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  • Ayse Akgul, Journal of Turkish Weekly

Klute: The Situation of Tekel Workers Does Not Fit With the EU Conditions

 It has been the 54th day since the Turkish State Liquor and Tobacco Monopoly (Tekel) workers got in action to use their personal rights switching to another public sector.

A support came from Jürgen Klute, a German member of the Group of the United Left (GUE/NGL) in the European Parliament who made a visit to Turkey. Klute said that Turkish government’s attitudes towards Tekel workers do not comply with democratic requirements of Turkey’s EU membership. 

Klute argued that through this attitude, the government can not show a mediatory role in domestic disputes arising from different perspectives. He also reminded that unions should be regarded as both defenders of the social rights and compulsory components of Turkish membership process to fulfill the European Commission’s guidelines for democracy. 

Klute gave his support by saying that he was influenced by decisive and brave actions of workers. He stated that it is not just an action to demonstrate the desperate situation of Tekel workers, but also it is Turkish public’s voice that is eager a deep modernization in acquisition of social rights.’

In a declaration made by him and his party, Klute said ‘in our point of view, it is not acceptable that Turkish government has, until now, refused to enter into negotiations with the workers' trade union Tek Gıda. In accordance with Turkish law, Tekel workers ought to be transferred to other public enterprises with full employee benefits.’

Meanwhile, the Confederation of Turkish Labor Unions (Türk-İş) has accelerated efforts to reach a solution in a dispute in which the workers dismissed from Tekel and 170 workers continue an indefinite hunger strike which began yesterday. 

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