Turkey has been ruled under state of emergency and through the statutory decrees passed by Council of Ministers since the coup attempt of last year in July.
While the government’s hardest crackdown has been on the media, public sphere has also been targeted through bans on assembling, demonstrations, and, at times, even cultural and recreational activities.
The latest of such interference of the government is experienced with the ban on labor strike of members of Birleşik Metal-İş Sendikası (United Metalworkers’ Union) of Turkey from Bursa province.
A decision signed by President Erdoğan and Council of Minister and released on Resmi Gazete (Official Gazette) on January 18th deemed the strike of laborers as ‘damaging to national security’ and ‘postponed’ the demonstration for the next 60 days.
The decision of the Union members to go on a strike had been taken previously as their demands from their employer Asil Çelik firm were not met.
Having gathered in front of the factory they work yesterday morning, laborers found out that their strike had been banned by the President and the Council of Ministers through a decision passed just the night before.
In a statement released after the announcement of the ban, the Union members expressed their reaction with the following: “Our strike, which we had planned to start as of 18 January 2017 was banned by a decision of the Council of Minister in the middle of the night... Public knows very well that the decision which is legally put down as ‘postponing’ is unfortunately an act of ‘banning’ in reality... Unfortunately, the AKP government has taken away our Union’s power of bargaining...”
DİSK (Progressive Workers’ Union) and its member unions have also reacted against the government’s decision emphasizing ‘going on a strike is a right and cannot be banned.’
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