Dec 21 2018

Turkey, labour unions close to minimum wage deal

Turkey’s government, employers and labour unions are close to an agreement on raising the minimum wage.

Turkish government officials have defined the minimum livable wage as 2,213 liras a month ($420). That differs from the estimate of labour unions by a negative 170 liras, Dünya newspaper reported citing union officials.

The government’s definition compares to a current gross minimum wage of 2,030 liras and a net income of 1,603 liras. Inflation in Turkey is 21.6 percent.

Investors in Turkey see the pay talks as a litmus test of the government’s commitment to austerity and taming inflation. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s ruling party is holding the annual negotiations ahead of nationwide local elections in March.

Wage earners in Turkey have been hit by a currency crisis that has wiped nearly a third off the lira’s value this year.

While labour unions are pushing for a bigger increase in pay, the government hopes to wrap up the talks next week, Dünya said.