BBC İstanbul Bureau employees have won the first media strike in Turkey in 13 years. The journalists will get a 32-percent wage increase and additional rights.
The employees of BBC İstanbul Bureau had been on strike for their rights since January 14, 2022. The strike has ended in an agreement.
As part of the collective agreement signed at the end of the 2-week strike, the employees will get a 32-percent pay rise and additional rights.
The Journalists’ Union of Turkey (TGS) made a statement for the press about the issue in front of the BBC İstanbul Bureau in Gümüşsuyu, Taksim at 1 pm on Saturday (29 January). The Union said, “The BBC Istanbul bureau employees’ success is only a beginning.”
After the statement was read out, the strike banner was taken down. The TGS statement read as follows:
‘We have won’
“We are ending the strike we started with our members’ decision on January 14, 2022, following a one-year agreement with the BBC reached through a joint decision on January 28.
“Before the strike, the employer came to the table offering a 10 percent raise and almost no other complementary rights. At the end of the strike, as a result of the agreement, our members have won:
- An annual pay raise of 32 percent
- Private health insurance for their families
- Daily 60 TL lunch vouchers in gross
- 1,200 TL support for eyeglasses/contact lenses in gross
“The BBC Istanbul bureau employees’ success is only a beginning. The motivation and morale given by the strike will encourage colleagues experiencing lack of security, low wages and poor working conditions in the media sector to unite and fight under the Union’s roof.
“We thank the president, general secretary, executives and members of the UNI Global Union, the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), the Confederation of Turkish Trade Unions (Turk-Is), of which we are a member, for their unwavering support before the strike and during the resolution of the disagreement.
“We also thank the Broadcasting, Entertainment, Communications and Theatre Union (BECTU) and the National Union of Journalists (NUJ) at BBC London, specifically their representatives in the BBC World Service, BBC Monitoring and the BBC Turkish Service for their valuable efforts.
“We thank the BBC employees in the UK and across the world, who supported our members throughout the process, for their solidarity.
“We thank the NGOs and political party representatives who came to the strike area and conveyed their support over the phone.
“We sincerely thank all our journalist colleagues who were with us from the first day of the strike and who sent messages of solidarity.
“Lastly, we sincerely thank our journalist colleagues and all supporters who have been with us “from day one, who have shared support messages on social media, visited us, and shared their feelings of solidarity.
‘The previous strike was in 2009’
“The previous strike in the media sector in Turkey was in 2009. Foreign media in Turkey had never gone on strike before the BBC Istanbul bureau. This is the first strike in decades to have ended successfully with a collective bargaining agreement.
“The hard won gains we achieved are important for all our colleagues and friends who work in both local and international media and will become a reference point in the future. Through professional solidarity we thrive.”
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