Some three years later, the Turkish Constitutional Court recently ruled on the appeal by Birleşik Metal İş union and the Constitutional Court decided that the strike ban is against the Constitution and that the Government should pay 50,000 Turkish Lira (TL) indemnity to the unions.
With this decision, the Constitutional Court openly showed that the Ministerial Cabinet arbitrarily takes strike prohibition decisions and this diminishes the usage of the right to strike. Admittedly, this decision comes more than 3 years after the strike ban and the compensation that the Constitutional Court ruled upon is low, just 50,000 TL (around 9,000 Euro) so this hardly counts as justice. Workers lost much more than this amount because of the strike ban in the meantime.
Yet, it is significant that highest court in the country, ruled that these strike bans are against the Constitution.
In its decision, the Constitutional Court declared that the notion of “national security” is open to subjective interpretations which is why it might cause arbitrary decisions, and since it was not explained how these strikes might affect national security and the term “economic security” which was used by Government together with national security in the Decree, these are not valid reasons to ban a strike. For this reason, the Court ruled that this strike ban violates trade union rights.
The ruling is symbolically important insofar as the Constitutional Court makes an effort to limit abuse of ‘state of emergency’ acts by Turkish Government. IndustriAll Europe commends DİSK/Birleşik Metal İş on their determination on this issue and welcomes the decision, which is a symbolic victory for trade union rights in Turkey.