Organizing capacities and union priorities in the hotel sector in Oslo, Dublin, and Toronto


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Nordic Journal of Working Life Studies;4(3)


Roskilde Universitet

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In this article, we draw international comparisons between industrial relations regimes in the hotel sector and compare relevant trade union experiences in the selected metropolitan areas of Oslo, Dublin, and Toronto. We ask how union strategies differ in these different hotel markets, and how strategic choices at a local level relate to industrial relations models, regulatory change, and corporate restructuring in the hotel market. The study is based on interviews with union representatives and key informants in Norway, Ireland, and Canada. The main argument we make is that the reorientation of union priorities and the willingness to engage in innovative strategies that has characterized hotel unionism in Toronto and Dublin is not detectable in the case of Oslo. This might be a result of the relatively strong position Norwegian trade unions have in national industrial relations, but can at the same time leave local hotel unions vulnerable as they are facing low unionization levels and corporate restructuring which they are unable to tackle effectively.


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