The fast food chain Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) has decided to close all of its restaurants in Turkey’s southeast provinces hit by the 6 February earthquake, and attempted to force more than 200 employees to resign, Bianet reported on Friday.
In addition to its restaurants in quake-stricken Urfa (Riha), Gaziantep (Dîlok), Malatya (Meletî) and Diyarbakır (Amed), the fast food chain also shut down its stores in Batman (Êlih) and Bingöl (Çewlig) in east and southeast Turkey, Mezopotamya News Agency reported.
KFC tried to force its employees to resign in order to avoid paying compensations, but later cancelled their contracts over the reactions of its workers and their union.
Seyit Aslan, the head of the union, told Bianet that some of KFC’s restaurants had been severely damaged due to the earthquakes, but added that the fast food chain had decided to shut-down all its stores in the region independent of their damage status.
“The KFC informed the employees for the first time on 22 March. It demanded employees to resign without any prior warning. This meant being unemployed without receiving severance and notice pay as well as unemployment pay,” said Aslan.
“When employees protested, they told employees that they will be laid off by counting days they could not work after the earthquake as unpaid leave. Later they offered employees to be transferred to restaurants in other provinces,” Aslan said, adding that most of the employees facing unemployment said they would accept the deal if they received support for paying their rents.
According to Aslan, finding themselves unemployed means a second disaster for people trying to survive in Turkey’s quake-hit southern provinces.