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Gender and unionism : representations in hotel worker unions Jamieson, Natalie 1994

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GENDER AND UNIONISM:REPRESENTATIONS IN HOTEL WORKER UNIONSbyNATALIE JAMIESONB.A. (HONS) University of Melbourne, 1989A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OFTHE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OFMASTER OF ARTSinTHE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES(Department of Geography)We accept this thesis as conformingto the required standardTHE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIAMay 1994© Natalie Jamieson, 1994In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanceddegree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make itfreely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensivecopying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of mydepartment or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying orpublication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my writtenpermission._____________________________Department of___________The University of British ColumbiaVancouver, CanadaDateDE-6 (2/88)11ABSTRACTThis thesis focuses on the representations of gender and unionism in two hotel workerunions in Vancouver; one is an American hotel worker union (Local 40) and the other aCanadian, male, industrial worker union (CAIMAW). Between 1982 and 1984 these unionsstruggled over the rights to represent hotel workers. Rather than focus only on the complexseries of events and allegations that marked the struggle, in this thesis I explore the meanings,ideologies and understandings of two different union discourses, one about gender and the otherabout unionism. Gendered ideologies and gendered union practices are expressed in the dailyactions of unions and union officials. In particular I examine the circumstances of the struggle,and the organisation practices employed by Local 40 and CAIMAW in the hotels, to explorehow the meanings of gender and unionism are expressed and negotiated within unions. Thestruggle itself was couched both in terms of nationalism (ie Canadian versus AmericanInternational unions), and union organisation. Despite women’s predominance as hotelemployees, gender and the concerns of women workers, were neglected as an issue.111TABLE OF CONTENTSAbstract iiTable of Contents iiiAcknowledgements vPrologue ViChapter One INTRODUCTIONIntroduction 1Geography and Trade Unions: Links between Home and Work 7Method 11Outline of the Thesis 14Chapter Two WOMEN AND UNIONS: THE NEED TO (RE)ORGANISEIntroduction 17Women Union Members 19I. Exclusion 1II. Gendered activists and trade union activism 23Women Union Members: Service Sector Workers 25Women’s Work Cultures: Gender and Class Consciousness 29Union Organising: Women’s Committees and Feminist Process 34I. Women’s Committees 36II. Feminist Process 37Conclusion 38Chapter Three SERVICE SECTOR WORKERS AND TRADE UNIONISMIntroduction 40Union Membership Trends 41Women Service Sector Workers: Why are they Unorganised? 45The Canadian Labour Movement 50I. Non-traditional Organising 50II. The National Labour Movement 53Organising Service Sector Workers 55I. Organising Women 55II. Organising Traditions 56Conclusion 58Chapter Four THE HOTEL INDUSTRY: REPRESENTATION(S)AND ORGANISATIONIntroduction 59CAIMAW and Local 40: Recent History 60The Industry: Turnover and Organaisation 64Representations: The Workers and Unionism 67I. Gender, Occupational Segregation and Invisibility 72ivEmployers, Employeess and Workplace Unionism 74Union Participation and (Militant?) Workplace Unionism 79I. Membership Participation 79II. Union Militancy 84Conclusion 86Chapter Five GENDERED DISCOURSES AND REPRESENTATIONSIntroduction 89Gendered Representations and the Family 91Women Members/Women’s Issues: The Links between Homeand Work 95I. Participation 95II. Women’s Issues/Workplace Issues: Similar ordifferent? 97Gendered Workers and Sexual Harassment 103Women Members and Trade Union Activism 107I. Participation as Union Activists 108II. Participation as Shop Stewards 109III. Gender and Trade Union Activism 112Women as Union Leaders 115Conclusion 121Chapter Six STRATEGIES AND ISSUES: THE HOTEL MEMBERSHIPSTRUGGLE, 1982-1984Introduction 123The Sites of Struggle 124The Struggle Itself 127CAIMAW: An Industrial Worker Union in Hotel Workplaces 133I. Organising Hotel Workers: Debates and Strategiesat CAIMAW 134The Issues of the Hotel Struggle 141Representations of Gender 1982-1984: Where Were the Women? 146Conclusion 148Chapter Seven CONCLUSIONI. Private Sector Workers and Unionisation 150II. Representations of Gender 151III. Gendered Representations of Unionism 153Bibliography 155Appendix 1 166VACKNOWLEDGEMENTSI am indebted to all the union officials at both CAIMAW and Local 40 for their willingcontributions of precious time and energy towards this research. I wish to thank, Trevor Barnesand Gerry Pratt for their supervision of this thesis, and especially for their advice and commentsduring the final stages of writing up. I also wish to thank Robyn Dowling who read drafts andoffered comments on various chapters. This reasearch was conducted as part of a larger projectcurrently underway at UBC which is funded by SSHRC. The project is investigating labourmarket restructuring in Vancouver and the relationship this has to international reconfigurationsof captial and divisions of labour. I am very grateful to Trevor Barnes, Gerry Pratt and DanHiebert (project supervisors) for the financial and research support that I received as a researchassistant while working for this project and conducting my own research. For their constantfriendship, support and the many laughs we shared during my time in Canada I wish to thankAlison Blunt, Kate Boyer, Martin Evans, Averill Groeneveld-Meijer, Juliet Rowson, andespecially my fellow ‘aussies’ Robyn Dowling and Garry Barrett.viPROLOGUEIn 1982 approximately 12,000 unionised hotel employees in Vancouver and BritishColumbia in organised workplaces were represented by the American-based Hotel, Restaurant,Culinary Employees and Bartenders Union (hereafter referred to as Local 40).’ However, Local40 was in trouble. The local media were alleging that there were irregularities in the unionfinances, and that the President Al Morgan was mishandling union dues •2 It was also suggestedthat this local corruption was connected to broader illegal activities in the Chicago-based headoffice of the International union, which at the time was undergoing investigation by the FBI forpossible links to the Mafia.3The result of this internal turmoil was the formation of a rank and file reform committeewithin Local 40. There were a series of issues that the committee found were causing discontentamongst the members, including suspicion that worker dues were being used to promote thehotel industry of BC rather than fulfilling the original intention of facilitating both theorganisation of non-union workers,4 and improving the servicing and representation ofmembers.5 In response, the union publicly argued that it was indeed successfully undertaking‘Employees in the Canadian Pacific Hotels such as Hotel Vancouver and the Empress inVictoria have always been members of the Canadian Brotherhood of Railway and TransportWorkers Union. These represent only a small percentage of hotel workers.2Ward, Doug 1981 “Hotel Union Chief Lands in Dispute”. The Vancouver SunSeptember 12, p H53lnterview: Full-time organiser, CAIMAW4Morgan, John 1981 “Mystery Fund Probe Sought” The Daily Sentinel September 25, p35Rank and File Reform Committee, Local 40. Leaflet to all members, July 4th 1981.Box 31 CAIMAW, University of British Columbia, Special Collections.viiits responsibilities. For the collective agreements negotiated by Local 40 at the time werearguably among the best in North America and certainly in Canada.6 However, the rank andfile reform committee, which represented a broad spectrum of the membership,7 demandedmore accountability from the union office. To this end they organised a campaign to havemembers of their group elected during union elections in 1981.8The successful take over of the union by the reform committee members only contributedto the confusion within Local 40, however. From the moment that this reform committee wereelected there were rumours that a trusteeship would be imposed by the International HeadOffice, and this duely occurred in Sept 1982. The reasons for the imposition of the trusteeshipare complex. There are two main points, though. First, the reformers felt that the trusteeshipwas imposed because the International thought that their agenda was ultimately to depose itscontrol. Second, Local 40 was clearly in a financial mess and the International needed to stepin to manage the monies of the union so as to prevent financial disaster.’°With the imposition of the trusteeship several things happened. Firstly, within Local 40itself, the newly elected leadership lost their jobs, and union by-laws were suspended to enable6lnterview: President, Local 40, March 19937lnterview: Hotel Union Reformer, March 19938Ward, Doug 1981 op cit p H5.9Mickleburgh, Rod 1982 “Union Trio ‘out’ in trusteeship” The Province September 28,no page number. Ward, Doug 1982 “Four unions cast eyes on embattled local” ThVancouver Sun October 13, no page number‘°Ward, Doug 1982a “Hotel Union Takeover Blocks Spending Probe” The VancouverSun September 28, pp A1-A2. Mickleburgh, Rod 1982 op cit no page numberviiithe appointment of a trustee to administer and manage the union.’1 Secondly, the BCFederation of Labour stepped in to provide their support for Local 40 as an insurance againstthe union being taken out of the Canadian Labour Congress by raiding unions.’2 Thirdly, andmost importantly for this thesis, the trusteeship sparked a series of raiding attempts by threeother unions. They were CAIMAW (Canadian Allied Industrial, Mechanical Association ofWorkers),’3 BWDWU (the Brewery, Winery and Distillery Workers Union an independentaffiliate of the BCGEU (British Columbia Government Employees Union),’4 and the CBRT(Canadian Brotherhood of Railway and Transport Workers). There is some conflict ofinterpretation over the roles played by these three unions, and the reasons for their involvement.The present leadership of Local 40, for example, argues that the BCGEU through the BWDWUwas the biggest threat to Local 40, while CAIMAW counters that they led the raiding charge,and that the other unions followed only in order to disrupt CAIMAW’s efforts.’5“Thompson, Syd Open letter to the membership of Local 40 BC Federation of Labour.Box 31 CAIMAW, University of British Columbia, Special Collections. Interview:President, Local 40.‘2Ward, Doug 1982 op cit‘31n January 1992 CAIMAW merged with the Canadian Auto Workers and are nowknown as the CAW, however, throughout the thesis I will refer to CAIMAW.