Shop stewards' learning and union strategies

    Publikation: Bidrag til bog/antologi/rapportKonferencebidrag i proceedingsForskningpeer review

    Abstract

    In Denmark the trade unions have well established educational systems providing the shop stewards with a variety of competencies. Union courses have been analysed focusing on shop stewards' satisfaction with the content and the practical impact of the courses. However, little attention has been paid to the learning processes involved in shop stewards' daily practice in their workplaces.

    In the paper I will discuss results from a research and development project involving shop stewards from four different unions, all part of LO (the Danish Confederation of Trade Unions, an umbrella organisation for skilled and unskilled workers). The project wanted to explore shop stewards' learning and together with shop stewards develop ideas for new learning arenas and new political agendas for the unions. In the paper I will show how shop stewards' learning can be analysed using perspectives from different theoretical traditions: Shop steward's learning is situational, relational and cross-contextual. Shop stewards' learning is lifelong and life wide. And shop stewards' learning is closely connected to the development of the labour market and not least the unions' priorities, interpretation and reaction to this development.

    In the first part of the paper I shortly discuss challenges of unions today following the decline in number of members. In the second part I present results from the research project. Thirdly, I discuss how different theoretical approaches to learning are relevant for studies of shop stewards' learning. And finally I turn to some of the strategic challenges regarding shop stewards' learning and education and the political agenda of the unions. It will be argued that the two issues are closely interrelated, which points to analytical approaches that include subjective learning perspectives as well as socio-cultural and political theories.

    OriginalsprogEngelsk
    TitelResearching work and learning : 5th International Conference on Researching Work and Learning (RWL5) : Conference proceedings, Cape Town, South Africa, 2-5 December 2007
    Antal sider17
    ForlagUniversity of the Western Cape
    Publikationsdato2007
    ISBN (Trykt)9781868086580, 1868086585
    StatusUdgivet - 2007
    Begivenhed5th International Conference on Researching Work and Learning - Cape Town, Sydafrika
    Varighed: 2 dec. 20075 dec. 2007
    Konferencens nummer: 5

    Konference

    Konference5th International Conference on Researching Work and Learning
    Nummer5
    LandSydafrika
    ByCape Town
    Periode02/12/200705/12/2007

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