Conducts research and collects data on the global history of labour, workers, and labour relations

Today in Labour History

22 September 1908
Ad for Tiring Department Store ca 1913

Shopworkers in Istanbul

Western department stores played an important role in Istanbul’s retail trade in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. They were important economic actors and employed hundreds of local citizens. In a research article in IRSH (vol 54, 2009, supplement), Yavuz Köse among other things explores the workforce of 'vertical bazaars', e.g. western department stores between 1889 and 1920.

A majority of employees were Ottoman Greeks, followed by Europeans and Jews. Armenians seem to have been employed less frequently. Most servants were probably of Muslim origin.  Male employees dominated the scene.

Although department store employees were highly paid, even in relation to salaries in European stores, on 22 September 1908 the employees of EOB declared a strike demanding a substantial wage increase. The strike lasted three weeks.

More info: Western Department Stores and their Staff in Istanbul.....

Past week

21 September 1981

Poster from Ireland, design Hector Cattolica,  1981
20 September 1932

'Camp en route to the big city, 1998', photo Ravi Agarwal, from the IISH web exhibition Down and Out
19 September 1935

Poster We love Stakhanov 1936
18 September 1927

Miners March to London 1927
17 September 1877

Josephine Butler
16 September 1986