The iconic Empire State Building was the scene of a strong and vocal protest against Turkish Airlines rights abuses held in New York November 8. The action was in support of 305 Turkish Airlines workers dismissed in 2012 for exercising their right to strike.
IUF affiliates from the New York Hotel Trades Council, union members from IUF- affiliated Unite Here together and the RWDSU/UFCW joined IUF general secretary Ron Oswald and IUF international officer Burcu Ayan to express their anger at the brutal actions of Turkish Airlines.
“Shame on Who?” was loudly answered by protestors “Shame on Turkish Airlines!” as workers and tourists at the Empire State Building heard our message for justice loud and clear. “No Justice, no peace” sent the clear message that IUF members in New York support the global fight for justice for Turkish Airlines workers.
A protest leaflet signed by IUF general secretary Ron Oswald outlining Turkish Airline’s brutality was delivered to the Turkish Airlines office inside the Empire State Building. The company was left in no doubt that the noisy protest outside was directed at them.
Ron Oswald thanked the protestors for this very concrete act of support and solidarity with these words: “Turkish Airlines has again been reminded of the support these brave workers at the airline have from around the world as they continue their long fight for justice. Hotel workers and other affiliates in New York have turned out in numbers to bring that message home in one of the airline’s key markets“. Oswald continued, “On behalf of the IUF, our sister organization the ITF but most importantly Turkish Airlines workers themselves I thank you. As always workers in New York have risen up in support of workers fighting for justice in some other part of the world. That kind of support is inspirational“
The protest, organized by the IUF in support of our sister international union federation the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) and its Turkish Airlines members is part of a series of rolling actions around the world. The IUF earlier called on supporters around the world to write to Turkish Airlines and over 8000 supporters did just that in the space of the last week of October.
The struggle for justice goes on in Turkish Airlines and the IUF will stand shoulder to shoulder with the ITF and its members in this company for as long as it takes to win back the fundamental rights that have been so brutally stripped away from its workers.