13 December 2012 -Dismissed aviation workers in Turkey are marking 200 days of picket line protest this Friday as their resolute campaign to win their jobs back continues. The 305 workers, who were employed by Turkish Airlines, are continuing their battle to be reinstated almost seven months after they were sacked for taking a stand in defence of their right to strike.
The workers claim they have done nothing wrong and say they should not be “made to feel like criminals” just for standing up for their rights. The ITF-affiliated union Hava-Is, which represents the workers, has a long tradition of picketing. The union’s president Atilay Ayçin commented: “Our fight is about everybody’s rights, and every worker’s ability to take strike action and to have a union. That’s why people should get behind us – domestically and internationally.
“A victory for us would dent the confidence of all of anti-union employers and raise the spirits of every worker. Every trade unionist must do all they can to back our struggle.” Over the past two months, Hava-Is activists have been supporting members by joining them on the picket line and organising protests across Istanbul. ITF-affiliated unions around the world have been sending protest letters to the Turkish government and messages of solidarity to the workers. There have also been delegation visits to the picket line in Turkey.
On 11 December, a court in Istanbul ordered that one of the dismissed employees be reinstated. Hava-Is expects Turkish Airlines to appeal against the ruling as it did more than a month ago, when another labour court took a similar decision in favour of another of the sacked workers. To find out about the campaign and how to support the union, visit: http://www.reinstate305.org
(source: ITF site)