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DISK Research Institute: Economic crisis increased poverty


During the financial crises that hit all around the globe, Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan had stated ” crisis did not affect us”. On the other hand, according to a study carried out by the Research Center for Turkey’s Revolutionary Workers UNIONs Confederation (DISK-AR), since the financial crisis, real wages DROPped substantially, and poverty increased significantly.

DISK-AR recently released its report entitled “Employment at the Industry and Real Wages” on the affect of the financial crisis on real sector as well as implications of the crisis for the workers. According to the report, in year 2009, the most severe year of the financial crisis, the largest 500 companies of Turkey achieve 82.4 % profit. The largest 500 companies also increased their profits by 10 % while the second 500 largest companies increased their profits by 30%. These figures also match with the figures released by the Istanbul Stock Exchange, IMKB. Report also stated that the number of Turkish billionaires increased from 13 to 28.


DISK-AR’s report also shows that while workers lost in terms of real wages, the growth in the industrial sector increased substantially. According to the report, in the second quarter of the year 2010, worker’s wages on average decreased by 5.57 % compared to the period before the crisis. The largest losses in wages are observed in industries working on machinery and equipment production and maintenance. The wages’ of the workers working in these sectors decreased on average by 32.2%. In other words, workers in these sectors lost their purchasing power by one third. The second largest hit sector after the crisis is the steel industry with losses in real wages on average about 24%. Workers working in the auto industry are also hurt severely by the crisis by losing about 11% in their real wages.


The report also highlighted the losses in industries working in the sectors that produce coal and oil based products. The production in these sectors DROPped by 14%. Another big hit was in the textile sector, which was already in recession since 2005. Since 2005, real wages in the textile sector decreased by 16.5%, and compared the period before the last crisis, wages DROPped by 6%. The report concludes that while the bread of the workers is getting smaller, the profits raised by the employers is increasing dramatically.