Unions rally in Istanbul against poverty, unemployment
Members of several labor unions, chambers and left-wing parties gathered in Istanbul’s Bakırköy district on Dec. 22 for “joint struggle against impoverishment, unemployment and precarious employment.”
Addressing some 8,000 people, co-chair of Confederation of Public Employees Trade Union (KESK) Aysun Gezen said that the wages should be raised as staple, electricity, water, oil and public transportation prices soared nearly 50 percent in recent months.
“The erosion of wages should be compensated. The minimum wage should be increased to 2,800 Turkish Liras and should be exempted from taxes,” she said.
“The figures are false, poverty is real” and “We will not pay the bill for the crisis” read the banners carried by the Confederation of Progressive Trade Unions of Turkey (DİSK), the Union of Chambers of Turkish Engineers and Architects (TMMOB), medical chambers, the Labour Party (EMEP) and the July Movement.
Main opposition Republican Peoples’ Party (CHP) and Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) lawmakers also joined the crowd.
The negotiations on the minimum wage of 2019 between the unions and the government are expected to be finalized in January 2019.