Mar 25 2019

Turkey’s workers underpaid, overworked - European rights group

Turkey is in violation of European Social Charter provisions on labour rights in several key areas, including low wages, long hours and dismissal requirements, the European Committee of Social Rights (ECSR) said on Monday.

Turkey joins several countries across greater Europe “struggling to comply with their international legal obligations concerning rights for workers,” according to an ECSR report assessing compliance in 35 countries and territories from 2013 to 2016.

The ECSR is the body responsible for monitoring compliance with the Council of Europe’s Social Charter.Turkey was found to be 44 percent in conformity with the charter, a legally binding counterpart to the European Convention on Human Rights, just behind Spain and Macedonia, which were 47 and 45 percent in conformity, respectively. Turkey was found to be 50 percent in non-conformity with the charter, performing worse in this measure than Moldova and Russia.

Credit ECSR

Turkey fell short in regard to wages, which after all authorised deductions, do not enable workers to provide for themselves and their dependants; workers clocking in more than 60 hours a week; civil servants not being granted increased time off in lieu of remuneration for overtime; and a lack of notice period required for dismissal during probation.

These labor issues are increasingly urgent in Turkey, where unemployment has risen to 13.5 percent as the country has fallen into recession in the lead-up to March 31 local elections.

The ECSR deferred its conclusions on a variety of issues, including the gender pay gap. Its next Turkey report will focus on children, women and migrants.

Overall, the report found that the highest proportion of violations of workers’ rights in Europe concerned the right of all workers to a reasonable period of notice for termination of employment at 95.8 percent, followed by the right of workers and employers to collective action, including the right to strike, at 73.3 percent.

Austria, Sweden and Croatia topped the list of highest conforming countries to the charter with 88, 81 and 75 percent respectively, according to the report.