Saturday, January 9, 2010

TEKEL Protests Continue

Workers of TEKEL, the former government alcohol/tobacco monopoly, have continued to organize protests in Ankara and Istanbul with the cooperation of the Turkish Worker Syndicates Confederation (Turk-Is). The workers are protesting changes to their employment status as a result of TEKEL's privitization, as well as layoffs. For an account of the labor dispute, click here. On Friday, police detained 42 TEKEL workers following protests in front of the AKP's Ankara headquarters.

UPDATE I (1/23) -- TEKEL workers are now going on hunger strike to protest their being assigned temporary worker status, effectively denying them employment rights they had held previously before the government shutdown the factories in which they previously worked with full rights before the government moved to privatize TEKEL. Bianet reports that 40 workers have joined the hunger strike, and that five of them have been hospitalized. On Thursday, Turk-Is declared it would organize a general strike if the government does not respond to TEKEL's demands by Jan. 26.

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