NURCAN GÖKDEMİR / email@example.com
AKP’s hegemonic ideology is being institutionalized rapidly at every corner of life. Having degraded the function of labor unions throughout its 14 years long administration, the AKP government is now working on forming a new council under the name of Labor Force Policy Advisory Council, where there will be no representation of the workers. It is claimed that the labor unions will be asked to take part in the processes of the council as ‘needed’.
The bill on International Labor Force, which the parliament will be discussing and putting into legislation before the Grand National Assembly goes on recess, consists of several regulations that would not only impact work life negatively but also disregard labor unions. The proposed regulations are worrisome because they pose a potential risk of creating unfair competition nationwide by allowing foreign nationals to enter the work force. Moreover, they will also deprive labor unions of participation and representation, which had already been taken away in great part to begin with.
The ‘as needed’ criterion
The new regulation that is to centralize the authority over international labor force policies under the Ministry of Labor and Social Security also comes with a proposal to form an International Labor Force Advisory Council to serve for that purpose. According to the bill, this council that would be working under the leadership of the Labor and Social Security Minister will be made up of the undersecretaries of the ministries of European Union, Foreign Affairs, Finance, Interior, Development, and, Culture and Tourism, along with the undersecretary of the Labor and Social Security Ministry and International Labor Force Chief Director. The council, which will be the sole decision maker in this field, will be gathering once a year. While the representatives of the workers are not given a seat, the council will bring together the national and international institutions and NGOs whenever it sees it ‘as needed’.
A new staff of 145 members
For this council, a total of 145 new positions will be opened. The new staff will be composed of a chief director and a deputy director; 3 department heads; 50 labor experts and 50 expert assistants; 5 translators; 30 civil servants; and 5 programmers.
The chief director, deputy director, and the heads of departments will receive their salary as 1st degree civil servants.
Only bureaucrats are included
Grand National Assembly’s Health, Family, Labor and Social Affairs Commission’s CHP members have criticized the bill because the proposed council does not integrate any representatives from the work force but rather includes only bureaucrats. CHP members have given a statement on the issue saying that ‘the Council which should actually be established with a tri-way structure inclusive of ILO treaties and EU acquis gives an opportunity of representation only to the public offices’ and they drew attention to the potential problems this would cause.
On the other hand, HDP has also made criticizing remarks about the bill proposing the council, stating the components should also include trade bodies, rights related civil society institutions, democratic mass organizations, and unions.
Work permits granted to 38,000 foreign nationals
According to the data of Labor and Social Security Ministry, between the months of January and June of this year, a total of 45,375 people from all around the world have applied for work permits in Turkey. Among those applied, Syrians – 6586 people – come at first place. Other applications were: 4450 from Georgia; 4100 from Ukraine; 2355 from Kyrgyzstan; 2220 from Turkmenistan; 2101 from China; 1644 from Uzbekistan; 1530 from Indonesia; and 1455 from Russia.
The Ministry has granted work permit to 14,201 people in 2010; 17,467 in 2011; 32,277 in 2012; 45,834 in 2013; and 52,304 in 2014. Last year, this number was 64,833 out of a total of 75,525 applications.
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