Union compensation is a compensation paid to an employee whose employment contract is terminated due to union membership or participation in union activities. The amount of such payment must be determined by labor court, and cannot be less than the employee’s annual wage.
Union compensation is arranged in article 25 of Trade Unions and Collective Labor Agreements Law No. 6356, dated 18 December 2012. Implementation of this provision undergone some changes in the past and took its final shape after the Supreme Court ruling in 2014.
Worker’s right to apply to the labor court
In case of dismissal for reason of trade union activities all workers, regardless of their length of seniority in the workplace, may either file a “union compensation” or a “reemployment” lawsuit.
After the above mentioned Supreme Court ruling, a worker even with one day seniority may have the right to apply to the labor court for compensation; also the type of the employment contract, whether open-ended or fixed-term is not an obstacle for the worker to claim this compensation.
Freedom of trade union guarantee
- Workers are free to join or refrain from joining a trade union; they may remain a member of or withdraw from a union.
- In the employment of workers, no discrimination can be made because of workers’ membership or non-membership of a union, or activity or non-activity in a certain union.
- No worker can be dismissed because of his union membership or participation in union activities outside working hours or, with the consent of the employer, within working hours.
- In case of violation of freedom of trade union, employer will be sentenced to pay union compensation that will not be less than workers 12 months’ salary.
- In case of dismissal due to trade union activities worker has the right to apply to the court in line with the Articles 20 and 21 of Labor Law No. 4857. If it is determined that the termination of employment contract for reason of union activities court will decide union compensation independently of requirement of worker’s application and the employer’s reemploying him or not in accordance with Article 21 of the Law No. 4857.
- In case a worker, who has the right to file a reemployment lawsuit, can both claim reemployment and union compensation. If the court orders the reemployment, it will also decide and determine the union compensation.
Period of limitation
Period of limitation in union compensation claims is 10 years. Worker who is dismissed for reason of trade union activity has to file a union compensation lawsuit within 10 years as of the date of dismissal.