Turkish Airlines and workers to talk instead of strike

Turkish Airlines and workers to talk instead of strike

Turkish Airlines and workers to talk instead of strike

Turkish Airlines workers shout slogans protesting Turkish Airlines. DHA photo

After the Hava-İş union, which took the decision for a strike by Turkish Airlines (THY) workers yesterday, announced that it would give time to THY before starting the actual strike, THY proposed to maintain negotiations.

Hava-İş said April 9 that THY did not accept the offer to start talks for a collective labor contract in order to solve disagreements, including the rehiring of the 305 workers. “Today we are only taking the decision to strike. It is not a de facto strike, we will decide on it based on the steps taken by the THY administration,” said Hava-İş in a public statement yesterday. Following this statement, THY administration asked to continue talks, as Reuters reported.

However, Finance Minister Mehmet Şimşek reacted to the issue by saying “THY is not alone. We will do whatever it needs. THY is a very important institution for national security and tourism. We cannot accept flights being halted”.

The Confederation of Turkish Trade Unions, Türk-İş, criticized Şimşek’s reaction as anti-democratic. It said the union in THY had been established in line with the law and that they had the legal right to strike if they were not able to arrive at an agreement with the employer. Türk-İş said they were supporting Hava-İş during their strike. While there are around 15,800 workers in THY, 14,000 of them are members of the union, according to Hava-İş.

THY had announced in June that it would not rehire the 305 workers who were laid off after participating in labor action to protest a draft legislation banning strikes and lockouts in the aviation industry on May 29, 2012. Hava-İş members conducted a slowdown strike on May 29. Despite the objections, the draft law came into effect on June 3.