The Minimum Wage Determination Commission, consisting of workers, employers and government representatives, convened for the second time within the scope of the work to determine the minimum wage that will be valid in 2022.
The second meeting was hosted by Türk-İş in the ongoing official process of determining the new minimum wage, which concerns nearly 7 million employees. In the meeting chaired by the General Manager of Labor Nurcan Önder, the Turkish Confederation of Employer Associations (TİSK) represents the employers' committee and Türk-İş represents the workers' committee.
Working General Manager Nurcan Önder stated that he thinks the minimum wage to be determined this year is more important for both the employee, the employer and the state compared to previous years, and said, “The minimum wage has been determined in our country since 1951, and we came together for the same purpose this year. As in 2019, 2012 and 2008, I hope that the minimum wage will be unanimously adopted by both the employee, the employer and the state this year," he said.
Türk-İş Chairman Ergün Atalay reminded that he had previously said that this year's minimum wage would be 45 years' worth of minimum wages, and said, "At that time, the country's conditions were not like this, it was better. I always say that this structure needs to be reviewed, both for the unions, for our employers and for our government. There are 5 employers, 5 workers, 5 government representatives here, and we have witnessed five agreements for many years, but we did not find the opportunity to agree. From time to time, our friends speak in public, we hold joint meetings with unions other than us, but Türk-İş is at the table. A community of more than 7 million people used this minimum wage to be a setting wage when it came to the fore, but in recent years this wage has become a living wage. Close to 7 million people are trying to get by with it. As a family, the figure is over 30 million, more than a third of the country. In other words, 99 percent of people are paid above the minimum wage, but it has come to such a point that when you look at the hotels, when you look at the social life areas, after 4-5 pm, 4/3 of the employees are on the minimum wage, some are retired, department officer. I wouldn't use a wrong expression if I say that the minimum wage and low-income people haven't been sleeping in the last years, so to speak. Because if you have to do additional work, you cannot turn this wheel with this,” he said.
Noting that both the employer's representative and himself know what the burden is on the employers, Atalay continued as follows:
“We need to take that burden off them, but more importantly, we need to review these fees. The hikes in basic food items in the last 2-3 months are obvious. There are numbers that are over 30-35-40. I know you will evaluate them as much as you can. I talked to the Minister and came out like that, when both we and the civil servants increase over inflation, the state reflects them on us. Whatever inflation is, they give us that figure. Minister Bey stated that they are considering completing everything above inflation cumulatively. When they do this, they will do the same to the worker, and it is not possible to exclude the worker from this. If the rulers of the country bring us a reasonable and logical figure, we will sign it jointly in a short time, but I say that if there is a figure that will be below our expectations, we will not agree with it."
Atalay, stating that he told the number to Minister Bilgin, said, “We wish to get a number before us as soon as possible and connect it, there is no point in keeping the public busy. I am following the statements of politicians, this year, perhaps not in history, all segments of society are expressing their opinions on this. Now, a research is being carried out and we are one side of the research. On the way, I talked to the gas station worker in Gerede, I talked to the girl at the bakery and asked what they expected, the society has high expectations. We want to sign together a figure that will make people smile and be happy. It is necessary to contribute to the workplaces in difficulty, if an improvement, regulation is made or a tax-related regulation is made, we already have tax problems. When we come to December, we cannot receive approximately 25 percent of the salary we received in January. The figures formed in the public opinion are in the middle, and it is not possible for us to say yes to a number below the figures. I hope it will be as we hoped, we will all sign together with pleasure”.
TİSK Secretary General Akansel Koç also wished a good meeting for its employees and workplaces, but most importantly for Turkey.
In order to determine the minimum wage for 2022, the Minimum Wage Determination Commission held its first meeting on 1 December under the chairmanship of Vedat Bilgin, Minister of Labor and Social Security.