Update Information about the Jo-In Project in Turkey
JO-IN End-Conference in Istanbul formally concludes
the Turkey dimension of the JO-IN Project
The JO-IN Project, which began in February 2003, and commenced operations in Turkey in November 2004, has concluded the Turkey dimension of the Project with an End-Conference/Consultation at Istanbul's Bosphorus University on December 11, 2007.
Gathered in the historic Old Library, now the Conference Centre, some 50 invited participants from Turkey and globally received progress reports and engaged in discussion on the Turkey Project activities and research. Participants included representatives of international and local-level buyers ('the Brands'), their Turkish suppliers, a Turkish clothing industry spokesperson, Turkish and International trade union and NGO representatives, Turkish Government representatives, plus the JO-IN Steering Committee and Turkey-based staff and consultants.
While it was not possible to finalise all activities and reports by the December 2007 deadline, the Work-in-Progress reports presented at the Conference/Consultation will form the basis for the JO-IN Project Final Report which will appear in the 1st half of 2008.
The full Agenda for the JO-IN End Conference is posted under 'Documents' on this website.
In the photo above, Burcu Yakut-Cakar of Bosphorus University's Social Policy Forum may be seen presenting to the gathering the preliminary findings of JO-IN's research into the functionings of complaints mechanisms for workers in Turkey's garment factories. Ms Yakut-Cakar's conclusion was that the safest option for a worker with a problem at work, in the current industrial relations climate, where – certainly in practice, even if not in theory - freedom of speech and freedom of association are rights far beyond the reach of most workers, is silence.
The picture below, taken from Ms Yakut-Cakar's presentation about 'Mehmet' the all-too-typical Turkish garment worker, tells the 'Moral of the Story' graphically for the typical Turkish worker who has a problem at work, but wants to keep his/her job
Some other visual highlights from JO-IN's End-Conference
1. Opening the gathering, JO-IN Chair Vic Thorpe reminded participants of JO-IN's 2 main goals:
- Better collaboration amongst the 6 JO-IN member organizations
- Collaboration by the 6 around the fieldwork in Turkey, seeking to improve Wages, Working Hours and Freedom of Association for workers at the participating suppliers
2. JO-IN's on-site assessors, Sinan Doven and Alpay Celikel reported on their November 2007 re-assessments and evaluated progress made since the original assessments made in late 2006
3. Firat Kurt of Bogazici University, reported on the further development of the JO-IN 'Rut Tufts' Wage Ladder, based on the research by JO-IN's Academic Team in November 2007. The research tracks wage levels across the 6 participating suppliers, and reflects changes over the past year.
4. Sule Daldal of Marmara University presented the conclusions of her 6-month in-depth research into the Istanbul garment industry's vast sub-contracting sector, which underpins and supplies the top-end of the sector
5. Dan Rees, of the Ethical Trading Initiative, presented the JO-IN Steering Committee's proposals for next steps, and explained the Structured Feedback Process whereby participants and others can express their views on JO-IN to date, and on JO-IN's future
(see 'Documents' on this website for the text of the Feedback document. Comments are welcome from interested observers and may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org)
6….and many other voices were an essential part of the day's consultation process:
trade unions, local and international….
7. Appreciation and acknowledgement was expressed towards the suppliers who participated in the Project, and allowed their factories to be the focus of the Assessments and Re-assessments. An 'advance notice' Testimonial was presented to the 6 suppliers. The formal presentation of these Testimonials will take place in early 2008, at the 6 workplaces, so that the workers whose participation was essential for the JO-IN fieldwork can be included in the acknowledgements.
JO-IN's Chair presents the 'advance copy' Testimonial to the representative of 'Supplier V'
8. Appreciation was expressed also to JO-IN staff, translators and consultants, who made the Turkey Project possible. Here, Vic Thorpe thanks Ayse Ozver, the JO-IN Turkey Project Co-ordinator