A Reminder from Independence Path to the MPs: “You have kept the bill -which will pave the way for the unionisation within the private sector– waiting, for 14 months.”

Independence Path issued a press statement in front of the parliament today, which is the last day of the legislative year. In their press statement, Independence Path reminded the MPs that the draft bill, which will ban non-union employment within the private sector, has been awaiting for 14 months.

In their press statement, the uneasiness experienced by the private sector workers and the draft bill – which was prepared by the Independence Path in order to solve such difficulties by banning non-union employment within the private sector– awaiting at the parliament for 14 months, were mentioned.

The general secretary of the Independence Path, Münür Rahvancıoğlu, stressed in his speech that since it was established, Independence Path placed emphasis on the issue of non-unionisation and the violation of labourers’ rights within the private sector. Rahvancıoğlu also reflected that today’s demonstration has the aim of reminding the MPs about the awaiting draft bill regarding unionisation within the private sector, which has been proposed to the parliament 14 months ago.

Rahvancıoğlu’s full speech is as below:

“Since we (Independence Path) have been established, we have placed great emphasis on the issue of the private sector labourers being non-unionised. The violation of rights that labourers have been experiencing revealed the necessity of a legislative regulation around unionisation to be made. By rearranging the Labour Act, we determined that it will be possible for the private sector labourers to reach an organised state, enabling them to defend their rights. We tried to bring this bleeding wound to the country’s agenda and to advance this with numerous demonstrations. Despite the fact that we managed to propose the draft bill we prepared due to the aforementioned reasons to the parliament, with the support of the MPs of TDP (The Communal Democracy Party) origin, it has not been treated as urgent. As the parliament is intermitting today, we would like to remind the MPs to think during their break in order to find a solution to this bleeding wound.”

The press and propaganda secretary Yusuf Özgü Sertel read the statement on behalf of the Independence Path. Sertel, emphasised that annual leaves are incontestable right of everyone and also drew attention to the draft bill regarding banning to employ non-unionised labourers and the fact that MPs have neither voted nor discussed the concerned draft bill, yet. Later in the statement, he touched upon the increased occupational murders and the difficulties private sector labourers have been experiencing, as well as calling MPs to “consider” the proposed bill.

Full text of the press statement is as below:

“Dear members of parliament,

Today is an important(!) day for you…

Your 2017 two-month-long summer intermission –which apparently will be quite hot– is commencing.

We wish you a relaxed and healthy holiday, spent side by side with your beloved ones.

However, while this break is an incontestable right, we would like to remind you some of the private sector labourers’ problems; so that these issues will be remembered, considered and will be solved once you are back on duty.

Now, you will be on holiday, just like many private sector workers deserved, yet unable to experience!

To rest, to read, to go to the cinema or theatre, to travel, to lounge, are your incontestable rights, just like every human being.

And, of course, as these are your incontestable rights, they are also private sector labourers’ indisputable rights, who work round the clock…

As you are aware of, on the 2nd of May 2016, a draft bill was proposed to the parliament, in order to ban employers who would employ 10 or more non-unionised labourers; so that private sector labourers will reach the opportunity of unionisation they have been longing for years. The draft bill has been waiting to be discussed and to be approved by you, since then, which has been a total of 14 months. However, except from rejecting its urgency, there has been no convening, discussion, or voting around the proposed bill.

However, the life is not over, and is still going on. Since the date of proposal, 7 labourers lost their lives by falling victim to occupational murders due to inappropriate working conditions, insufficient safety precautions, and heavy workloads within the private sector. If so, the bill had passed before, this number would have been a lot fewer.

Moreover, although the biggest issue within the private sector is systematic killings of the labourers, is not the whole story!

Thousands of labourers are working to earn below the minimum wage, great numbers of foreign labourers are being employed off the record, without a work permit, child labour is becoming increasingly prevalent, working hours are not followed, such rights as overtime or flexible work is not being paid, and private sector labourers are being employed with no job security that they can get the sack any second as such. Several workplaces do not have national insurance or contingency reserve records, and even if they do have the records, it is normalised if there are short-comings or the employer is not depositing the instalments at all. In short, private sector labourers are exposed to a treatment which is worsening day by day.

Dear members of parliament,

Imagine that your two-month-long intermission which will give you the chance to spend the hottest days of the year with your children, family, your beloved ones, is even begrudged for private sector labourers which has been provided for 14 days under the Labour Act. Private sector labourers do not have any intermission to let off steam, to relax with their beloved ones during these very hot summer days. On the contrary, as the days are longer in the summer, working hours for private sector labourers also get longer. With limitless working hours until 8-9pm, including Saturdays, with excessive workloads leaving no time for social life, the relationships also break down, children miss their parents, and social life is being ruined. While the schools also intermit during summer, parents still have to work full time thus, parents are unwillingly obliged to register their children to activities such as religious courses; specifically Quran courses!

Labourers working within the accounting departments of the non-unionised workplaces, are unable to speak out against tax evasion as they do not have any job security. Non-unionised labourers working with a fear of getting the sack any second, are unable to speak out against the businesses damaging our nature. Employments off the record without a work permit, child labour, irregular and illegal activities are unbeknown by the public. As a result, the whole society, in general, is being damaged.

Dear members of parliament,

Unionisation within the private sector is urgent not only for the private sector labourers, but also for solving several corrupted issues of the society. From whichever perspective you look at, unionisation is an urgent and inevitable necessity.

If you consider this during your two-month-long break, and decide to do something for the private sector labourers who are deprived of the opportunities you have such as resting and relaxing, we would like to remind you that there is one very important thing that you are capable of doing.

As the first thing to do on your return from your break; you can apply a salve to the wound of an overwhelming majority of our society by discussing the draft bill, proposing the ban of non-union employment, awaiting at the parliament for 14 months.

You have an abundant amount of time, we would like you to consider it…”


(*The press statement by the Independence Path was made on 30th of June 2017)

Original news report in Turkish: http://www.ankaradegillefkosa.org/bagimsizlik-yolundan-vekillere-hatirlatmaozel-sektorde-sendikalasmanin-onunu-acacak-yasayi-14-aydir-bekletiyorsunuz/

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