However, the differences between the various European countries regarding their motivation for the integration played a crucial role, as did the US, which showed an increasing interest in a united Europe, and most notably an integrated Germany. Despite these differences, the main priority after the WWII was to create such conditions that the Europeans would never go to war with each other again McCormick, , p.
Support for an integrated Europe was widespread and not only among elites but also among the wider masses Dinan, , p. For most countries, the core problem was Germany. In the light of the recent Nazi rise, Europe was very wary of a possible military resurgence in Germany. It was argued, that Germany had to be contained and its power diverted to a more constructive direction Heater, , p. Germany now in the form of West Germany constituted a potential threat not only for the Europe and consequently for the wider world but most notably for France.
Book Series: Research in the Sociology of Work
Hence, as identified by Urwin , p. In addition, the Western European countries realised that changes that were taking place at the international level demanded new thinking McCormick, , p. The Dutch trade unions, for example, drew up internal policies on minorities in the early s, which was a period of economic recession and high unemployment Roosblad, This last example underlines the varying outcomes of the third factor — the influence of social trends.
For example, unionization rates of Turkish immigrants were found to be lower in the Netherlands than in Germany and Sweden, reflecting overall unionization rates in those countries. These findings indicate that the explanatory factors intersect. In all countries, trade union policies towards immigration and immigrants proved to be influenced by national contextual factors such as public discourse, institutional arrangements, legislation, and key institutional actors like national authorities, churches, and political parties.
Although trade unions may ideologically have an internationalist orientation, their actual effectiveness is determined within national contexts Penninx and Roosblad, : Therefore, the way the dilemmas are resolved cannot be understood without knowledge of these national contexts. Penninx and Roosblad centres on the post-war guest-worker system in North-Western Europe and its aftermath until the early s.
Since that period, major changes have taken place, in migration and integration and in labour-related domains such as the international economic order, national and international labour markets, industrial relations, and perhaps especially, the position of trade unions.
In the past decades, the general picture of international migration in Europe has changed completely, in terms of its size and patterns and in terms of its regulation. First of all, migration flows have strongly increased, from an estimated 23 million immigrants in UN : 1 to more than 56 million, or 7. In the present 28 members of the European Union EU , nearly 49 million of the total of million inhabitants are foreign-born including those born in other EU countries. This is some 10 per cent of the total population Eurostat : 1. Moreover, these figures include only legally residing foreign-born persons.
Early in the period studied by Penninx and Roosblad , immigration started in the countries of North-Western Europe. Other countries, such as Italy, Spain, Portugal, Greece, Ireland, Norway, and Finland, were emigration countries until the s but began to experience significant immigration in the s and s. Yet others, among them most of the post EU accession countries, have experienced simultaneous emigration, transit migration, and immigration.
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Europe has in fact become an immigration continent. That picture changed completely after Nowadays, immigrants come to Europe from all over the world and for various reasons. Expatriates come to work at multinational companies and in international organizations; foreign students come to attend higher education; nurses and doctors arrive to work in national healthcare facilities; refugees and asylum seekers come from Africa, the Near East and Asia, the Balkans, and former Soviet Union countries; and undocumented workers arrive from the developing world.
Another novel characteristic today is the feminization of labour migration. More women migrate independently for labour purposes, and not as dependants in family reunifications. This is particularly relevant for trade unions, since it corresponds with the development of labour market niches, such as domestic services, care and nursing, and the sex industry. Types of mobility have also changed. But there are also unsolicited migrants in search of economically better or politically safer destinations for whom new and increasingly onerous barriers have been erected.
This brings us to another fundamental change: that of the regulation of international migration. Since the mids, countries have introduced restrictive migration policies in line with their diminished demand for low-skilled migrant workers. Yet, this same period has seen increased migration for family reunion and formation, refuge, and asylum. Since the early s, further barriers have been erected through stricter visa policies, tougher requirements for legal residence, and higher refusal rates for asylum seekers. Immigration has increasingly been criminalized. Yet, the tougher the regulations, the more they have led to illegality and irregularity.
The spectre of terrorism has further promoted this security perspective.
The European integration process, from 1945 to the 21st century
Anti-terrorism policies have been primarily government initiatives. For their implementation, however, involvement of employers, trade unions, and other civil society organizations is required, with control practised at the borders of the country of origin and with carriers airlines, sea ferries, and transport firms liable for infringements. At the supranational level, the EU has become a significant political and policy unit, creating a new context for mobility and migration in Europe, particularly since the Treaty of Amsterdam. Furthermore, new member states are required to enact legislation and establish institutions in conformity with established EU policies in this domain.
