Trade Unions in Transformation: Acquiring and Applying Power Resources

Monday, 16 July 2018: 10:30-12:20
RC44 Labor Movements (host committee)

Language: English

Instead of dismissing labour as a product of the past, labour studies has been revitalised over the past two decades by studies that emphasise the ability of trade unions to act strategically (for instance Voss/Sherman, 2000; Frege/Kelly, 2004; Turner, 2006; Chun, 2009; Lévesque/Murray, 2013). New organising strategies are emerging in the face of the growing informalisation and precarisation of work. The trade union revitalisation discourse recognises that trade unions have a strategic choice in responding to the challenge of globalisation. They do so by utilising their existing power resources while attempting to develop new power resources. The concept of power resources identifies four dimensions of union power – structural, associational, institutional and societal – providing a method to understand what strategic choices unions may pursue (Piven, 2000; Wright, 2002; Silver, 2003; Chun, 2009; Brookes, 2013; Schmalz/Dörre, 2014; Webster/Ludwig, 2017) We propose a panel that would provide a platform for researchers who have applied the power resources approach to union organising. We are looking for papers that analyse what power resources trade unions have developed, how they have been utilised and how successful they have been in revitalising unions. We envisage the panel as a bridge between academic analysis and trade union action. The focus of the panel will be on identifying critical factors of success and failure in regard to organisational transformation and the development and utilisation of power resources.
Session Organizers:
Stefan SCHMALZ, Friedrich Schiller-University, Germany and Edward WEBSTER, University of Witwatersrand, South Africa
Stefan SCHMALZ, Friedrich Schiller-University, Germany
Edward WEBSTER, Society, Work and Development Institute (SWOP), South Africa
Oral Presentations
Transforming Unions through Organising Informal Workers in Uganda
Dave SPOONER, Global Labour Institute, United Kingdom; John Mark MWANIKA, Amalgamated Transport and General Workers' Union, Uganda
Securing, Leveraging and Sustaining POWER for Street Vendors of India
Arbind SINGH, NASVI, India; Sachin KUMAR, Government College of Teacher Education, India
Rebuilding Workers’ Power Beyond Corporate Boundaries
Aelim YUN, Centre for Labour and Welfare Law, Republic of Korea
Mega Sporting Events: Innovative Trade Union Strategies at the Construction Industry in Brazil
Mauricio ROMBALDI, Universidade Federal da Paraíba (UFPB), Brazil
Mobilizing Strategic Capacity: Logistics and Retail Unions at Walmart Chile
Carolina BANK MUNOZ, Brooklyn College- City Unviersity of New York, USA
Distributed Papers
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