DISK report on State of Emergency effects on workers

The Revolutionary Workers Trade Union discussed effects of State of Emergency and one-man regime.

Turkey's Revolutionary Workers Unions Confederation Research Office (DISK-AR) has published a report on the State of Emergency and the Presidential Regime.

The report was discussed at a meeting held at the headquarters of DİSK in Beşiktaş, Istanbul.

DİSK General Secretary, Arzu Çerkezoğlu, and members of DISK Board attended the meeting.

Çerkezoğlu said: "The legal limits of the State of Emergency (OHAL) implementation have been passed. Decree Laws were issued, the legislative function of the Parliament has been limited to a great extent and the OHAL period has been characterised by repression and an effective suspension of the Constitution at the hand of the regime”.

Çerkezoğlu pointed out that through the abuse of the Decree Law (KHK) and the government-appointed administrators 135 thousand public officials have been dismissed from their job as well as 1,959 DİSK Genel-Iş members.

“Throughout the OHAL period, 7 strikes were effectively banned although officially they have been said to be “postponed” and 150 thousand workers were left at the mercy of employers”, added Çerkezoğlu, who reiterated that “many trade unions’ and workers' activities have been banned or hindered because of OHAL”.

Çerkezoğlu argued that the amendments to the law are indeed aimed at ensuring the permanence of the OHAL. Likewise, after the 14 June elections the "Presidency Regime" has been implemented without any concern for the continued law and democracy violations.

"Ministers cabinet and the Prime Ministry have been abolished and the President has become the only executive authority”, added the union general secretary.

Among the effects of the new regime, Çerkezoğlu underlined the following:

In the new regime the president can make many adjustments on his own, including Presidential Decree (CBK), Presidency Regulation and Presidential Decree on many issues including working life.

The President, who will be able to use some of the powers of the Grand National Assembly with the CBK, will be able to make and take decisions on issues related to labour. The President has broad authority over a wide range of issues other than fundamental rights and freedoms, personal and political rights. It will also be able to declare the OHAL.

The President may change the structure of the minimum wage determination commission as he / she desires.

Unemployment insurance will be affected as the President has authority over the use of resources.

The President will have the power to forbid or postpone strikes.

An arrangement was made aimed at removing the Social Security Institution.

Ending her remarks, Çerkezoğlu underlined that “under a similar regime, clearly the struggle of right defenders as well as workers will be harder than ever. DISK regards it as a historical duty to organize such a struggle with unity, struggle and solidarity. DİSK, which has adopted the principle of defending the rights of the workers independently from the state, capital and political parties, will never stop from the struggle of labor and democracy”.