‘4The BWDWU reportedly stepped into the raiding fray for the sole purpose of headingoff the CAIMAW raid. The BWDWU claimed they were not exactly raiding Local 40, butpreferred to see the hospitality workers in a Canadian Labour Congress affiliated union.CAIMAW was not at the time an affiliate of the BC Federation of Labour or the CLC.Glavin, Terry 1982 “Hotel Restaurant Workers in BC Turning to CAIMAW” The ColumbianOctober 14, A4‘5Certainly newspaper reports at the time suggested that CAIMAW was well ahead of theother raiding unions in terms of certifications applied for during the raids. By December1982, for example, CAIMAW was reported to have made applications to represent workersin 35 hotels. See, Glavin, Terry 1982a “Crown Decision will help defend itself” 1ixIn terms of the number of certifications taken away from Local 40, CAIMAW was themost successful of the raiding unions. By the end of the raids in 1984 CAIMAW gainedcertifications in 10 hotels: in downtown Vancouver, Pacific Pallisades Hotel, the Parkhill(formerly Rembrandt Hotel), Ramada Vancouver Centre (formerly Centennial Hotel) and theHarbour House Revolving Restaurant, the Granville Island Hotel; on Vancouver Island, TheCourtney Hotel, the Seagate Hotel in Port Hardy, The Greenwood Hotel in Port Albemi; andin the lower mainland, the Grovenor Hotel (shut down by the end of the raids in 1984) and theTerminal Hotel in New Westminister. CAIMAW applied for more hotels, but they were eitherunsuccessful in the vote, or they did not get the opportunity to put the certification question toa vote with the workers.’6The raiding of Local 40 ended in November, 1984, when that union claimed they hadsuccessfully fended off the acts of “union cannibalism”, as they referred to the raids, and thatstability had returned to the local union because of effective management during thetrusteeship.’7 In contrast, CAIMAW claimed that their efforts had been successful, and thatthey would have gained even more certifications had they not been thwarted by strong oppositionfrom the mainstream labour movement in BC.’8 More importantly, CAIMAW argued itschallenge to Local 40 signified a democratisation of hotel union activism. For CAIMAW’s raidsrepresented the first time that hotel workers in this province were able to choose unions to whichUolumbian vec 10 p A4‘6lnterview: Full-time organiser CAIMAW‘7see The Local 40 Mixer Vol 10 No 3 March-May 1984‘8lnterview: Regional Vice-President, CAIMAWxthey could become members.19Two final points should be made about the events surrounding Local 40. First, thestruggle over the right to represent hotel workers in Vancouver in the early 1 980s was not abattle to forge alliances among hospitality industry workers. In many ways it fragmented themfurther. Until the mid-1970s many hotel workers were not unionised and further, those that werewere distributed among a variety of different local unions. The consolidation of those unions intoLocal 40 occurred throughout the mid-1970s. In May 1974, Local 16 was formed comprisinglocals 676 and 28.20 In 1976 Local 40 was created from Local 835 and Local 16, uniting12,000 hotel employees in BC.2’ In this sense the raiding of Local 40 by CAIMAW and otherunions in the early 1 980s shattered an only recently established unity among hotel workers.Second, the president and vice-president of Local 40 at the time the trusteeship wasimposed were women. They, along with the secretary/treasurer (a man), lost their jobs whenthe trustee was appointed. The women were two waitresses from the Vancouver suburb of NewWestminster. Their leadership was short lived, and it is remembered as controversial. It is alsoremembered that these women were elected because they were women and this appealed to thefemale membership.22 The representations and memories surrounding the leadership of Local40 provide an interesting insight into the positioning of women in unions and the potential foreffective leadership of unions by women. This will be a point to which the thesis returns later.‘9lnterview: Rank and File Reform Committee Member20See, The Mixer Vol 1 No 1 May 1974.21See, The Local 40 Mixer Vol 2 No 3 October 1976.22lnterview: President, Local 40xiAt first glance the circumstances of the struggle between Local 40 and in particularCAIMAW suggest two points from which to begin analysing the nature of each union’sinvolvement. CAIMAW was formed in Winnipeg in 1964 and since then had organisedpredominantly male employees in mining, electrical and manufacturing plants in BC andManitoba.23 Its the motivation for raiding the hotel workplaces appeared to be one of gainingmore members, a result in large part because of declines in manufacturing employmentfollowing deindustrialisation during the 1 970s and 1 980s. As a traditional male industrial union,CAIMAW had never before attempted to represent workers in the service sector who werepredominantly women and as we shall see later, this presents a particularly difficult challengeto the union.Initially the response to CAIMAW’s raids by Local 40 was as much shaped by theinternal problems at the union as it was by the raids themselves. Later, however, Local 40 unionofficials did focus their energies on the more positive strategy of reorganising theirrepresentational practices. For example, Local 40 officials responded to the charge that the unionwas not adequately servicing their members by restructuring the executive board such that thoseon the board represented a wider cross-section of the membership (see chapter four). Given thiscontext, the central claim of this thesis is that the struggle between CAIMAW and Local 40 wasbased on two very different philosophical and practical approaches to the task of representingworkers. In neither case, however, did those representational practices come to terms with thefact that those who were represented were predominantly women. The task of this thesis will23see Atherton, Patricia Gwen 1981 CAIMAW - Portrait of a CanadianUnion Unpublished MA Thesis, Faculty of Commerce and Business Administration,University of British Columbiaxiibe to document the intersection between daily union practices, unionism, and gender. To do sothis thesis will address two central questions. First, what are the means, if any, for the concernsof unionised women workers to become the concerns of the union itself? And second, what isthe most appropriate forum for organising the unionisation of women service sector workerssuch as in the hotel industry?1CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTIONINTRODUCTIONMy general purpose in this thesis is to understand the positioning of women in servicesector unions. Women in Canada represent 51 % of the workforce, yet despite successful andongoing efforts to organise they constitute only 39% of unionised workers.’ My aim is to movebeyond the literature that only highlights the numerical extent of women’s underrepresentation(although this is important) in unions, to explore also the social, cultural and organisationalpractices of exclusion. What I hope to show is that women’s representation and organisation inworker unions is underlain by ideological constructions of femininity and masculinity. It is thesedominant ideologies that contribute to indirect discriminations, and thus constrain women’sparticipation in unions.The role of unions is to represent their members, indeed, to speak for these membersduring contract negotiations. In the act of representing workers to improve or protect existingwages and working conditions and in their daily organisational practices unions also speak abouttheir members. As Linda Alcoff argues, “in both the practice of speaking for as well as thepractice of speaking about others, I am engaging in the act of representing the other’s needs,goals, situation, and in fact, who they are”2 (Alcoff’ s emphasis). The act of representingworkers in the workplace, then, cannot be separated from the representation of workers that are‘Briskin, Linda 1990 “Women, Unions and Leadership”, Canadian Dimension Jan!FebVol 24 No 1 pp 38-41. Galt, Virginia 1993 “Unions urged to promote women, scrap ‘maleculture’: Labour needs female participation to survive in next century, study says” Globe andMail Feb 8th, 1993 p A62Alcoff, Linda 1991-92 “The Problem of Speaking for Others” Cultural Criticiue Winterp92constructed by officials in the union office. Representations of this second kind are ideologicallyconstituted, underpinning every political and discursive action in which the union engages onbehalf of their members. Particularly germane to this thesis is that the representationsconstructed by union officials are a product of deeply imbedded ideological assumptions aboutgender; assumptions that define the nature of male and female union members. Thus, throughoutthis thesis I will use representation in two senses. First, in the sense that unions representworkers at workplaces and second, in the sense that union officials construct representations ofthe workers themselves. I shall try to keep the two definitions distinct.In the first sense of the term, there are two main issues that stem from the under-representation of women in unions. First, the numerical under-representation of women both asmembers and in leadership positions implies that women’s specific needs in the workplace areoften neglected. Even within their union women members may encounter a range of responsesto the issues that concern them, from a keen interest to promote childcare availability andpayment of benefits and superannuation to part-time workers to outright neglect. This neglectby unions often occurs in those that are organised around the principle of majority rule. Thepotential for women trade unionists to influence the collective bargaining agenda depends to acertain extent on the type of union to which they belong. Pradeep Kumar distinguishes betweenpublic and private sector unions in Canada in terms of their willingness to bargain for women’sconcerns. Collective bargaining issues in public sector unions have emphasised pay andemployment equity measures, sexual harassment and family related leaves. The private sectorunions, whose membership and/or leadership are largely male, have been slower to pursuewomen’s issues having focused mainly on work-environment improvements. In such a context3there is little scope for women members to directly influence central issues and debates becauseof their underrepresentation on negotiating committees .Second, union membership in traditional sectors is declining because of employmentlosses. Milkman argues, for example, that unions in the United States suffered large membershiplosses during the 1970s. In part this was because many new jobs went to women who, in turn,were not organised by unions.4 In this context of economic restructuring and the decline oforganised labour the challenge for unions is to attract and retain new members. One source isthe potential unionisation of new women workers particularly in the service sector. Instead oftapping this source, however, unions have sought new members through merger andamalgamation creating larger unions with very diverse memberships divided along gender,occupational and industrial lines . As we shall see throughout this thesis, union leaders workwith various ideological constructs (representation in the second sense) about masculine,feminine and the different work environments in which men and women are employed. Theorganisation of women service sector workers has proved difficult because within unions theseideological constructs hinder the development of organisational strategies that are sensitive tothe needs and concerns of both women and men union members.Thus, a central question for my thesis is how are unions reorientating their3Kumar, Pradeep 1993 “Collective Bargaining and Women’s Workplace Concerns” inLinda Briskin and Patricia McDermott (eds) Women Challenging Unions: Feminism,Democracy and Militancy University of Toronto Press, Toronto pp 209-2114Milkman, Ruth 1985 “Women workers, feminism and the labor movement since the1960s” in Ruth Milkman (ed) Women, Work and Protest: A Century of US Women’sLabour History Routledge and Kegan Paul, London p 3025This is indeed a characteristic of CAIMAW, see discussion in chapter three.4representation(s) of members in particular places and labour markets and with reference to thediversity of workers within those contexts? The issue is not merely that unions have aresponsibility to represent their members at the bargaining table, but that the very act ofrepresentation, as already argued, incorporates ideological constructions about gender