Workers at Reuters in Türkiye today announced that they will take strike action on 10 May unless the global news agency increases salaries to meet the spiraling cost of inflation in the country.
Despite many rounds of negotiations, the company management has refused to offer more than a 25 per cent pay rise, even though the official inflation figure for March at 50.51 per cent, and an independent research group puts inflation at 112.51 per cent.
A statement from UNI Global Union’s Turkish affiliate, TGS, which represents the Reuters workers, said:
“Today, we declare not only our decision to strike, but also our determination to strike. If our members do not receive a wage increase at the rate they deserve, and if we do not see a positive step from the Reuters employer to solve the problem, we announce publicly that we will start the strike action as of May 10…We will not give up until we get what we deserve.”
Representatives from UNI’s Media, Entertainment & Arts (UNI MEI) joined the Reuters workers in Istanbul as their union made the announcement to strike if necessary.
In a solidarity letter on behalf of UNI Global Union to TGS, Johannes Studinger, Head of UNI MEI, chastised Reuters management for failing to negotiate in good faith or come up with a proposal that responds to the reality of inflation and the urgency of the situation. He added:
“We understand that the situation has reached a point where a strike is the only option left to make your voices heard. We fully support your right to protest, strike action and demand for just wages and dignified working conditions.
“We call on Reuters to finally engage in good faith collective bargaining and come forward with a proposal that provides economic sustainability to its workforce. We urge Reuters to reassess its proposal and offer a wage increase that is both equitable and acknowledges Turkey’s economic circumstances.”
Elsewhere, TGS has announced that workers at AFP news agency in Türkiye will strike on 3 May, which is World Press Freedom Day, unless management proposes a reasonable solution that considers the economic crisis and real inflation rate.