Union leaders have angrily voiced their disapproval of the latest economic protocol signed between the TRNC and Turkey. It was signed without consultation, undermines workers’ rights and the secular nature of Turkish Cypriot society and heralds privatisation of publicly-owned utilities, they argued.
Dev-İş argued that “rather than aiming for the development and sustainability of the economy, the protocol envisages [the end of unions], collective bargaining, destroying the rights of workers, the privatisation of public-ownership, the destruction of cooperatives and the closure of municipalities”.
Union President Hasan Felek, in a written statement, suggested that the governent had signed the protocol behind closed doors and without any consultation.
He said that:
“As soon as this package is put into practice, the Turkish Cypriot people will be destroyed. By eliminating even the right of labourers to live, the labourers will become increasingly impoverished. The rights acquired through collective bargaining agreements will be submitted for the approval of the Ministry of Finance.
“Expired collective bargaining agreements will have to start from scratch. The rights of employees employed under the Migration Law arising from the Collective Bargaining Agreement will be abolished. In short, the unions will be left dysfunctional and the collective bargaining arrangement will be eliminated.
“ All these practices are contrary to our Constitution and International Labour Organisation Conventions approved by the TRNC Parliament, Labour Law, Strike Referendum and the Collective Bargaining Act.
DEV-İŞ will continue its principal and class-based struggle against the pruning of the rights of the working people and all the working strata. We urge all our people to support this honourable struggle to assimilate and integrate policies so that the Turkish Cypriot community can live a humane life, stand on its own feet, self-govern and take its honourable place in the Federal United Cyprus.”
Meanwhile EL-SEN President Kubilay Özkıraç criticized the TRNC Economic and Financial Cooperation Agreement and said, “This package is officially a project of transforming Turkish Cypriots. We’ll never let that happen. We will not surrender any of our assets and rights.”
Özkıraç made a written statement, claiming that “the so-called economic protocol, which was prepared to give up all the assets of the Turkish Cypriots, is also a step towards enslaving the working class in order to make the capitalists even richer”.
Adding his voice to the dissent, Mustafa Yalınkaya, President of Municipal Labourers’ Union (BES), claimed that the Economic Protocol signed between the TRNC and the Republic of Turkey contains many attacks against the working class and measure to disrupt the secular structure of the Turkish Cypriot community. “The Protocol makes no provision for us”, he said.
Kibris News Agency