Hundreds of workers who are affiliated with the Türk-İş Labor Union in İzmir province have protested the dismissal of 17 subcontracted workers by the Bayraklı District Municipality, administered by the Republican People's Party (CHP) for joining a different labor union rather than DİSK, the one preferred by the mayor.
The protests came amidst pledges by the CHP to abolish the system of using subcontractor workers, which they claim will prevent the exploitation of workers by employers.
"You claim to end the subcontractor system, but how about you address our problems first?" said a worker, addressing CHP chairman Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu.
The workers who have been dismissed by the Bayraklı Municipality for "lack of productivity" stated that the actual reason behind their dismissal was the fact that they joined Belediye-İş, a different labor union than the one preferred by Hasan Karabağ, the mayor of Bayraklı.
It was reported that 200 out of 255 subcontracted workers applied on February 4 to become a member of the Belediye-İş Union when the government passed legislation allowing unionization for subcontracted workers.
Erdal Ballıkaya, Abdullah Kahraman and Ersan Deniz, who were some of the cleaning personnel who led unionization efforts were dismissed for lack of productivity, followed by 14 others.
Kahraman has noted that the mayor had previously told the workers to pressure deputies to pass the legislation pertaining to unionization of subcontracted workers, but signed a deal with DİSK union even though the personnel did not want to join it.
"We want our jobs back" Kahraman said, adding that all of the workers who have been dismissed by the municipality are renowned for their hard work, and never received any warnings. "Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu says he will end the subcontractor system, but CHP administered Bayraklı municipality fires us" he added.
All workers have stated that they are members of the CHP and requested immediate response to their demands.
Others have stated that they are in dire need of their jobs as many of them have families, loans and debt.
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