ISTANBUL: The first ever female chair of the Confederation of the Progressive Trade Unions of Turkey (DİSK), Arzu Çerkezoğlu, has said she will help strengthen the fight of women workers in unionizing and increasing their representation in the union.“The fight for unionization in Turkey is difficult, and being a woman makes this struggle harder,” Çerkezoğlu told daily Hürriyet at the leftist union’s Istanbul headquarters. “I have been in this movement since 1992. We have struggled for unionization everywhere. There were a lot of difficulties. We were fired from our jobs, we were oppressed. But we won every struggle we fought for. And in this struggle, to see women change and flourish made me happy. Women in Turkey may seem secluded and always at home, but they are always at the forefront of the unionization fight,” she said. Çerkezoğlu replaced Kani Beko after he quit the post to run as MP for the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) in the June 24 snap elections.
DİSK, one of Turkey’s biggest labor unions, announced the election of Çerkezoğlu on May 29. Çerkezoğlu was elected by the chairs of 22 member unions of DİSK, including two women and 20 men. She will serve as DİSK chair until Feb. 13, 2020. Çerkezoğlu was born in 1969 in the eastern Black Sea province of Artvin and studied at Istanbul University’s Medical School before starting to work as a physician in 1994. Çerkezoğlu previously served as the first woman secretary-general of DİSK, which was established in 1967.
“I have a daughter in university. The struggle is at the center of my life, but of course I have a normal life too, a job, and a family life,” Çerkezoğlu said.Turkey, DİSK, labor union, Çekezoğlu
BAHAWALNAGAR, May 31: Score of lady health workers (LHWs) besieged deputy commissioner’s (DC’s) office on May 30 in protest at the registration of a case against 800 health workers and suspension of 14 of them, including seven health supervisors.
Lady health workers from across Punjab arrived in Bahawalnagar to participate in the protest on the call of Health Workers Union (LWU) Punjab president Rukhsana Anwar. They set up camps outside the DC office
On the occasion, LWU district president Afia Jabeen alleged that no work could be done at the deputy commissioner’s office without giving bribe to his staff to complete the release of their pending salaries.
She urged the administration to pay their pending salaries, cancel the FIR against health workers and restore the suspended ones.
JHANG, May 31: A grade-IV employee of the Punjab Building Department, who retired from government service in May 2017, is running from pillar to post for his monthly pension and other post retirement benefits.
M Saeed, resident of Mohallah Jalalabad Jhang Sadr, served the department as a plumber (BS-01) since his appointment as work charge servant in 2004. As per policy of the government, his services were regularised as per the Labour and high courts’ verdicts since 2016. He said after attaining the age of superannuation, he had to be retired from service on July 2017 but the department took no heed in issuing a retirement notification required for releasing pension. After waiting for one year, he appeared and submitted an application before Chief Justice Saqib Nisar in Supreme Court Lahore Registry for justice.
The Supreme Court’s Human Resource Cell directed the C&W Department to immediately expedite the pension matter.
GUJRAT,>: Scores of sanitary workers who had served in villages under Punjab chief minister’s rural sanitation services (RSS) programme, have staged a protest demonstration in front of the deputy commissioner office against non-payment of their salaries for the last two months.
The protesters were demanding payment of their salaries ahead of Eid for which they have been approaching the respective authorities for the last two weeks.
The Punjab government had hired various private janitorial companies for cleaning of villages across the province and one of such companies had been given assignment for Gujrat district.
The RSS programme had been launched for eight months from March to December 2018 at the cost of Rs8 billion across the province after the two consecutive months of rural sanitation programme at the cost of Rs150,000 in each rural union council in 2017.
These companies also hired local workers for rural sanitation with Rs15,000 per month salary of each.
One of the protesters who was a foreman told Dawn that at least 150 workers were yet to be paid their two-month salaries and they were unable to run their family kitchen due to non-payment.
That is why, he said, the workers have decided to lodge a protest drive for the issuance of their salaries.
On the other hand, the elected representatives of local body institutions had already expressed their resentment over launching the RSS programme and most of them termed it a waste of financial resources.
They were of the view that instead of spending money on private janitorial companies, the government should allow the recruitment of sanitary workers on a regular basis for rural areas.
As far as the government cost on the project is concerned, each sanitary worker costs a sum of Rs25,000 per month but the workers were hired on the basis of Rs15,000 per month by the private janitorial companies.