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Very Asymmetric Capital-Labour Relations

As said before, the Fordist mode of regulation was dominated by the capital-labour nexus, in which the power position of labour vis-a-vis capital was relatively strong. The opposite is the case for Antalya’s tourism workers whose position vis-a-vis hotel employers is very weak. There are general and specific reasons for that. In general, the majority of workers in Turkish cities are (children of) former peasants and agricultural labourers who have no class consciousness at all. In addition, independent, strong labour unions conflict with the political ideology of Kemalism and the Turkish political elites have always marginalized, if not oppressed, labour unions. Finally, Turkish democracy has been fragile over the last fifty years as a result of which leftist parties, the ‘natural’ allies of labour unions, have remained weak. Next to these general reasons, there are specific reasons why the position of tourism workers vis-a-vis hotel employers is very weak. According to Celik and Erku^-Ozturk (forthcoming), the consciousness of hotel workers is very weak because most of them are seasonal workers with very flexible labour contracts (if they have at all) who return to the countryside in the off-season period. In addition, they can hardly organize meetings to discuss their bad working conditions because of their long daily working hours and the spatial dispersion of their places of work. Finally, class consciousness, they argue, is generally not only developed in places of work but also in non-working daily life. But Antalya’s tourism workers can hardly meet each other in their scarce free time because their dormitories are scattered in space.

To conclude, the capital-labour relations in Antalya’s hotel industry have neither to do with Fordism nor with flexible specialization with its skilled workers and trustful and cooperative capital-labour relations.

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