The Turkish government’s decision last month to ban a metalworkers’ strike on the grounds that it endangered national security is part of an familiar pattern in the country. At least nine other strikes have been similarly stopped since the year 2000.
This time, though, the Turkish government outdid itself in explaining how the labour action could be considered an issue of national security. It said that the strike by Birleşik Metal-İş (United Metal-Work), a union representing just two per cent of Turkey’s million-plus metal workers, would jeopardise production of the Turkish police’s water cannon trucks – the very vehicles that are used to suppress labour unrest and other protests. Read more