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19 Oct 2012
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Economical and Social Dimensions of Unionization in Turkish Textile and Clothing Sector

Published Online: 03 Mar 2021
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Journal Details
License
Format
Journal
First Published
19 Oct 2012
Publication timeframe
4 times per year
Languages
English
Abstract

Textile and clothing sector possesses a significant place in Turkish manufacturing industry as well as in exports, investments, gross national product and employment; also maintains its locomotive sector position in development for a long time with its established production potential and labor force. However, there are serious issues about the unionization of workers in the sector. On one hand, this situation causes an increment in social and economical issues of workers and enterprises and on the other hand, it damages democracy within the enterprise. In this context, this study aims to suggest tangible solutions by revealing the economical and social differences between unionization and non-unionization in the sector. Besides, the study differs from other studies and contributes to the literature due to its two-sided research structure (workers and employers) and analysis of unionization in textile and clothing sector in terms of economical and social aspects. In accordance with the aim of the research, two separate surveys are conducted for textile and clothing enterprises, which operate throughout Turkey, and for unionized and non-unionized blue-collar workers of these enterprises. The obtained data are analyzed by using descriptive statistics, exploratory factor analysis, and independent samples t-test. As stated by the research results, the perspectives of unionized and non-unionized participants differ with regard to positive and negative aspects (both economical and social aspects) of being a union member.

Keywords

Introduction

According to Cambridge English Dictionary,[1] unionization is described as the act or process of organizing workers to become members of a trade union (trade union or labor union is an organization that represents people who work in a particular industry). Labor union plays many roles such as participating in collective bargaining, leading political actions, fighting for community welfare, and organizing recreational activities. It acts as a powerful sword that safeguarded workers’ rights.[ShanH.HuE.ZhiL.ZhangL.ZhangM.2016Job satisfaction and employee's unionization decision: the mediating effect of perceived union instrumentalityJournal of Industrial Engineering and Management91110128' href="#j_aut-2021-0004_ref_002_w2aab3b7b1b1b6b1ab2b1b2Aa">2] It is also documented that unions tend to reduce inequality within firms and also lower the wage differential between management (white-collar) and labors (blue-collar). Unions tend to reduce wage inequality within particular establishments.[3] It is said that, managers should empower workers by giving them direct voice and possibilities to influence company policies and maybe even encouraging them to join a union. This empowerment not only increases job satisfaction but also increases productivity.[4]

Therefore, over the last few decades, there has been a tremendous interest to determine whether the establishment of a union affects productivity, profits, wages, or other aspects of business. The impact of unions in wages and profits has been investigated, in general, and both these factors are found to be affected by union establishment. However, others have observed an opposite association or no association between unionization and efficiency.[5] So, it could be said that, there is no consensus about the union and productivity relationship. The standard framework of the two faces of unionism suggests that both the productivity enhancing union effects and productivity detracting effects can occur at the same time and offset one another and the relative importance of these effects highly depends on the economic and regulatory environment.[6] In other words; it is observed that union membership increased worker productivity. However, later studies disputed the claim that unions had a positive impact of productivity.[3] Even, one study showed that union had little effect of productivity in some years while it had a negative effect in the remaining years. [7] It is showed that unions matter in terms of bargaining for higher wages but have negative effects on productivity and firm returns.[3]

Also, the links between unionization and job satisfaction remain controversial too.[8] Most of the studies found statistically significant negative correlations between unionization and overall job satisfaction.[ShanH.HuE.ZhiL.ZhangL.ZhangM.2016Job satisfaction and employee's unionization decision: the mediating effect of perceived union instrumentalityJournal of Industrial Engineering and Management91110128' href="#j_aut-2021-0004_ref_002_w2aab3b7b1b1b6b1ab2b1b2Aa">2, 8] Employees involved in labor movements were usually dissatisfied with certain aspects of their jobs.[ShanH.HuE.ZhiL.ZhangL.ZhangM.2016Job satisfaction and employee's unionization decision: the mediating effect of perceived union instrumentalityJournal of Industrial Engineering and Management91110128' href="#j_aut-2021-0004_ref_002_w2aab3b7b1b1b6b1ab2b1b2Aa">2] Apart from these studies, some literatures investigate the job attitudes between unionized and non-unionized employees. Findings show that unionized employees perceive low manager-employee consultation, health and safety, dispensability, time flexibility, workload flexibility, managerial trust, fair treatment, and pay equity.[9]

