Solidarity across Ethnic, Class & Gender Divisions in a Danish Trade Union

Collective identity and trade union identification among immigrant workers in commercial cleaning
Lise Lotte Hansen
Tuesday, March 31, 2015

A discussion with visiting scholar Lise Lotte Hansen of Roskilde University, Denmark

Date & Time: Wednesday, April 15 / Noon-1:30 PM
Location: Doherty Lounge, 2nd Floor Ives Faculty Wing, ILR School (Ithaca)

Unions are instruments of collective voice. But what unifies and what divides workers with diverse backgrounds in a union? Professor Hansen’s research focuses on the process of building solidarity among migrant and ethnic minority workers within the commercial cleaning industry, as well as among ethnic majority union leaders, in the largest union in Denmark (3F). Based on her initial analysis of data drawn from her on-going research, she will address the following questions:

  • What supports and what undermines trade union identification in a diverse workforce?
  • What is the role of the trade union in building that identification?
  • What are the barriers within the union to a commitment among migrants and ethnic minorities?

She will discuss affective dissonance, class, be/longing and the making of political identity in the Danish labor movement, with emphasis on conflictual societal dynamics, changed conditions for workplace collectivism, and trade union renewal.

Sponsored by the Equity at Work Initiative of the Worker Institute at Cornell. For more information, contact Anne Sieverding.