Gündem Haberleri

    Turk unions launch mass protests against labor law

    Hurriyet English with wires
    01.04.2008 - 11:15 | Son Güncelleme:

    Turkey's leading unions launched a mass demonstration against the IMF-sought social security reform bill throughout Turkey on Monday. Angry protesters clashed with police near Parliament during the demonstrations on Tuesday, Reuters reported. (UPDATED)

    Scuffles erupted when protesters tried to walk to the Parliament building in central Ankara, where lawmakers were debating the reform. Some demonstrators threw stones and sticks at police, who retaliated with batons. The clashes badly disrupted traffic in the centre of the capital.

    The Revolutionary Labour Unions Confederation (DISK), Confederation of Public Employees Labour Unions (KESK), Union of the Chambers of Turkish Engineers & Architects (TMMOB), Turkish Medical Association, and the Turkish Dentists Association joined the protests, which started at 2.00 p.m. (GMT 1100) with a press statement in front of the parliament building.     

    Labor unions are demanding the bill be withdrawn, despite the amendments. This was the second demonstration against the reform in a month.

    Turkey's biggest labor union, Turk-Is, criticized the demonstrations in a written statement issued on Tuesday, ANKA reported. "Turk-Is believes the action should be taken timingly and directly, otherwise its gravity and credibilty will be undermined," it said.

    KESK Chairman Ismail Hakkı Tombul told reporters in a news conference on Friday they aim to make their voices be heard once again, adding they would also attend the rally organised by the "Health and a Secure Future for All Platform" on April 6 in Istanbul.     

    Turkey's social security deficit exceeded 25 billion Turkish lira ($20 billion) or 4 percent of GDP in 2007, and officials warned it would reach nearly 30 billion Turkish lira this year if the reform is not passed. The long-delayed social security reform aims to cut this huge deficit and one of the conditions for the release of a 1.3 billion dollars IMF loan tranche. 

    The government and unions reached consensus on some portions of the bill after the debate was opened in  Parliament on Thursday, including a figure of 7,200 working days needed for blue-collar workers to reach retirement. But no agreement was reached one key part of the package, more closely followed by financial markets and the International Monetary Fund, to raise the retirement age to 65.



      Sayfa Başı