All Acts of Protest Prohibited at Atatürk Airport
The Atatürk Airport Security Commission decided to ban all demonstrations and acts of protest inside airport grounds. The move comes in wake of a decision by the Turkish Airlines (THY) to lay off 305 employees who had gone on a strike, while the head of the Turkish Civil Aviation Union (Hava-İş) also warned of safety hazards caused by a shortage of employees.
İstanbul - BIA News Center
13 June 2012, Wednesday
The Atatürk Airport Security Commission decided to ban all forms of demonstrations and acts of protests inside the airport area during a meeting presided over by Istanbul Deputy Governor and Administrative Chief Ahmet Aydın.
Reports indicate that authorities will also enforce the ban on any acts undertaken by Hava-İş in support of the 305 employees who were fired after going on a strike.
The decision has not yet been relayed to Hava-İş, and the exact scope of the ban remains unknown as of yet.
"They have bereft us of our right to strike. They can only eliminate the legitimate struggle [we have waged] against this through a ban," said Atilay Ayçin, the head of Hava-İş, adding they had stayed on watch at the airport for 16 days for the fired workers.
"There are a plethora of unfavorable conditions that jeopardize flight safety from the entry to the airport to the planes' takeoff. The lay-offs are also one of the leading factors that put flight safety at risk. The THY is flying with insufficient personnel. [The staff is flying the planes] without taking heed of daily resting [limits.] They ought to handle this [problem] first. Then they can criticize the struggle [we have been waging] on legal grounds here," he said.
What happened at the THY?
The THY laid off some 305 employees on the grounds they had gone on an "unlawful" strike to oppose the enactment of a law that bans strikes and lock-outs in the aviation sector.
Some 14,000 personnel are employed at the THY. Collective bargaining between the union and the company failed to produce any agreements. Bargaining talks have also featured a retreat on existing social rights and wages.
The bargaining process has now been referred to a High Board of Arbitration, while employees cannot voice their opposition either due to the ban on strikes in the civil aviation sector.
The fired workers have been staying on watch at the International Terminal for 16 days. You can call the THY's customer line at 444 0 849 to show your solidarity with the workers and express your refusal to purchase tickets from the company.
You can also send letters of protest to the prime minister, the minister of labor, the minister of transportation and the THY's administrative board through the website LabourStart. (NV)