• All that is solid? Class, identity and the maintenance of a collective orientation amongst redundant steelworkers

      Perrett, Robert A.; Forde, C.; Stuart, M.; MacKenzie, R. (2006)
      This article explores the importance of class and collectivism to personal identity, and the role this played during a period of personal and collective crisis created by mass redundancy in the Welsh steel industry. The research findings demonstrate the importance of occupational identity to individual and collective identity formation. The apparent desire to maintain this collective identity acted as a form of resistance to the increased individualization of the post-redundancy experience, but rather than leading to excessive particularism, it served as a mechanism through which class-based thinking and class identity were articulated. It is argued that the continued concern for class identity reflected efforts to avoid submergence in an existence akin to Beck¿s (1992) vision of a class-free `individualized society of employees¿.These findings therefore challenge the notion of the pervasiveness of individualism and the dismissal of class and collective orientations as important influences on identity formation.
    • 'Building Jobs’: Renewal SA’s Works Program at Playford Alive

      Perrett, Robert A.; Spoehr, J. (2014-10-15)
      This report provides a detailed overview of Renewal SA’s Works Program implemented as part of Playford Alive, a large scale urban renewal project representing a partnership between Renewal SA, the City of Playford, the Department for Communities and Social Inclusion (DCSI), Housing SA and the local community. It documents evidence generated by semi‐structured interviews with project staff and participants of the program. Renewal SA’s Works Program at Playford Alive requires private contractors and service providers to deliver either work experience and longer term placements or training to a number of local unemployed people as a condition of being awarded the contract.
    • High Performing Workplaces: Workforce Futures Employer Survey - Playford & Salisbury Wave 3

      Ranasinghe, R.; Hordacre, A.; Perrett, Robert A.; Spoehr, J. (2015-04-01)
      The Workplace Futures Survey (WFS) – Playford and Salisbury is a longitudinal workplace survey implemented in Playford and Salisbury. The WFS is designed to capture in-depth information on a range of workplace issues and trends that will provide a comprehensive picture of the issues and challenges faced by employers in the region. This report focuses on Wave 3 of the WFS which was completed by 387 employers during October to November 2014. Results are compared with Wave 1, which was administered a year earlier (November 2013) to 451 employers and Wave 2 completed in May 2014 by 455 employers. The WFS includes a number of core questions on business sentiment, organisational performance along with vacancy and skill demand. Wave 2 also contained focus questions on the potential impact of the automotive closure, whereas Wave 3 explores establishment engagement with High Performance Workplace Practices (HPWP).
    • Involve me and I learn”: Mentoring as a strategy for development, satisfaction and coping with conflict. Executive Summary Report

      Perrett, Robert A. (2014-06-01)
      This summary document presents the main areas of enquiry and summarises the key findings from the quantitative stage of this study; a survey of PCS lay officials undertaken in March 2013. It is presented here as a quick reference document to summarise, in bullet point form, the key findings from the full research report which presents detailed top level results, by gender, for the whole survey.
    • Meanings and dilemmas in community unionism: trade union community initiatives and black and minority ethnic groups in the UK

      Lucio, M.M.; Perrett, Robert A. (2009)
      The article shows that community initiatives take different forms and are the outcome of a broader interplay of factors between workers’ interests, representation, and the strategies of unions and broader coalitions that are mobilized in specific communities. Drawing from three case studies on black and minority ethnic (BME) workers and trade unions in the UK the article looks at how the rhetoric of community unionism has been adopted in an uneven manner by trade unions: the article suggests that: (a) community initiatives are variable, (b) they lack a structure and clear vision, (c) the question of BME engagement is rarely central in many projects, and (d) the ambivalent role of the state is a significant factor in many of these initiatives. This state role is downplayed in much of the literature, thus raising dilemmas in terms of community initiatives.
    • Redundancy as a critical life event: moving on from the Welsh steel industry through career change

      Gardiner, J.; Stuart, M.; MacKenzie, R.; Forde, C.; Greenwood, I.; Perrett, Robert A. (2009)
      This article investigates the process of moving on from redundancy in the Welsh steel industry among individuals seeking new careers. It identifies a spectrum of career change experience, ranging from those who had actively planned their career change, prior to the redundancies, to those ‘at a career crossroads’, for whom there were tensions between future projects, present contingencies and past identities. It suggests that the process of moving on from redundancy can be better understood if we are able to identify, not just structural and cultural enablers and constraints but also the temporal dimensions of agency that facilitate or limit transformative action in the context of critical life events. Where individuals are located on the spectrum of career change experience will depend on the balance of enabling and constraining factors across the four aspects considered, namely temporal dimensions of agency, individuals’ biographical experience, structural and cultural contexts.
    • Solidarity and Inclusion: Mentoring and development as vehicles for enhancing representative structures and equality in PCS

