Protect Public Service Workers Fighting on the Frontline of Covid-19 Outbreak


Our Demands from Public Authorities and Employers

The COVID-19, as described by the World Health Organization (WHO), the global outbreak, has revealed the need to pay particular attentions to the conditions of workers in public services. Because if the health of public service providers is not protected, the epidemic cannot be dealt with.

In this context, we consider it a social responsibility to raise the following issues regarding the health and rights of employees in public workplaces.

a) Ensuring that all employees, except those working in mandatory services and essential public health services, should be given paid administrative leave and these measures should not affect the economic and social rights of workers, such as leave and wages,

b) Paying maximum attention to the health of employees and ensuring the highest level of occupational health and safety conditions,

c) Provision of adequate, effective and high-quality protective equipment (such as gloves, glasses, masks, protective overalls) especially for those working in public health services where the risk is higher,

d) Introducing standards and practices such as safe distance, hygiene and regular disinfection of work areas,

e) To make the occupational health and safety boards operational and to actively involve employee representatives in combating the epidemic, to ensure the continuous training and informing of the employees,

f) Establishment of crisis desks for workers’ health and safety in municipalities,

g) Daily health check of the employees,

h) Remote working should be allowed where possible in line with (a),

I) As measures to be taken in relation to employment, employees whose workplaces have been closed as part of the fight against the epidemic, including the pool, gymnasium, nursery staff should not be forced to use their paid leave, there should not be any reduction in wages and social benefits.

Workers Have the Right to Abstain from Work

In accordance with the law on Occupational Health and Safety (6331), if employees encounter serious and imminent danger, they have the right to request the investigation of the situation and measures to be taken by contacting the occupational health and safety board in the workplace or the employer if this board is absent. They can abstain from work until these measures are taken. The rights of workers in this period arising from the laws and their contracts are should be guaranteed.

Layoffs Should Be Banned

As a social measure within the scope of combating coronavirus, layoffs should be prohibited during the epidemic.