Turkey: PSI General Secretary meets dismissed health care workers, denounces attack on labour rights

January 13, 2015
In December 2014, the hospital of Maltepe University in Istanbul dismissed nearly 100 workers for being members of the Progressive Union of Health Workers. PSI/EPSU ask all affiliates to join the LabourStart campaign calling for the reinstatement of these workers.

Latest update 25 February: Police brutally attacked a group of dismissed health workers at the Maltepe university hospital in Istanbul, Turkey, on Tuesday 25 February after they tried to enter the hospital's offices. Read the full story

The workers joined the union to seek to improve their working conditions in the hospital. They demanded higher wages, promised for several years, and shorter working hours. Several of the sacked workers were working in the hospital for more than 10 years and received several awards. There are disabled workers as well as couples among them, leaving families without income.

The workers are members of Dev-Saglik-Is, an affiliate of the Turkish confederation DISK, the union is also a member of PSI/EPSU.

On 16 January in Istanbul, PSI General Secretary Rosa Pavanelli joined the health workers' protest in front of Maltepe University Hospital in solidarity with the workers.

The group of dismissed workers has erected a tent in the hospital’s garden and has the support of Maltepe residents, patients and their families, as well as doctors and nurses at the hospital. After more than a month of peaceful protest, the workers are still determined. “We don’t want to work as a subcontractor or without a union," said Ahmet Kural, a cleaner who had worked 15 years at the hospital.

Pavanelli denounced the hospital management's attack on fundamental labour rights and assured the workers of PSI's support.

“This is an attack on fundamental labour rights,” she said, "Maltepe University Hospital management must reinstate the dismissed workers now and start negotiations with the trade union."

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