Meanings and dilemmas in community unionism: Trade union community initiatives and black and minority ethnic groups in the UK

Miguel Martinez Lucio, Robert Perrett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The article shows that community initiatives take different forms and are the outcome of a broader interplay of factors between workers' interests, representation, and the strategies of unions and broader coalitions that are mobilized in specific communities. Drawing from three case studies on black and minority ethnic (BME) workers and trade unions in the UK the article looks at how the rhetoric of community unionism has been adopted in an uneven manner by trade unions: the article suggests that: (a) community initiatives are variable, (b) they lack a structure and clear vision, (c) the question of BME engagement is rarely central in many projects, and (d) the ambivalent role of the state is a significant factor in many of these initiatives. This state role is downplayed in much of the literature, thus raising dilemmas in terms of community initiatives. © The Author(s) 2009.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)693-710
Number of pages17
JournalWork, Employment and Society
Volume23
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2009

Keywords

  • Black and minority ethnic
  • Coalitions
  • Community unionism
  • Networks
  • The state
  • Trade unions
  • Union renewal

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