Furthermore, the relationship between labor unions and firms is described as cooperative in terms of production, but conflicting in terms of performance allocation. In other words, labor unions and corporations are related to the survival of enterprises and their future growth and development. However, even if the interests of the union have a direct relationship with wages, the wage in the enterprise is a cost and can thus have a conflicting relationship with the union. Previous literature on labor unions and firm performance has found that labor unions have a low positive role, limited influence, and a negative impact on profit. As a result of analyzing the effects of the existence of labor unions on corporate performance and insolvency, it is pointed out that the higher the union organization rate in the industries with relatively high economic concentration, the higher the union wages and lower the profit are.[10]

As it can be seen, many aspects of unionization have been studied in different countries and sectors. Based on this context, it can be said that unionization has also serious effects on textile and clothing sector, which is one of the most important sectors throughout the world, because the sector (especially the clothing sector) is a labor-intensive sector. Therefore, some researchers have paid attention to this subject and investigated the aspects of unionization in textile and clothing sector.

In one research, authors investigated the influence of family ownership on employee membership, perceptions and experience with unions in Danish and Italian firms in the textile and clothing sector. According to the findings, family ownership reduces union membership and within family firms, the number of family members employed is negatively associated with unionization rates and employee perceptions of unions.[11] Other article used firm level data from all the textile producing regions in India to examine the relationship between unions and labor productivity. The finding showed that fewer workers were employed per machine in the unionized mills, compared to the mills in less unionized regions. These findings suggested that unionization increased wages and compelled managers to raise productivity.[12]

The study that was conducted in a clothing factory in Sri Lanka suggested that paying detailed attention to the political economy of labor highlights a complex situation in which fostering unionization, despite its importance for the collective will of labor, may require hard work.[13] A different research explored the relationship between labor unions and labor precarity in Bangladesh's garment industry. It finds that, when unions devote themselves to the technocratic improvement of labor standards without confronting the structural conditions of precarity itself, workers can be made more vulnerable.[AshrafH.PrenticeR.2019Beyond factory safety: Labor unions, militant protest and the accelerated ambitions of Bangladesh's export garment industryDialectical Anthropology43193107' href="#j_aut-2021-0004_ref_014_w2aab3b7b1b1b6b1ab2b1c14Aa">14] Finally, a research in apparel sector in Central America stated that job growth in developing countries through outsourcing to competing firms has often actually resulted in decrease of unionization and lower wage rates relative to traditional, integrated manufacturing firms. It is found that, competitive outsourcing increases labor costs relative to total costs, which creates an incentive for employers to keep wages low and unions out.[15]

As it can be seen from the literature, there is no research about the aspects of unionization in terms of Turkish textile and clothing sector, which is one of the most significant global players of textile and clothing sector. Therefore, this study contributes to the literature by explaining the economical and social dimensions of unionization in Turkish textile and clothing sector. Also, this study is differed from the other studies in terms of analyzing the effects of unionization both in economical and social aspects. Moreover, it is differentiated due to its two-sided research structure (two separate surveys are conducted with textile and clothing enterprises operating throughout Turkey and with unionized and non-unionized blue-collar workers of these enterprises).

Method of the research

The textile and clothing sector, which is one of the leading textile and clothing suppliers of the world, possesses a significant share in Turkey's economical and social development. However, the textile and clothing enterprises and their workers are not adequately benefited from this significant share according to economical and social indicators. Moreover, the enterprises have suffered serious losses in terms of competitiveness parameters and workers’ economical and social motivations. This study aims to suggest tangible solutions by revealing the economical and social differences between unionization and non-unionization in the sector.

