Social Dialogue matters
April 4 2012
Since some days, the workers of the BOSH factory situated in Bursa resigned massively from the Türk-Is affiliated metalworkers union ‘Türk Metal’ to join the DISK affiliated ‘Birlesik Metal Is’. According to the leftist Birgün daily, more than 50% of the workers are now affiliated to Birlesik Metal Is.
Competition between unions is very high in Turkey due to the famous 50/10 rule. Unions can only negotiate collective treaties when they represent at least 50% of the workers in the company and 10% of the workers in the sector of the company, nationwide. This regulation is a serious obstacle for collective bargaining in Turkey and a life-line for established unions, which are mostly affiliated to the largest confederation, Türk-Is.
Workers therefore don’t easily change their membership as this might mean the incompetence of the unions to negotiate collective agreements on the company level.
Further, the Türk Metal union is generally known for its very right-wing political orientation and strong authoritarian leadership.
Further reading & sources:
Sural, A. N. (2007). A Pragmatic Analysis of Social Dialogue in Turkey. Middle Eastern Studies , 43 (1), 143-152.