Workplace delegates and worker power
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In a survey of 2500 workplace union delegates in eight unions we examined the power of workers at the local, workplace level. We found local member power to be significantly related to a number of factors associated with the organising agenda. Local power was stronger where: unions were democratically organised; delegates were confident, active, had clear roles and had strong networks of support at the workplace and with the union office, particularly through the organiser; unions promoted common identity through inclusive policies than took seriously women's issues; the employer (and the delegates' supervisor) were supportive of the union delegate's role; and where job security was not declining. Training indirectly helped strengthen local power. Employer-related factors were only one eighth as important as union-related factors.
21st Century Work: High road or low road
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