Jan 26 2018

Turkish government bans metalworkers’ strike on national security grounds

The cabinet and president have signed off on a decision to prevent 130,000 metal workers going on strike on the grounds of national security, left-wing newspaper Evrensel said.

Some trade unionists have vowed to go ahead with the 60-days strike over a collective pay dispute, which is to begin on Feb. 2.

“Our strike has been banned!” the Voice of Metalworkers Facebook page said. “While factories are breaking production records, the government see the workers demanding a human wage, not accepting poverty wages, and resisting (the employers’ association) in solidarity as damaging national security.”

“We do not recognise the strike ban!” it continued.

The United Metalworkers Union, the furthest left of the three unions to announce action, also announced it would go ahead with the strike regardless of the ban, Evrensel said.

The newspaper reminded readers of the words of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to a meeting of businessmen on July 12, 2017.

“Now thanks to the state of emergency we intervene in a moment in places under threat of a strike,” he said. “We say, ‘no, we will not allow you to strike here, because you cannot shake the business world’.”

The strike was the 14th to be banned since Erdoğan’s party came to power in 2002, the newspaper said.