Workers in North Cyprus worse off than their mates in the south

As the Turkish lira continues to weaken against foreign currency, Yeniduzen interviewed two Turkish Cypriot builders, one who works in the south and the other who lives and works in the TRNC.

Dervish Bilge (Builder Master) works in the south. His daily income is 70 Euro (800 TL). He works five days a week. With one week’s income, he can buy 1,000 loaves of bread in the north and 454 litres of petrol.  Meanwhile, Ziver Bayhan (Mould Setter) , who works in the north, has a daily income of 200 TL . He has to work between six and seven days a week. With one week’s income, he can buy 300 loaves of bread in the north and 136 litres of petrol. He said that he can barely afford to feed his family of seven people.

A second major difference pointed out in the interview is occupational safety. Bayhan, who has been in the construction industry in the north for 26 years, claimed that the rights of the workers are left to the discretion of the site managers and that most of them act without thinking about the workers. Bayhan said, “The incoming governments do not do any research, do not inspect, do not ask whether investments are made in the workers or not. At this point, a great injustice is being done to the workers”, he said. 

By contrast Dervish who works in the south says that building sites are inspected for safety on a regular basis by the Labour Department which has the right to close down the site if it does not conform to occupational safety regulations. 

Yeniduzen, LGC News

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