Protesters boycott canteen to denounce abrupt firings at hospital

Protesters boycott canteen to denounce abrupt firings at hospital

Demonstrators from around Istanbul descended upon the garden of Istanbul University’s Cerrahpaşa Medical Faculty Hospital on Jan. 16 to share a meal with hospital workers who were boycotting their canteen to protest the recent firing of 11 colleagues.

Members of medical union Dev Sağlık-İş, a member of the Confederation of Progressive Trade Unions (DİSK), called for the action on the fourth day of a camp-in outside the hospital to demand that the 11 workers at a subcontractor be given their jobs back.

All of the workers were employed in the canteen, according to Dev Sağlık-İş senior administrator Zeynep Çelik.

Over 100 people joined the noon-time meal, a DİSK member said, adding that those participating in the action included the members of political parties, unions, professional associations, park forums and friends and family of patients receiving treatment at the hospital.

One of the workers said the firings were made abruptly. “The management held a meeting with us. They had a list in their hands and said, ‘Whoever’s on the list can stay, those who aren’t [on the list] have five minutes to get out,’” laid-off worker Sakine Çelik said.

“We were laid off for no reason. We will continue our resistance until we get our jobs back.”

“We signed a nine-month contract, and we still have five months left, but despite this, we were fired,” said laid-off worker Hülya Bektaş, adding that they had been forced to work for poor wages.