Jan 28, 2022 Europe Etuc

Letters of solidarity from the General Secretary of Ces Luca Visentini and the General Secretary of Ferpa Agostino Siciliano to Turkish pensioners’ union EMEKELI-SEN

Dear Colleagues, The European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) and the European Federation of Retired and Elderly Persons (FERPA) strongly disagree with the decision of the Turkish Supreme Court to re-ban the activities of the Turkish pensioners’ union EMEKELI-SEN, affiliated to FERPA. This decision denies the right of pensioners to have their own union to defend their demands in a country where the living conditions of pensioners have deteriorated. Furthermore, they express their opposition to a ruling that overturns what has been established by local and higher courts and by the European Court of Human Rights, which rejected the decision taken in 2018, at the initiative of the Turkish government, to suspend the activity of EMEKLISEN, and recognised in 2019 the right to reconstitute the pensioners’ union. This violation of rights in Turkey, which we reject, with regard to a Union of Pensioners is taking place at a difficult time from an economic and social point of view, also due to a pandemic that has affected the elderly population to a greater extent, which has put the whole Union in front of considerable problems in Europe and in different countries, including Turkey. As representatives of workers and pensioners, we argue that strong and united action is needed by all countries with adequate economic investment to build, with the contribution of the social partners, a more solidary and inclusive European social model, capable of providing positive responses to workers capable of curbing the growing poverty of the elderly while guaranteeing pensioners the right to a decent pension and an effective health service. This decision undermines the fundamental right of pensioners to be free to join a pensioners’ union, as is the case throughout Europe, to defend their basic rights and needs. Dear Colleagues, the ETUC and FERPA stand in solidarity with you and will fight with your organisations until the rights of pensioners are restored.