Work-life interference and gender in the mining and energy industry

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Peetz, David
Murray, Georgina
Muurlink, Olav
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2014
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Abstract

In the context of the widespread adoption of 12-hour shifts in the male-dominated mining and energy industry, and using data gathered from 2566 unionised mining and energy workers and 1915 partners, we investigate the extent and gendering of work-life interference in that industry. We ask about the ways, if any, in which work-life interference occurs; whether patterns of interference differ between male and female mineworkers; whether patterns of interference differ between mineworkers and their partners; and how working time preferences affect work-life interference among mineworkers and their partners. We find extensive interference, mitigated by predictability and 'blocks of time', but these are not enough to offset the impact of the length and rotation of shifts. Gendering takes several forms. The interaction between the domestic and market spheres leads female mine and energy workers to experience greater interference. Long hours and long shifts create significant work-life interference, and part of the burden is shifted to mineworkers' (mostly female) partners, manifested in shortfalls in full-time labour force participation and in stresses upon the partner. We discuss the implications of the findings for policy and practice.

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Labour & Industry

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24

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4

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© 2014 Taylor & Francis (Routledge). This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Labour & Industry on 16 Dec 2014, available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/10301763.2014.978968

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Industrial and employee relations

Human geography

Policy and administration

Sociology not elsewhere classified

Human resources and industrial relations

Strategy, management and organisational behaviour

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