Thursday, January 2, 2014

Long Running Labour Dispute Resolved in Time for Christmas

Turkish Airlines Reinstates 305 Workers and Signs Collective Agreement
Shipping News Feature

TURKEY – Just in time for the holiday season, the International Transport Workers Federation (ITF) announced that an accord had been reached between Turkish Airlines (THY) and the ITF-affiliated Turkish civil aviation union Hava-Is to reinstate 305 sacked workers, ending a 20 month dispute at the airline. A collective agreement covering 2013, 2014 and 2015 was also reached. Last time we wrote about this situation, things had begun to look worse as Hava-Is and the ITF presented further evidence to the International Labour Organization (ILO) alleging unlawful behaviour by both THY and the Turkish government.

The 305 workers in question were laid off after taking action in May 2012 to protest against legislation banning strikes in the aviation industry. Despite court rulings in favour of more than 170 of the dismissed members of Hava-Is, the airline repeatedly refused to reinstate any of the workers. A significant ITF campaign was launched to support the union, ‘Reinstate the 305’. In March 2013 the ITF, together with Hava-Is, lodged a complaint against the Turkish government at the ILO.

Commenting on the agreement, the union’s newly-elected President, Ali Kemal Tatlibal said that all 305 workers will be reinstated and that THY managers had also agreed not to hire part-time cabin crew and to shift existing part-time cabin crew contracts to full time jobs. ITF Civil Aviation Section Secretary Gabriel Mocho added:

“We are delighted to see that a deal has been finally reached through proper negotiation between THY and our affiliate Hava-Is showing that determination pays off. It’s a fantastic outcome that we hope will help the Turkish government to repair its tarnished reputation.”

Photo: Solidarity was the key to the unions'  success with regular meetings and protests internationally.