Turkey is chosen as a research subject; because although the sector possesses a very significant place both in country's economy and in global textile and clothing sector, the unionization rate of the sector is very low (it is only 9.51%.[16]) Also, there is no research about the aspects of unionization concerned to Turkish textile and clothing sector in the literature.

In accordance with the aim of the research, two separate surveys are conducted, one with textile and clothing enterprises, which operate throughout Turkey, and the other with unionized and non-unionized blue-collar workers of these enterprises. A questionnaire form consisting of 14 questions is prepared for enterprises whereas 33 questions are there in worker questionnaire. These surveys are conducted between December 2015 and July 2016 by using face to face interview method. The enterprise surveys are answered by senior managers.

Survey is chosen as a research method because the study aims to suggest tangible solutions by revealing the economical and social differences between unionization and non-unionization in the sector. Therefore, survey is a meaningful and a consistent tool for the representation of the whole sector, because it is applied to a sample, which has been chosen from different provinces of the country and it has successfully reflected the ideas of the sector. Also, the list of names of workers and enterprises participating in the research could be easily kept anonymous in this survey method, and this knowledge has encouraged the workers and managers to give true and explicit statements as well as their ideas.

Universe of the research consists of Turkish textile and clothing enterprises and their blue-collar workers. However, the focal point of the research is to determine the economical and social dimensions of unionization. Besides, most of the textile and clothing workers are not affiliated to any unions. Therefore, the sample size is calculated according to the unionized textile and clothing workers. As stated by Labor, Social Services and Family Ministry,[16] the number of unionized workers in textile and clothing sector is 96.309, whereas the unionization rate is 9.51% by July 2015. According to this data, universe size of the research is determined as 96.309. Sample size is calculated as 383 at 95% confidence interval with 5% error margin. In order to achieve equality, the sample size of the non-unionized textile and clothing workers is also taken as 383.

The blue-collar workers that would constitute the sample are determined according to simple random sampling from 9 provinces in which textile and clothing enterprises intensively operate and cluster. For this purpose, numbers of unionized textile and clothing workers in these provinces [17] are determined and the percentages of these numbers within the universe are calculated. Afterwards, quantities within the research sample are calculated according to these percentages and the shares of the provinces within the sample are increased 1.5 times more in order to obtain the total sample size (Table 1). The same sample distribution is also applied to the non-unionized textile and clothing workers.

The distribution of unionized workers sample according to provinces.

ProvincesNumber of unionized workersPercentages within the research universeQuantities within the research sample1.5 times more of the quantities
Adana2.5982.701015
İzmir2.0422.12812
İstanbul13.19213.705279
Tekirdağ16.97417.6268101
Kahramanmaraş2.2372.32913
Bursa13.65614.185481
Kayseri6.0876.322436
Gaziantep8.2018.523349
Denizli6380.6634
Total261391

After the repatriation and evaluation of the answered questionnaires, 766 of them incorporated to the research. After the conduction of the survey, collected data are evaluated with SPSS program. At the beginning of statistical analysis, the reliability of the questionnaire is measured and the reliability co-efficient α is found as 0.864. According to this, the scale of the questionnaire addressed to be highly reliable.

Findings of the research and their analysis

Firstly, the general findings and the differences between the findings of the unionized and non-unionized blue-collar workers in Turkish textile and clothing sector are evaluated. Secondly, the unionization viewpoints of Turkish textile and clothing enterprises are analyzed.

Analyzing the findings of unionized and non-unionized participants

The questions which aim to determine the demographic and union membership properties of the participants are evaluated firstly. The obtained findings can be seen in Table 2. Accordingly, the highest unionization rates are found among with the women participants (67%), with the participants at the age of 45 and over (71%), with the participants receiving monthly income between $667 and $1666 (52%), and finally with the participants who have graduated from secondary school or below (64%). According to these, it can be said that, as the participants’ age and experience increased, the unionization rate is also increased. On the other hand, as the participants’ education level is increased, the unionization rate is decreased.

