İzmir railway workers’ strike postponed with presidential decree

İzmir railway workers’ strike postponed with presidential decree

İzmir railway workers’ strike postponed with presidential decree

The Turkish Presidency has issued a decree postponing a strike launched by workers of İZBAN, a commuter rail system connecting the western province of İzmir’s suburban area to its metropolitan area, for 60 days.

“The strike will be postponed for 60 days in accordance with Article 63 of the Law on Unions and Collective Bargaining Agreements,” the presidential decree issued in the Official Gazette on Jan. 8 said.

The reason behind the postponement is the disruption the strike has caused to the inner-city public transportation, the decree said.

The strike came after the Railway Workers Union of Turkey’s (Demiryol-İş) İzmir branch reportedly asked İZBAN for a 28 percent wage rise as part of the Collective Labor Agreement (TİS).

When İZBAN did not accept the union’s demand, 343 workers went on strike on Dec. 10, 2018.

On Dec. 9, 2018, İZBAN, in a written statement, said it was offering a 22 percent wage rise plus travel and meal allowances, while claiming that the workers had asked for a 65 percent rise during the TİS meetings.

In a written statement, İZBAN then listed the payrolls of the workers ranging between 3,014 Turkish Liras ($551.88) and 3,435 Turkish Liras ($628.97).

In response, the workers put up their payrolls at İzmir’s Alsancak Train Station, declaring that many work on minimum wage, which was 1,600 liras after tax monthly at the time.

İZBAN then announced that it increases its wage offer to 26 percent pay rise on the condition that the strike ends immediately, on Dec. 27, 2018.

The workers said an official offer was not made to them, adding that the previous offer from İZBAN was even withdrawn.