Turkish mint workers’ strike impact ‘may be smaller’ during Ramadan
ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
The representatives of Basın-İş Union speak in front of the General Directorate of the Mint and Stamp Printing House located in Istanbul. AA photoA strike by Turkish mint workers may not immediately hurt market prices as demand for gold falls in the holy month of Ramadan, when the number of weddings falls sharply, but a rapid solution to the dispute is still needed, sector analysts have said.
After the union of the printing and press industry, Basın-İş, kicked off the strike on July 8 at the General Directorate of the Mint and Stamp Printing House and its branches, consequences of the production drop on gold prices have been anticipated.
When the union announced the decision July 17 with a 45-day deadline, some sector analysts had said the strike might raise the price of a gold coin from 120 Turkish Liras to 140 or 150 liras.
However, the workers’ decision to take action just a day before Ramadan relieved the sector somewhat.
Although marrying during Ramadan is not forbidden for Muslims, since the community is expected to fast through the day people usually choose to avoid having events that include drinking or eating.
Considering that most of the demand for gold in Turkey is from people buying it to give newlyweds, the demand falls sharply during Ramadan, which will give the mint and its workers time to work on resolving the issues.
The mint and the union have been in talks over a collective labor agreement for seven months, but the parties have not reached a consensus, the union’s leader, Yakup Akkaya, was quoted by Anadolu Agency as saying July 8.
The average salary of mint workers is 1,562 liras ($835), Akkaya said, adding the figure was too low considering the mint’s profits.
“This year, the amount of produced gold is 60 tons. In 2012, when the mint earned 68 million liras profit, it had produced 32 tons of gold. Think about how much this year’s profit will be,” he said.