İZMİR - Doğan News Agency
A total of 340 workers from İZBAN, a commuter rail system connecting the western province of İzmir’s suburban area to the metropolitan area, went on strike on Nov. 8 due to disputes in collective bargaining talks with their employers.
İZBAN, sometimes referred to as Egeray and owned jointly by the Turkish State Railways (TCDD) and İzmir Metropolitan Municipality, is the busiest commuter railway in Turkey, serving about 150,000 passengers daily, according to the company’s website.
İZBAN workers from the Demiryol-İş Union decided to walk out a week ago, as they could not reach an agreement on collective bargaining talks with their employers. In a written statement last week, representatives from the union said workers at İzmir Metro A.Ş., another leading rail line in İzmir, are paid 33 percent higher than they are, as their employers have offered a wage rise which is adjusted to the inflation rate.
İzmir Gov. Erol Ayyıldız stepped in to ease the process on Nov. 7, but his efforts did not yield a result.
The union made the decision to strike late on Nov. 7 and announced that the strike would commence on Nov. 8.
Company representatives claimed that the union has refused all their offers, which included a wage rise much higher than the increase made to public workers.
Extra public bus and subway services are being offered by the municipality to prevent any disruption to the city’s traffic.