Distribution of participants according to their demographic and union membership properties.

PropertiesAll participantsUnionized participantsNon-unionized participants
FrequencyPercentFrequencyPercentFrequencyPercent
GenderWomen19725.7132676533
Men56974.325144.131855.9
Age25 and below749.73141.94358.1
26–3432642.614444.218255.8
35–4428136.714852.713347.3
45 and over8511.16070.62529.4
Average monthly income666 $ and below53369.626349.327050.7
667 $– 1666 $2303011951.711148.3
1667 $ and over30.4133.3266.7
Education statusSecondary school or below25833.7165649336
High school38450.118347.720152.3
University12416.23528.28971.8

About 62% of the non-unionized participants indicate that, they do not own a union membership due to employer constraints, whereas 38% reveals some other reasons such as; politicization of unions, not believing the benefits of unionization, causation of polarization within the enterprise, and high union cutbacks. Based on the obtained results, we can say that more than half of the non-unionized participants do not possess union membership because of unemployment fear.

Nearly 18% of the unionized participants have a union membership for 2 year or less, whereas, 55% of them have membership between 3 and 10 years and 27% have union membership for more than 10 years. According to the obtained results, approximately 82% of the unionized members have union membership for 3 years or more. The unionized participants are required to rank three of their most important unionization reasons. The most important reason is coded as 1, second important reason is coded as 2. and third important reason is coded as 3. The findings are given in Table 3. The most important unionization reason is determined as the concordance of unions to participants’ political choices. This finding indicates that, the unions and workers are substantially politicized because the workers mostly focus on the political sides of unions when joining instead of focusing on their economic and social welfare. This situation can cause an aberration or deviation from the objectives of the basic union and a decrease in union efficiency.

Distribution of unionized participants according to their unionization reasons.

NAverageStd. Deviation
The union suits to my political choices141.290.726
The union enhances my wage and employment conditions3351.360.555
The union supports me if I have an issue in my workplace2661.470.712
Most of the workers in my workplace own a union membership.1051.720.904
I want to benefit from the union's services like education, social activities, and cooperative and social rest establishment381.760.913
I want to benefit from union's law service1902.020.937

The survey offers 24 statements, which analyze the economic and social dimensions of unionization in Turkish textile and clothing sector. All participants (unionized and non-unionized) are required to choose their agreement levels for each of these statements. In Quinary Likert scale I, absolutely agree is coded as 5, I agree is coded as 4, I have no idea is coded as 3, I don’t agree is coded as 2 and I don’t agree absolutely is coded as 1. Firstly, the averages and standard deviations of the statements are calculated. Afterwards, the statements are evaluated with exploratory factor analysis and clustered into five groups. The obtained findings are given in Table 4. According to the obtained averages, most of the participants indicate that, they want to work in a unionized enterprise and they believe that unions can provide economic and social contributions. However, they also don’t trust to unions’ future in Turkey and they fear that they may become unemployed because of having a union membership.

The results of exploratory factor analysis indicated that the samples are suitable and reliable for factor analysis (Kaiser-Meyer-Olkin measure of sampling is found 0.885 and the significance of Bartlett's Test of Sphericity is found 0.000). Principal components extraction is used for extracting factors with eigenvalues over 1 and the rotation of factor loading matrix is chosen as varimax. The standard loading of each statement is higher than 0.50 (they differ between 0.776 and 0.586) and the cumulative variance of 5 factors is found as 66.15%. The loadings (scores) of the statements within Table 4 are taken from rotated component matrix (only one loading is lower than 0.50).

The results of the exploratory factor analysis and the descriptive statistics of the statements.

