Customers, Workers, and Leverage in Service Sector Organizing

Tuesday, 12 July 2016: 14:15
Location: Hörsaal 48 (Main Building)
Oral Presentation
Rachel SHERMAN, New School for Social Research, USA
One of the key features of the service sector is that most service occupations involve customers more directly than manufacturing occupations, in one of two capacities: first, in interaction between workers and customers; second, in the timeliness of delivery of services or goods associated with services (such as airline flight meals or clean offices or hotel rooms). While these jobs don’t typically involve interaction with consumers, the demands of consumers provide leverage for workers in these jobs, where time is of the essence.  Drawing primarily on evidence from the flight catering industry and the hotel industry, this paper looks at the role of customers in union organizing in both types of jobs.