Measures have been introduced to regulate access to the labour market and other institutional domains of welfare states. The EU free movement area now encompasses 28 countries with a total population of more than half a billion.
Nonetheless, migrant workers from the newest EU member states tend to be employed in precarious and dangerous jobs Woolfson and Likic-Brboric, Increasing unemployment in the southern EU countries and in Ireland may promote further intra-European circular mobility in coming years. These are employees sent by their employers to work temporarily in another country labour laws of the country of origin apply for such stays. These changes in migration patterns and regulation are common to most European countries, but their impacts do differ in specific national contexts.
First of all, immigration flows have different characteristics across countries. Immigration towards North-Western Europe, for example, stems mainly from family formation and reunification, asylum seekers, and knowledge workers. Yet, as a consequence of strict admission policies, these countries have started to experience larger influxes of undocumented migrants too. Since , they have also experienced increased intra-EU migration, especially from the new EU member states.
Most come unsolicited, many without proper documents at first; many are legalized in the course of time. In Italy, 1. Due to their vulnerable position in the host country, such migrants are not in a position to refuse low wages and substandard social and labour rights King, : Many therefore end up in the informal economy. Labour markets and industrial relations have also changed significantly, affecting trade unions and their relations to immigrants.
Firstly, economic and financial globalization has challenged national economies and their regulatory frameworks, within which trade unions have developed their positions of influence. Many nation states have loosened regulations, including those pertaining to labour, in order to remain or become attractive to enterprises. Furthermore, national economies have become intertwined with global financial markets. Thus, the outbreak of the financial crisis in affected the entire world economy, impacting employment and labour regulations across Europe. Trade unions have very little direct influence on supranational developments, but they do strongly feel the consequences at the national level.
Secondly , the structure of labour markets has changed. The primary sector has shrunk to insignificance. In the secondary sector, the number of jobs in manufacturing where unions used to be strongest has diminished, and the qualifications demanded of workers have changed markedly. The service sector has become the main employer with a great diversity of required qualifications and a spectrum of legal and regulatory statuses including many precarious jobs.
Privatization and outsourcing of public services another sector in which unions are traditionally strong have contributed to these diversities. Trade unions were traditionally most active in regulation of standard employment. They must now define and represent the interests of a more flexible and less homogeneous labour force, and do so without straining relationships with their traditional rank and file Gumbrell-McCormick, Thirdly, industrial relations and the position of trade unions have changed.
Turkey’s accession to the European Union and the Turkish Labor Movement
Trade unions in most countries have less influence in socio-economic decision-making due to the generally declining capacity to steer national economies, and in some cases also because neoliberal governments have clamped down on unions Crouch, ; Roosblad, Union membership has declined too, especially in certain segments of the labour market and among young and temporary workers.
Diminished membership is most marked in the private sector, while rates of unionization in the public sector remain generally higher Visser, Due to these trends, union membership composition is less and less representative of the structure of the overall labour force Ebbinghaus, ; Gumbrell-McCormick and Hyman, Is the heuristic approach by Penninx and Roosblad still useful today in the face of the above mentioned changes? Or should it be redefined to reflect the increased complexities? As to the first dilemma — whether trade unions should cooperate or resist recruitment of migrant workers — we must conclude that the conditions under which trade unions face this dilemma have changed.
First, migration has become an important feature of more European countries, not just those in North-Western Europe. Secondly, nowadays trade unions are much less involved in corporate decision-making, particularly regarding immigration. Labour migration is overall no longer a major focus of decision-making for national labour markets 1. Thirdly, more immigration takes place under the free movement regime within the enlarged EU, in which a completely new set of rules applies though these do not influence trade unions directly.
In fact, most European trade unions have formally abandoned their restrictive stances of the past. Some Southern European trade unions have lobbied against national immigration laws that they perceived as unfair and discriminatory and have supported regularizations of undocumented immigrants.
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In countries such as Spain and Italy, however, these stances have been explained in terms of protecting the national workforce and advocating for better labour conditions Watts, Some West European trade unions, for instance, actively opposed the free movement of labour within the EU and lobbied for transitional arrangements after the enlargement. Their stances on immigration often cite concern to protect the national labour market from social dumping Cremers, ; Meardi, ; for a perspective from the sending countries, see Woolfson, These stances are strikingly similar to those reported in the earlier Penninx and Roosblad study.
