Temporary, part-time, and contract workers face a myriad of challenges as they seek to navigate the complex labor market landscape. Working Partnerships Staffing Service (WPSS), a project initiated by one of the most prominent labor councils in the U.S., sought to create a new type of labor market institution – one that could empower contingent workers by innovatively linking job placement with training, benefits, and membership-based services. However, like other social movement organizations that endeavor to combine advocacy and income generation, structural pressures led WPSS to conform in important ways to the dominant private-sector staffing-industry model. I argue that WPSS's response to these pressures ultimately constrained their ability to successfully innovate. Analyzing the challenges facing new worker-centered institutions, this case study presents important insights on “next generation” union initiatives aimed at better positioning workers in the flexible economy.
Neuwirth, E.B. (2005), "Opportunities and Challenges Facing New Workforce Institutions: A Close-up Analysis of an Alternative Staffing Service", Smith, V. (Ed.) Worker Participation: Current Research and Future Trends (Research in the Sociology of Work, Vol. 16), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 319-343. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0277-2833(06)16012-4Download as .RIS
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