andunionism. Ideological effects in unions are represented, organised and expressed in very materialforms. The prioritising of issues within unions, for example, is not defined merely in theabstract, but rather in relation to economic, political and ideological conditions in specificplaces. Those ideological constructions made by union officials occur in, and underpin, the dailyunion business of organising new workplaces, negotiating contracts and in the making of unionpolicy. I will argue that an examination of union representations (in the second sense),particularly those impinging upon women members, can provide insights into the further, andrelated, question of why more women in paid employment are not organised and represented (inthe first sense) by worker unions. Historically, men have used unions to exclude women.6Thisthesis does not ask how women experience this inevitable exclusion, but rather how unionsstructure and maintain such an identity. Thus, this thesis is not just a “corrective” survey of thepositioning of women in unions (we know that women are underrepresented), but rather aimsto situate women with respect to discourses about unionism and in representations of gender andgendered social relations.In this thesis I examine a struggle (outlined in the prologue) between two unions in6see Heidi Hartman’ s seminal paper, Hartman, Heidi 1976 “Capitalism, Patriarchy andJob Segregation by Sex” in Martha Blaxall and Barbara Reagan (eds) Women in theWorkplace University of Chicago Press, Chicago, (esp. pp 147-169) and; Barrett, Micheleand McIntosh, Mary 1980 “The family wage: some problems for Socialists and Feminists”Capital and Class 11 pp 5 1-735Vancouver who organise workers in the hospitality sector, Local 40 and CAIMAW. The strugglebetween these unions provides an interesting case study for a number of reasons. Firstly, BryanPalmer characterises the election of two women leaders at Local 40 as an example of theemerging prominence of women and women’s issues in the labour movement. As he writes “awaitress and a woman bartender defeated a well-entrenched male bureaucracy in Local 40.However, Palmer does not follow the post-election problems including the imposition of thetrusteeship and the ensuing raids of Local 40 certifications. During the raiding period, 1982 to1984, issues of gender were not the concerns around which the struggle between Local 40 andCAIMAW was negotiated. Instead Local 40 and CAIMAW contested the struggle in terms ofwhich union was more appropriate to represent hotel workers. I argue that both during the hotelmembership struggle and in conducting their daily union business the issue of gender and asensitivity to the needs of women members should have been of critical concern to these unions.In the example of hotel workers in Vancouver, over 60 percent of them are women, yet themajority of hotel workers (about 80%) in BC are not represented by a union. The hotel industryis a notoriously difficult one in which to organise,8 and it seems impossible to ignore therelationship between the reality of unorganised workers and the fact that so many of theemployees in this industry are women.Secondly, the struggle over the right to organise hotel workers in BC represents one of7Palmer, Bryan D 1983 Working-Class Experience: The Rise and Reconstitution ofCanadian Labour 1800-1980 Butterworths, Toronto p 2778see for an example of different attempts to organise hotel workers in British unions;Johnson, K. and Mignot, K. 1982 “Marketing Trade Unionism to Service Industries: AnHistorical Analysis of the Hotel Industry” Service Industries Journal Vol 2 No 3 pp 5-236only a few Canadian examples of unions organising in private sector workplaces. Hotels are partof the service industry and include many examples of service sector occupations in which womenare commonly employed, but are not substantially organised by worker unions. Workers inprivate, service sector workplaces, especially women, have remained predominantly unorganisedby unions because of perceived difficulties associated with organising those workers. Local 40and CAIMAW have vastly different experiences of organising in different sectors of the BritishColumbian economy. I compare their styles of organising both during and beyond the struggleto consider why issues of gender were not brought to the fore during the membership struggle.Despite the differences between Local 40 and CAIMAW, they have a similar experience oforganising workers in service occupations in private sector workplaces. A case study ofCAIMAW and Local 40s organising experiences and practices, especially in the service sector,is interesting for a number of reasons. First, the fact that both an international union and anational union with previous organising experiences only in industrial workplaces representworkers in similar private sector workplaces is relatively unique. Second, CAIMAW and Local40 exemplify some of the broad changes that have, and are occurring, in the Canadian labourmovement. These changes include the organisation of women and the expansion of some unions’traditional jurisdictional boundaries to include representation of women workers. Finally, theorganisational and ideological histories of CAIMAW and Local 40 are quite different and I arguethroughout the thesis that these differences are quite apparent in the meaning and practice ofunionism expressed throughout the struggle to organising hotel workers between 1982 and 1984.In the remaining part of this introduction I review briefly some pertinent economic andfeminist geographic literature. The final section of this chapter explains the research7methodology.GEOGRAPHY AND TRADE UNIONS: LINKS BETWEEN HOME AND WORKResearchers in both economic and feminist geography have examined social and spatialdivisions of labour. Yet, in this literature there has been little attention to unions in theworkplace and their role in perpetuating segregation in the labour force.Economic geographers have sought to understand processes of industrial restructuring andits socio-spatial impacts: relocation, plant closure and reworkings of social (class, gender, racial)divisions of labour. As part of these projects geographers have observed the process and spatialdistribution of union formation and declining union membership. Gordon Clark, for example,examined declining unionism in the manufacturing sector in the United States. He concluded thatchanges in the density of union membership in regions where unions were traditionally strongis an outcome of both economic restructuring and community change. Clark argues that theunionisation formation process is decentralised in the US. As a consequence, the overwhelmingsignificance of local issues contributes to the fragmentation of union solidarity. The influenceand power of unions diminishes, then, in the face of internal conflict, membership decline andeconomic restructuring .While Clark examines the fragmented state of the American labour movement, Sayer andMorgan point to the need to examine how union officials and workers respond differently to theeffects of economic restructuring in regions. Sayer and Morgan argue that community and union9Clark G.L. 1989 Unions and Communities Under Seige: American Communities and theCrisis of Organised Labour Cambridge University Press, Cambridge8responses to economic restructuring are complex. Their research on electrical engineering firmsin South Wales was motivated in part by the belief that there are not only conflicts betweenworking communities and local industry, but within each of these, between different types ofworkers and firms.’° As workplace institutions, unions act to protect the interests of workers,yet there may be unacknowledged or unrecognised conflict around the definition of theseinterests. Sayer and Morgan argue that industrial geographers have failed to notice thesedifferences due to a disciplinary emphasis on a ‘view from above’ style of research thatconsiders economic change from the perspective of capital, not the different workers.”In this thesis I take up Sayer and Morgan’s point that there are differences betweenworkers and officials within unions to examine how such differences structure the differentassociation that respectively women and men have with unions. Feminist geographers havesought to make visible the differences between workers, the spatial significance of suchdifferences and the subsequent impact on work experiences for women (paid and unpaid) andmen.’2 While feminist geographers such as Gibson, Pratt and Hanson, for example, haveexamined the construction and spatial configuration of gendered and classed identities in‘°Sayer, Andrew and Morgan, Kevin 1985 “A Modern Industry in a Declining Region:Links between Method, Theory and Policy”. In Doreen Massey and Richard Meegan (eds)Politics and Method Methuen and Co, London p 148.“Sayer, Andrew and Morgan, Kevin 1985 d p 164‘2McDowell, Linda 1993 “Space, place and gender relations: Part 1. FeministEmpiricism and the geography of social relations” Progress in Human Geography Vol 17 No2 pp 157-1799particular workplaces and labour markets,13 the possibility that unions have incorporated thesegendered and classed identities into their union practices and thereby perpetuated labour marketsegregation (as well as the exclusion of women from unions) has not been explored. Despite thisneglect of trade unions, feminist geography informs this thesis in a number of ways.Feminist geographers have examined women’s position in society, and particularly in thepaid workforce, as a function of underlying social relations and power structures. For example,Louise Johnson examined the relations between industrial restructuring, the occupationalsegregation of women and patriarchal social structures in the Australian textile industry.14Susan Hanson and Geraldine Pratt sought to conceptualise the problem of gender divisions inurban labour markets with specific reference to women’s experience of spatially constrainedemployment opportunities. 15 Jacqueline Tivers has explained the division of labour in the paidworkforce and women’s lesser access to employment and social services in terms of, and inrelation to, women’s greater responsibility for unpaid work in the home.16‘3See Gibson, Kathy 1992 “ of cake and drawers of tea’: Women, industrialrestructuring and class processes on the coalfields of central Queensland”. RethinkingMarxism Vol 5 No 4 Winter pp 29-56. See also Pratt, Geraldine and Hanson Susan 1994“Geography and the Construction of Difference” Gender. Place and Culture Vol 1 pp 5-30‘4See: Johnson, Louise C. 1990 “New Patriarchal Economics in the Australian TextileIndustry” Antipode Vol 22 No 1 April pp 1-32.‘5Hanson, Susan and Pratt, Geraldine 1988 “Spatial Dimensions of the Gender Divisionof Labour in Local Labour Market” Urban Geography Vol 9 March-April pp 180-202. Seealso, Wekerle Gerda R. and Rutherford Brent 1989 “The mobility of capital and theimmobility of female labour: responses to economic restructuring” in Jennifer Wolch andMichael Dear (eds) The Power of Geography: How Territory Shapes Social Life UnwinHyman, Boston pp 139-172‘6see Jacqueline Tivers 1985 Women Attached: The Daily Lives of Women with YoungChildren Croom-Helm, London10The relationship between home and work, and its impact on the labour force participationof women has been an important focus of feminist geographic research. Hanson and Pratt, forexample, emphasise the need to move beyond the accepted conceptualisation of home and workas separate yet gendered spheres. Instead, they argue that the characteristics of home and workdefine each other, and are mutually implicated in decisions about work, residential choice, andcommunity participation.’7I argue throughout this thesis that there are clear ideological links between home and thepaid work environment. As Michele Barrett writes “the gender divisions of social production incapitalism cannot be understood without reference to the organisation of the household and theideology of familialism” •18 As McDowell argues, however, the linkage between unionorganisation and the relationship between home and work has not been widely researched. 