38 Comp. Lab. L. & Pol'y J. 45 (2016-2017)
The Union Density Issue in Turkey: Causes and Effects

handle is hein.journals/cllpj38 and id is 63 raw text is: 








THE UNION DENSITY ISSUE IN TURKEY: CAUSES
                           AND EFFECTS


                                Melda  Surt

     In  most  democracies,   the emergence of strong trade unions has
contributed to social progress. Trade unions are an inseparable part of civil
society; the freedom to create and join unions, as well as to take part to union
activities is one  of  the fundamental   rights universally  recognized   by
international conventions and many   constitutions, Turkey included.' In this,
collective bargaining plays an important role and is rightly considered as an
integral part of the freedom to organize.
     The   1LO  Convention   No.   98  concerning  the  Application  of  the
Principles of the Right to Organise  and  to Bargain  Collectively2 provides
that:
     Machinery  appropriate to national conditions shall be established, where
     necessary, for the purpose of ensuring respect for the right to organise as
     defined in the preceding Articles.
     Measures  appropriate to national conditions shall be taken, where
     necessary, to encourage and promote the full development and utilisation
     of machinery for voluntary negotiation between employers or employers'
     organisations and workers' organisations, with a view to the regulation of
     terms and conditions of employment by means of collective agreements.3
     This  paper  will first examine  feeble  union  density and  collective
agreement  coverage in Turkey  (Section I). The existing legal measures aimed
to protect and promote  union  membership   and activities, coupled with the
system  of authorization and coverage  of collective agreements will then be
discussed (Section II). The study will end with a brief analysis of the effects
of the present system on  union density and collective agreements  coverage
and  attempt to find ways  to promote  organizing and  collective bargaining
(Section III).


     t Professor of Labor Law, Faculty of Law, Dokuz Eyltil University, Izmir, Turkey.
melda.sur@deu.edu.tr.
    1. The Turkish Constitution recognizes the right to form and join unions, the right to conclude
collective labor agreements and the right to strike. Law no. 2709, OFF. GAZETTE, November 9, 1982, No.
17863 bis at arts. 51-54 [CONsTITUTION] (Turk).
    2. This was entered into force on July 18, 1951. This Convention has been ratified without delay
by Turkey, in August, 8, 1951, OFF. GAZETrE, Aug. 14, 1951, No. 7884 (Turk.).
    3. Id. at arts. 3-4.


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