The Minimum Wage Determination Commission held its first meeting in the Reşat Moralı Hall of the Ministry, chaired by Vedat Bilgin, Minister of Labor and Social Security.
In his speech at the opening of the meeting, Minister Bilgin reminded that there are around 6 million employees living on minimum wage in Turkey and said, “We have repeatedly conveyed or explained that we attach importance to such an approach above all else. It is this; We will protect labor in the face of inflation or fluctuations in the economy, and we will set a minimum wage that will protect it.”
Noting that the representatives of workers and employers will work on technical issues regarding the determination of the minimum wage, Bilgin said, "One dimension of the minimum wage is technically the inflation in the country. spoke.
Stating that as the Ministry, they carried out a research across Turkey, Bilgin said that this study carried out by the academic staff reached both the workers and employers.
Pointing out that the Turkish economy has grown for three consecutive quarters, Minister Bilgin noted that this clearly demonstrates how the Turkish economy has a dynamic character in the global crisis environment.
Referring to the factors behind this dynamism, Bilgin added that the problems that arise in the economic growth processes are also tried to be solved with social policy tools and that the regulations to be made regarding the minimum wage are also important at this point.
“34 percent of the employers participating in the survey are in the opinion of 3 thousand 500 to 3 thousand 750 liras”
Explaining the results of the research on the minimum wage, Bilgin shared the following information about the research:
“In November 2021, we met with 26 employers in 604 provinces from Istanbul to Zonguldak. We held this meeting in various sectors. In other words, enterprises were visited at a level that would reflect the weighted ratios of the Turkish production structure, and interviews were held with both the owners of the enterprises to a certain extent and the professional managers to a certain extent. Ask them, 'How do you evaluate the next year compared to the previous year?' When we say this, we see that 51 percent will not change, it will remain the same, 37 percent will be much better, 11 percent are a little pessimistic and predict that the business may get worse. We asked employers what the minimum wage should be. Here, we have seen that approximately 34 percent of them have the opinion that the minimum wage should be between 3 thousand 500 and 3 thousand 750 liras. We see 3 percent of the people who are between 750 thousand 4 and 13 thousand liras, and the employer group that is between 3 thousand 251 and 3 thousand 500 liras in the second place.”
“89 Percent of Participants Say It Will Create Great Vitality in the Economy”
Minister Bilgin continued the details of the research as follows:
“In an evaluation on how the minimum wage will affect living conditions, the rate of those who say that it will affect them well, positively and raise their standards is 42,2 percent. When you look at other numbers and ratios, you already see that it is an expression of optimism. It shows that the increase in the minimum wage is in line with the expectations that it will affect life positively. 'Will it stimulate the economy?' The answer to the question emerges very clearly, 89 percent of them say that it will create great vitality in the economy. 'Could it lead to layoffs?' The question is very important. 74 percent of employers said they were worried about layoffs as the minimum wage increased. When we look at the data of the in-depth research, our employers say that an increase above a certain rate will only be a choice between dismissal and the survival of the workplace. We see that they have concerns about this. Again, their opinions about the extent to which the minimum wage will affect consumer prices are very clear. In your opinion, 'how much should the minimum wage be for the new period?' The answer to the question is also interesting. There is a very striking distinction among them. While 36 percent of the company owners want a minimum wage between 3 and 500 liras, the predominant part of the professional managers, namely 3 percent, gave various figures above 750 thousand liras, which we can call very absurd. Therefore, we can understand that there is such a differentiation between professional managers and employers, business owners. It may have various reasons. Here, I would like to share a fact that is not reflected in these ratios. Small businesses and micro enterprises, business owners and professional managers who employ workers, micro enterprises, smaller enterprises, you know, they also say that the rise in the minimum wage will cause serious unemployment, and those who put themselves in trouble and especially those who employ less than 34 people have expressed such a problem with you. I would like to share.”
Stating that the other part of the research is about the workers, Bilgin conveyed the following information:
“We reached 2 workers working at various business levels, namely micro, small, medium and large enterprises. 500 percent of them stated that they also work in a job other than the minimum wage. When we ask what the minimum wage expectations are, we see that the weighted ratio expresses various things between 13 percent and 37,3 thousand 3 and 751 thousand. At a second rate, it is in a range of 4 percent between 4 and 500 thousand liras. It is seen that the other is collected at a rate of 5 percent, but it is seen that the weighted rate is collected in figures between 21 thousand 13 and 3 thousand liras. 'Is there another person in your family?' When asked, 751 percent of them say 'no'. Therefore, it is also interesting in that it shows that about 4 percent of them are not the only wage earner in the family. Of course, our workers also think that an increase in the minimum wage will boost the economy by far. 'Does an increase in the minimum wage lead to layoffs?' Here, too, there is an opposite trend. About 61 percent of our workers say 'no, it won't lead to layoffs'.”
“I Think This Issue Will Be Resolved Soon”
Minister Bilgin said, “The following comes to the fore in the questions asked to our workers, the issue that the workers in small businesses especially emphasize, we want the minimum wage and our income to increase, but we want our business to continue. I would like to point out that this emphasis is especially prominent in small businesses.”
Stating that the work on the minimum wage will continue with the discussion of technical issues, Bilgin noted that they think that the determination of the minimum wage to be applied in 2022 will be completed with four meetings.
Bilgin said, “I think this issue will be resolved in a short time, and we will meet in a number especially in terms of employees who contribute to Turkey's social peace and who also express work compliance, which increases work efficiency, and integration into an anti-alienation integration regarding work.”
After the opening speeches of the heads of the workers' and employers' delegations, the meeting continued in a closed manner to the press. At the meeting, it was decided that the Minimum Wage Determination Commission would hold its second meeting on 7 December at Türk-İş and its third meeting at TİSK on 9 December.
Türk-İş General Education Secretary Nazmi Irgat on behalf of the workers and TİSK Secretary General Akansel Koç attended the meeting on behalf of the employers.