Hide/Show Apps

‘Değişen İşçilik ve Sendikacılık’,

2008-06-01
KALAYCIOĞLU, HEDİYE SİBEL
Rittersberger Tılıç, Helga
ÇELİK, KEZBAN
The aim of this study is to understand changing workmanship experiences via trade unions that are considered as good tools to follow the changes. The meaning of trade union, the reasons for its existence and its benefits for the workers are discussed through the workers’ experiences and from the workers’ points of view. Structural reasons which have an effect on the workers’ perception trade union have also been integrated into the analysis. The study is based on a field research which was conducted in 2004-2005 in Ankara, Bursa and Istanbul. Research was undertaken in electronics and textile sectors, which developed before the 1980s and were of significance for industrial transformation in these regions. 40 workers who are still working and/or retired from both big and small scale enterprises were interviewed in depth. Equal numbers of men and women were included in the sample, and oral history technique was applied during the interviews. The first finding of the study is that there are many factors affecting workers’ experiences and perceptions related to work, such as economic sector, age, sex, marital status, position in the workplace, wage, the size of the sector and the enterprise, duration of work life, education and skill levels and the level of social/cultural capital. All these factors are also closely linked to and interact with the workers’ experiences and perceptions of trade unions. September 12th, 1980 was perceived as an important turning point by the workers for the unionization movement in Turkey, since the union rights were suspended after the military intervention; but also the level of unemployment, the size of informal sector, the difference/gap between public/private sectors, all have significant impact on the workers’ perception of the role of trade unions. Finally, this study argues that the reasons which have led to the emergence of trade unions are still valid, and recent developments in the labour market such as higher flexibility and/or increasing informality and atypical employment necessitate the need for organized labour movement. In this frame, the trade union movement must find a new way for its continuation and existence. Keywords: workmanship, workers’ experiences, trade unions in Turkey