Industrial Relations in Turkey

Social Dialogue matters

Law 2822 – Collective Labour Agreement, Strike and Lock-Out Act

WARNING: The Turkish Strike & Lock-out law has recently been changed. The information here is about the old trade union law. For more information read this and the page on law no 6356.

The law regulating the right to strike, lock-out and the formation of collective labour agreements in Turkey was enacted in the 1983, in the aftermath of the 1980 military intervention. This act puts the right to strike under some serious limitations and even prohibits strikes in certain industries.

Crucial articles are:

Part 1: Collective Agreements

  • Article 9 stating that collective agreements are only applicable for trade union members, or to workers which pay a ‘solidarity contribution’ of two thirds of the membership fee.
  • Article 12 which limits the competence to form collective agreements to unions which represent at least 50% of the workers in an establishment and 10% of the total workers in the sector. More information on this rule can be found here.

Part 2: Strike & Lock-out

  • Article 25 stipulating the difference between lawful and unlawful strikes. Political, general, solidarity, slowdown and other types of strikes are considered as unlawful. Strikes that put into question the territorial integrity of the Turkish republic are also considered as unlawful.
  • Article 26 treating the difference between lawful and unlawful lock-outs.
  • Article 27 treating the need for notification before a lawful strike can be called for.
  • Article 29 prohibiting the right to strike in certain industries:
  1. Life or property saving;
  2. Funeral and mortuary;
  3. Production of coal for water, electricity, gas and coal power plants; exploration, production, refining and
  4. distribution of natural gas and petroleum; petrochemical works, production of which start6s from naphtha or natural gas;
  5. Banking and public notaries;
  6. Firefighting, land, sea, railway urban public transportation and other public transportation on rail.
Note: This article was recently changed and now includes the ‘aviation sector’. This amendment sparked a slowdown strike of Hava-Is in may 2012. More information here.
  • Article 33 stipulating that strikes can be postponed for 60 days if they might affect public health or national security.
  • Article 38 stating that all workers participating in the strike must leave the establishment immediately. Further, the right to work of non-participating workers cannot be restricted in any way.
  • Article 41 declaring any clause that limits the right to strike in a employment contract null and void.
  • Article 43 declaring it illegal for the employer to employ temporary or permanent staff during a strike.
  • Article 45 stipulating that in the case of a ‘unlawful strike’ the employer can terminate freely the employment contracts of the participating employees.
  • Article 48 regulating the use of strike pickets: they can be installed, yet cannot include more than 4 striking employees and non-participating employees should be guaranteed their right to work.
  • Article 70 and further listing the penal sanctions.

Limitations of the law:

  • The right to collective bargaining is seriously limited by the ‘double threshold‘ requirement.
  • Strikes are only allowed following very time consuming formal procedures which can take over three months.
  • Rights over disputes and violations of collective agreements are forbidden;
  • The strike activities are seriously limited.
  • Participation in non-authorized strikes is very severe, including imprisonment (ITUC, 2011)

References

A English translation of the law can be found here.

ITUC (2011) Annual Survey of Violations of Trade Union Rights: Turkey. link

One comment on “Law 2822 – Collective Labour Agreement, Strike and Lock-Out Act

  1. Pingback: “Turkish minister warns workers of ‘consequences of illegal strike’” | Arjen polku

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