      Perrett, Robert A. (2014-06-01)
      Given the devastating impact of austerity upon employment in the public sector and the re-prioritising of union funds, it is essential for PCS to continue to develop new and innovative ways of offering support to their officials in respect of their existing roles as well as their potential development into decision making positions and onto committees. Moreover, true influence and representation within the workplace is achieved through an effective voice within the union and as such PCS must continue to promote gender proportionality throughout decision making structures and leadership roles at all levels. Mentoring as a support strategy within business and the third sector has received much attention in recent years and is reportedly positively associated with career and job satisfaction, expectations for advancement, intention to stay (increased tenure), being better able to deal with negative work scenarios and conflict, improved confidence, feeling better prepared and supported and feeling better integrated into a wider organisation or network. This research report, therefore, ultimately seeks to generate empirical evidence to support the development of a national PCS mentoring programme as a means of providing support and encouraging the development of all officials whilst also providing a means for female officials to better circumvent barriers to activism and development. This report presents the headline findings from a large scale survey of almost 500 PCS lay officials and concludes that where informal mentoring already occurs officials receive tangible developmental benefits, moreover there is universal support for the development of a national PCS mentoring programme.
    • The diversity and politics of trade unions' responses to minority ethnic and migrant workers: the context of the UK

      Lucio, M.M.; Perrett, Robert A. (2009)
      The article first argues that there is a range of approaches and models developed in relation to the question of representing ethnic minorities and migrants when it comes to trade union strategies. There is no single model. Instead, there is a variety of approaches and politics, just as there are with a `traditionally established workforce'. Second, this study finds that the understanding of ethnic minority needs varies and the politics of this must be central to any discussion, as one cannot read off assumptions about the issue from formal union strategies, traditional practices and established customs in relation to regulation. In effect, there is a politics of trade union responses and there is diversity in the way the `problem' is read and understood. Third, the article argues that the issue of minority ethnic workers raises questions of trade union identity and purpose. This points to much deeper issues related to the role of regulation and strategies of inclusion — and the extent to which they cohere. It also raises the issue of the configuration of strategies of social inclusion and on occasions how strategies ignore the broader issue of participation of those they seek to represent. To this extent the article is not exclusively about inclusion and exclusion — but about the politics and contradictory dynamics of inclusion.
    • Trade union learning strategies and migrant workers: policies and practice in a new-liberal environment

      Perrett, Robert A.; Lucio, M.M.; McBride, Jo; Craig, S. (2012)
      This paper examines trade union networking and community-oriented activity through the recent development of learning strategies in relation to migrant workers. The paper locates the discussion on learning in relation to union attempts to develop a broader urban and community-based view of the union as an organisation. It assesses the innovative ways trade unions deploy their learning strategies given the challenges associated with a liberal market economy, in particular, in relation to poor levels of co-ordination amongst key social organisations and low levels of state commitment to the area of training. The paper draws on five empirical case studies of such innovative union approaches and concludes that many of these learning initiatives represent a significant intervention by unions in local urban and community-based contexts. However, it also notes that these appear to be disconnected from stable and consistent forms of local community-based organisation and, in part, remain enveloped in a marketised project-based approach which is piecemeal and in many aspects financially dependent on the state.
    • Work-life balance and older workers: Employees perspectives on retirement transmissions following redundancy.

      Gardiner, J.; Stuart, M.; Forde, C.; Greenwood, I.; MacKenzie, R.; Perrett, Robert A. (2007)
    • Worker voice in the context of the re-regulation of employment: Employer tactics and statutory union recognition in the UK.

      Perrett, Robert A. (2009-10-06)
      Since the introduction of the statutory recognition procedure the vast majority of new agreements have been voluntary in nature, yet increasingly employers are using this ambiguous state regulation as a means of avoiding recognition.The legislation allows for the game of voluntarism to be enshrined within the micro level politics and social relationships of work and employment: it crystallizes the culture and history of voluntarism in the regulation itself. It is, in effect, ironic in how it balances change with tradition. It makes the new regulation pliable and difficult to see as a step to a state-led approach.There is a resistant trend to unions generally even if recognition cases may vary in terms of employer orientations.This article focuses on such issues by addressing a broader understanding of regulation through an ethnographic case study analysis.