FactorsStatementsRotated loadingsAverageStd. DeviationAverages of the factors
Positive aspects of being a union memberI want to accept a job that requires a union membership0.8303.950.9383.48
I want to work in a unionized enterprise0.8114.000.942
Union membership and unions are necessary for workers0.7703.711.052
A union member can gain numerous economical advantages0.7663.520.979
Unions provide advantages to workers with respect to wages0.7643.690.971
Unions provide better working and employment conditions0.7553.631.003
A union member can gain many social advantages.0.7483.251.016
Unions provide job safety to their members0.7443.391.054
Unions help workers in providing social security0.7363.601.031
Unions provide health guarantee to their members0.6763.111.041
Unions provide vocational education to their members0.6742.981.072
Being a union member makes workers happy0.6643.361.052
Being a union member provides work commitment0.6433.301.095
Unions provide numerous social activities to their members0.6203.211.052
Negative aspects of unionizationI don’t trust to labor unions’ future in Turkey0.7893.650.9913.35
Laws protect unionized workers’ rights inadequately0.7593.601.046
Workers inadequately benefit from union cutbacks0.6803.321.165
Being a union member is expensive0.4292.811.121
Importance of job and workplaceI’m committed to my workplace instead of my union.0.8023.271.0973.25
Getting a promotion is more important for me in comparison with being a union member0.7463.381.162
I can easily work in non-unionized enterprise if my job has the same properties0.7363.111.213
Negative aspects of being a union memberMy employer has negative thoughts about unionized workers0.7823.441.1383.45
A union member faces with unemployment threat0.7503.451.121
Indistinguishableness of being a union memberMy employer provides same economical and social rights to unionized and non-unionized workers0.7262.751.0982.75

The five factors, which are obtained as a result of exploratory factor analysis, are named as; positive aspects of being a union member, negative aspects of being a union member, indistinguishableness of being a union member, negative aspects of unionization and importance of job and workplace; by considering the included statements. The following hypotheses are suggested by considering the results of exploratory factor analysis:

H1: The perspectives of unionized and non-unionized participants differ with regard to positive aspects of being a union member.

H2: The perspectives of unionized and non-unionized participants differ with regard to negative aspects of being a union member.

H3: The perspectives of unionized and non-unionized participants differ with regard to indistinguishableness of being a union member.

H4: The perspectives of unionized and non-unionized participants differ with regard to negative aspects of unionization.

H5: The perspectives of unionized and non-unionized participants differ with regard to the importance of job and workplace.

All hypotheses are tested at 95% confidence interval. According to the obtained results, hypotheses1 and 2 are accepted, whereas hypotheses 3, 4, and 5 are rejected (Table 5). In other words, the perspectives of unionized and non-unionized participants differ only with regard to positive and negative aspects of being a union member. The unionized participants mostly agree with the statements regarding to positive aspects of being a union member, whereas the non-unionized participants mainly concur with statements regarding to negative aspects of being a union member.

Differences between unionized and non-unionized participants’ perspectives in terms of unionization.

Hypothesis 1NAverageStd. Deviationtdfp
Unionized participant3830.388912385472102830.831429492503209311.677738.3440.000
Non-unionized participant383−0.38891238547210361.004014548296586
Hypothesis 2NAverageStd. Deviationtdfp
Unionized participant383−0.26170076491405261.0819274400647658−7.500717.3170.000
Non-unionized participant3830.261700764914053030.8334972480866422
Hypothesis 3NAverageStd. Deviationtdfp
Unionized participant383−0.057363116988041561.0705132009549934−1.589747.5630.112
Non-unionized participant3830.057363116988041510.921965837412646
Hypothesis 4NAverageStd. Deviationtdfp
Unionized participant383−0.0596557368057122961.074591106575554−1.653745.5390.099
Non-unionized participant3830.0596557368057125460.9169163038964607
Hypothesis 5NAverageStd. Deviationtdfp
Unionized participant3830.026477107523291651.00245739186552570.7337640.464
Non-unionized participant383−0.0264771075232916180.9981438943076988
Analyzing the findings of participating enterprises

According to the obtained results, 16% of the participating enterprises are established as limited company, whereas 84% of them are started as incorporated company. If their capital structures are analyzed, it can be seen that 95% of them possess 100% domestic capital, whereas 5% has both domestic and foreign capital. As stated by the obtained results, 59% of the participating enterprises operate as integrated enterprise, whereas 16% of them operate in clothing sector, 10% operates in finishing and dying, 5% operates in knitting, 5% operates in weaving, and 5% operates in yarn production. The participating enterprises averagely employ 621 blue-collar workers.