This leads us to conclude that the first dilemma is still valid, though it should be applied in a broader sense. The second dilemma — inclusion versus exclusion — has certainly been affected by the contextual changes mentioned earlier. First, trends in industrial relations, particularly the weakened position of trade unions, have triggered attempts to revitalize unions Frege and Kelly, , with inclusion of immigrant workers among other underrepresented groups being a foremost strategy Behrens et al. Organizing campaigns have been particularly successful in the United States, where they have helped to reconnect the labour movement with its rank and file Milkman, In Europe, such organizing has been implemented in the United Kingdom see, e.
While sometimes successful in gaining better conditions for the workers involved, the extent to which these strategies have promoted effective and full inclusion of immigrant workers in union membership remains uncertain. In this respect, the literature provides examples of trade unions trying to organize new migrants see, e. However, much of the emphasis has been on the need to create networks with communities and to provide language facilities, both instruments aimed at facilitating relationships and diminishing tensions between foreign and local workers.
Instead the recruiting and organizing migrant workers remained weak due to the temporary nature of their immigration Fitzgerald and Hardy, With respect to the posting of workers, trade unions have found themselves in difficult positions situations as shown, for instance, by the mobilization against foreign contract workers in the Laval case in Sweden Woolfson, and the Lindsay Oil Refinery case in the United Kingdom see Barnard, ; Meardi, Furthermore, anti-immigrant and populist political discourse and the inadequacy of administrative facilities often leave migrants in vulnerable positions.
Trade unions may thus be called upon to face a complex of problems, well beyond labour claims and labour equality to also, increasingly, involve social and legal status. This is especially true for the significant share of migrants who are irregular and undocumented. Most activities related to vulnerable and undocumented workers, in fact, necessarily involve aspects not strictly labour-associated. Examples are assistance in regularization of residence and labour and gaining access to housing and public services. In France, trade unions have called attention to the legal and social conditions of immigrants, using strikes to influence government decisions on legalization of residence and work status.
Trade unions have to take the special characteristics of immigrants into account as a precondition for cooperation. Therefore, alongside targeted facilities such as learning or language services see, e. The Italian and Spanish trade unions offer examples of actions that can be taken in this regard. Working towards solutions for practical problems also implies an awareness of the strategic importance of the broader social context for union activism. Changes in how these three dilemmas play out nowadays imply one fundamental novelty: trade unions today must act as a civil society actor in favour of immigrants rather than as a strictly labour-related interest body.
This civic and political engagement requires a rethinking of strategies and coalitions as well as a willingness to promote internal organizational and cultural changes Hyman and Gumbrell-McCormick, This definition implies the adoption of special policies and measures addressing the position of migrant workers both within unions and in the wider social sphere, in the labour market, and in the workplace. We saw in the previous section that the four sets of factors in Penninx and Roosblad had limited explanatory power separately.
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Indeed, empirical evidence drawing on the original theoretical framework confirms that the four factors cannot be treated as monocausal explanations see, e. That same evidence, however, leads us to reformulate and refine the sets of explanatory factors. The first set of factors individuated by Penninx and Roosblad : , the power position of trade unions in society, was strongly linked to the position of trade unions in national socio-economic decision-making processes. Trade unions were considered more powerful at the national level if they were highly organized; if they maintained strong ties with governing political parties; and if they had a strongly centralized and unified structure.
Recent research presents interesting findings in this respect. Studying trade union responses to immigrants in Denmark and the United Kingdom, Wrench : 21 argues that these operate contrary to the predictions of Penninx and Roosblad :. The Danish trade union movement has a far higher membership rate and far greater political influence than its British counterpart, yet is relatively inactive against discri-mination.
The British trade union movement, already weak in comparison to Denmark, adopted a stronger stance in favour of immigrants and against racial discrimination at a time when external forces were making it even weaker. Krings reports similar findings, analysing trade union responses to immigration in Austria, Germany, Ireland, and the United Kingdom. This author links a less inclusive trade union attitude in Austria, Germany, and Ireland to institutional entrenchment in terms of involvement in collective agreements and systems of social partnership that allow unions a formal role in socio-economic decision-making:.
