The minimum wage negotiations, which usually end in the fourth round, are expected to be completed earlier this time than in previous years.
At the first meeting of the Minimum Wage Determination Commission, Minister of Labor and Social Security Prof. Dr. Vedat İsikhan said that they wanted to determine a figure that would protect both workers and employers, while Turkish Confederation of Employer Association (TİSK) President Ozgur Burak Akkol and Confederation of Turkish Trade Unions (TÜRK-İŞ) Vice President Ramazan Agar demanded a correction in income tax brackets.
According to information obtained by the EKONOMİ daily, the first meeting revealed a tendency for the process to be completed in a shorter period of time compared to previous years. There is even a possibility that the parties will make a wage proposal on December 18, the day set for the second meeting. Responding to EKONOMİ’s question on this issue, Ramazan Agar, the General Financial Secretary heading the TÜRK-İŞ delegation, said, “If a proposal comes on Monday, we will compromise if we can, but if there is no compromise, our stance is clear.” Agar said at the end of the meeting, “As TÜRK-İŞ, we don’t have the chance to say wages. If we do, we will be tied, we will stay at this point. The wage will come from the side offering the wage, from the employer’s side, and then we will make an evaluation. There is no point in saying a wage right now.”
Vedat İsikhan said that they will work to determine the minimum wage that will be valid for 2024 at a reasonable point through social dialogue and consultation, which will grow the economy and not crush the employees under inflation. Stating that the minimum wage has increased 61 times in nominal terms and 3 times in real terms since 2002, İsikhan said that the increase was realized well above inflation last year.
TİSK President Özgür Burak Akkol hoped that the commission meeting would be completed with a decision that would benefit all parties. Reminding that a mid-term increase was made in the middle of last year with the joint agreement of the state, workers and employers, Akkol said, “We were at the table by pushing all our possibilities. In the current process, we will be at the table for a sustainable and balanced figure that takes into account the expectations of our colleagues and businesses.”
Ramazan Agar, Vice President of TÜRK-İŞ underlined that there is a great discrepancy between the inflation experienced by workers, civil servants and pensioners and the announced inflation. “The daily net minimum wage is TRY 380, below the hunger limit for months. How can workers and their families make a living with this wage?” Agar said.