Note that 68% of the participating enterprises employ unionized workers, whereas 32% of them don’t employ unionized workers. The non-unionized participating enterprises are asked to choose the most important reason of non-unionization within their enterprises. Also, 66% of the non-unionized participating enterprises indicate that their enterprises are non-unionized because their workers do not prefer owning a union membership. Besides, according to them, unions negatively affect productivity and tranquility within the enterprise. On the other hand, 34% of the non-unionized participating enterprises specify that their enterprises are non-unionized because their managements regard unionization as unnecessary and unions cause polarization within the enterprise. According to another result, the unionized participating enterprises averagely employ 522 blue-collar workers. This finding demonstrates that the unionization is generally found at large-sized and institutionalized enterprises.

The survey offers 7 statements, which analyze the union activities within their enterprises. All unionized participating enterprises are required to choose their agreement levels for each of these statements. In Quinary Likert scale, I absolutely agree is coded as 5, I agree is coded as 4, I have no idea is coded as 3, I don’t agree is coded as 2, and I don’t agree absolutely is coded as 1. The findings are given in Table 6. As it can be seen from the obtained results, enterprises generally think positive about the union activities.

Distribution of unionized participating enterprises according to the union activities within their enterprises.

StatementsNAverageStd. Deviation
Union activities positively affect the enterprise image134.150.899
Union activities positively affect the work peace134.000.913
Union activities positively affect the production quality133.920.954
Union activities positively affect the work commitment133.761.013
Union activities positively affect the workers’ social and cultural development133.691.109
Union activities positively affect the workers’ productivity133.611.044
Union activities positively affect the enterprise growth133.531.050
General evaluation and suggestions

Turkish textile and clothing sector, which is a cornerstone of industrialization and development, has protected and maintained its efficiency and importance in national economy for many years due to its contributions to gross domestic product, employment, exports, and created net added-value. Qualified labor force is one of the sector's significant competitive advantages. However, the qualified labor is inadequate by itself in order to achieve qualified and cost efficient production. Qualified labor should be pleased with their working and employment conditions and possessed rights. At this point, unions are occurred as an opportunity and legal right for workers in aspect of knowing and protecting their possessed rights. In this context, this study aims to suggest tangible solutions by revealing the economical and social differences between unionization and non-unionization in the sector.

As stated by the research results, the highest unionization rates in textile and clothing sector exist among the women participants (67%), the participants who are at the age of 45 and over (71%), the participants who possess monthly income between $667 and $1666 (52%) and the participants who have graduated from secondary school or below (64%). Based on these results, it can be said that, as the participants’ age and experience are increased, the unionization rate is also increased. On the other hand, as the participants’ education level is increased, the unionization rate is decreased. It is expected that, the unionization rate should be increased as the education level is increased. However, the obtained result is just the opposite, because unions are seen as a tool for better wages by the workers who are not well-educated. Besides, well-educated unemployed army has been occurred in Turkey due to the increasing education level. This situation has caused unemployment and hungriness fear in well-educated workers if they quit or are dismissed. Therefore, well-educated workers do not want to possess a union membership although it is a legal right.

About 62% of the non-unionized participants indicate that, they do not own a union membership due to employer constraints or in other words due to the unemployment fear. As it can be seen from the obtained result, employers discontinue unionization although it is a legal right. Therefore, this situation causes low unionization rate among the workers.

