For Work / Against Work
Debates on the centrality of work

"Blocked and new frontiers for trade unions: Contesting ‘the meaning of work’ in the creative and caring sectors"

by Umney, Charles; Coderre-LaPalme, Genevieve (2017)


Many jobs feature tensions between workers' own motivations, and the objectives imposed on them by management or economic imperatives. We call these tensions 'meaning of work conflicts'. We ask whether trade unions can intervene in them, or whether they are simply too subjective to be a credible campaigning focus. We examine two professional groups in Britain and France, musicians and healthcare staff. Among musicians, workers tend to negotiate meaning of work conflicts themselves, seeing little role for unions in this process …


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