This has contributed to a re-appraisal of union strategies towards more marginalized groups such as migrant workers ibid. Roosblad supports this finding based on observations of Dutch trade unions during the past decade. She suggests that the current weakening of the institutional embeddedness of Dutch trade unions triggered them to start actively incorporating new groups of workers, such as undocumented workers, into their organization ibid. Finally, based on a quantitative analysis of 14 West European countries, Gorodzeisky and Richards argue that the organizational security of trade unions, in the form of state financing or a single dominant trade union confederation, is inversely related to trade union incentives to organize migrant workers.
This hypothesis finds confirmation within recent literature Baccaro et al. It seems to us, therefore, that the position of trade unions in society remains a potentially influential factor in cross-national differences, if we measure that position in a somewhat more open way: as the extent to which trade unions possess institutional power resources, including their embeddedness in society and in policymaking relevant to their potential rank and file, and including the coalitions that trade unions form to carry out their role as a political actor in society.
With regard to economic and labour market factors, we concluded earlier that these are important triggers for trade union action, but that the direction of that action beneficial or harmful to immigrants is dependent on other contextual variables. The context was one of perceived or real increased labour market competition. Such observations point to dynamics similar to those described in Penninx and Roosblad The status of the labour market, therefore, still seems to be a fundamental factor of influence, although more attention should be given to transnational dynamics in Europe, particularly internal EU mobility.
Specific attention must also be given to sectoral differences, both within and across countries. Immigration, labour market, and employment dynamics differ between sectors, and this will likely influence trade union activities Arrowsmith, The presence and strength of trade unions within a sector is another consideration.
But before mapping out the ways in which these candidate countries find themselves compelled to improve the conditions of labor, it is also necessary to observe whether the European labor movement can successfully organize beyond national borders, gain certain opportunities and resources to restore its political credibility, and provide protection for workers against the detrimental consequences of economic globalization. For this purpose, in the next section, I probe the ways in which trade unions exploit opportunities that become available in the process of European integration.
Since neither the European Social Dialogue nor EWCs have been able, to date, to produce solid results in wage determination at the European level, the coordination of collective bargaining across borders became even more pressing for trade union. By coordinating and harmonizing their strategies at these multiple levels, trade unions can define common bargaining positions and objectives and establish a common agenda to resist the downward pressures on national bargaining systems, wages and working conditions Traxler et al.
For this purpose, many European industry federations have already begun to set up committees and working groups to develop common strategies on bargaining policy, accumulate information on the collective bargaining experiences of other nations in their sectors, and introduce communication and monitoring systems to share and evaluate progress. Following this cooperation, the EMF drew up a set of minimum standards to be included in the agreements with European employers during the implementation of EWCs.
Sisson et al. Other European industry federations organized in such sectors as textiles, mining, chemical, energy, and finance also began experimenting with harmonizing their national negotiation strategies.
On the one hand, the integration of markets might give rise to further fragmented, company-specific bargaining arrangements at the transnational level, which, in the last analysis, would cause the the existing national systems to deteriorate and reverse the achievements national unions have won after years of struggle Crouch ; Martin While it is still too early to evaluate the outcome of the coordination of collective bargaining strategies, regional integration in the EU is still important for the new prospects and venues it offers to unions to develop fresh methods of transnational organization and cooperation.
The ETUC was established in to provide a trade union counterweight to the globalization and Europeanization of capital. Its birth raised optimism regarding the restoration of trade union power and confidence as a new vehicle for supranational labor activism. Since then, the ETUC has become a privileged participant as a co-decision maker in negotiations on issues such as the EWC directive, parental leave, improvement of living and working conditions, health and safety, working time, atypical work, vocational training, and lifetime working which helped trade unions in their endeavor to harmonize labor regulations across Europe Herod et al.
This has changed recently, as Schulten indicates , due to the fact that the ETUC became increasingly influenced by other European trade union organizations, and among them especially by the European Industry Federations EIFs , for whom the fundamental issue had always been collective bargaining. Accordingly, the ETUC began to synchronize the strategies of national trade unions in order to promote EU-level action by adopting resolutions and publishing guidelines for the coordination of collective bargaining, which emphasized, among other things, that nominal wage increases should exceed inflation and be adjusted according to productivity increases ETUC b.
