Turkish labor leader calls for compulsory savings payback
Turkey's largest labor organization threatened to take to the streets if the government refuses to pay back the compulsory savings of workers and civil servants. The Confederation of Turkish Labor Unions (Turk-Is) Chairman Bayram Meral said that if no timetable was established for paying the employees back, the union would organize mass protests, the Anatolia news agency reported.
Turk-Is' Board of Directors met in Ankara on Monday, September 25, to discuss the repayment, among other issues. Meral said the cost of the economic stabilization program imposed upon Turkey by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) was being thoroughly shouldered by wage earners, pensioners and other people with small earnings.
Meral said the Turkish government - which cannot collect taxes from a large bulk of the population or stop corruption and unfair income generation— mistakenly thinks that it will solve the economy's problems with IMF policies. Those who have been benefiting from this country's blessings should be prepared to make sacrifices; wage earners shouldn't be expected to shoulder the burden," Meral said.
He said he has been unable to get a positive response to workers' demands from any member of the governing coalition and that, despite the unions' numerous timetable suggestions, the government has made no move to repay compulsory savings.
He noted that the government had somehow found $8.3 billion for eight insolvent banks yet claimed to be unable to pay back compulsory savings which amount to less than that figure. The labor leader also criticized the Cabinet's actions in delaying strikes in municipalities. He said that the government was using the Sept. 12 coup's anti-democratic legislation instead of solving problems fairly.
He added that those who delay strikes shouldn't speak of democracy at mass party meetings. Meral said that the bill concerning the restructuring of the Social Security Authority (SSK) wouldn't solve the problems of that institution. On the contrary, he said, it would increase political intervention. He added that the Turk-Is Board of Directors would request that the government withdraw the bill.— (Albawaba-MEBG)
© 2000 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)