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Gender Equality Policies in French and British Trade Unions

This book explores the representation of women and their interests in the world of work across four trade unions in France and the UK.

Drawing on case studies of the careers of 100 activists and a longitudinal study of the trade unions' struggle for equal pay in the UK, it unveils the social, organizational, and political conditions that contribute to the reproduction of gender inequalities or, on the contrary, allow the promotion of equality.

Guillaume’s nuanced evaluation is a call to redefine the role of trade unions in the delivering of gender equality, contributing to broader debates on the effectiveness of equality policies and the enforcement of equality legislation.

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A Comparative Perspective

From Deliveroo to Amazon, digital platforms have transformed the way we work drastically. But how are these transformations being received and challenged by workers?

This book provides a radical interpretation of the changing nature of worker movements in the digital age, developing an invaluable approach that combines social movement studies and industrial relations.

Using case studies taken from Europe and North America, it offers a comparative perspective on the mobilizing trajectories of different platform workers and their distinct organizational forms and action repertoires.

This is an innovative book that offers a complete view of the new labour conflicts in the platform economy.

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in union organizations. Unions now tend to record the gender of activists and members in most of the statistics they produce, but other characteristics such as education level, race, disability, or sexuality are generally not recorded, particularly in France. The data collected by British unions are richer and allow for analysis incorporating other social characteristics. A number of studies have looked at the role of BAME workers ( Virdee and Grint, 1994 ; Kirton, 2019 ) in unions, sometimes in connection with the participation of women ( Kirton and Greene, 2002

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groups (lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transsexuals, workers with disabilities, ethnic minorities, and so forth). These policies conducted by union confederations as part of their political lobbying were also transmitted internally through awareness-raising campaigns and activists’ training at the workplace level to facilitate collective bargaining on the subject. Specialized roles were also established, such as equality reps in the UK. However, in both France and Great Britain the ability of women activists to genuinely influence negotiations continues to be an issue

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welfare, or assistance for disability or social exclusion means that a director who observes that these policies are insufficient or incoherent has to be able to raise those issues”. As the assistant director of a children’s home (a position she obtained after her second internship) she found herself unable to concretely apply this concern for users because the director failed to support her when she wanted to sanction a member of staff for mistreatment of children: “I was not able to do my job properly”. When her former internship supervisor retired, she had already

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duty, which requires them to adopt proactive strategies to reduce gender inequalities, in consultation with unions. In 2010 the Equality Act replaced the previous legislation, including the Equal Pay Act 1970, the Sex Discrimination Act 1975, and the measures included in the Pensions Act 1995. The objective of this new legislation was to integrate and simplify the existing provisions. One single Equality Audit was established, covering gender, race, and disability. This resulted in weakened powers to constrain employers; no union consultation is required, and no

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