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Syndicalisation locale et action ouvrière : analyse de cas

Syndicalisation locale et action ouvrière : analyse de cas

L. H.J. Groulx

Volume : 31-1 (1976)


Local Unionization and Social Action : Case Analysis

After a historical presentation on the mobilization of a local union the author distinguishes four types of union consciousness, specifying the internal tensions in the field of union action: these types are the radical, the revolted, the negotiating and the utilitarian consciousness.

The author then attempts to describe the temporal process of action in analysing the changes which take place in the organizational structures, in the strategies and tactics used and in the proclaimed objectives of the action. These series of modifications are related to the processes of ideological deradicalization, organizational integration and the institutionnalization of action practices.

Following this description, the author conceptualizes the simultaneous changes in each of the variables mentionned above in terms of change of leaderships: shift from ideological leadership centered on ideological mobilization and dramatization of the issue to:

a) first a protesting type of leadership focused on active opposition

b) secondly to a managing one preoccupied with legal and technical negotiation

c) and finally to a pragmatic type dealing with technical administration and the results of action.

The presence of various forms of leadership and the competition among them, added to the diversity and tensions of the action orientations, give a bursting representation of the components of action; and the interventions of the militants, which develop in the process of progressive institutionnalization, are dependant on the work relation system and the constraints of that system.