The EMAR Seminar 1 has been given by Mark Bergfeld, as scheduled, on Friday February the 26th at Finsbury Park Trust conference room, in London

The title of the seminar was “They called for workers to come, but humans arrived”. Given the present circumstances of the labour migration in the world, the title was quite reflective. Around 30 academicians and workers have responded to our invitation and filled the Conference Room at Finsbury Park.

Seminar took up several problems the first generation Turkish workers in Germany faced with an emphasis on the two important wildcat strikes in 1973 where masses of migrant workers were proactively involved and trade unions were caught off-guard.
Mark Bergfeld is himself a “migrant” child. His father is Greek and mother German. He is writing PhD on migration and labour at queen Mary University Of London. We think he is a bright and politically active young chap. He made the Powerpoint presentation on the topic mainly using German language resources.

Bergfeld presented the audience plenty of pictures from the period of essentially two wildcat strikes in Germany, the first being the strike at Pierburg  autospare-parts factory where women from several nationalities were in the forefront. This successful strike preceded the unsuccessful Ford strike in 1973 where many Turkish workers were involved.

Women workers’ strike had a profound effects on both Ford strike and further development of relations between the German trade unions (who usually had warm relations with the employers) and the migrant workers of whom Turkish workers made a considerable majority. (It would be a real advantage if he had the grip of Turkish language resources as well but that does no harm as he knows what he is talking about.)

Bergfeld told the audience about the reactions from the German press to the migrants’ involvement in the strike activity which had developed out of control of the German unions. Interesting enough (but not astonishing) newspaper BILD had denounced the strike as “Turkish terror”. 

All in all Mark’s seminar was quite satisfactory and well received.  After the presentation there were questions and discussion. We would like to thank both the presenter and the participants.

If you want

to read the text summary of Mark Bergfeld’s seminar (on 26.02.2016) please click here...

for audio file of the seminar please click here...

for video recording: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X3S_NRHBEZg


Emar 26 February 2016 Seminar photos