Around 700 workers working at the ruling AKP government's İstanbul metropolitan municipality's subway construction site have been dismissed without any specific dismissal notice. The subcontractor Bayburt Group announced that the labour contracts of the workers were cancelled on August 9, and the workers have not been given any payment since then.
'WE ARE NOT THE ONES THAT RUINED TURKEY'S ECONOMY'
Emrah Özdemir, one of the workers interviewed by a local media noted that he was dismissed after 25 days work and that they were forced to sign a contract that prevents the workers from seeking legal procedures. Özdemir said that they refused to sign that contract and have been waiting at the construction site for 5 days. "Turkey gets into economic crisis and we pay its price. We are not the one that ruined Turkey's economy. We won't go anywhere until we get our payment. We will keep resisting", he added.
Bilal Kaymak, another worker dismissed, also noted that the contract their employers forced them to sign had an article saying "I got all my rights and will not file a claim for compensation."
CONSTRUCTION WORKERS ARE THE FIRST TO GET THE BURDEN OF CRISIS
Ali Öztutan, the chairman of the Union of Construction Workers (İYİ-SEN) noted that the union is with the workers from the very first day they were dismissed. Noting that the contract the employers forced workers to sign is unlawful and the union warned the workers about that, Öztutan added "Workers who have not completed two months of working period are dismissed. The employers do this to hinder the workers to demand notice pay." Saying that such cases increased recently in several construction sites, Öztutan noted "Although the real reason is not stated clearly here, it is definitely the economic crisis of Turkey. The burden of the crisis is laid on the shoulders of the workers. The capitalist class have made great profits from the construction sector."
HOSPITAL CONSTRUCTION WORKERS ON STRIKE
Similarly, 50 workers at a hospital construction site in Gebze district of Kocaeli province are not being paid their wages for about 6 months. The workers are employed by subcontractor construction firms TOKİ, METAG and ZEKSAN, and they have recently gone on a strike action to claim their rights.
Talking to soL news, the workers noted that they are being called 'terrorists' by some, but that they are on a strike for demanding their rights.