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17 April 2014, Thursday
 
 
Today's Zaman
 
 
 
 

Turkish Airlines fires 150 personnel over slowdown strike

A FLIGHT CANCELLATION SEEN AT A BOARD IN İSTANBUL'S ATATÜRK AIRPORT. (PHOTO: AA)
29 May 2012, Tuesday /TODAY’S ZAMAN WITH WIRES
Turkish Airlines (THY) has fired 150 of its personnel over a partial slowdown that forced the national flag carrier to cancel at least 128 domestic and international flights as of Tuesday 6 p.m., sending shock waves through the thousands of stranded passengers, particularly at İstanbul Atatürk Airport.

The strike began as early as 3 a.m. following a call from the Turkish Civil Aviation (Hava-İş) union. The union said it asked its members to protest a legislative attempt to remove aviation workers' rights to strike by slowing down the operations at their workplace. Not all of the THY ground workers participated in the strike, and those who did also protested the others who did not heed Hava-İş's call.

A parliamentary commission recently voted in favor of a draft law to cancel aviation workers' right to strike with the government's support despite opposition from other parties represented in Parliament.

Hava-İş labeled it a move “against universal, constitutional, and the most fundamental, workers’ right.” The draft is set to be voted on soon in Parliament’s General Assembly. Besides the cancelations, THY, the largest airline in Turkey, also experienced delays on many of its other flights, with some passengers waiting up to almost half a day to get on their planes. “The Hava-İş union called for an illegal strike and some of [our] workers heeded this call. Because of this, we are experiencing some troubles with our flight operations but we are resorting to cancelations in a way that affects our passengers the least,” THY said in a statement. Passengers whose flights had been canceled were put up in a nearby hotel by THY.

Speaking at an İstanbul conference on Tuesday, Economy Minister Zafer Çağlayan said the slowdown was not in line with the law. “Your democratic rights can only go as far as the border of others’ democratic rights,” he said. Also commenting on the strike was Transportation, Maritime Affairs and Communication Minister Binali Yıldırım in Ankara. “Striking is a way for workers to seek their rights but it must be the last resort [in all such disputes],” he said, adding that “if this drags on and discomforts people too much, we will not hesitate to take certain necessary steps.” He did not say what steps the government would take if the situation escalates.

Turkey’s Sky Airlines said in a statement on Tuesday that it rented three of its airplanes with their cabin crew to the THY to partially address the problem the national airlines faces.

 
 
COMMENTS
THY cabin crew are some of the nicest around. They deserve to be treated well. The question really is, why at this time is the government proposing a law to eliminate strikes by aviation workers? Do they expect problems ahead? It was reported THY will add 36 new airplanes this year. They had a 4...
Franklin
My first visit to turkey - I understand strike and support labor protests however the customer service by turkish airways was deplorable. I was given racial slurs and when I asked by turkish airlines staff would not make eye contact with me, they just laughed and continued to ignore me. The people o...
Hateturkishairways
I think everybody has the right to demand, but demanding something good for your self and harming many by your act of negligence is not the civilized way of asking your rights. Keep the demand between you and the employers is the best way and lets not harm others will be the right way to protest.
Asghar Baig
No airline like Turkeys SKY AIRLINES should take up flights during a conflict defending labour rights ! Disgusting.
Rights
Turkish workers have the labor rights of beasts of burden, nothing more. Appalling.
Yaacov
Yes that's correct to treat THY Management like this. Otherwise they will never learn that they have the obligation to take care about their employees. E.g., they did not pay my salary correctly, even after months and hundreds of mails they did not comply with the rules. So the THY workers have my f...
thycaptain
I support the people on strike the law is undemocratic and with alternatives to THY this is not lifethreatening to anybody . Also remember the inflation ia above 10% and salaries should increase accordingly. Thy can prevent this strike by maning an agreement with the workers
Kasper
A good and responsible management with a proper government's oversight is the alternate to this draconian law. Let us see in the western countries the presence of these laws did not help the industry at all instead it created an environment of hostility between the labor and the management.
A. Khan
If successful, this amendment aiming to introduce a full-fledged ban on the right to strike in the aviation industry would be a serious blow to the right to strike in Turkey. This is totally unacceptable!
Kemal
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