DISK Tekstil – Textile Workers Union

 - Turkish Trade Union Organization


DISK Tekstil 

There are 1 million formal textile and leather workers in Turkey and the unionization rate of the seven unions is 8.6% and the percentage of workers covered with collective agreement is less than 3% in which only three of them, including DISK Textile could pass national sector threshold. Before the new legislation, leather sector was separated from the textile sector and with the new Act, textile and leather sectors were combined.

DISK Tekstil is a prominent union in Turkey established in 1965. Before 1980, it has over 100 thousand members. Our Union was closed down by the military government and its executive committee members were arrested. In early 1990s, DISK Tekstil was re-opened and reached to ten thousand members in a short while. However in 2001, Turkey faced a huge economic crisis and especially in textile sector, textile companies could not stand against hard competition coming from China, Pakistan and Indonesia and these huge challenges in textile sector had a consequence of huge withdrawal of all trade unions.


DISK Tekstil has started a new organizational leap. Our current member figure is 11 thousand. We have branches in 7 industrial regions. We sign collective agreements in large and foreign textile companies and many medium scale firms. We move with a strategic perspective in organizing textile, leather and footwear sectors.


In Turkey, there are three labour union confederations, Türk-İş, Hak-İş and DİSK - all members of ITUC and ETUC, and one employer union confederation, TİSK.


DİSK (Confederation of Progressive Trade Unions of Turkey) was founded in 1967. DİSK has 19 affiliate unions. In 70s DİSK had its strongest period with its active struggle. In 1980 coup d’etat, military government banned DİSK till 1992 when it re-opened.