This article discusses trade union responses in Turkey to Syrian refugees against a background characterized by shrinking boundaries of union inclusion. The analysis is based on semi-structured interviews with trade union executives from confederations and affiliated trade unions in textile and garment, construction, local public services, commerce and metal sectors, and focus group discussions with union members in the workplace. At the confederation level, Turkey’s trade union movement generally adopts a solidaristic rhetoric regarding Syrian refugees and attempts to shape trade union policies accordingly. However, there is little articulation with sectoral unions and the work-place level. Sectoral unions who do not encounter Syrian workers in the workplace do not place refugee issues on the trade union agenda. Instead union-level responses foreground the negative effects of Syrian refugees on the labour market while humanitarian considerations remain secondary. Unions demand formal employment of Syrian refugees should be ensured to eliminate these problems to prevent competition with local labour leading to a race to the bottom regarding pay and working conditions. Members at the workplace level oppose Syrian refugees with an exclusionary and somewhat hostile attitude, alleging that they damage the labour market, urban security and social life.