Turkish imams to preach against unregistered labor
Imams across Turkey will be preaching against employing unregistered workers, according to a presentation made at a conference organized by the Social Security Organization (SGK) and the Directorate of Religious Affairs (Diyanet) in the southern province of Antalya on Dec. 19.
“Employing one worker for a month without providing insurance is the same as stealing 500 Turkish Liras from them,” said Yakup Süngü, head of the Social Security Institution’s (SGK) Counter Unregistered Labor Directorate.
“[Insurance] is a worker’s rightful share. If we can convey that not providing insurance to a worker is like stealing from their rightful share, if we can help raise consciousness on this issue, a lot will change,” Süngü added.
The imams will be communicating the message on unregistered labor through their sermons as Labor and Social Security Ministry workers will continue their efforts through auditing, according to the presentation made at the Religion Workers’ Conference.
“We are the people who lead and stand by the people from birth to death throughout all social problems,” said Osman Artan, a mufti, adding that religious personnel are not only on duty to lead prayers.
There are nine million unregistered workers in the Turkish workforce, according to the presentation.
In 2016, the families of 2,985 workers received industrial injuries benefits, while 170,000 workers’ families received survivor’s pension - a fee only given to families of workers who have been registered as laborers for 900 days.
Half of the women in Turkey’s labor force are unregistered, Turkish Enterprise and Business Confederation (TÜRKONFED) Chairman Tarkan Kadooğlu said at a summit organized in partnership with U.N. Women and the UNDP on Oct. 19 in Istanbul, while urging that Turkey must raise women’s participation in the workforce to ensure sustainable development.