In the shadow of misery… Long live May Day – Actuel

Nothing has changed in the worker’s condition on May 1 either. Wages, already low, have eroded in the face of inflation. The minimum wage remained below the poverty line. Unsecured employment is very common. About 13.1 million workers are not unionized.


The main agenda of the rallies, which DİSK, KESK, TMMOB and TTB have convened, is the current economic crisis and rising prices. In particular, it is pointed out that the minimum wage remains below the rate of inflation and that workers receive low wages, therefore additional wage increases should be made.

In DİSK’s statement, it was stated that the 2022 minimum wage remained below the inflation rate in the third year of the year, and it was pointed out that Turkey ranks second in minimum wages the lowest among European countries. However, there is no legal impediment to determining the minimum wage more than once a year.

The general situation for workers on May 1 is as follows:

The worker is not unionized: According to the latest data from the Ministry of Labor and Social Security, the total number of workers in Turkey is 15.2 million. The total number of unionized workers is 2.1 million. The unionization rate is 14.32%. 13.1 million workers in Turkey are not unionized. The situation is slightly better with the officers. The total number of civil servants is 2.6 million, the total number of unionized civil servants is 1.7 million. The unionization rate is 64.66%. Almost a million civil servants are not unionized.

Hunger Fee: According to Türk-İş research, the hunger limit is 5,000,323 TL. The minimum wage below the hunger limit is 4 thousand 253 lire. There is a difference of 1070 lire between the minimum wage and the hunger limit. It is impossible to compare the poverty line of 17,000,340 lire with the minimum wage. The minimum expenditure that a single employee must make per month for living is 6,000,965 lire. There is a difference of 2,000,712 lire between the minimum wage and the minimum wage that should be. Despite the big tumble in wages, the government closed the door to raising the minimum wage in the second half of the year.

Broken promise: While the government recruited contract workers into the public sector, it excluded about 80,000 workers from various institutions, especially SEEs. These workers were also promised staff. However, despite the passing of 4 years, they were not included in the squad.

Dual Standard: Thousands of contract workers in municipalities were taken to municipal enterprises instead of staff. These workers cannot benefit from the rights of personnel workers and they cannot receive additional remuneration, ie bonuses.

Temporary stays: Thousands of temporary workers employed in logging companies, sugar factories, railways and tea companies have not received staff for years despite promises.

Occupational disease: Although the Covid-19 epidemic affected thousands of workers and killed them, it was not considered an occupational disease for workers.

On paper: Despite legal regulations on occupational health and safety, no progress has been made in practice. More recently, 3 people lost their lives in the sealed and illegal factory in Tuzla and 9 people were injured.

Operation not recorded: The employment of uninsured workers is very common. The undeclared employment rate is close to 30%. Informal employment of foreigners is particularly common.

Unemployment is high: According to TUIK data, the unemployment rate is 10.7%. According to official data, about 3.5 million people are unemployed. The broad unemployment rate is 21.8%, according to TUIK. The youth unemployment rate is 20.7%. The unemployment rate is 9.3% for men and 13.4% for women. According to DİSK research, the number of unemployed is around 8 million. The broad definition of female unemployment is 28.8%.

Entrepreneurs and 3600 additional indicators: Thousands of contract employees in the public sector have been waiting for a job for years. The appearance of 3600 additional indicators is another regulation that is the subject of expectations. The government is constantly doling out hope by saying “it will come out” on these two issues.


According to the latest published data, Turkey is the second most worked country among 38 member countries of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), with an average of 45.6 hours. The minimum wage, which is the wage earned by most workers who work so hard, is 4,253 TL, which is about 20% less than the hunger limit of 5,323 TL announced by Türk-İş. In Colombia, the hardest-working country in the OECD, the average working week is 47.6 hours. The third country after Turkey is Mexico with an average of 44.7 hours of work per week.


According to the latest OECD calculations, an average of 37 hours is worked per week. In other words, in Turkey, the country where the most unhappy people in the entire region live, workers work 8.6 hours longer than an OECD average worker, or almost a day. So which are the least studied countries? The Netherlands, which is the country whose citizens say “I am happy” the most according to the latest research, stands out as the least worked country with an average of 29.5 hours of work per week. It is followed by Denmark with 32.5 hours of work per week and Norway with 33.6 hours. People in the UK work an average of 36.3 hours a week and 38.7 hours in the US.

Turkey has the lowest employment rate among OECD countries. According to data from the last quarter of 2021, Turkey is at the bottom with an employment rate of 51.8%. This rate indicates deep unemployment. Costa Rica overtakes Turkey with 58.7% and Greece with 59.2%. The highest employment rate is found in Iceland with 81.8% and in the “happy” Netherlands with 80.8%.


May Day, the International Day of Working Class Unity, Struggle and Solidarity, will be celebrated in many cities across Turkey. The meeting places and times in the three major cities are as follows:

Istanbul: 1:00 p.m. – Maltepe Rally Area

Ankara: 2:00 p.m. – Tandogan Square

Izmir: 1:00 p.m. – Gundogdu Square

This year’s May Day slogan was determined as “This order won’t go like this, we will change it together”.


Hundreds of workers from Istanbul will go to Maltepe in the morning. Journalist Özlem Gürses and actress Bülent Emrah Parlak will be the presenters of the rally. After the speeches, Kardeş Türgülü, Bandista, Ruhi Su Dostlar Chorus will give a concert.

The Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality (IMM) has announced that public transport will provide free service throughout the holidays, including the May Day celebration in Istanbul. In addition, additional flights will be set up for May 1, and passenger density will be attempted to be reduced.

An exhibition of DISK’s May Day posters was also inaugurated in Taksim Metro with the support of İBB.

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