19In union discourses home and work are typically artificially separated, where each place has adistinct gender identity. Home is constructed as the place where women perform unpaiddomestic work while work is conceived predominantly as a male environment where the maleis the breadwinner earning the wage that supports their family. In this thesis I explore theprocess by which unions have co-opted these gendered identities constructed respectively withinthe home and work to construct particular identities of the women workers they represent. I willargue that, in part, worker unions exploit (in the sense that they fail to challenge) both thesegendered divisions of labour.17Hanson, Susan and Pratt, Geraldine 1988 “Reconceptualising the links between homeand work in Urban Geography”. In Economic Geography Vol 64 No 4 pp 299-32 118Barrett, Michele 1980 Women’s Oppression Today Verso, London p 186‘9McDowell, Linda 1993 op cit p 17111Geographers have previously considered the spatial links between home and work andwomen’s segregation in the urban labour market through an examination of journey to workdata.2° In this thesis home and work are not drawn together by commuting patterns but at asingle site, the union office, where the identities of women members are constructed. For thisthesis, then, the union office, union policy and the actions and sayings of union leaders arepivotal because they are the sources of the constructions and representations of gender andunionism, which in turn, either inhibit or facilitate women’s participation in unions. Unions arenot merely objective arbiters of the interests of the workers they represent, but rather aregendered institutions and as such they actively reproduce divisions in the workforce2’ andsociety as a whole.METHODMethodologically, this thesis relies on two main sources of information. First, themonthly newsletters of Local 40 and CAIMAW provided information about both the struggle,and the activities and philosophies of each organisation. The Local 40 Mixer was available from1974 and The CAIMAW Review from 1978. For information about CAIMAW prior to 1978I referred to Patricia Atherton’ s account of CAIMAW’ s history. Her thesis takes the story ofthe union up until 1981 •22 Secondly, eight intensive and open-ended interviews were conducted20for example, Howe, A and O’Connor, K. 1982 “Travel to work and labour forceparticipation of men and women in an Australian metropolitan area?! Professional GeographerVol 34 pp 50-6421see for example; Cockburn, Cynthia 1983 Brothers: male dominance and technologicalchange Pluto Press, London22Atherton, Patricia Gwen 1982 op cit12with both male and female union officials who were involved in either Local 40 or CAIMAWat the time of the struggle. Heery and Kelly found, in the British context, that full-time unionofficials play a significant and creative part in union policy development and implementation.Their research indicates that although the role of the full-time officials is circumscribed by arange of factors union officials enjoy some scope for innovation and choice within theselimits 23 It is assumed that the union officials in Local 40 and CAIMAW have contributed tothe shaping and interpretation of gender and unionism.Throughout the thesis I will refer to the persons interviewed by the title of their unionposition. With the exception of one person who withdrew from union activism at the end of1984, all those interviewed remain public figures within the labour movement. Only oneinterviewee was not involved in the actual struggle, but she was a member of CAIMAW at thetime and became a hotel employee in 1983, and later a union official representing the hotelmembership of CAIMAW (see appendix 1).During interviews it was understood that the representatives spoke on behalf of theirunion and with reference to union policy. Where this was not the case, the interviewee wouldindicate they were offering a personal opinion. The interviews were each between one to twohours long, they were taped with permission and transcribed in full. Each interviewee wasprovided with a copy of the transcript and they were given the choice to edit it in any way theychose. None of the people interviewed edited their transcript. The questions revolved around the23Heery, Edmund and Kelly, John 1988 “Female Representatives Make a Difference?Women Full-time Officials and Trade Union Work” Work, Employment and Society Vol 2No 4 pp 488, 504. This research refers specifically to the possible contribution of femaletrade union officials, however it is also instructive more generally, of the role of trade unionofficials.13particulars of that person’s involvement during the struggle and their interpretation of it. Thus,interviewees were asked to recall the union strategies for conducting and defending the raids,the geography of these strategies and the main issues of the struggle including specific questionsof gender.The interviews were interactive and given that people were asked to recall events of tenyears ago it was sometimes necessary to remind them of the details of events, dates and so onthat I had gleaned from newspapers and union magazines. It was interesting that people did notclearly remember the sequence of events and details of the circumstances of the struggle, butthey clearly remembered the issues and counter claims made about those issues by the opposingunion. In analysing the role of oral history and memory in historical research, Bodnar arguesthat interviews can be read to discover what people remember, but also to discover how theywent about the process of organising and creating those memories in the first place.24 Itemerged during interviews that there was a collective ‘official’ memory of the struggle wherebysimilar stories were recounted by representatives from the same union. Personal memories alsoemerged as individual’s described their particular involvement in the struggle. As events havebeen recast over time the memories of events appear to have solidified around some centralthemes which gave meaning to the experiences and actions of both the specific organisation andthe individual union representative. I will argue that it is these central themes - the unionhistory, the experiences of representing women workers and the union philosophy - whichstructure male and female union official’s memories of past struggles and continue to motivate24 Bodnar, John 1989 “Power and Memory in Oral History: Workers and Managers atStudebaker”, Journal of American History 75 p 1201.14the representation(s) of women workers in these unions.This research was conducted as part of a wider project investigating labour marketrestructuring in Vancouver and the relationship this has to international reconfigurations ofcapital and divisions of labour. In my capacity as research assistant for this project I conductedinterviews of hotel workers. In total for the project there have been approximately 35 interviewsof hotel managers and 25 interviews of hotel workers conducted. The interviews were open-ended in nature and structured around some general questions about worker’s employmenthistory and experiences in the hospitality industry. Although time and space constraintsprevented my a systematic analysis of these worker’s experience as hospitality union membersin Vancouver, references to seven different worker’s comments (and one hotel manager) wereelicited from the interviews I conducted and are included in this thesis.OUTLINE OF THE THESISTo understand and illustrate the positioning of women in service sector unions it is firstnecessary to highlight the themes of two separate literatures. Chapter two is a review of theliterature of the positioning of women within worker unions. Much of this literature suggests thatthere are a great number of barriers to the participation of women within unions. One importantbarrier is the very nature of unions as masculine organisations, one that tends to render invisiblewomen’s class concerns and their class activism. This chapter, then, considers the informal wayswomen do organise at work. Two different strategies seek to capture women’s differentorganisational experiences and they are considered in conjunction with ways that unions canrestructure their organisational practices to meet the needs of women in paid employment.15Chapter three considers the changing geography of trade union representation (in the first sense)as economic restructuring alters the labour market and thus, the nature of union membership.In particular, this chapter examines explanations for the continuing underrepresentation ofwomen private sector workers in unions. These explanations include considerations of thedifficulty of organising workers in the occupations that women typically perform, union neglectof the service sector and the fragmented structure of the Canadian labour movement which hasallowed private sector workers to go unorganised by unions. In final part of this chapter Iconsider both Local 40 and CAIMAW’s different position in the Canadian labour movement asunions that organise in private service sector workplaces. In this section too, I consider someof the differences between these two unions. Chapters four, five and six provide the case study.The aim of these chapters is to expose the forms of social and union organisation withinCAIMAW and Local 40 that maintain women’s exclusion both as members and as active andeffective union activists. The discussion in chapters four and five extends outside the two yearperiod of the struggle. Chapter four explores union representations of the hotel industry and thedifficulties of organising workers within it and concludes with a discussion of the workplaceorganisational practices employed by Local 40 and CAIMAW. Chapter five specificallyconsiders discourses and representations of gender that occurred within Local 40 and CAIMAW.In the two year struggle between these unions traditional notions of masculinity and femininitywere deployed to legitimate strategies of organisation and reorganisation, yet gender issues wereneglected during the struggle.Thus, chapters four and five place the union struggle between 1982 and 1984 in context.Taken together these chapters explore the institutional characteristics of CAIMAW and Local1640, the histories of these unions, their membership, and suggests a structural, organisational andideological basis for the representations of women members which contribute to theirconstruction as marginal workers and union members. Chapter six reveals the issues that didattract the attention of union officials between 1982 and 1984. The tactics and strategiesemployed by the unions are more closely considered here. In conclusion I argue that this casestudy provides an example of the attempt by unions to organise women workers in the servicesector, and as such it the promise of useful political lessons as such organising continues.17CHAPTER 2WOMEN AND UNIONS: THE NEED TO (RE)ORGANISEINTRODUCTIONAs academics have sought to understand and explain the under representation of womenin the labour movement there has been increasing documentation of both hitherto hiddenwomen’s struggles and activism, and the exposure of structural and social restrictions onwomen’s participation in unions.’ If women remained invisible in research about labour studiesit was only because their struggles were considered insignificant both historically2 andcontemporarily.3There is now, however, a growing literature on successful workplace struggles by womenworkers, instances where women were able to resist management and to mobilise around suchissues as wage increases or equal opportunity. What is notable about these successful strugglesby women is that they tend to be sporadic or short term responses to a discriminatory situationrather than formal ongoing efforts.4 In order to organise simultaneously previously unorganised‘For a review of recent publications in American women’s labour history, for example,see Milkman, Ruth 1993 “New Research in Women’s Labour History” Signs: Journal ofWomen in Culture and Society Vol 18 No 2 pp 376-388.2See, Rosenthal, Star 1979 “Union Maids: Organised Women Workers in Vancouver1900-1915” BC Studies No 41 Spring p 36.3See, Beale, Jenny 1982 Getting it together: Women as Trade Unionists Pluto Press,London p 334See for example, Costello B. Cynthia 1985 “‘Wea’re Worth it!’ Work Culture and Conflictat the Wisconsin Education Association Insurance Trust” Feminist Studies 11 No 3 Fall pp 497-518. Costello explores the working conditions which led women in an insurance firm to strike.She notes that during preparations for the strike women generated militant resistance throughclaiming their status as workers. Once the working conditions which caused discontent wereremoved, the desire for militant and organised work action declined.18workers, to build on moments of successful workplace struggle, and to channel that effort intolong-term, formal worker organisation, it is necessary to understand the institutional mechanismsthat operate to exclude women workers.Such is the task of this chapter, which is to present a review of literature about women’spositioning in unions, and which also addresses the specific question of why, despite ongoingattempts to organise, women are numerically underrepresented as union members. The literatureabout women’s relationship to unions varies enormously in terms of spatial scale, social andtemporal locations and industrial foci. Instead of trying to review it systematically, I will usethe literature selectively to address two main issues. First, to identify the barriers to unionmembership faced by women, and which are created and enforced by unions. Second, toexamine the literature that deals with discourses about gender, home, work and unionism.There are different themes in the literature that discusses issues of gender and unionism.In the literature that identifies barriers to women’s participation in unions, masculinist tradeunionist assumptions about, and representations of, women’s relationship to their home and theirpaid work are exposed. However, I will argue that even in writings which seek to challenge thepresent status of women union members, these masculinist assumptions remain implicit andunexplored. A second theme in this literature introduces a radical feminist perspective todiscussions about women’s relation to unions. Thus, explicit understandings of masculiistorganisational structures and women’s different work experiences inform this literature whichcalls for a radical feminist process to be incorporated into unions. Thus, the chapter reviews,with examples, the spectrum of approaches to explaining why more women are not members ofa union.19In the first section I consider how women are excluded from unions, through male tradeunionists actions and through discourses of masculinity and femininity. In the second section Iexplore the difficulties associated with organising women service sector workers. The secondhalf of this chapter begins with a review of literature which addresses women’s consciousnessof class and gender as embodied in a ‘work culture’. This literature draws attention to thedifferent, informal nature of women’s organisation at work which is rendered invisible bytraditional structures of union organisation. I examine literature about work cultures in thischapter to highlight firstly, that women do indeed participate in resistance in the workplace, andsecondly, that this organisation has potential to be channelled into formal union activism. Thefinal two sections of the chapter address the question of how women can be included instructures of union organisation. Both women’s committees and the incorporation of aresponsive, feminist process have been cited as ways unions can create a place and a space fordiscussion of women’s issues. My broader aim in this chapter is to expose the differentconstructions of masculinity and femininity that both structure and underpin women workers’relation to unions. These constructions will later inform my analysis of the struggle betweenLocal 40 and CAIMAW, and the status of women members in these hotel worker unions.WOMEN UNION MEMBERSI. ExclusionLaurell Ritchie,5 among, others argues that women are excluded from unions in part as5Ritchie, Laurell 1981 ‘So many unorganised” Resources for Feminist Research: Womenin Trade Unions Vol 10 No 2 pp 13-1420a result of a gendered division of labour that allocates unpaid work to women. Thisresponsibility for household maintenance restricts women’s participation in paid work. As aconsequence women’s paid work tends to be part-time, casual and is performed in and aroundchild bearing and rearing. Although women now have a permanent, if unequal, attachmentwithin the labour force6 women remain predominantly responsible for the majority of caringwork within families,7 and as a result they have less time for paid work and trade unionism.It is important, however, not to leave the question of barriers to union participation only withwomen and their commitments to unpaid housework. Such an analysis is problematic becausewomen are presented as both victims of their social role and are made responsible for changingit.With respect to this last point, Heidi Hartmann has argued that male workers, throughthe institutions of unions, have strategically employed notions of the appropriate role of womenin society to resist their presence in both the workforce and the labour movement. She arguesthis patriarchal ideology represents women as homemakers and consumers rather than workers.8Also Anna Pollert shoes that their is a consensus view among male trade unionists in Britain thatwomen are different to male workers. Women are perceived as housewives, their place being6Yanz, Lynda and Smith, David 1983 “Women at Work in Canada” in Linda Briskin andLynda Yanz (eds) Union Sisters: Women in the Labour Movement The Women’s Press, Torontop 177See Hunt, Pauline 1980 Gender and Class Consciousness Macmillian Press, London, esp.chaps 1 and 3. See also Jamieson, Natalie and Webber, Michael 1991 “Flexibility and Part-timeEmployment in Retailing” Labour and Industry Vol 4 No 1 Marchp 668Hartmann, Heidi 1976 op cit. See also, Baker, Maureen and Robeson, Mary-Anne 1981“Trade union reactions to Women Workers and their concerns” Canadian Journal of SociologyVol 6 No 1 pp 20-23.21in the home and their claims to worker status limited because women’s wages are only ‘pinmoney’ . The idea that women’s paid work is only secondary to their unpaid work is based,however, as much in male trade union ideology as women’s actual material experiences of paidand unpaid work. 10Two case studies identify the particular nature of women’s exclusion from male-dominated unions in north America. These case studies refer to workplaces that are dominatedby male workers. This is different to the hotel workplaces in Vancouver which employpredominantly female workers, however, I would argue these case studies are instructive for thisthesis because the situation in the auto, steel and the hotel unions in Vancouver is similar. Aswas the case at Local 40 and CAIMAW, before the struggle began, both Gabin and Luxton andCorman’s research describes unions which are dominated by men and where male trade unionorganising strategies are practised.In her forty-year study period of the United Auto Workers, Gabin’1 shows how womenunion activists challenged their male counterparts to recognise women’s contribution as autoworkers, and to address the issues of equal pay, seniority, equal access to jobs and compulsoryovertime. She demonstrates that the success of these demands varied according to both termsof each successive challenge and the economic circumstances of the time. After many years ofongoing struggle, some male auto unionists finally reassessed their ideas about gender relationsand women’s rights and supported women worker’s demands including claims to seniority and9Pollert, Anna 1981 Girls, Wives. Factory Lives Macmillian Press, London pp 161-172‘°Pollert, Anna 1981 ibid pp 173-180“Gabin Nancy F 1990 Feminism in the Labour Movement: Women and the United AutoWorkers 1935-1975 Cornell University Press, Ithaca and London.22equal pay. The male unionists were ultimately persuaded by “the ideology of egalitarianism andindividual liberty implicit in industrial unionism” 12In the second example, by Luxton and Corman, during the late 1970s and early 1980sat Stelco Steel in Hamilton, the workers, men and women, struggled to transform work andhiring practices so women could be hired in non-traditional occupations. Women in Hamilton,Ontario were motivated to challenge the ideologies and the realities of work in male-dominatedheavy industry by the desire to earn high wages. These struggles were officially supported bythe union for two reasons. Firstly, altering management hiring codes would remove inherent andinstitutionalised sexist practices. Secondly, changing hiring practices challenged the fundamentalright of management to control access to jobs through hiring; this was previously a managementprerogative.13 As Luxton and Corman argue, it is difficult to assess the impact of the struggleat Stelco because by the early 1980s few women retained their jobs. Recession-inducedredundancies had forced women, without seniority, out of jobs ahead of their male counterparts.When it came to layoffs the union’s priority remained with the 12,000 male employees.Seniority rules were not altered to ease the burden of layoffs on the few hundred womenemployees.’4Perhaps the most significant effect of this struggle at Stelco was the challenge tothe sex/gender division of labour and hegemonic male workplace culture posed by the presenceof women production line workers.12Gabin, Nancy F. 1990 ibid p 183‘3Luxton Meg and Corman June 1991 “Getting to Work: The Challenge of the Women Backinto Stelco Campaign”. Labour/ Le Travail 28 Fall pp 149-185.