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Precarious Work and the Union Advantage: Paradoxical Findings from Niagara

In: Journal of Labor and Society
Authors:
Jonah ButovskyDepartment of Sociology, Brock University, 1812 Sir Isaac Brock Way, St. Catharines, ON, CanadaL2S 3A1, Corresponding author, e-mail: jbutovsky@brocku.ca

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Larry SavageDepartment of Labour Studies, Brock University, 1812 Sir Isaac Brock Way, St. Catharines, ON, CanadaL2S 3A1, lsavage@brocku.ca

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Abstract

Given the documented advantages of unionization, why don’t more workers support, let alone join, unions? This article presents findings from the Poverty and Employment Precarity in Niagara (PEPiN) study as they relate to precarious work and the union advantage. While precariously-employed workers in Canada’s Niagara Region enjoyed a demonstrable union advantage and were much more likely than other categories of workers to indicate support for unionization, a clear majority of precarious workers still expressed opposition to unionization. The article considers some of possible reasons for these seemingly paradoxical findings through a case study of recent workplace struggles in Niagara.

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