2 opening to put an end to a months-long dispute between trade unions and employers, which has left about 350,000 workers without a pay raise for months.

The draft code drops the member limit for collective bargaining rights to at least 1 percent of each sector initially, before being increased to 3 percent gradually. The current limit is 10 percent, which bars many unions from negotiations. Unions and the Labor Ministry are at odds over the total number of unionized workers also. Still, Parliament has not yet put the draft on the agenda, with some media reports speculating over a continuing dispute between the parties over the text.

1 million in retail

The ministry’s recent study showed that employees in the retail trade sector, with more than
1 million people, are the biggest group of legally registered workers, who fall under the social security umbrella. The construction sector, one of the driving forces of the Turkish economy, follows with 935,363 workers, according to Anatolia news agency data.

The transportation sector, which also includes pipeline transport, employs 561,331 people. Libraries, archives and museums employ only 1,999 workers.

The majority of the registered workers are employed in Istanbul, as Ankara, İzmir and Bursa, the other industrialized provinces, follow. Only 4,874 workers are registered in eastern province of Ardahan.
There are less than 20,000 registered workers in Bayburt, Tunceli, Kilis, Hakkari, Gümüşhane, Bitlis, Kars, Bingöl, Siirt and Ağrı.