Turkey: Turkish Arlines workers fighting strike bans and mass firings

[Turkish airline workers are fighting for basic rights, and are asking for international support and solidarity.  See the article and petition, below.  — Frontlines ed.]

Withdraw the ban on aviation strikes!  Solidarity with the Turkish Airlines workers!

Over the last 6 weeks Turkish Airlines (THY) staff have been fighting against unjust dismissals along with the ban on the right to strike. The attacks on the workers of Turkish Airlines are continuing and becoming ever more fierce as the management rely upon government support to do as it pleases.

The sudden proposition of banning strikes

Negotiations between HAVA-IS (Civil Aviation Union- Turkey) and Turkish Airlines has broken down after several months of meetings regarding Collective Bargaining Agreements (TIS) and has come to a point where a “middleman” is needed to continue the negotiations. In a space of 1 week after the breakdown, the government, after gaining approval from President Abdullah Gul, changed the laws and forbid workers in the aviation sector from taking strike action.

In response to the ban on strikes, THY staff stood firmly side by side and took one-day strike action as a warning to the government. The management of THY however, accused the workers of “illegally taking strike action” and shortly after sent mobile text messages to 305 workers notifying them of their dismissal.

The one-day strike action taken by the workers is legitimate and within the bounds of national and international regulations.The cooperative actions of THY management and government are out of the framework of laws and regulations and deemed to be illegal. To be precise, the ban on aviation strikes is first of all, contradictory with section 87 and 98 of the International Labour Organization (ILO) along with other European social, cultural and economic sections. Secondly, it is against Turkey’s own constitution law, section 90.

Better working conditions = safer flight conditions

Without a doubt THY is in a race with its competitors for more profit and consequently has pushed aside all the necessary international standards, not taken in to consideration the legal resting hours and has put pressure on those who try to resist against this. Any worker who does not submit to the demands of THY management is dismissed via SMS!

The working conditions at THY are not only important to those who work there, but also important to the millions of people who use these services every year.

Revoke the strike ban, readmit those dismissed, and sign the Collective Bargaining Agreement

We, trade unionists, political parties and organisation representatives, who at the same time, are frequent users of THY services, will today protest the behaviour of Turkey’s  AKP government and Turkish Airlines management and stand in solidarity with the workers of THY by protesting in front of THY agencies all across Europe.

We call forth AKP government and THY management to respect international laws and regulations and also abide by their own laws. We demand for the ban on strikes to be withdrawn with immediate effect, call back the workers who were dismissed and sign the rightful agreement which HAVA-IS put forward for the benefit of the workers.



Readmit the Sacked Workers!

Sign Collective Bargaining Agreement!


A strike ban has been enforced over the aviation workers at a time when the collective bargaining discussions between Civil Aviation Union (Hava-Is) and the Turkish Airlines which has been going on now for months, have reached an impasse and was at the stage of arbitration.

This ban on the aviation workers’ right to strike is not only in contravention of Clause 90 of the Constitution of the Turkish Republic, but also of others including primarily ILO’s agreements 87 and 98, the European Social Charter and the UN Economic-Social Cultural Rights Agreement!

We the undersigned, appeal to the Turkish AKP Government and Turkish Airlines management to respect national and international treaties and regulations as well as the employment laws. We demand the repeal of the strike ban, re-admittance of all dismissed workers and the signing of Collective Bargaining Agreement based on the fair demands put forward by the Civil Aviation Union (Hava-Is.

Full Name Organisation Address/ E-mail


Messages of upport for the airline workers (with name / organization / address or email)

can be sent to: atik.international@gmail.com

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