Trade union declared strike in Akbank, government postponed immediately

Collective bargaining negotiations between Akbank and BANKSİS concluded with disagreement and the trade union declared the strike. However, the strike is postponed by the AKP government
Tuesday, 21 March 2017 06:42

Collective bargaining negotiations between Akbank, one of the largest banks in Turkey, and BANKSİS (Trade Union of Banking and Insurance Workers) concluded with disagreement and the trade union declared the strike. However, the strike is postponed by the AKP government. 

BANKSIS, trade union organised in Akbank, declared last month that the negotiations between the trade union and the management of Akbank over the collective agreement of Akbank employees did not end with an agreement. The trade union had declared that strike decision would be put in action.

On Monday, strike decision by the trade union is announced in some branches of the bank. Trade union BANKSİS also put ads in some newspapers, summarising the process behind the decision of strike.


Semih Özen, the president of the trade union, made a declaration and mentioned that thousands of employees of Akbank were exposed to wrongful dismissal, although profits of the bank were increasing rapidly. Özen also mentioned that Akbank management did not accept any social or material improvement in the working conditions of its employees during the collective bargaining. In addition, Özen underlined that more than 6000 workers were forced to resign from trade union membership since 2014.


Strike decision by BANKSİS in Akbank is postponed by the government immediately. The strike is postponed on the pretext that "the strike would destabilise economic and financial stability".

According to Turkish laws, strikes can be postponed by the government if it is deemed that "the strike is threatening national security". However, the State of Emergency, which was initiated after unsuccessful coup attempt and still in action, is used by the government to expand its own right to postpone possible strikes. With a statutory decree published after the coup attempt, strikes in local transportation companies and banking institutions were added to the types of strikes that can be postponed by the government up to 60 days, which means that the strike is practically prevented.

The strike by metal workers in January this year was also postponed by the government; on the pretext that the strike was "threatening national security".