09/18/2020, 11.34
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Turkey, Covid-19 torpedoes wages: 70% can’t reach end of the month

An internal survey of 1300 workers of the DİSK Genel-İş union reveals 23.8% have a salary that is enough for the next three months. Approximately 68% receive the minimum wage (around $ 300) or a little more. More and more people are struggling to pay instalments and mortgages. The tendency to buy cheaper or unhealthier foods.

Istanbul (AsiaNews / Agencies) - About 70% of associated workers receive a salary that is not even enough to meet the needs and expenses of a month and have no other source of income to survive.

23.8% can count on a salary sufficient for the next three months, not beyond.

This is what emerges from a survey carried out by the Turkish trade union DİSK Genel-İş among its members, which wanted to analyze the impact of the new coronavirus pandemic on the labour market and the purchasing power of wages. A critical situation, which has already emerged in recent weeks in which there was talk of a situation of "risk" for 82% of the employed.

Over 1300 workers from various sectors participated in the investigation and distributed in different parts of the country. 69.8% of respondents say that the salary is enough for just under a month, while 23.8% for a maximum of three months.

In terms of wages, 60.1% earn between 2,300 Turkish lira (just over 300 dollars) per month, the minimum required by law, and 3,500 lire; 15.9% between 3,501 lire and 4 thousand lire; 14% between 4001 lire and 5 thousand lire, 10% over 5 thousand and the remaining 6.7% the guaranteed minimum (and in some cases even less).

In spite of the promises made by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who used the charter of nationalism and Islam (see Hagia Sophia) to mask economic difficulties, 88.8% of workers do not receive any subsidies or assistance from the employment agency (İŞKUR). 9.3% speak of a minimum contribution, inadequate to meet expenses and needs.

With reference to the impact of the pandemic on the economic situation of individual workers, 57.1% said they had encountered "various difficulties", while 39.6% did not register changes in wages. 21.3% did not know how to pay off debts and mortgage maturities, but only the expenses of daily life; 14.3% saw their debts grow and 9.4% also had difficulties with everyday purchases.

In recent months, 42% have bought cheaper foods. 32.9% did not see any changes and 21.7% opted for “unhealthier” ingredients and meals.

Finally, in terms of Covid-19 infections, 73.6% did not come into contact with infected people in the workplace, while 25.5% of respondents had at least one colleague who caught the virus. Only 0.4% say they have contracted the infection. 63.2% of the workplaces surveyed did not register any cases of new coronavirus.

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