Turkish civil society petition demands measures to protect workers

Turkey’s trade union confederations DİSK and KESK, the Union of Chambers of Turkish Engineers and Architects (TMMOB), and the Turkish Medical Association have released a list of signatories for a petition making a seven-point list of urgent demands on the government during the coronavirus.

Bar associations, workers’ unions, academics, artists, politicians, political organisations, foundations and associations are among the thousands of signatories announced on KESK’s website.

The seven demands made by the petition are as follows:

  • All work should be suspended during the pandemic, except for jobs that produce basic necessities and emergency goods and services.
  • All layoffs should be banned during the pandemic, small businesses should be supported, workers should receive paid leave and the unemployed should receive benefits without condition.
  • All payments for consumer loans, mortgages and utility bills should be postponed during the pandemic with no interest.
  • All private medical institutions should be controlled by the public during the pandemic, all citizens should have access to medical services without exception and without cost.
  • Pandemic coordination should be disciplined, scientific and transparent. Testing should be scientific, widespread, fair and rapid.
  • All doctors, medical staff and municipal workers, as well as other workers in essential sectors, should be provided with abundant personal protective equipment and tested regularly.
  • Legal and practical measures should be implemented to protect the disadvantaged, such as migrants, prisoners/convicts, and those with no income.

"We are warning the government once again, implement these precautions before it's too late!" DİSK Chairwoman Arzu Çerkezoğlu said.