‘4Luxton, Meg and Corman, June 1991 op cit p 157, 183, 18523It is, of course, impossible to generalise about women’s experiences as union membersin male dominated occupations simply from these two examples. However, the studies by Gabin,Luxton and Corman refer to situations where male unionists exclude women because they area threat to the male control of both the shop floor and bargaining issues. In this case there is aclear relationship between gendered workplaces, where men dominate numerically, and agendered union ideology and practice. The actions of unions are defined exclusively by and forthe majority of the members in those workplaces. Women’s exclusion from unions also occursas the result of prevailing social attitudes which prescribe gendered social roles to women andmen. In particular, as I will discuss in the next section, trade union activism is gendered in waysthat both alienate women activists and renders their activism invisible.II. Gendered activists and trade union activismIt is commonly thought that women are poorly represented by unions because they arepassive actors in the workplace. Angela John argues, however, that women’s passivity isexaggerated, and that if women’s protests are missing from historical accounts it is only becausethey do not fit into predefined notions of trade union activism.’5 In particular, because thatunion activism is defined in masculine terms women are reluctant to join formal labourFor example, union meetings tend to occur in pubs which makes women feelunwelcome or out of place.7 Stepping into the world of trade unions, therefore, involves‘5John, Angela (ed) 1986 UneQual Opportunities: Women’s Employment in England 1800-1918 Basil Blackwell, New York p 22‘6Beale, Jenny 1982 op cit p 31; Ward, Susan E 1991 op cit p 14‘7Beale, Jenny 1982 op cit p 2724stepping into a patriarchal world. Particularly in industrial worker unions where shop stewardsare commonly male, women are reported to feel alienated. For example, Sallie Westwoodexplores patriarchal relations, labour processes and shop floor culture in a women’s hosieryfactory in the UK. Women factory workers expressed feelings of anger and frustration at thelack of consultation and commensurate neglect of their concerns by the union. For these reasonssome of these women held strongly anti-union views.’8Exemplary of the complex relations and controls imposed on women’s labour activismis Joy Parr’s account of a strike in the knitting mills of Paris, Ontario in 1949.19 Womenstrikers in Penman’s knitting mills found that the prevailing ideologically constructed femininityrestricted their behaviour as union activists. Female militancy was constructed by police,neighbours, journalists and picketers in the imagery of feminine ‘wiles’ •20 While women soughtto act on the picket line in a way that would effectively maintain that line, men and outsidersto the town denied both the possibility and the appropriateness of such militancy. Male unionistsbelieved that women would not be effective picketers while the police insisted that the womenshould simply not act in such a manner. They insisted the strikers behaviour was inappropriatefor respectable women and that they should return to their homes 21‘8See Westwood, Sallie 1984 All day every day: Factory and family in the making ofwomen’s lives Pluto Press, London, esp. chapter 4.‘9Parr, Joy 1990 The Gender of Breadwinners: Women. Men and Change in Two IndustrialTowns. 1880-1950 University of Toronto Press, Toronto, chapter 5 especially pp 104-11820Parr, Joy 1990 ibid p 11321Parr, Joy 1990 fljç p 10625WOMEN UNION MEMBERS: SERVICE SECTOR WORKERSThe case study cited above suggest that the battles women face to prove their value asworkers in paid employment, and the relevance of their concerns are hard fought. But womenmust also prove themselves as trade unionists •22 Demonstrations of commitment to the unioncause can be difficult to establish, however. Women must overcome dominant perceptions thattheir association to the labour force and the union office is only tangential to theirresponsibilities for child-rearing and household work. They are often taken not to be ‘real’workers because they are predominantly employed in service jobs which are low paying,insecure, part-time or casual, where existing union presence may not necessarily inspire unionactivism.23 In this case, however, the problem lies not with the women workers but with thetypes of occupations that are available to them. Further as Judith Hunt argues, women are oftenemployed in small workplaces where there is no tradition of organising.24 Attempts to organiseretail employees in Eaton’s downtown Toronto store illustrate some of the difficulties oforganising in workplaces of predominantly female part-time employees where there is noestablished union. Union organisers faced two different problems related to the geography of theworkplace. First, retail workers themselves are isolated from each other both physically and bythe different shifts they work, and secondly, union organisers had to struggle against a lack of22Beale, Jenny 1982 op cit p 1823For a brief summary of the history of Canadian women in the labour force see Sangster,Joan 1985 ?!Canadian Working Women in the Twentieth Century” in WJC Cherwinski andGregory S. Kealey (eds) Lectures in Canadian Labour and Working-Class History Committeeon Canadian Labour History and New Hogtown Press, St John’s Newfoundland24Hunt, Judith 1982 “A Woman’s Place is in her Union” in Jackie West (ed) Work, Womenand the Labour Market Routledge and Keegan Paul, London p 154; Beale, Jenny 1992 op citp 2026access to the workers. Eaton’s management prevented staff from discussing the union anywhereon the premises of the store including lunch rooms. And when in the store, due to surveillanceof organisers’ activities by management and security staff, workers were unable to freelyapproach the union to ask questions or sign a card.25As service sector workers, women face other structural impediments to their participationin unions. Laurell Ritchie refers to employer opposition, labour laws and union organisation assources of structural and institutional constraints on the potential organisation of women. 26Anti-union positions taken in labour legislation, for example, do not prevent employerdiscrimination against workers attempting to organise. Management attempts to discourageunionisation are clearly evident in Cynthia Costello’s study of insurance workers in Wisconsin.While a deterioration in working conditions provoked the initial unionisation drive at theinsurance firm, managerial harassment, especially of the union supporters, created a vulnerableworkforce where many were afraid to challenge the company. The office workers faced severalbarriers to collective action. First, the separation of employees across several buildings impededthe development of social ties, requiring the union to build support in several locations. Second,collective solidarity among the union workers was undermined by the threat of non-unionworkers. Finally, management repression intimidated employees and lead to a high turnoverrate, and further more this stood as a constant reminder of the likely consequences of collective25Currie, Carol and Sheedy, Geri 1987 “Organising Eaton’s” in R. Argue, C. Gannage andDW Livingstone (eds) Working People and Hard Times Garamond Press, Toronto26Ritchie, Laurell 1981 op cit pp 13-1427action.27 Remarkably the workers were able to hold onto their union in the face of constantmanagerial assaults. Costello notes her case study as a sobering testimony to the challengesfaced by office workers in authoritarian work settings” •28Unions themselves encounter difficulties in organising service sector employees. SusanWard examines the relationship between union organising strategies and white collar workenvironments where women are predominantly employed. She argues that the ‘non-traditional(white collar) bargaining units’ are often not successfully organised because unions do not planstrategically nor sensitively for such workplaces 29 However, Ward’s study and those ofothers3°that refer broadly to the service sector suffer from overgeneralisation. Although Wardis referring to workers in the public sector unions in Canada, ‘white collar’ is a large andrelatively unspecific occupational category which includes office workers, retail workers andservice workers. I would argue that in order to understand thoroughly the barriers to women’sparticipation in unions, it is necessary to identify specific organisational barriers that arise bothin different unions and in the various occupations in which women are employed. In chapter fourI begin that task by examining Local 40 and CAIMAW’s efforts to organise and represent27Costello, Cynthia. B 1991 We’re Worth It!: Women and Collective Action in the InsuranceWorkplace University of Illinois Press, Urbana and Chicago p 8328Costello, Cynthia B 1991 jjjd p 8429Ward, Susan E 1991 Rising to the Challenge: Organising White-Collar Workers Schoolof Industrial Relations, Research Essay Series No 39 Industrial Relations Centre, Queen’sUniversity at Kingston30See for example, Edelson, Miriam 1987 “Challenging Unions, Feminist Process andDemocracy in the Labour Movement” CRIAW/CREF, Ottawa. Edelson closely considers thewomen’s issues program in the Public Service Alliance of Canada, but her discussion is notspecific to any one workplace.28workers in the hotel industry in Vancouver.This discussion reveals the economically exploitive and socially oppressive nature ofdominant (masculine) trade union ideology and action on the working lives of women. Womentrade union activists have sought ways to break down male control of unions by challenging itsinternal structures. I will return to this issue below. At this point I wish to consider therelationship between women’s class consciousness and their class actions. Conceptualisingwomen’s relation to unions and the labour market in terms of both women’s gendered role inhouseholds and male control of unions maintains a false separation between the spheres ofproduction and reproduction, paid work and home.3’ If the home is considered the site ofgender relations where women perform an unpaid domestic role, then class relations are viewedas only occurring in workplaces and union offices where men work. The effect of thisrepresentation is to obscure and silence women’s different class actions and class consciousness.In the following section I examine literature that refers to work cultures associated withwomen’s workplaces and paid work experiences. The work cultures literature draws attentionto examples of women’s successful workplace struggles which occurred despite the lack of aformal, effective union presence. The work cultures literature does not explicitly consider whyand how women are excluded from unions, although Alice Kessler-Harris examines women’swork cultures as a way to view how women understand unions, their role within them, and3’Peter Jackson reminds us that in considering home and work as ideologically and spatiallyseparated it is necessary to be aware of the extent to which power in one domain spills over intoother domains. Men’s authority in the home, for example, depends on their absence from itduring the day. Jackson, Peter 1991 “The cultural politics of masculinity: towards a socialgeography” Transactions: Institute of British Geogranhers New Series 16 p 21929indeed women’s desire to participate in a formal labour organisation.32 Women do organisedifferently and in the manner of their organisation women express a consciousness of class andgender that is based in their experiences as paid workers, and unpaid domestic caregivers.WOMEN’S WORK CULTURES: GENDER AND CLASS CONSCIOUSNESSStudies of women’s workplace culture and consciousness, I think can inform unionorganisers about the cultural differences between men and women that, in turn, generatedisparities in their union membership. In this section I consider the role and function of workcultures in informal workplace resistance. Given that women’s work experiences are generallyisolated from other workers either by divisions of labour or fragmentation of workplaces, it isuseful to introduce the notion of work cultures to examine the potential for resistance andorganisation among women workers. It is clear from the literature about work cultures thatwomen do express both a consciousness of class and a willingness to organise at the workplacein ways that are protective of their interests and concerns. Work cultures provide ideologicalspace for women to express both their classed and gendered identities at home and work.However, these informal organisations of women at work tend to be overlooked by unions. Iargue later in the thesis that both Local 40 and CAIMAW defined issues to present to the hotelworkers during the 1982-1984 struggle without consideration of the workers thoughts about theseissues.Susan Porter Benson offers a definition of work cultures and their function: “a realm ofinformal customary values and rules [that] mediates the formal authority structure of the32Kessler-Harris, Alice 1985 op cit30workplace and distances workers from its impact” Radical work cultures flourish inparticular work situations. They are produced in opposition to both the capitalist labour processand the subordination of women in the workplace.34 It is in the context of generalpowerlessness of their control over the labour process that women create their own shopfloorculture.35 In Porter’s department store case study, women developed a shop floor culture toresist the thorough, yet fragmented, supervision and inconsistent authority of management.Inconsistent management arose from the typical department store situation of conflicting linesof authority. Sales people were supervised by a plethora of managers including members of thebuying, operations, advertising, personnel, accounting and sales promotion staffs.36 In thiscontext, women claimed an authority and status of their own, as they employed their knowledgeas consumers and personal skills as communicators to deal with both management and customerson the shop floor.37Expressions of workplace culture and class consciousness also transcend traditionalboundaries between home and work. For example, Patricia Zavella observed the work-relatedand work-based networks of communication and social activity amongst Chicana canneryworkers. These women were empowered by their shared understanding of both their paid anddomestic work contributions. At work women developed a supportive culture that enabled them33Benson, Susan Porter 1988 Counter Cultures: Saleswomen, Managers and Customers inAmerican Department Stores 1890-1940 University of Illinois Press, Urbana and Chicago p 22834Westwood, Sallie 1984 op cit p 635Pollert, Anna 1981 op cit p 13036Benson, Susan Porter 1988 op cit p 23037Benson, Susan Porter 1988 ibid31to endure stressful working conditions. Beyond the workplace women developed meaningfulrelationships with one another based around social and political activities for which they did nothave time at work.38 Such networks suggest the need for unions to conduct organising in placesother than in paid work environments.As Benson argues the forms and priorities of the work culture are certainly different totraditional forms of resistance in worker unions. There is not the authority or the formalorganisation, but there is a structure of solidarity to which employers, managers and supervisorsare forced to respond. For example, the ‘sisterhood’ developed among retail saleswomen,creating space for a resourceful work culture by liberally interpreting manager’s rules andinstructions, saleswomen developed an appreciation for the skill of selling but an unwillingnessto use that skill as their employers wished.39 In the cannery factory women’s work culturenetworks became politicised, especially after the union refused to meet the special needs of theSpanish speaking Chicana workforce. Friends from work formed political alliances to struggleagainst and challenge the existing union leadership. The relevance of such work cultures is inillustrating the empowerment of women by informal communications. Knowledge of women’scommunications that exist both at home and work are typically ignored by established unionpractices of organisation and representation.Writings about work cultures and the networks of interaction between workers, bothwork-based and work-related, remind us more specifically of local contingencies that create or38Zavella, Patricia 1985 “Abnormal Intimacy’: The Varying Work Networks of ChicanaCannery Workers” Feminist Studies 11 no 3 Fall pp 54 1-55739Benson, Susan Porter 1988 ibid p 26832deny the possibilities for union organisation. As Louise Lamphere argues, the existence of awork culture is dependent upon workers’ ideologies and their behaviour, union presence andmanagement control of the workplace and unions, in short the whole work context.4°Just asBurawoy’ s workers disguised the coercive nature of their employment by playing political gamesand ultimately consenting to the organisation of their work by management,41 so too, womens’work cultures involve a complex set of relationships including both oppositional discourses andadaption and consent to management policy.42 For example, in Westwood’s study of hosieryworkers referred to above, women used their femininity, constructed around domesticity, as ameans of confronting management controls and the sexism of male supervisors. While at workhosiery workers ‘domesticated’ their work environment by taking slippers to work, makingaprons on company time, celebrating birthdays and babies and conversing about homelife .‘The problem for working-class resistance as expressed through work cultures is that itcan remain isolated and localised within the context in which it is produced.44 As a result, thestruggles in different workplaces cannot easily feed into each other. Furthermore, as exemplifiedin Lamphere’ s case study of apparel and electronics factories in New England and the Southwest40Lamphere, Louise 1985 “Bringing the family to work: Women’s culture on the shop floor”Feminist Studies 11 No 3 Fall p 52141Burawoy, Michael 1985 The Politics of Production Verso, London42Lamphere, Louise 1985 op cit p 52143Westwood, Sallie 1984 op cit; See also Pollert, Anna op cit. Both texts have extensivequotes from the women they interviewed.44Connell, R. W. 1987 Gender and Power: Society, the Person and Sexual Politics StanfordUniversity Press, Stanford p 26933of the USA, management can try to co-opt the informal work culture in an attempt to build aloyal workforce. So, birthday celebrations, screening of employees for union sympathies,decreasing the differences in payments to workers, are all strategies employed to blur thedistinctions between management and workers ,“ and thus discourage worker resistance orunion organisation within that workplace.This is not to negate the importance of a work culture or to deny its useful function forwomen. Lamphere argues work cultures must be taken seriously. Even without a formal unionpresence work cultures can represent a ‘threat’ or challenge to management’s control in theworkplace. Further, while the work community may fail to challenge the gendered hierarchy ofthe workplace, it can provide women with a refuge from work room authority, which is mostoften male. The work culture provides a social world where women can resist supervisorypressure, but where they can also express individuality and independence.46However, the impact of work cultures is ambiguous without formal organisation.Research about work cultures does not explain how or why women are excluded from unions,but it does explore the intersection between class and gender at the workplace. The literature onwork cultures shows that women do express consciousness of class and gender issues in theworkplace. For work cultures to ultimately lead to long-term resistance in the workplace I wouldargue that it is necessary to engage in formal unionisation. The problem is that women arefrequently rendered invisible in many class struggles, whether informally or formally organised,45Lamphere, Louise 1985 iNd pp 53 1-53346Tentler, Leslie Woodcock 1979 Wage-Earning Women: Industrial Work and Family Lifein the United States. 1900-1930 Oxford University Press, New York and Oxford p 66. For acontemporary example see; Westwood, Sallie 1984 op cit and Pollert, Anna 1981 op cit34because of the way they are defined by traditional unions. This clearly raises questions abouthow labour organisation should proceed to include women, and to deal with the issues thatspecifically concern them. In the following section I refer to literature that defines differentstrategies for allowing women members to be better included in the daily business of unionactivism.UNION ORGANISATION: WOMEN’S COMMITTEES AND FEMINIST PROCESSESJulie White argues that although some ambivalence is still expressed, women concernedwith labour issues are now considering how best to restructure and reorganise unions to meetthe needs of women.47 I consider here two different strategies. Firstly, the creation of separatewomen’s committees for women union members. Women’s committees create the opportunityfor women members to formulate their concerns and to address them within the union. Secondly,I consider briefly a feminist organising process and the challenge it presents to unionorganisational strategies that presently exist.Before addressing these two strategies, however, it is important to note that one responseto women’s growing membership in unions has been to retain existing organisational structureswithin unions. Jenny Beale argues that the increased representation of women in unions, asfemale labour force participation rates have grown, automatically makes unions moredemocratic. While she acknowledges that existing union structures are masculinist, she arguesthat increased participation of women will bring greater democracy to union structures because47White, Julie 1993 Sisters and Solidarity: Women and Unions in Canada ThompsonEducational Publishing, Toronto, see chap 335more voices and interests are present in the membership.48 In making this argument, however,Beale neglects two points. First, she does not take into account the fact that newly employedwomen workers are not necessarily organised into unions (see chapter three). Secondly, asCynthia Cockburn recognises, the mere fact of women’s presence in unions does not challengedominant ideologies, or male control of unions, given their previous numerical dominance.Instead she argues for a more proactive feminisation of unions with the promotion of women asfull-time organisers and leaders .‘Merely ‘adding women in’ as trade union members or to leadership positions is notsufficient to address the imbalance in the representation of women in unions. Given thatcollective bargaining does not function neutrally with respect to gender5° it is important forwomen trade unionists to challenge the deeply rooted male domination of union strategies,structures and ideologies.5’Only by doing so is it possible to redefine the ‘collective’ throughsystematic inclusion of women.I. Women’s Committees48Beale, Jenny 1981 op cit p 949Cockburn, Cynthia 1987 quoted in Heery, Edmund and Kelly, John 1988 op cit p 49550Davies cites collective bargaining as one example of a union process through whichexclusion occurs. He argues that it is difficult to convince trade unionists that theuniversalisation of workers interests in industrial bargaining for the good of the collective maybe harmful to the interests of women or other workers. Davies, Scott 1990 “Inserting Genderinto Burawoy’s Theory of the Labour Process” Work. Employment and Society Vol 4 No 3 p40051Briskin, Linda 1990 “Women, Unions and Leadership” Canadian Dimension Vol 24 No1 JanlFeb p 39.36There has been much debate about the value and worth of separate women’s committeesin raising the visibility of women members and their concerns. Debbie Field, in a study ofOntario Public Service Union, argues that the barriers to women’s participation in unionsprovide a justification for separate women’s committees •52 In further support for women’scommittees, Margaret Beattie found in her research of two labour federations, one in France andanother in Quebec, that despite similar levels of awareness of women’s issues and the goals ofthe women’s movement, women were better represented and mobilised within their union wherea committee structure was present and active These discussions suggest that women unionistscan successfully use special and separate committees to their benefit. For example, Canadianpublic sector unions have made women’s issues such as maternity leave, child care