Turkey’s national flag carrier cancels further 68 flights

Turkey’s national flag carrier cancels further 68 flights

ISTANBUL - Anatolia News Agency
Turkey’s national flag carrier cancels further 68 flights

Turkish Airlines has canceled more flights despite cabin personnel ending their slowdown strike at the Atatürk Airport before midnight on May 29. DHA photo

Turkish national air carrier Turkish Airlines cancelled 68 domestic and international flights due to “operational reasons” yesterday, as a result of the slowdown strike by Turkish Airlines cabin personnel the day before.

Cancellations were due to operational reasons at the Istanbul Atatürk Airport, the company said in a statement posted on its website.

The Turkish Airlines workers began slowdown strike on Tuesday, following a call from the Turkey Civil Aviation Trade Union (Hava-İş). The union requested its members to organize a protest over a legislative attempt to abolish aviation workers’ right to strike, by slowing down operations at their workplace.

The airline company had postponed nearly 150 flights on Tuesday, which led to passengers being stranded at Istanbul Atatürk Airport. The labor action ended at 10:30 p.m. the same day.

Turkish Airlines said the slowdown strike was illegal and warned that the staff participating in the action would be fired without compensation. Sources said some 200 Turkish Airlines employees were laid off, Doğan news agency said.

“We do not let any attempt to inflict blow to Turkey’s tourism, aviation [industries] and economy. We will do whatever it takes,” Finance Minister Mehmet Şimşek said yesterday after a conference addressing reporters’ question about the issue. “They have to use [their] rights within the frame of laws,” he said.

The draft legislation, which is part of an omnibus bill proposal prepared by a ruling Justice and Development Party deputy, lifts strike and lock-out rights of workers in the aviation industry.

‘Arbitration board partial’

ISTANBUL – Anatolia News Agency

The Public Workers’ Arbitration Board is not impartial, said Hanefi Bostan, the Turkish Public Workers’ Labor Union (Kamu-Sen) provincial head for Istanbul, yesterday after the board decided on a 4 percent pay raise for each half of the year to resolve a collective bargaining dispute between trade unions and the government. The government had proposed a 3.5 percent raise for the first half of the year and 4 percent for the second.

Finance Minister Mehmet Şimşek said the reactions were “meaningless,” as the average raises for public workers salaries have been above inflation rates since 2002.

The Confederation of Public Servants’ Trade Unions (Memur-Sen) President Ahmet Gündoğdu said those he represents are tired of this rhetoric and demanded workers’ fair share of Turkey’s economic growth.