Evren Uğurbaş: Private sector hit, people lean toward state projects

evren-ugurbas-construction-project-manager

Evren Uğurbaş: Private sector hit, people lean toward state projects. Tough times for the Turkish people working in US.

Evren Uğurbaş: Private sector hit, people lean toward state projects

Many companies did not introduce salary increases. They have also taken back some of the rights they had granted, Uğurbaş said.

Tough times for the Turkish people working in US

People who have working permits to work in the United States are pushed aside, as the federal government is urging companies to prioritize US citizens when seeking to hire new employees. Some 300,000 Turkish citizens who are working in the US are feeling the pain of joblessness as the gap between citizens and non-citizens continues to grow further

The entire world is busy battling against the unemployment, contraction and recession winds blowing all the way from the United States. However, some 300,000 Turkish citizens working in the homeland of the crisis feel its impact breathing heavier down their necks.

The U.S. government has constantly been calling on banks benefiting from the state aid to prioritize U.S. citizens in staff hiring, instead of those who are just residents with work permits. That implementation has been widening the gap between U.S. citizens and non-citizens.

Despite the diverse opinions on the duration and impacts of the crisis, Turks living in the United States agree their struggle has just begun.

Evren Uğurbaş, a civil engineer who has been in Los Angeles for eight years, serves as project manager in a local construction firm. The firm, which mostly develops projects for the state, could not win a tender for nine months, he said.

The crisis hit the private sector first. Therefore many firms started to orient toward state projects, increasing participation in tenders, he said, adding that the prices offered by the companies that win the tenders are below costs. “Many companies may file bankruptcy in a few years.”

Many companies did not introduce salary increases. They have also taken back some of the rights they had granted, Uğurbaş said. “Companies used to cover health insurance for their employees’ significant other. That is not the case anymore.

They cut off the cost from employee paychecks. That actually means an annual $2,000 to $3,000 drop in salaries,” he said. “I have lost almost 50 percent on the investments I made for my retirement.

“In the midst of all developments Turkey is still in denial. They are still discussing whether the crisis exists.

Rather than staying at a place that discusses the presence of the crisis, it seems more advantageous for me to continue working in an economy that accepts the situation and tries to take measures.”  (HurriyetDailyNews.com by Ayşegül Akyarlı Güven )

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