Insourcing decree secures future of many vulnerable workers - FT

A new Turkish state of emergency decree ordering the move of around 450,000 previously outsourced jobs to the state sector will make many employees less vulnerable to being sacked and eligible for benefits and pensions for the first time, the Financial Times said.

“Since the AKP took power in 2002, jobs previously done by state employees, from street-sweepers and cleaners to security guards and office workers, have been outsourced,” the newspaper said.

“Small, family-run outsourcers’ sole business activity is entering services-procurement auctions. With a tiny investment – an office and some employees – and minimal risks, they had been making quite notable profits,” it quoted author Esra Çeviker Gürakar as saying.

The subcontractors had a reputation for unfair hiring practices, the paper said, citing workers who said they had been moved between companies every year to stop them qualifying for benefits.

Opposition politicians, however, say the move is cynical electioneering and should have been debated by parliament rather than introduced by emergency decree, the Financial Times said.

“The labour minister said that about one million subcontractor workers would qualify for a change in terms, with about 450,000 eligible for direct employment by institutions,” it said. “Critics, however, warn that not everyone will be granted the status of a full state employee. Some will gain few benefits beyond increased job security.”