DİSK Basın İş has been organized in companies that produce content for the Artı TV and Artı Gerçek for about a year. As a Germany-Netherlands-based foundation, the management of Artı TV and Artı Gerçek has been purchasing services from two companies with 55 employees. These two companies provide services solely for Artı TV and Artı Gerçek.
In December 2020, based on ILO norms and international law, we called the company management to sign a protocol on working conditions. We wanted to sign a contract for the social and economic rights of the employees who have been working without a raise for the past four years. The management refused the raise demands on the grounds of economic conditions. While the negotiations continued on this issue, the pressure on the employees increased. One of our members was forced to resign after she refused to do anything out of work description. When she didn’t, she was sent to leave. Following this incident, the workers made a warning protest at the tv channel for eight hours. They demanded to end the pressure on employees and start the negotiations with the union.
After the protest, the management contacted us. After one-month negotiations, we signed the contract on March 4. Following the contract, seven employees were forced to resign or, in other words, fired. Due to the pandemic, Turkey banned unemployment; therefore, our members were forced to go on an “unpaid leave.”
One of the people who got fired is our work representative, Cenk Koçak. In the protocol, the work representative is defined as the authorized person to solve the work-place problems. In addition to that, Turkish law restricts the disemployment of the work representative of the union. However, our representative got fired. Notwithstanding, the representative laid off on March 19.
Following these developments, our union made a meeting on March 22 and stated that we’d fight against mobbing and unemployment. On the same evening, the Editor-in-Chief of the Artı TV informed the president of DİSK Basın İş that the Artı TV and Artı Gerçek terminated their contract with the company which the union signed the contract.
The termination of the contract with the company’s result will be the unemployment of 55 workers. With the decision of Artı TV and Artı Gerçek, the authorization of the union was also removed.
Today, the DİSK Basın İş made a statement and called the Artı management to abandon this decision will leave workless unemployed. The employees are not informed in official channels yet. If the call will be authorized and the workers will be notified, the union will launch a series of actions.
We expect you to call the Artı Editorial Board based in Cologne, and the Artı Foundation, which Artı TV and Artı Gerçek are affiliated with by letters and phone calls and demand the withdrawal of the decision. We call for your solidarity messages for the Artı workers.
Contact: +90 542 486 9213 – Özge Yurttaş General Secretary of DİSK Basın İş