During the meeting following issues were addressed; European Forestry Strategy, European Green Deal, Forestry Strategy, The future of forest management in the context of measures taken at the European level to combat climate change, Forestry legislation, Employment in the forestry sector, a challenge for the present and the future. Including Öz Orman-İş, many academicians, non-governmental organizations, and trade unions from Romania, Spain, Hungary, Moldova, and Ukraine attended the meeting.
At the opening ceremony Deputy of International Relations Ms. Benül Sözer delivered a speech regarding; ‘’The Role of Trade Unions in Forest Management and Climate Change’’
Summary of the Speech:
As a trade union, it is not enough for us to deal only with the problems of our members.
In parallel, we need to address and deal with democratic, economic, social, and environmental issues.
Forests are multifunctional, serving economic, social, and environmental purposes. They offer habitats for animals and plants and play a major role in mitigating climate change and other environmental services. The socio-economic importance of forests is high but often underestimated. Ensuring sustainable forest management is essential if these benefits are to be delivered in a balanced way.
All the environmental issues affecting the world also affect our workers.
They work 12 months to make nature more livable.
Against tackling climate change and forest management, the labor force is a key reference in developing policies and strategies. Our forest workers play an important role in providing widespread support for the solution of forest management and the problems that threaten the world.
For all these, NGO’s contribution and support to CSO’s are without question essential…
In addition, on September 17, 2021, hosted by the Romanian Silva Federation, the European Foresters Council (CEF) Executive Board meeting was held, which included 17 European countries. At this meeting, preliminary negotiations for Öz Orman-İş CEF membership were brought to the agenda.
As it is already known the Covid-19 virus has launched at China and now became a global threat. It should be stressed that Turkey has already taken serious of measures even before the new cases shown up in Turkey. Turkey followed up the updates closely and informed Turkish nation through national channels, radios and social media. Firstly; Turkey suspended the flights to the cities of Beijing, Guangzhoui, Shangai and Xian on 31 January 2020. Turkish citizens who live or work in China, were brought safely to their homeland. Thermal screening devices were installed at airports to prevent the entry of infected passengers. On 23th of February, border crossings with Iran were shut down. Now as the virus outbreaked from a man who returned from Europe, Health Minister calls on citizens to avoid going abroad and urges to receive self-quarantine for 14 days. Flights have been cancelled to affected countries at Europe.
Regarding the economical effect of the counties; it could be said that while Chinese economy slowing down, the price of oil started to drop at Turkey. But as the virus spread in Europe it could be said that the exportation of the supplies & products have been restricted to support local market. As many companies have been well informed regarding this vital virus, many of them made risk analysis in the long term and received action plan. Many tourism companies cancelled tour programs and organizations. Even though Turkey runs security processes better than other EU countries, there is a strict restriction and control of those who arrive from abroad. Unfortunately this situation will reflect tourism sector which will directly effect Turkish economy. Fortunately, Turkish Government has launched many financial measures to fight the impact of coronavirus.
All the official visits have been cancelled. Elementary and secondary schools were closed on 16th of March 2020. Students receive online education through the internet and TV. Universities also use the distance learning programme. All sport competitions will be held without spectators.
Many business person changed their schedule and postponed the meetings at abroad. More and more people transform their living places in to home offices. Shopping centres working hours were changed as 12 am- 20.00 pm. Many of brands began temporary closures. All bars, restaurants, cafes, organisational events, public prayers at mosques, hamams indoor activities, concerts are closed and cancelled. Many restaurants and cafes give service as take as away. The beauty centres receive reservations and give service individually.
WHAT FINANCIAL MEASURES TURKISH GOVERNMENT HAS RECEIVED?
Aid package will be applied to companies, business world and various industries. Bank debt payments of the people will be postponed for 3 months.
April-May and June VAT and social security payments of retails and many sectors (automotive, logists-transportation, event organisation sectors) will be postponed for six months.
VAT rate for domestic flights lowered from 18 percent to 1 percent for 3 months.
Businesses affected negatively by the virus can delay credit debts for 3 months.
If needed companies could be supported financially.
Exporters will be given stock finance support to continue their capacity.
Turkish Public Bank (Halkbank) postponed credit, interest and dept payments for 3 months for those who are effected negatively.
