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Session Overview
RN17_04a_P: Can Labour Voice be Oppressed?
Thursday, 31/Aug/2017:
9:00am - 10:30am

Session Chair: Bengt Larsson, UNiversity of Gothenburg
Location: PC.6.30
PANTEION University of Social & Political Sciences 136 Syggrou Avenue 17671 Athens, Greece Building: C, Level: 6.

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The Oppressive Boss and Employees' Authoritarianism: Exploring the Relation between Suppression of Voice by Employers and Employees’ Preferences for Authoritarian Political Leadership

Antonia Stanojević1, Agnes Akkerman2

1Radboud University; 2Radboud University

In contemporary society, economically active people typically spend most of their waking hours doing their job. Having that in mind, this research examines how socialization at the workplace shapes political preferences. Innovatively, it examines in particular the possible relationship between employees’ voice suppression by the employer and the formation of their political preferences. Since the employer is perceived as an authority figure, their behavior might induce spillovers to attitudes about political authorities and authoritarian governance. Therefore, a positive effect of suppression of voice by employers on employees' preference for authoritarian governance is expected.

The hypothesis will be tested on the data gathered within the first wave of Dutch Work & Politics Data set 2017 (N=6000), which allows for a wide range of demographic and psychological control variables. Although a cross sectional analysis to be used at this point does not allow for causal inferences, the confirmation of expected relationships would encourage and justify further longitudinal research on the same panel data-set, in order to get a clearer image of causal relationship between employers' suppression of voice and workers' political preferences.

Keywords – authoritarian values, political preferences, voice suppression, workplace spillover.

Suppression of voice in the workplace and its effect on the political efficacy of the worker

Guido Dijkstra, Agnes Akkerman, Roderick Sluiter

Radboud University, Netherlands, The

The workplace is one of the agents of political socialization. Through participation at work civic skills can be developed. These skills are also useful outside the workplace, e.g. in the political domain. Therefore, worker participation can foster political efficacy. Research also suggests that negative work experiences can create a negative spillover from the workplace into the political domain. However, empirical proof is still limited and focuses mainly on positive work experiences. This paper contributes to this debate by testing the effect of a clear example of a negative work experience: suppression of voice by the employer. We will answer the following research question: to what extent does suppression of voice by the employer affect internal and external political efficacy of the worker? When a worker’s voice is suppressed, it can damage the development of civic skills and create the feeling one is incompetent to bring about change, inside and outside the workplace. Therefore, we expect that suppression of voice has a negative effect on both political internal and external efficacy. For the empirical test, we use the first wave of Dutch Work & Politics Data set 2017 (N=6,000). We apply regression analyses to test the model.

Which voices get suppressed and why? Studying antecedents of voice suppression and burdens to employee voice in The Netherlands

Katerina Manevska, Agnes Akkerman, Roderick Sluiter

Radboud University Nijmegen, Netherlands, The

Flexibilization of the work force as well as a rise in migrant workers in European societies has led to an increase in the share of employees with an insecure position at work. For this group of employees, the burden to speak up in situations where they experience problems or conflicts at work may be especially high because their insecure position makes them more vulnerable to retaliation. While institutional conditions shape the space for employee voice, suppression of voice takes place in social interactions between the employer, the employees and their co-workers. Currently, no explanation exists for variations in the prevalence, intensity and types of suppression tactics deployed. Furthermore, data on suppression of employee voice is scarce and notoriously difficult to obtain because of its sensitivity. In this paper, we develop a theory on the suppression of employee voice. In addition, we develop a survey instrument that enables us to measure employee voice suppression. These data, collected among a representative sample of Dutch employees (N=5000), enable us to study under which conditions and in what ways employers and co-workers attempt to suppress what types of voices of employees. This paper contributes to our understanding of current burdens to employee voice. Hence, the insights obtained from our study can offer valuable contributions to both scholarly and public debates on employment relations in the post-industrial era, in particular on the voice of precarious workers.

Labour movement in a context of state repression in Turkey: Wildcat strikes and the internationalization of trade union action under the AKP rule


Université Paris Dauphine, France

Since its arrival to power in 2002, the AKP government holds the parliamentary majority, allowing it since then to transform the state, to apply neoliberal public policies that undermine and damage labour unions’ action. The cost of trade union affiliation and workers protests rise, strikes are annulled and restricted by the government under the pretext of “being dangerous for national security”. Some trade unions, close with nationalist, rightwing political groups collaborate with the state and support the restrictions. Glass manufacturing industry, aviation, mining, petroleum industry and public sector are faced with suspension of strikes. Metal sector is another example of the restriction of strikes. However, the case of the mobilization of metal workers in Bursa (a city in the west of Turkey) against union discrimination and violation of union rights allows to examine how workers can still protest in workplace and to what extent strikes can still be a useful way of obtaining rights during collective bargaining processes. Thus, this paper will firstly make a brief analysis of legal and political obstacles against strikes. Secondly, it will focus on the case of metal sector and metal workers mobilization strategies mainly in the companies of Renault, Ford and Bosch between 2012 and 2015 in Bursa. It aims to discuss the limits and the opportunities of two main strategies in a context of state repression: wildcat strikes on workplace level and the internationalization of trade union activities in order to create leverage and support on national level.

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