Economist Önder: Minimum wage increase will be offset by raisings


ANKARA - Stating that the increase in the minimum wage will be offset by the raises, Prof. Dr. İzzettin Önder said: “Both the state and the private sector have a debt burden of 500 billion dollars. The workers think they are getting a wage increase, but this is not a wage increase, it is an illusion of money."

The Minimum Wage Determination Commission held its second meeting within the scope of work to determine the minimum wage that will be valid in 2024, on Monday, December 18, 2023, at the Ministry of Labor and Social Security. At the meeting, the employers' side was represented by the Confederation of Turkish Employers' Unions (TİSK) and the workers' side was represented by the Confederation of Turkish Trade Unions (Türk-İş). As there are only a few days left until the new year, all eyes are on the third meeting of the commission.
Prof. Dr. İzzettin Önder made evaluations about the ongoing minimum wage negotiations.
Stating that the state always acts to suppress the wages of workers and laborers due to its purpose, Önder said: "The state does this not openly but by giving the impression that it is on the side of the workers. The state gives the following message; 'Look, if the state wasn't with you, you would have to work for lower prices.' Of course, this is a big lie because the state does not tax capital. It even provides tax holidays and tax exemptions for capital. There is no such exemption for workers."
Stating that the organized struggle of labor has been eliminated, Önder said: “The state organizes labor law, and while organizing it, for example, it prohibits unions from making propaganda and turning on television; however, employers have these rights. It imposes many provisions against workers, but it is called law. Then he says, 'I will protect this law as the state.' If you go beyond this, it becomes unlawful. The bosses, in cooperation with the state, add articles to the laws that can instantly fire the worker. Again, if workers demonstrate collectively somewhere, the boss, who is in cooperation with the state, calls the police. But while the employers are taking the wealth they stole from us abroad, the state does not stop them and does not ask the reason."
Önder, who described the fact that the Minister of Labor and Social Security took "employee and employer representatives" with him this year as a show-off, said: "Both the state and the private sector in Turkey have a debt burden of 500 billion dollars. The private sector will get what it earns by suppressing the workers from somewhere, so that it can pay its debts in foreign currency. The state will also collect more taxes so that it can pay its debt; therefore, there is a burden, but the whole point is; it depends on who will bear this burden."
Drawing attention that the increase in salaries will be reduced by the increases, Önder continued as follows: “There will be an increase in salaries, there will be an increase in the minimum wage. But when we look at the adjustment of the state's own tax brackets, the increase will be in a way that will dissolve this fee. While the inflation experienced by the worker is 100 percent or even more, TÜİK's figures showing the inflation as low affect the increase in the worker's salary. The workers also think that they have received a raise, but this is not a raise but an illusion of money because what is important is the price increases for the products. Labor supporters rightly say; 'Wages should not increase, but the increases, rents, natural gas prices and electricity prices should remain', but the state does not do this because the state not only gives raises in monetary terms, but also chooses whom to assign the burden to. The workers need to understand this.”