One of the biggest demonstrations took place when the services directive or, the Bolkestein directive was being discussed in the Parliament in The ETUC coordinated protest movements with the participation of tens of thousands of people in different parts of Europe. More importantly, ETUC could frame the common interests of trade unions from different member countries, including those of the unions of the then newly-admitted Central and East European countries, which regarded the European level trade union structure as a stronger mechanism to represent their interests at the national and EU levels Gajewska While these criticisms have some merit, it is still crucial to regard the ETUC as a platform for the organization of labor that transcends traditional national boundaries.
By advocating for trade union rights as a part of European industrial relations, pressuring the EU institutions for the inclusion of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights into the future Constitution, and demanding high priority for key social objectives such as full employment, the ETUC has become an influential channel for the voices of workers and other popular groups to be heard in EU circles. On the one hand, since the accession criteria requires these countries to fully adopt the legal body of the EU acquis communautaire , the candidates have to harmonize their existing labor laws and practices with those of the EU.
On the other hand, the enlargement process enhances the intensity, extensiveness, rapidity and efficacy of communication channels established between trade unions in candidate countries and their European counterparts. In that sense, the expansion of the European space helps intensify relations between the trade unions of both sides. Following that, I categorize the outcomes of these pressures broadly into two groups: the first group of developments includes the legislative changes to harmonize national laws and regulatory frameworks in line with the a cquis, which eventually provide a more favorable environment for Turkish labor to voice its demands.
The second group includes new institutional developments, such as the promotion of social dialogue by direct support from the EU Commission, which propel the emergence of new opportunities that Turkish organized labor can capitalize on. Following these remarks, I finally demonstrate the ways in which the accession process helps trade unions in Turkey to improve their solidarity with their European counterparts, and how these strengthened relations invigorate the Turkish labor movement in its effort to broaden labor rights and freedoms.
In the wake of this decision, a pre-accession strategy was put into effect for preparing Turkey for the accession negotiations. This strategy included, among other things, the preparation of annually published Regular Progress Reports by the European Commission, Accession Partnership Documents by the European Council, and the adoption of the Negotiation Framework in , when negotiations for full membership were given an official start.
The EU regarded labor-related subjects as immediate priorities to be addressed by Turkey, and pressured successive governments to take action in the short-term to fully comply with the Copenhagen Criteria. Second, Turkey was also required to prepare a National Action Plan that could serve as a roadmap for the transposition, implementation and enforcement of the acquis. This roadmap included providing a calendar, defining financial and human resources to be utilized, and identifying the concerned institutions and social partners. For this purpose, civil society organizations in the EU began to intensify their relations with their Turkish counterparts through organizing joint workshops and conferences to help the latter enhance their capacity to adapt and contribute to European social dialogue mechanisms and overcome the bottlenecks in Turkey regarding labor issues.
These initiatives could sometimes bear fruit through the formation of new non-governmental institutional channels. The Committee relentlessly addressed labor rights violations in Turkey and called in numerous joint declarations for an urgent action to improve the existing legislation in consultation with the social partners. Since , the pre-accession assistance program, like its counterparts that were available to previous candidates, dispensed funds and technical support for developing mechanisms and institutions to strengthen the regulatory infrastructure needed to implement and enforce the acquis EC The most important and comprehensive of these programs are the National Programs NPs.
Additionally, in the Social Policy and Employment chapter of all three NPs the Turkish government provided a detailed outline and timeframe for steps to be taken in order to adapt the national legislation to the acquis. Even more importantly, in the National Action Program, Turkey proposed to create the conditions for an effective social dialogue at all levels by adopting new legislation to eliminate restrictive provisions on trade union activities. For this purpose, the program indicated that the government would draft new legislation regarding the amending of the Law on Trade Unions No.
In this regard, the adoption of a new law that regulated the issues of unionization of civil servants No. In addition, numerous laws and bylaws came into force to bring the existing legislation in line with the EU directives, especially in the fields of labor law including new regulations on annual paid leave, working times, the Wage Guarantee Fund to protect employees in cases of bankruptcy, child and adolescent labor, the obligations of employers to inform and consult employees, part-time employment, fixed-term contracts , occupational health and safety, combating discrimination, and equal opportunities for men and women MoLSS, n.
Turkey also promised to take steps in the fields of employment policy, the European Social Fund, social inclusion, social protection, reducing the scope of informal economy and undeclared work, prevention of child labor, and parental leave, as these issues were often mentioned in the Regular Reports NP Since , Turkish authorities have been working on drafting JAP, which is expected to provide a general picture of the employment situation in Turkey and highlight challenges and priorities to guide employment and labor market reforms.
