As high inflation in Turkey has started to take its toll on people, especially those minimum wage workers who can no longer afford rents, electricity and heating, nor in many cases not even basic foods, employees in various industries have started to react in desperation by work stoppages, strikes and protest gatherings.
Hundreds of warehouse workers have been sacked by one of Turkey’s largest retail market chains after they called for an increase of 4 Turkish liras (about 30 cents) in their hourly wages, for better health and security measures at the workplace, and for an end to arbitrariness in bonus payments.
As the workers in one of the Migros warehouses in Istanbul stopped work and gathered in solidarity to voice their demands, Turkish police quickly surrounded and detained 150 on Tuesday night.
Although the detained workers were released soon afterwards it only got worse, for the employer then started informing the workers that they had been sacked.
The Warehouse, Port, Shipyard and Sea Workers Trade Union (DGD SEN) announced the number of dismissed workers as 250.
The employer had earlier responded to the workers saying that they already had a recent increase of over 40 percent, in actual fact only referring to the minimum wage set by the political administration for the new year at the end of 2021.
The increase in the minimum wage (bringing the wage to 4,250 TL or about 310 US dollars) was already offset by an increase of up to 125% in electricity prices on the first day of the new year. The price of heating by natural gas recently saw a similar hike. According to independent research group, ENAG, the annual inflation rate has risen to 115% in January.