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Beyond cheap labour: trade unions and development in the Turkish metal industry

Nichols, Theo, Sugur, Nadir and Demir, Erol 2002. Beyond cheap labour: trade unions and development in the Turkish metal industry. The Sociological Review 50 (1) , pp. 23-47. 10.1111/1467-954X.00353

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The ability of developing countries to export to more developed parts of the world is often associated with cheap labour. But such very obvious economic advantage is not always the end of the story. A fuller account needs to consider the wider institutional context. In some instances trade unionism can be an important part of this. This paper addresses trade unionism with specific reference to workers employed in large firms in Turkey that are significant exporters of consumer goods to the European market. The union examined is the largest union in the metal industry, an industry that is a driving force in the Turkish economy, and a major centre of trade unionism with over half a million of Turkey's three million trade unionists. The particular - autocratic - character of this union is critically examined and located with reference to wider forces of political economy and the specific constraints and difficulties to which its members are subject. Finally, the significance of this sort of trade unionism for economic - and socio-political - development is discussed.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
ISSN: 0038-0261
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 08:52

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