Hike on Turkish mint workers’ wage ends 68-day long strike, says minister

Hike on Turkish mint workers’ wage ends 68-day long strike, says minister

The strike at the mint, which has been ongoing for 68 days, ended yesterday by a collective bargaining agreement that raised the base wage of mint workers to 2,371 Turkish Liras, announced by Minister of Labor and Social Security Faruk Çelik on Sept. 13.

Turkish mint workers have been on strike since July 8 at the General Directorate of the Mint and Stamp Printing House and its branches, in an attempt to increase their salary and improve working conditions. The average salary of mint workers is currently 1,562 Turkish Liras ($835) and the mint workers’ union, Basın-İş, said they wanted this amount to be raised to around 2,000 liras.

Çelik said that mint workers’ wages increased within the framework of industrial protocol and recent incentive premiums, during a press meeting, Anadolu Agency reported. “Mint workers’ net minimum wage rose to 2,371 liras. The average net wage increased to 2,764 liras and maximum net wage rose to 3,294 liras.

Strike breaking claims

After mint workers went on strike on Jul. 8, causing a shortage of official stamps manufactured by the institution to be used for passports, driver’s licenses, alcoholic drink bottles and cigarette boxes, the Office of Revenue Administration started to try and find a solution to have alcohol and tobacco banderoles manufactured in alternative facilities. Consequently, the mint workers’ union, Basın-İş, went to court over “strikebreaking” claims.

While the lawsuit has not concluded yet, the Finance Ministry made an announcement that enabled the manufacturing of banderoles in approved facilities. It appears that Basın-İş will take legal action against it.

“The ones who couldn’t end the strike through political pressure are now trying to remove the strike’s consequences by using executive power. What’s going to be the next step? Will you delay the strike with an excuse?” said Basın-İş.