Building Coalitions for Transnational Trade Union Solidarity: Comparative Analysis of Three Campaigns from Turkey


  • Emre Eren Korkmaz Istanbul Kemerburgaz University



As in many other countries Turkish trade unions have become increasingly active in applying transnational mechanisms to target transnational corporations (TNCs) and suppliers that do not respect labor rights. This article focuses on the contributions of Global Union Federations (GUFs) in coordinating transnational solidarity campaigns and the European trade union movement’s use of its 'social dialogue' policy to support Turkish struggles. The method of organizing transnational solidarity campaigns through a coalition building process among unions and pro-labor NGOs is explained and three solidarity campaigns from Turkey, (UPS campaign in the transport sector, Novamed campaign in the chemical sector and the DESA campaign in the textile-leather sector) are compared. This coalition building process offers suitable conditions to unite the power coming from production with the power coming from consumption and is able to put effective pressure on TNCs to respect labor rights. The ability of transnational campaigns to follow up issues and coalitions' willingness to work together for a long period determine the fate of unions' activities.