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Winning a battle against the odds: a cleaners’ campaign

Pannini, Elisa ORCID: 0000-0001-8258-5986 (2023) Winning a battle against the odds: a cleaners’ campaign. Economic and Industrial Democracy, 44 (1). 68 - 87. ISSN 1461-7099

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Identification Number: 10.1177/0143831X211060390


This article analyses a campaign urging a British university to re-establish in-house cleaning services after years of outsourcing. The small independent union leading the campaign began from an extremely low level of power resources and managed to build enough associational and societal power to win the dispute on cleaners’ working conditions. The study is based on participant observation of the union’s activities, document analysis and interviews. The article argues that the strategy emerging from the study, centred around three key strategies (collectivization of individual grievances, education, and disruption of core business activities), can be articulated in a process following the main categories of Mobilization Theory: organization, mobilization and collective action. Additionally, the union managed to conciliate servicing and organizing strategies, as well as attention to class-oriented and migrant-specific issues.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2021 The Author
Divisions: Management
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
Date Deposited: 05 Nov 2021 08:45
Last Modified: 22 Apr 2024 20:48

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