The credit guarantee fund limit will be increased to 7.7 billion dollar and the credit will be firstly given to small and medium companies.
Turkey will support minimum wage fun and make it more flexible.
Turkish aviation company; Turkish Airlines, will be supported fınancially by Turkish government.
ÖZ ORMAN-İŞ TRADE UNION MEASURES REGARDING COVID-19 VIRUS
As the current effects of virus change rapidly, our trade union received many measures to minimise the risks of the virus as it adopts the health and safety of its workers in the first place. To do this, we shared latest information and received practicable precautions at the work places. Protective disinfection materials such as; gloves, masks, soaps have been provided. Each offices and departments steriled separately. Furthermore additional precautions have been received as following;
Frequent hand washing
Limiting contact with the others including shaking hands
Limitation of group meetings and lunch breaks
Cancellation of collective meetings and travel limits
Facilitation of meetings by tele or videoconference
Home office working model has been adopted
All agriculture and forestry workers have been informed via General Directorate of Forestry and Agriculture
Our trade union shared a declaration to all its branch office representatives and executive board about Covid-19 virus and precautions that should be received
It should once again emphasised that; Trade Unions are early warning systems of society. Trade Unions and CSO’s play a major role in keeping infected workers at home. Awareness of self-isolation or quarantine should be encouraged in the national and global levels. We as Öz Orman-İş Trade Union, strongly believe the global cooperation in fighting against the Covid 19 virus. We all have a responsibility to our workers and society to minimise the effects. Within the scope of protecting and preventing nation all stakeholders have a key role to provide health and safety. To control diseases governments should share good practices, laboratory skills and developed health system. Now is the action to unite together end ensure global security for the benefit of each worker. The best way could be enabling workers to reach clear information via establishing an information network that will be shared through EFFAT and /or other international organizations. It could be also an effective way to publish joint declaration regarding the precautions that should be received globally.
As the leading agriculture and forestry workers union, Öz Orman-İş (www.ozorman-is.org.tr) we are ready to work in cooperation with all the stakeholders. We believe that uniting together will be the best effective way to overcome this global threat.
SAFE NATION SAFE WORLD…
ÖZ ORMAN İŞ TRADE UNION
Öz Orman-İş Trade Union added Morocco Agriculture Workers Federation in to its global chain.
The Financial Secretary General Ali Bilgin, The General Organisation Secretary Zeki Sungur Kızılkaya, made various interviews with the executive board of the Federation at the invitation of the Federation of Agriculture Workers.
Morocco Agriculture Workers Federation, board members of the federation, agriculture engineers, representatives of the agriculture research institute, female employee representatives and association experts attended the meeting to discuss the cooperation opportunities and mutual solidarity possibilities.
Within the scope of the meeting; general information about the countries, trade union structure, labour experiences and problems were discussed. Öz Orman-İş Trade Union delivered information about Turkey’s labour legislation, labour rights and social security systems.
Azerbaijan, Belarus, Egypt and Uganda trade union leaders that came with the delegation in Ankara for the 37 th celebration of Hak –İş ,also visited Öz –Orman İş Trade Union Head office in Ankara.
In the delegation; Agil Dadaşov; Vice President of the Confederation of Trade Unions of Azerbaijan, Telman Quliyev; President of the Environment and Forestry Workers' Union of Azerbaijan , Alexsander Yarachuk; President of the Federation of Trade Unions of Belarus, Youssry Mouhammed; President of the Egyptian Trade Union Confederation, Director Ibrahim Heikql and Mostafa Rostom, Director of International Relations , Owere Usher Wilson; President of the National Confederation of Trade Unions of Uganda and Shamim Kalanda;Director of Press, have been attended.
Friend Union Leaders, Settar Aslan; General President of Öz Orman-İş, Bayram Ayaz; General Secretary, Ali Bilgin; General Finance Secretary, Zeki Sungur Kızılkaya; General Organization Secretary and Mustafa Çınar; General Education Secretary, came together.
During the interviews; Turkey, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Egypt, and Uganda focused on trade union practices and problems experienced by workers. Guest unionists also indicated to make co-operation agreements with ÖZ –Orman İş trade union.
Öz Orman-İş President Settar Aslan highlighted bilateral international relations of Hak-İş Confederation and that the time has come to take great distance in international relations for Öz –Orman İş Trade Union.