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Globalisation and trade unions in Turkey: Two class strategies in countering neo-liberal restructuring

2014-12
Uzgören, Elif
The paper reviews alternatives to globalization and neoliberal restructuring within the context of economic crisis and rising politics of dissent. What are the challenges posed by globalisation to labour movements? What kind of strategies does the labour movement in Turkey develop as a way forward? The study is based upon interviews conducted with twenty two trade unionists who took various responsibilities in the recent past in unions that are organised in textile, automotive and agriculture sectors, public services and in their confederations. They were conducted in İstanbul and Ankara in April-May 2010 and December 2010-January 2011. It is argued that although labour is united in their criticisms to globalisation, it is probable to observe an intra-class struggle. Whilst the internationally oriented labour has articulated a struggle at the international level under the motto that ‘another globalisation in the interests of labour is possible’, nationally oriented labour has developed a relatively defensive strategy echoing a form of Keynesian welfare state.