Can Unions Provide What Workers Want? The Case of the Queensland Health and Fitness Industry

Maconachie, Glenda J. & Sappey, Jennifer (2008) Can Unions Provide What Workers Want? The Case of the Queensland Health and Fitness Industry. In Stanton, Pauline & Young, Suzanne (Eds.) 22nd Conferecne of the Association of Industrial Relations Academics of Australia and New Zealand - Workers, Corporations and Community: Facing Choices for a Sustainable Future, 6 - 8 February, Melbourne, Australia.


Sexual, social and employment success have been linked to the physical capital drawn from having aesthetic attributes of the socially idealized body. In certain workplace settings, such as health and fitness centres, the body becomes a mainstream commodity with physical capital affording the fitness worker a high degree of distinction and adoration as well as employment opportunities. The employment relationship is shaped by 'lookism', with both the employer and employee taking advantage of the fitness worker's idealized form. The worker's physical capital provides a walking billboard advertising the employer's products and services, while exposure to comparison and adoration provides a heightened sense of self-worth, distinction and celebrity for fitness workers for which they are prepared to trade-off employment conditions. In redefining what they want from work, fitness workers challenge the traditional purpose of trade unions, and question their ability to deliver what these workers want from their employment relationship.

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ID Code: 15225
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Additional Information: The contents of this conference can be freely accessed online via the conference's web page (see hypertext link).
Additional URLs:
Keywords: Unions, Industrial Relations, Health and Fitness Industry
ISBN: 9780980476606
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > COMMERCE MANAGEMENT TOURISM AND SERVICES (150000) > BUSINESS AND MANAGEMENT (150300) > Industrial Relations (150306)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Australian Centre for Business Research
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > QUT Business School
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2008 (please consult author)
Deposited On: 17 Oct 2008 00:00
Last Modified: 29 Feb 2012 13:45

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