02 December 2010, Thursday

Workshop on new media and labour movements

Center for Social Research and Education (TAREM) and LabourWorld.Net jointly organized a workshop on December 27th, titled " New Media and Opportunities for the Labour Movement" at Taksim Hill Hotel in Istanbul.

Among the participants were labor unions from different industries such as Birleşik Metal-İş, Harb-İş, Koop-İş, Tez-Koop-İş as well as journalists, activists, and computer programmers. Eric Lee, representative for LabourStart was also present during the workshop.


Gökhan Biçici , coordinater of TAREM, made the opening remarks of the workshop. Biçici stated that TAREM would increase its focus on studies on new media and labor movements. During his speech, Biçici provided a short history of the evolution of the needs of capital starting 1960s. According to Biçici, the crisis of capital accumulation that became severe during 1960s generated the need for the formation of new forms of money making such as speculations through which investors can make money out of money. In order to realize this, Biçici asserted that, dramatic advances in transportation technologies as well as development of new information and communication technologies took place in recent history. Biçici also argued that internet was not only a means for further capital accumulation, but also a crucial "economic space" in itself.


During his presentation, Biçici provided an analysis of the TAREM's 2008 project on workers and information, communication technologies. Biçici also mentioned that TAREM would be working with universities and unions to offer certificate programs to union employees starting January 2011.


Eric Lee of LabourStart gave a presentation titled "10 years of online activism- ten lessons". Lee argued that despite benefits of online activism, face to face interaction was still very important. Lee also stressed the role of languages and reminded that LabourStart was available in 30 languages whereas international union confederation ITUC did publications in only 3 languages.

While talking about the network of journalists working at LabourStart , Lee  explained the processes through which workers from all around the world could publish news articles at the LabourStart. Lee also provided information on Unionbook with 2500 current members, which is an online social network service for workers inspired by Facebook.

After the presentations, multiple workshops were carried out by the participation of union representatives, union specialists, and workers. Organizers of the workshop stated that the proceedings of the workshop would be shared with public soon after publication.

İstanbul - Labour World