Conferenza / Incontro

Resisting Outsourcing

Learning from migrant workers power-building strategies in the British service sector
11 luglio 2023
Orario di inizio 
Palazzo di Sociologia - Via Verdi 26, Trento
Sala riunioni III piano e Online
Organizzato da: 
CoACT - Research Group on Collective Action, Change and Transition
Ingresso libero
Online su prenotazione
Andrea Signoretti
Davide Però, University of Nottingham Business School

Associate Professor in Employment Relations/HRM

Chair: Katia Pilati (University of Trento)

Finding little representation in established unions concerned primarily with standard workers, outsourced precarious workers are turning to self-organization sometimes resulting in new labour formations. Although understudied, these new formations have often been effective in obtaining concessions from employers including, for example, the living wage, sick and holiday pay and the end of subcontracting and bogus self-employment. This seminar interrogates how it is possible to negotiate concessions in conditions of high precarity, scarce material resources and institutional support. It argues that in order to develop sufficient negotiating weight, precarious workers need strategies to cumulate power drawing on a variety of sources. Drawing on the case of the subcontracted migrant cleaners of British indie unions, the speaker discusses these workers’ use of participatory organizing practices and resonant framing in resisting outsourcing. He shows how the effectiveness of campaigns can be enhanced by strategically integrating vibrant direct action of workers and allies with self-mediated messages, which are framed to resonate with the general public and mainstream media – a practice he calls "communicative unionism". These findings extend labour and social movement scholarship by showing the analytical importance of considering workers’ discursive power-building strategies together with their contentious collective practices.

PDF icon Locandina (PDF | 1 MB)