The Invisible Face of Digital Labour in Turkey: Working Conditions, Practices and Expectations
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The software sector is a growing industry and has a market share of nearly USD 4–5 billion in Turkey. A qualified and rather young labour force is employed in this sector. This labour, particularly based on knowledge and information, is exposed to new forms of exploitation such as flexible working hours, telecommuting, and working on a temporary project basis. Unremunerated labour is the invisible and typical characteristic of this work model.
In this study, we try to understand working conditions in the software sector from the perspective of employees. In this respect, we conducted 14 in-depth interviews with employees in the software sector in Ankara and İstanbul. The main questions of the research are how employees define their working conditions, and what employees think about forming a union, in digital labour in general where software sector employees place themselves. Employees’ major issues are flexible working hours, temporary projects and working on a project basis. Software industry employees precisely reveal some characteristics for precarity, particularly in terms of its emotional aspects.
Precarious work is a common work form in Turkey since early 2000s. Although the software sector has an educated and qualified workforce in Turkey, the working conditions in the sector feature precarious qualities. This study examines precarious working conditions in the digital labour market for the first time in Turkey.
KeywordsTurkey Information technology Digital labour Working conditions Class Emotions
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