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The government's "special employment bureau" bill could soon find its way back into Parliament. According to the Turkish daily Today's Zaman, the government is planning to table the revised text in the near future. The bill would legalise recruitment agencies in Turkey. President Abdullah Gul had rejected the first version as the sections dealing with temporarily employees had "protected their rights insufficiently.
Trade union confederations DÄ°SK and TURK-Ä°S had called on the president to veto the law, which they regarded as the "road to slavery in Turkey."Labour and Social Security Minister Omer Dincer is currently holding talks with trade union representatives to see the scope for a smooth application of the revised text.
Turkey is going through a sharp economic downturn: IHS Global Insight, the International analysts, currently forecast a contraction of real GDP by 7% in 2009 and by 0.3% in 2010. This compares to the heydays of 2005 when real GDP growth reached 8.4%.
Unemployment figures have risen to more than 15% in 2009, and employers are calling into question what they perceive as too rigid labour market laws. Yet, trade unions are calling on the government not to change the job protection regulations; they worry that the revised bill will facilitate dismissals of workers and render the hiring of permanent staff less attractive for employers.
Dincer's claim that the bill merely reflects laws in many European Union (EU) member states and thus helps boost Turkey's bid for EU membership has not cut any ice with them. A softened version of the bill is likely to be introduced later in 2009 or in early 2010, however, despite the protests of the trade unions.