As stated by the research results, two of the hypotheses are accepted, whereas three of them are rejected. According to this, the perspectives of unionized and non-unionized participants differ only with regard to positive and negative aspects of being a union member. The unionized participants mostly agree with the statements with regard to positive aspects of being a union member, whereas the non-unionized participants mainly concur with statements with regard to negative aspects of being a union member. Besides, most of the participants indicate that, they want to work in a unionized enterprise and they believe that unions can provide economical and social contributions. However, they also don’t trust to unions’ future in Turkey and they fear of being unemployed because of owning a union membership.

If the employer aspect of the research is analyzed, it can be seen that, more than half of the participant enterprises employ unionized workers. Further, 66% of the non-unionized participating enterprises indicate that their enterprises are non-unionized because their workers do not prefer owning a union membership. Besides, according to them, unions negatively affect productivity and tranquility within the enterprise. Workers indicate that they do not own a union membership due to employer constraints. However, enterprises specify that their workers do not prefer owning a union membership. As it can be seen, the employers do not accept their constraints.

Most of the unionized participating enterprises demonstrate that union activities positively affect the enterprise image, work peace, production quality, work commitment, and workers’ social and cultural development. In other words, the unionized participating enterprises indicate that unionization is beneficial for both enterprises and workers.

Unionization should not be seen just as a tool for the development and protection of workers’ social and economical rights. As it can be seen from the research results, unions provide competitive advantage to the enterprises and open new doors. The enterprises actualize certain projects in cooperation with unions due to their obligations toward both enterprises and workers. In recent years, large-sized buyer groups look positively to cooperation with unions and they think this cooperation as one of their global demands. This situation can provide serious brand value and market image to the enterprises, which is the benefit obtained in unionization.

The labor costs can only be lowered to a certain level in unionized enterprises. In other words, enterprises should understand that the only way of gaining competitive advantage does not pass from labor cost decrease. Therefore, unionized enterprises should lean toward product innovation, organizational innovation, process innovation, and marketing innovation in order to achieve competitiveness. Besides, unionized enterprises can easily bring innovative and institutional rivalry strategies by concentrating on productivity, quality, and service increment. Therefore, enterprises should not see the unionization as a threat for themselves and they should focus on the acquired advantages and new opportunities.

On the other hand, unions should compatibly collaborate with enterprises in order achieve win-win principle. They should focus on the implementations, which can increase the competitiveness and success of enterprises, because unions can only protect the workers’ future and rights by maintaining their existence in successful and developing enterprises. On one hand they should focus on increasing social and professional improvement of the workers while on the other hand they should also pay attention to the enterprises’ achievements. Besides, unions should increase the cooperation between each other and they should not damage each other within the same enterprise by impairing rivalry.

As a consequence, the productivity and happiness of workers are extremely important for Turkish textile and clothing sector, which possesses a significant and essential place in the national economy. Productive and happy labor force is necessary for qualified and rapid production as well as a key factor for competitiveness. In this context, union activities are extremely important if the sector wants to employ productive, efficient, and happy workers. However, the sector should make progress in unionization. On one hand, employers should focus on the advantages of unionization and on the other hand unions should clearly and explicitly state themselves and their activities to both workers and employers.

Distribution of unionized participants according to their unionization reasons.

NAverageStd. Deviation
The union suits to my political choices141.290.726
The union enhances my wage and employment conditions3351.360.555
The union supports me if I have an issue in my workplace2661.470.712
Most of the workers in my workplace own a union membership.1051.720.904
I want to benefit from the union's services like education, social activities, and cooperative and social rest establishment381.760.913
I want to benefit from union's law service1902.020.937

The distribution of unionized workers sample according to provinces.

ProvincesNumber of unionized workersPercentages within the research universeQuantities within the research sample1.5 times more of the quantities
Adana2.5982.701015
İzmir2.0422.12812
İstanbul13.19213.705279
Tekirdağ16.97417.6268101
Kahramanmaraş2.2372.32913
Bursa13.65614.185481
Kayseri6.0876.322436
Gaziantep8.2018.523349
Denizli6380.6634
Total261391

Distribution of unionized participating enterprises according to the union activities within their enterprises.

