Turkish Government Maintains Anti-Union Attitude

The European Union continues having misgivings concerning the attitude of the Turkish government toward the trade union movement. An EU report in 2004 noted: “the percentge of the labor force covered by collective greements remains extremely low.” Even as labor unions prepare for May Day celebrations the Turkish government is still hesitante about even allowing them to use the famous Taksim Square where in 1977 gunmen killed 37 people who were marching to celebrate May Day. Turkish trade unions believe the Erdogan government has to become more flexible and allow workers to organize and establish powerful organizations in order to raise salaries and improve working conditions.

The 2007 progress report from the EU notes “Turkey fails to fully implement the International Labor Organization(ILO)conventions in particular as regards the right to organize, the right to strike and the right to bargain collectively.” Turkish law still maintains many provisions which hinder development of a strong union movement.

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