No authority for unions yet

No authority for unions yet

Şebnem Turhan ISTANBUL / Radikal
No authority for unions yet

Turkish worker unions are facing authorization problems in collective bargains as a steel organization calls for de-facto talks. REUTERS photo

Turkish labor unions have been prevented from engaging in collective bargaining for the last seven months due to a delay in the disclosure of the syndicates’ member lists, but the head of a steel union believes they could start such bargaining even without authorization.

“We will start the collective bargain process this week without having an authorization granted to us at workplaces where we are organized,” said Adnan Serdaroğlu, the president of the United Metal Works Trade Union (Birleşik Metal-İş), which is tied to the Confederation of Progressive Trade Unions (DİSK).
There are 3.23 million registered union members, according to the latest record in 2009, but the number could plunge to merely 930,000 with updated statistics, meaning that three major confederations, DİSK, HAK-İş and the Confederation of Turkish Labor Unions (Türk-İş), would be prevented from conducting collective bargaining.

The Labor Ministry has suggested a protocol to retain the 2009 data without updating it to break the deadlock in negotiations, but Hak-İş has raised an objection to the suggestion. As such, around 550,000 workers may end up not signing a collective bargain this year.

“We will present the number of our members and our demands to the employer,” President Adnan Serdaroğlu said, adding that the union may go on strike if its demands are not accepted.