TODAY’S – Court overturns law depriving union workers of severance pay

Court overturns law depriving union workers of severance payTurkeyand#39s Constitutional Court last week issued a verdict returning the right of more than 65 million workers to secure severance payments in case they are laid off for registering with a labor union.A 2012 law passed in Parliament had deprived workers at small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) of the right to receive severance pay if they became a member of a labor union and were fired by their employers for this reason.

The law had received much criticism from opposition parties, NGOs and labor unions however, the government declined to backpedal on the decision. Calls on then-President Abdullah Gul not to approve the law had fallen on deaf ears.

The main opposition Republican Peopleand#39s Party (CHP) later appealed to the Constitutional Court demanding that the court overturn the decision enabling employers to evade handing out severance pay. The Constitutional Court, which has been evaluating the CHP appeal, ruled that an employee cannot be deprived of severance pay in case she is fired for registering with a labor union.

The court rule says a worker who is fired for becoming a labor union member can receive severance pay that equals no less than the amount of hisher gross annual salary. This means more than TL 12,000 for a worker who works for minimum wage at any SMEThe same court ruling also annulled an earlier decision to ban bank employees from staging a strike at the workplace.

The decision will enable as many as 200,000 Turkish finance sector workers to go on a strike.

SOURCE: Today’s Zaman

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