Protest: Tekel Workers

Tekel was the government-owned tobacco and alcoholic beverages company for many years. Tobacco branch of Tekel sold to the British American Tobacco in 2008 as part of privatization.

As a result of this selling, Tekel workers are losing their job status. Government is forcing them to sign 4/C status. Which means they will get 1/3 of their current wage (around 300 Euros), getting paid only 10-11 months of a year, no extra working hour fees, no social benefit payments and don't have any compensation or union rights.

Because of this situation thousands of Tekel workers started a protest at the downtown Ankara. Today is the 60th day of it (12th of Feb.2010). They are living in nylon made tents in bad winter conditions. Most of the days It's below zero degree in Ankara(capital city of Turkey).

People from all across Turkey are helping them with providing foods, blankets, medical supplies etc. Also volunteer doctors provide healthcare to the ones who get sick in these conditions.

5th of February around 140 workers started indefinite hunger strike and today (12th) 16 people left on hunger strike. Others had to stop because of health problems.

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