İzmir municipality faces strike dispute

İzmir municipality faces strike dispute

IZMIR – Doğan News Agency
İzmir municipality faces strike dispute

Workers of Izmir Municipality gathers in front of municipality building. DHA photo

Municipal workers in İzmir staged a strike today, but only half of the 7,500 workers who were expected to attend were able to participate due to a last-minute board decision revoking the right to strike of some workers.

Three quarters of the 10,000 workers at the two subsidiaries of the Aegean municipality, İZENERJİ and İZELMAN, were planning to walk out today. However, the High Board of Arbitration, an institution dealing with employee-employer disputes, blocked the path for İZELMAN by taking a decision regarding its collective agreement late on July 25, the night before workers were planning for the strike.

Taking the appeal of the municipality into consideration, the board decided to give a rise to workers, at ranging rates, which legally restricted the strike of 4,000 İZELMAN workers.

A group of İZELMAN workers protested the union, Genel-İş, by walking to the union building, claiming they had been “fooled.” They chanted slogans against both the union and the Izmir Mayor Aziz Kocaoğlu in front of the Confederation of Progressive Trade Unions (DİSK), as union executives were holding an assessment meeting.

“The municipality applied to the High Board of Arbitration while negotiating with us at the table. Our right to strike has been blocked and union executives appear to know it,” the workers said.

Meanwhile, 3,500 workers of İZENERJİ still walked out today, despite a union executive saying a similar kind of Arbitration Board decision regarding İZENERJİ had also been taken.