The Turkish government is planning minimum wage negotiations with unions and employer representatives on Thursday, 6th December, affecting around six million workers.
Turkish Revolutionary Workers Union Confederation Research Centre (DISK-AR) and Associate Professor Aziz Celik have released an extensive report detailing the reality of minimum wage ahead of the gathering of Turkish Minimum Wage Fixation Committee consisting of unions, employer representatives and government officials.
Turkey’s purchasing power falls to 18th in the OECD list
According to a report by Sozcu Daily, Turkey’s gross minimum wage is beginning to match the Chinese rate which is calculated in dollars. The report continues to detail that Turkey is now a haven for cheap labour.
However, the Turkish president’s salary ranks 4thhighest amongst minimum wage rates in member countries of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), while the country ranks 18thin purchasing power amongst 34-member states in the OECD.
Chinese minimum wage is higher than Turkey
As Turkish lira weakened to a historical 40 percent against the US Dollar, the net minimum wage which was $441 in 2008, fell to $302 in 2018. The cost of minimum wage to the employer also declined alongside the dollar currency.
The minimum wage which was $636 at the beginning of 2008, now costs $448 as of December 2018 to employers.
4th highest President Salary
According to DISK-AR’s comparison of the president’s and gross minimum wage salary, Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan earns 24.4 times more than minimum wage workers. In contrast the President of Czech Republic earns 2.2 times more than minimum wage, whilst the Mexican president’s salary is 152 times more than its minimum wage workers.
43 percent Turks earn minimum wage
In comparison to the European Union, the highest percentage of minimum wage workers are in Turkey. Eurostat statistics shows that the minimum wage percentage is at 43% in Turkey.
The statistics further report that Belgium owns the lowest minimum wage rate at 0.4%, Spain at 1%, Poland at 11.7%, and Portugal at 13%. Slovenia and Romania are ranked at 19.1% and 15.7% respectively.
DISK offers 2800 Turkish Lira minimum wage (525 Dollar)
“To rescue wage losses and protect workers against the crisis, minimum wage should be a net of 2800 Lira’’ DİSK President Arzu Çerkezoğlu said. Stating that the effects of the economic crisis will continue in 2019, Çerkezoğlu said that, in 2018, the minimum wage will lost 11 points in the face of inflation.
“Turkey Statistics Institution’s findings, poverty line, and per capita income are 3 parameters of our methodology for fixation minimum wage. Using these parameters, we determined the minimum wage at 2800 Lira’’ Cerkezoglu explained.
“The minimum wage cost reduced 70 percent to employers since 2007. The rate fell to 49 percent in this year. In other words, economic burden is not on the employers but on the state budget” Cerkezoglu added.