Globalization, global labor movement and transnational solidarity campaigns: a comparative analysis of three solidarity campaigns in Turkey
Korkmaz, Emre Eren (2013) Globalization, global labor movement and transnational solidarity campaigns: a comparative analysis of three solidarity campaigns in Turkey. [Thesis]
Forces of globalization challenge labor rights in multiple dimensions. These policies are implemented at the expense of increasing inequalities and unemployment, curtailing labor rights, and enhancing the risks of financial crises. Aiming to diminish the impact of neoliberal policies, global unions conduct campaigns endorsed by pro-labor civil society organizations to force transnational corporations (TNCs) to respect core labor rights. Some of these campaigns succeed in strengthening transnational solidarity among local and global unions, and facilitate the persuasion of the TNCs to sign Agreements. Global labor movement also pursues to democratize globalization relatively via lobbying and campaigning at the level of international organizations. All these efforts serve for a renewal of the global labor movement in an environment where it has been weakened by the globalization process. This thesis examines some of the recent processes where local labor movement is empowered, acting in collaboration with the global labor movement. This collaboration, in turn, provides a fertile ground for adopting new strategies to challenge the TNCs which tend to curtail labor rights. This thesis focuses on three distinct transnational solidarity campaigns conducted to support organizing efforts of Turkish workers in supply chains of the TNCs, namely UPS Turkey campaign (2010-2011) in transportation sector, DESA campaign (2008-2009) in textile sector and Novamed Campaign (2005-2006) in chemical sector. These cases are interesting not only because of their common success in attaining the unions’ basic demands, but also because of their varying outcomes in the context of post-campaigning processes. The variation is placed between local union’s losing its rights to bargain and the local union’s signing a collective agreement. This thesis argues that these campaigns might overcome legal barriers and anti-union attitudes of employers by combining local struggles with transnational solidarity campaigns. It, then, explores the dynamics of these campaigns, comparing them with respect to their strategies and capacities in multiple fronts.
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