Turkey Taken To Court Over Breaches Of Labour Law | The Metro Lawyer

Turkey Taken To Court Over Breaches Of Labour Law | The Metro Lawyer

Turkey is being taken to court over breaches of international law which protect workers’ rights to organise trade unions and to bargain collectively.

Turkey is being taken to court over breaches of international law which protect workers’ rights to organise trade unions and to bargain collectively.

The International Union of Food, Agricultural, Hotel, Restaurant, Catering, Tobacco and Allied Workers’ Associations (IUF), a global union representing 10 million workers along the food chain, lodged a claim with the International Labour Organisation (ILO) on Monday.

The union confederation has accused transnationals Cargill, the Olam Group and the Doehler Group, which all operate in Turkey, of illegally dismissing union leaders and refusing to reinstate victimised workers, exploiting a legal loophole which allows them to pay compensation instead.

The IUF described the practice as “the price of keeping their company union-free.”

Last year the Morning Star reported the arrest of eight Cargill workers on their 1,000th day of action demanding their reinstatement.

A court found in 2019 that they had been dismissed because of their union activity and ruled that they should be reinstated, but Cargill simply ignored the judgement.

Police hauled them into custody in the capital Ankara, saying: “We are the power of the state. We will show you what we can do.”

IUF general secretary Sue Longley called for an end to the loophole in Turkish law that allows companies to “crush unions’ and workers’ organising efforts.

“The Turkish government has ratified the ILO conventions on freedom of association; it’s time the laws reflect that,” she said.

Sacked Cargill worker Faik Kutlu said: “The company would rather try to buy me off than respect my right to form and join a union.”

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