Country Rating: 5

  • No guarantee of rights

  • Countries with the rating of 5 are the worst countries in the world to work in. While the legislation may spell out certain rights, workers have effectively no access to these rights and are therefore exposed to autocratic regimes and unfair labour practices.

Interference in May Day celebrations: The public prosecutor initiated an investigation into the involvement of the Confederation of Progressive Trade Unions of Turkey (DISK) Chairman Kani Beko and General Secretary Arzu Çerkezo lu in the 2013 May Day celebrations. The Governor of Istanbul prohibited May Day demonstrations on Taksim Square arguing a construction site would put demonstrators in danger. Police used violence to stop hundreds of protesters trying to reach Taksim Square.

Anti-union discrimination: Petrol-ls organised a considerable number of workers at TransAtlantic Petroleum Ltd company and Viking Services BS company, a company operating in the Middle East, North Africa and Eastern Europe in the fields of petroleum and gas exploration and production. As soon as management became aware of the organising efforts 24 trade unionists were dismissed and six trade unionists were transferred to oilfields in Northern Iraq. Moreover, the company uses intimidation, assaults and threats to deter trade unionists. Petrol-ls has brought the case to court and stages pickets outside the plant.

The company Pakpen dismissed eleven Petrol-Is members when it learned about the organising campaign of the union. Petrol-Is has filed a case at the labour court and is negotiating with management.

Arobus dismissed 19 workers: The company Arobus dismissed 19 workers in response to their trade union activities as members of the union Birle ik. When the union achieved the representativity requirements for bargaining, the company summoned workers at its Bursa plant to the management's office and offered the choice between dismissal and relinquishing their Birle ik membership in favour of another union. Arobus also called a public notary to the company to pressure workers to change their union membership.

8 trade unionists were released: On 5 August 2013, 8 trade unionists were released. As of 15 August 2013, 66 executives and members of KESK, including 40 members of the teachers' union Egitim Sen, are still languishing in jail in connection with various court cases.

Turkish Airline undermines strike: An Istanbul Labour Court ordered Turkish Airlines to stop hiring workers to replace workers who were on strike. The airline had hired 700 workers and had made arrangements with its SunExpress joint venture to replace 1,600 striking cabin crew workers. Hava-Is went on strike on 15 May 2013.

The state holds 48 per cent of the shares in Turkish Airlines. The Minister of Finance, Transportation, Maritime Affairs and Communications Minister and the Minister of Labour explicitly threatened Turkish Airlines workers with dismissal in their public statements.

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