Turkish companies hike wages after inflation surges

Some Turkish companies have increased the wages of their employees by between 1,000 ($57) and 1,500 liras per month after inflation accelerated to 73.5 percent, the highest level since 1998, the Dünya newspaper reported.

Other firms have implemented across the board salary increases of between 15 percent and 30 percent, while some are holding off on hikes until the start of July, when they anticipate that the government will announce a rise in the minimum wage, Dünya said on Tuesday citing sector officials.

Companies have also made improvements to bonus payments made for items such as food, transport and holidays, the newspaper reported.

“The minimum wage needs to be revised again. This can be accomplished by the government or the private sector. I think that companies will increase their wages in order to prevent the continuation of the victimisation of their employees due to inflation,” said Müjdat Keçeci, head of the Denizli Chamber of Industry, according to Dünya.

The cost of living in Turkey has jumped over the past year after inflation soared and the lira slumped against major currencies. Most of the losses for the currency, which totalled 44 percent last year, have occurred after the central bank started cutting interest rates in September 2021 despite price pressures. The lira has extended its declines this year by more than 20 percent.

Food prices have increased by more than 100 percent over the past 12 months, according to official data. ENAGgroup, which says it measures inflation in Turkey using almost the same basket of goods and services as the state statistics agency, says consumer prices climbed by 161 percent in the 12 months to May. Rents for housing have also surged, prompting the government to introduce a temporary cap on increases.  

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