One of the key priorities addressed in the JAP is to ensure that wage developments, the wage formation system and tax-benefit systems are employment-friendly. Moreover, in line with the European Employment Strategy, the employment policy in Turkey is geared towards promoting a more proactive and preventive approach to employment in order to reinforce social cohesion and inclusion, promote equal opportunities, modernize labor markets, and ensure the availability of resources for human capital investment and social infrastructure Kintzele Despite the existence of numerous mechanisms and institutions 20 that serve as official communication channels between government authorities and civil organizations, these channels are plagued with serious shortcomings as far as a genuine, constructive social dialogue is concerned.
Especially with the establishment of the Tripartite Consultation Board, it became an obligatory task for the Ministry of Labor and Social Security MoLSS to consult representatives of workers and employers about issues concerning working life. In successive Progress Reports since , the Commission called for more amendments in the law in order to create a more efficacious venue for consultation of employers and trade unions organizations, especially on labor issues.
It was clear in these reports, as well as other official documents, that the development of free and genuine social dialogue was deemed by the EU a necessary step for Turkey to broaden the scope of trade union rights and freedoms, especially to eliminate restrictive provisions relating to the right to strike and to collective bargaining. For this purpose, the Progress Reports urged the private sector, public authorities and social partners to show their commitments to social dialogue and take necessary measures to remove obstacles EC 89; EC ESC members reached a consensus on drafting a new founding statute for the organization which aimed to reduce the weight of the government while social groups — not necessarily limited to the representatives of workers and employers — could find more venues to voice their demands.
Moreover, it was agreed that the Council met at least four times a year, and that representatives of each member social organization in the ESC would become the chair and vice-chair in rotation. Yet, at the time of writing, this draft legislation is still pending. Undoubtedly, these developments were the aspirations of organized labor in Turkey for decades. At this critical juncture, these aspirations overlapped with the requirements of EU membership. I will discuss the possible implications of these developments in the final section of this paper, yet at this point it is necessary to underline that the introduction of legal changes and institutionalization of practices such as the social dialogue have begun to change the ways through which state-labor-capital relations take place.
In the following section, we will see how the EU process helps Turkish trade unions realize this potential not only through pressing for change in the legal and institutional environment, but also through making available new communication and solidarity channels with the European labor movement. For instance, trade union confederations could find the opportunity to establish more intense contacts with the government and employer representatives during regular meetings at the ESC or the Tripartite Consultation Board, which conferred them more space to participate in the policy formulation processes.
In addition to having their voices heard in these settings, trade unions and confederations intensified relations with employers by utilizing bi-partite social dialogue mechanisms. In such areas as vocational training, technological upgrading, environmental issues, elimination of child labor, effective implementation of labor laws, health and safety at the workplace, and, in some instances, wage related issues, representatives of trade unions and employers began to develop and benefit from new communication and negotiation channels SDMWG As mentioned above, EU financial support for enhancing and institutionalizing these social dialogue initiatives bore fruit as projects carried out jointly by the unions, employer organizations and public authorities.
In these projects, significant steps were taken to utilize and institutionalize social dialogue mechanisms and devise communication channels between the parties in resolving such issues as improving working conditions for women, 25 the effective implementation of labor laws, 26 consultation with and informing of workers, 27 vocational training, and fighting unemployment. These conferences became important venues for the Turkish unionists to meet and exchange ideas with political party representatives, government officials and employer representatives, as well as unionists and officials from Europe, to discuss important matters, including European social models, labor laws, trade union rights, occupational health, and gender equality at work.
These topics included labor law, European Social Dialogue, trade union rights, social exclusion, gender equality, occupation health. This way, existing venues of struggle for the improvement of working conditions and labor freedoms in Turkey have been supplemented with the support from European trade unions. Today, a considerable number of unions maintain contacts with their European counterparts in one way or another. They often participate in the regular meetings of the European industry federation with which they are affiliated. In numerous sectors, but especially in chemicals, petroleum, textiles, and metal, Turkish trade unions either initiate or participate in joint workshops, education seminars and conferences, which bring together trade unionists and experts from different countries to focus on important themes in the European Industrial Relations system.
Unions organized in the above-mentioned industrial sectors in Turkey often inform their European counterparts and their parent European industrial federations about ongoing industrial conflicts with their employers, who are often subsidiaries of a parent multinational company headquartered in one of the EU member countries.