Internal and External Power Dynamics in Heterogeneous Coalitions: The Campaign for $15/h in Quebec

Monday, 16 July 2018: 17:58
Oral Presentation
Mylene FAUVEL, Université de Montréal, Canada
Launched in the U.S., the “Fight for fifteen” campaign has now been adopted by different Canadian organizations (rights-based NGOs, trade unions, community organizations and left-wing political parties). Though the advantages of labour-community coalitions are widely studied, in facts, action coalition work is still rising some tensions in-between organizations.

This proposed research will be addressing the challenges embedded in inter-organizational alliances within the $15 campaigns in Quebec. It argues that coalition work engages a threefold domination relationship which is due to 1) the power imbalance between organizations, 2) the role and position of spokespersons inside their organizations and 3) the representation by the coalition of precarious workers. Accordingly, it identifies coalitions as a dynamic structure of power relations that we can’t deconstruct without critically investigating their internal (within organization and small groups of activists) and external (networks of allies, target groups) relational contexts.

This research builds on more than 15 months of participation-observation in various active coalitions engaged in the fight for improving the living conditions of the working poor in Quebec.