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Amnesty Int’l Turkey fires 8 employees after withdrawing from collective bargaining talks

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The Turkey branch of the London-based Amnesty International has fired eight of its 24 employees after the failure of collective bargaining talks with a labor union representing the employees, the Gazete Duvar news website reported.

Executives from Amnesty’s Turkey office left the table on June 7 during talks with Sosyal-İş, part of the Confederation of Revolutionary Workers’ Unions (DİSK).

Amnesty fired eight of its employees two months after the failure of the talks, citing a “lack of budget.”

According to Gazete Duvar, Amnesty increased the monthly salaries of its employees following the failure of the talks with Sosyal-İş; yet its refusal to sign an agreement with the union has deprived its employees of the rights of labor union membership.

Some of the employees learned about their dismissal while on vacation.

Sosyal-İş Chairman Celal Uyar said Amnesty executives’ refusal to proceed with the collective bargaining talks in June shows that they were getting ready to fire their employees. Uyar said the union will talk about the situation of the fired employees with its members and take the necessary steps.

According to Turkish law, employees are free to join a labor union, and union membership and related union activities can not be grounds for termination of a work contract.

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