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Organizing the postindustrial work force: Lessons from the history of waitress unionism

  • Dorothy Sue Cobble
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    Using previously unexamined archival material, the author reconstructs one successful historical alternative to the kind of unionism that developed in mass production industries: the "occupational unionism" practiced from the 1900s to the 1960s by waitresses organized into the Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees International Union. This form of employee representation was distinguished by an emphasis on occupational identity, control over the labor supply, portable rights and benefits, and peer determination of performance standards and workplace discipline. The author discusses the implications of this research for the work of labor relations scholars and policy analysts, and speculates that some elements of occupational unionism may hold promise for organizing and representing workers today. (Abstract courtesy JSTOR.)

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    Article provided by ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School in its journal ILR Review.

    Volume (Year): 44 (1991)
    Issue (Month): 3 (April)
    Pages: 419-436

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    Handle: RePEc:ilr:articl:v:44:y:1991:i:3:p:419-436
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