Industrial Relations in Turkey

Social Dialogue matters

Collective Agreements in Turkey – 1989 to 2010

In Turkey, negotiating and concluding a collective agreement is not simple. For a start, a union wishing to start negotiations on a collective agreements, needs to reach the so-called ‘double threshold‘. Therefore, only unions which have more than 50% of the workers on the establishment level as their members and more % of the workers of the concerned sector nationwide can rightfully negotiate and conclude a collective agreement.

This is an efficient obstacle for the development of an intensive social dialogue and social compromising on the company level.

In the graph below, the amount of workers covered by a collective agreement in Turkey is show, since 1989. Apart from the remarkable fluctuations year by year, a downward trend is easily observed in the graph. Social dialogue on the company level, with as a major outcome the negotiation and conclusion of collective agreements is under pressure.

The European Commissions’ 2011 progress report on Turkey (here), explicitly condemns the stringent regulation on collective bargaining in Turkey, yet no progress has been made to stimulate company level social dialogue.

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