StatementsNAverageStd. Deviation
Union activities positively affect the enterprise image134.150.899
Union activities positively affect the work peace134.000.913
Union activities positively affect the production quality133.920.954
Union activities positively affect the work commitment133.761.013
Union activities positively affect the workers’ social and cultural development133.691.109
Union activities positively affect the workers’ productivity133.611.044
Union activities positively affect the enterprise growth133.531.050

Distribution of participants according to their demographic and union membership properties.

PropertiesAll participantsUnionized participantsNon-unionized participants
FrequencyPercentFrequencyPercentFrequencyPercent
GenderWomen19725.7132676533
Men56974.325144.131855.9
Age25 and below749.73141.94358.1
26–3432642.614444.218255.8
35–4428136.714852.713347.3
45 and over8511.16070.62529.4
Average monthly income666 $ and below53369.626349.327050.7
667 $– 1666 $2303011951.711148.3
1667 $ and over30.4133.3266.7
Education statusSecondary school or below25833.7165649336
High school38450.118347.720152.3
University12416.23528.28971.8

The results of the exploratory factor analysis and the descriptive statistics of the statements.

FactorsStatementsRotated loadingsAverageStd. DeviationAverages of the factors
Positive aspects of being a union memberI want to accept a job that requires a union membership0.8303.950.9383.48
I want to work in a unionized enterprise0.8114.000.942
Union membership and unions are necessary for workers0.7703.711.052
A union member can gain numerous economical advantages0.7663.520.979
Unions provide advantages to workers with respect to wages0.7643.690.971
Unions provide better working and employment conditions0.7553.631.003
A union member can gain many social advantages.0.7483.251.016
Unions provide job safety to their members0.7443.391.054
Unions help workers in providing social security0.7363.601.031
Unions provide health guarantee to their members0.6763.111.041
Unions provide vocational education to their members0.6742.981.072
Being a union member makes workers happy0.6643.361.052
Being a union member provides work commitment0.6433.301.095
Unions provide numerous social activities to their members0.6203.211.052
Negative aspects of unionizationI don’t trust to labor unions’ future in Turkey0.7893.650.9913.35
Laws protect unionized workers’ rights inadequately0.7593.601.046
Workers inadequately benefit from union cutbacks0.6803.321.165
Being a union member is expensive0.4292.811.121
Importance of job and workplaceI’m committed to my workplace instead of my union.0.8023.271.0973.25
Getting a promotion is more important for me in comparison with being a union member0.7463.381.162
I can easily work in non-unionized enterprise if my job has the same properties0.7363.111.213
Negative aspects of being a union memberMy employer has negative thoughts about unionized workers0.7823.441.1383.45
A union member faces with unemployment threat0.7503.451.121
Indistinguishableness of being a union memberMy employer provides same economical and social rights to unionized and non-unionized workers0.7262.751.0982.75

Differences between unionized and non-unionized participants’ perspectives in terms of unionization.

Hypothesis 1NAverageStd. Deviationtdfp
Unionized participant3830.388912385472102830.831429492503209311.677738.3440.000
Non-unionized participant383−0.38891238547210361.004014548296586
Hypothesis 2NAverageStd. Deviationtdfp
Unionized participant383−0.26170076491405261.0819274400647658−7.500717.3170.000
Non-unionized participant3830.261700764914053030.8334972480866422
Hypothesis 3NAverageStd. Deviationtdfp
Unionized participant383−0.057363116988041561.0705132009549934−1.589747.5630.112
Non-unionized participant3830.057363116988041510.921965837412646
Hypothesis 4NAverageStd. Deviationtdfp
Unionized participant383−0.0596557368057122961.074591106575554−1.653745.5390.099
Non-unionized participant3830.0596557368057125460.9169163038964607
Hypothesis 5NAverageStd. Deviationtdfp
Unionized participant3830.026477107523291651.00245739186552570.7337640.464
Non-unionized participant383−0.0264771075232916180.9981438943076988

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