Amnesty launches international campaign for workers' rights in Turkey

The Turkish government is failing to protect the rights of working people, Amnesty International said today ahead of May Day as it launched a global campaign for workers’ rights in Turkey.

Amnesty International - the largest human rights organisation in the world with three million supporters - has received reports of sackings, detention of union leaders and violence against workers and unionists engaged in peaceful protest, with a big impact on families and communities. In response, the organisation is joining forces with trade unionists in Turkey in support of workers rights.   Tens of thousands of protest postcards are being distributed globally. Human rights activists from all over the world will be taking part, from the United Kingdom, Switzerland, Austria, Germany, Belgium, France and USA. The signed postcards will be presented to Turkey’s new Minister of Labour in the autumn after the elections.   Unions and federations in Turkey are supporting this effort, with 100,000 of these cards distributed through trade unions in Turkey. Amnesty International Turkey Director Murat Çekiç said:   “Amnesty International is deeply concerned about the deteriorating situation for workers’ rights in Turkey.   “Despite constitutional amendments in 2010, Amnesty International remains deeply concerned about the longstanding failure of the Turkish authorities to ensure that labour laws – some of which date from the period of military rule in Turkey –.guarantee the fundamental rights of working people.   “The right to form and join trade unions, to collectively bargain, to strike - these are universal human rights for workers in all countries, including both public and private sector workers in Turkey.”   Amnesty International’s Global Trade Union Advisor Shane Enright said:   “Amnesty is proud to be standing alongside workers in Turkey to demand their basic rights. Hard-working people in Turkey should be afforded the same rights and protections as anyone else.   “Activists around the world will be taking action in support of workers in Turkey, and we will be watching the government’s response very closely.”

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