A dozen British television workers went on strike last year after proposing raises that did not match Turkey’s sharp rise in inflation.
A strike at the British Broadcasting Corporation’s (BBC) bureau in Istanbul ended after employees and the operator agreed on new financial terms.
A dozen employees launched the campaign in December after the media organization proposed a pay rise significantly lower than inflation in Turkey, which has risen in recent months.
The Union of Journalists in Turkey, of which BBC staff members are members, is in talks with the broadcaster.
The BBC’s highest reported proposal for a 20% salary increase was increased to 32% during the negotiations, which led to the agreement.
The publisher has also expanded private health insurance coverage for employees ‘families, increased lunch allowances and pledged to pay for glasses for employees to 1,200 Turkish lira ($ 90), the Turkish Journalists’ Union said on Saturday.
The strike was the first in a Turkish media organization in 13 years.
The president of the Union of Journalists in Turkey, Gokhan Durmush, said the BBC’s offers had been well below inflation for two consecutive years, so officials decided to go on strike after collective bargaining failed.
“The morale and motivation provided by this strike will encourage our colleagues who have been subjected to precarious and poor, low-paid working conditions in the media sector to come together under the guise of a union and fight together,” Dermus said. statement.
“This is the first strike [in Turkey’s media] “Since 2009 and before the BBC’s Istanbul office, no international media has gone on strike in Turkey,” he added.
“The achievements of the strike are important for journalists working for both international and local media in Turkey, and it is a reference point for the future.
BBC officials announced their strike in mid-December when they hung a banner in front of the BBC’s Istanbul offices in the Beyoglu district.
Rising cost of living
The Turkish lira weakened 44 percent against the US dollar last year before the currency fell in December following government interventions and a scheme to protect bank deposits in pounds from devaluation against foreign currencies.
Inflation rose to its peak in 19 years in 2021 by 36 percent, the highest under Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s presidency.
Rising living costs in the country have hit household purchasing power, prompting the government to take action, including a 50% increase in the monthly minimum wage, which is currently set at £ 4,250 ($ 313) to offset inflation.
At the end of 2021, Turkish citizens faced long queues to buy cheap subsidized bread from local shops, while electricity, natural gas and petrol prices jumped sharply.