Union strategies in representing ‘new workers’ : the case of UK retail union

Lynch, Samantha, Pyman, Amanda, Bailey, Janis, & Price, Robin A. (2009) Union strategies in representing ‘new workers’ : the case of UK retail union. In 27th International Labour Process Conference, 6 – 8 April, Edinburgh, United Kingdom.

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The purpose of this paper is to explore the changing nature of employee voice through trade union representation in the retail industry. The retail industry is a major employer in the UK and is one of the few private sector service industries with union representation (Griffin et al 2003). The requisite union: the Distributive and Allied Workers (USDAW) union is one of the biggest unions in the country. However, the characteristics of the industry provide unique challenges for employee voice and representation including: high labour turnover; high use of casual, female and student labour; and, variable levels of union recognition (Reynolds et al 2005). Irrespective of these challenges, any extension of representation and organisation by unions in the retail sector is inherently valuable, socially and politically, given that retail workers are often categorised as vulnerable, due to the fact that they are among the lowest paid in the economy, sourced from disadvantages labour markets and increasingly subject to atypical employment arrangements (Broadbridge 2002; Henley 2006; Lynch 2005; Roan 2003).

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ID Code: 27011
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Union Strategies, New Workers, Retail Unions, Industrial Relations
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
Current > Schools > School of Management
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2009 the authors.
Deposited On: 26 Aug 2009 05:44
Last Modified: 10 Aug 2011 16:57

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