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Turkish unions threaten general strike over severance pay cuts

Turkish unions are denouncing proposed severance pay cuts that would impact 3.5 million workers, threatening a mass strike if the government does not change course.
TOPSHOT - Police detain a demonstrator during a May Day rally marking the international day of the worker in Istanbul, on May 1, 2020, as the country tries to curb the spread of the coronavirus, COVID-19. - Police in Istanbul detained several demonstrators who tried to march toward Istanbul's symbolic Taksim Square to mark May Day in defiance of the lockdown imposed by the government due to the coronavirus outbreak. (Photo by Bulent Kilic / AFP) (Photo by BULENT KILIC/AFP via Getty Images)

ISTANBUL — Members of Turkey’s largest union gathered in the nation’s 81 provinces Monday to denounce proposed changes to severance pay laws, threatening a general strike if the measures are introduced in parliament.

“If the laws regarding our severance pay are introduced in parliament, we will extend the march we began today into a general strike, a general resistance,” said Arzu Cerkezoglu, chair of Turkey’s Confederation of Progressive Trade Unions (DISK), in a statement Monday.

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