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LS 2A03E - Union Democracy and Equity - Sept 25.docx

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Labour Studies
Sam Vrankulj

LABOUR STUDIES 2A03E – UNIONS UNION DEMOCRACY AND EQUITY – September 25, 2013 Union Structure - More bureaucratized and service oriented - Union structures reflected narrower roles increases in wages and benefits o “bigger piece of the pie” Meanwhile in the Union Movement - Labour movement purge of “radical elements” o Anti-Soviet Cold War hysteria o Contradictory ideology seen as dated and potentially undermining post war gains “Male” Model of Unionism - Single establishment certification favoured industries dominated by men - Institutionalized discrimination in those workplaces that did employ women o Separate seniority lists, segregation, male culture, and bargaining priorities So What? - Limits on strikes and other forms of direct action - Unions “policed” collective agreements - Unions shifted to new “administrative” role in workplace - Unions “masculinized” - Politically moderate unionism (expelled the radical left) - Atrophied capacity to politicize and mobilize - Union purpose and function o Depoliticized and narrowed - Methods o Focus on collective bargaining and legislative reform - Inclusions and Exclusions o Narrowed to the interests of union members (mostly males) and other unionized workers, north-south oriented continental unionism Business Unionism vs. Social Unionism - Business Unionism o Role: protect immediate economic interests of union members  Seek stable relationship with management o Methods: collective bargaining, union bureaucracy of experts - Social Unionism o Role: Also pursue broader social and political reforms for all working people o Methods: collective bargaining and political action (electoral politics, coalition building, “extra-parliamentary” activity), membership mobiliza
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