How do Shop Stewards Perceive their Situation and Tasks?: Preconditions for Support of Union Work
2001 (English)In: Economic and Industrial Democracy, ISSN 0143-831X (print) 1461-7099 (online), Vol. 22, no 4, 569-599 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
When unions worldwide confront a decline in density and power,pressure increases on shop stewards. They occupy a positiondesribed s demanding, which involves striking a balance betweenconciliation and tough negotiation, between ordinary work andunion work, and feelings of isolation from members. If shopstewards already experien a demanding work situation, and parallelto this the overall union conditions become aggravated, a nextstep would be to find out in what ways their situation can befacilitated. This article is based on data desribing recentexperiences of Swedish shop stewards, and it compares theirsituation to that desribed in the international research literature.It is found that the basic components of union work remain stable,in spite of rent labour relations changes and national differences.However, lees than half of the reported problems were relatedto direct contact with the employer. Shop stewards generalyexperience a situation characterized by inherent conflict andwide-ranging tasks, resulting in high demands on their skillsand in role overload. On the other hand, the results indicatedifferences with regard to the ulnion affilation, age, experienceand gender. En the eyes of union members the shop stew ardslargely emb ody the ui on organizati on. Therefore, they shouldreeive increased attention when dealing with the problems ofunions. Measures to facilitate their work can include training,supportive networks and access to adequate information technology,and can further be targeted with regard to age/experience andgender.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2001. Vol. 22, no 4, 569-599 p.
labour relations, shop stewards, trade unions, union membership
National CategorySocial Sciences
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-13485DOI: 10.1177/0143831X01224006OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-13485DiVA: diva2:20852