and inclusivelanguage contracts into industrial bargaining issues through such committees In particular theCanadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), which has the highest proportion of womenmembers, has a women’s bargaining committee in place to oversee the bargaining process; thiscommittee ensures that women’s concerns are not ‘traded away’ during contract negotiationsTo be effective, women’s committees within unions must facilitate communication and52Field, Debbie 1981 “Women’s Committees in Unions” Resources for Feminist Research:Women in Trade Unions Vol 10 No 2 pp 8-1153Beattie, Margaret 1986 “The Representation of Women in Unions” Signs: Journal ofWomen and Culture in Society Vol 12 No 1 pp 118-129. The organisations studied between1973 and 1981 were two education labour federations; Federation de 1’ Education Nationale(Paris, France) and Centrale de 1’ Enseignement du Quebec.54see Briskin, Linda and Yanz, Lynda 1983 (eds) Union Sisters: Women in the LabourMovement The Women’s Press, Toronto, various chapters.55White Julie 1980 Women and Unions Prepared for the Canadian Advisory Council on theStatus of Women. Canadian Government Publishing Centre, Quebec pp 6 1-6437mobilisation of women around issues of their representation and leadership. Such committeescan offer support and encouragement to women union activists whether they are members orleaders. However, it is also important to consider the potential problems faced by separatewomen’s committees in unions, which neither Field nor Beattie do in their studies of publicsector union organisations. Where women have formed a separate committee to fight theirisolation in the union, and to gather a collective voice around issues which concern them, theycan remain isolated and separated from the existing leadership. There are difficulties inchallenging the existing union structures, practices and ideologies from the position of awomen’s committee whose status is somewhat marginal. More generally, by confining discussionby women unions members to only women’s issues creates an isolation that further contributesto the difficulties in the quest for change •56Women’s committees unite and empower, but it is possible that they also serve todiscipline and silence women participants within the context of the existing union structure. Theintegration of an inclusive and supportive feminist process within unions, in contrast, wouldaffect significant and permanent changes to union bureaucracy, to strengthen union activism, anddemocracy, which would benefit all, not just women members.II. Feminist ProcessBriskin argues that a responsive, hospitable and participatory feminist process, groundedin union structures, offers a counterweight to the tendency toward marginalisation that women’s56Cobble, Dorothy Sue 1990 “Rethinking troubled relations between women and unions: craftunionism and female activism” Feminist Studies 16 No 3 p 53438committees experience.57 Thus feminist union activists have incorporated some lessons fromthe women’s movement to challenge and question the internal power relations within unions. Inparticular, a feminist process emphasises accountability within the union, redefines leadershiptowards decentralisation, and is inclusive and participatory.58Women union activists need theopportunity to develop their own power, to explore the internal (and invisible) barriers towomen’s participation, and to build their activist skills in an organisation that affirms the statusand worth of women members. The incorporation of a feminist process is understood to lead togreater openness in union structures, awareness of gender issues and barriers to women, and isthus, constructive of a stronger, more democratic organisation.59Discussions calling for the incorporation of a feminist process in unions are to someextent trying to step beyond merely the question of barriers to women in unions. The projecthere is to restructure and reorientate unions as a way to allow the class struggle to absorbwomen’s different responsibilities.CONCLUSIONAccess to labour organisations is politically beneficial for women, but women’sunderrepresentation suggests that they are still defeated by indirect or invisible barriers. I argue57Briskin, Linda 1990 op cit p 4158Briskin, Linda 1990 ibid p 39.59Edelson, Miriam 1987 Qp..cit pp 2-24; See also Ann Marie Wierzbicki interviewed byBarbara Sanford 1988 “Union Maid” Women and Environments Vol 11 No 1 Fall p 13.Wierzbicki, a regional representative with the Public Service Alliance of Canada, arguesfeminists have a key role to play in the democratisation of the labour movement, which hasbecome increasingly bureaucratic, and the membership inactive. Women broaden the scope ofissues unions define and struggle over.39that it is necessary to place simultaneously gender relations in three locations if we are tounderstand the barriers to women’s participation in unions: homeplace, workplace and the unionoffice. Gendered identities and gender relations are mutually constituted at all three sites.Masculine trade unions construct masculine and feminine subject positions in relation towork, with the feminine being positioned as inferior. It is important to explore how theseperceptions of masculinity and femininity are exposed and maintained within workplaceinstitutions. In the context of a worker organisation, the implications for women are that theyare inadequately represented both ideologically and practically by their union. This chapter hassought to expose the constraints on women’s participation in unions. These constraints occur asa result of the interactions between institutionally-legitimated and socially-constructedassumptions about the role of women in the workforce and in households.The literature on women and unions points to the need to enact or enable a processthrough which women’s voices can be heard, and through which traditional gender relations andtheir influence on union business can be challenged. In as much as we need to focus on gender,gender relations and the exclusion of women, we need also to situate such discussion within twodifferent, but related contexts, that of the Canadian labour movement and that of regular dailyunion activism. In the next chapter I examine the first of these contexts, the Canadian labourmovement, to explore the degree of organisation of private sector workers. As I will argue inchapter three, service sector workers, including hotel workers are generally underrepresentedby unions for reasons related both to the nature of the work they perform and the neglect oftheir organisation by mainstream unions.40CHAPTER 3SERVICE SECTOR WORKERS AND TRADE UNIONISMINTRODUCTIONThis chapter examines the changing nature of union membership in Canada. I explorethe reasons for the continued exclusion and/or underrepresentation of service sector workers asunion members. Bagguely et al suggest that there is a need to consider more thoroughly the roleof labour in both the development and restructuring of services for a number of reasons.’ Firstlythe investigation of restructuring and employment in services is important because they resultin important economic, social and political outcomes. Secondly, services should be studied asa field of research because such research cannot be pursued simpiy by taking over modes ofanalysis developed to investigate the manufacturing industry. Finally, working conditions ofunorganised service sector workers remain vulnerable to abuse of their working conditionsprimarily because service industries are labour intensive and the cost of labour, which employersmay seek to reduce, is a high proportion of total costs.I have two purposes in this chapter. My first aim is to examine the possibilities for, andthe constraints which may limit, the participation of service sector workers in the labourmovement. In so doing I examine two different features of the Canadian labour movement. First,I examine the extent of unionisation of women service sector workers, and second, I brieflyexamine the structure of the labour movement in Canada. I contend that several factors combineto perpetuate the exclusion of women service sector workers from unionisation.My second aim is to position the hotel unions in Vancouver within the context of a labour‘Bagguely, Paul et al 19990 Restructuring: place, class, gender Sage, London p 48, 59-6041movement where, in general, private sector service workers are not unionised. CAIMAW andLocal 40 are emblematic of the remarkable diversity within the Canadian labour movement.Local 40 is an American international union with a long history of organising in the servicesector. CAIMAW is a Canadian industrial worker union that was formed to contest the presenceof American international unions in the Canadian labour movement. Despite the differencesbetween them they both currently organise and represent women employed in private sectorworkplaces. In this chapter I draw attention to the differences between Local 40 and CAIMAW,and in later chapters I examine the implications these differences have for the ways both unionsconduct their organising in hotel workplaces.I begin by identifying changing trends in union membership in Canada. Particularly sincethe 1 960s large proportions of workers in different occupations, including service sectorworkers, have been incorporated into unions.2Organisation of workers, however, has been quiteselective. In the second section I address literature that explains the underrepresentation ofwomen service sector workers within unions. In the third part, I examine the fragmented natureof the labour movement in Canada, arguing that private sector workers have been excluded fromunionisation by all segments of the labour movement. Finally, I consider Local 40 andCAIMAW’ s participation as bargaining units in private sector workplaces.UNION MEMBERSHIP TRENDSThe spaces of union strength have been traditionally the mine and the factory sitesassociated predominantly with male employees. However, membership in these workplaces is2See White, Julie 1993 o cit chapter 2.42decreasing.3Gilson and Spencer report that in Canada between 1981 and 1985 the InternationalWoodworkers and International Steelworkers each lost over 20 percent of their membership.Machinists, clothing, textile, retail, wholesale and railway workers all lost over 10 percent oftheir members. Gil son and Spencer note a similar, though more dramatic decline in the UnitedStates . Herod argues that as employment in these industrial sectors decreases, unions turn todifferent workers in different occupations and industrial sectors to maintain bargaining strength.5In particular, unions have increasingly sought new members from unorganised women servicesector workers •6Empirical evidence certainly supports this claim. Service sector employment hasconsistently expanded in Canada since the 1950s. Indeed, 90 percent of net employment growthsince then has been in services . Women’s participation in paid work has also become apredominant feature of the labour market. By 1989 women’s labour force participation rate was57.9 percent and women constituted 44.3 percent of the total paid labour force. At the same time57.4 percent of all employed women worked in community business or personal services. Of3Herod, Andrew 1991 “Homework and the Fragmentation of Space: Challenges for theLabour Movement” Geoforum Vol 22 No 2 p 1824Gilson, Clive and Spencer, Ian 1986 “Trade union growth and structure: aninterdisciplinary perspective”, in Mark Thompson (ed) Is there a New Canadian IndustrialRelations? Proceedings of the 23rd Annual Meeting of the Canadian Industrial RelationsAssociation. University of Manitoba May 29-31 p 1205Herod, Andrew 1991 op cit p 1826Dawes, Cohn Jonathon 1987 The Relative Decline of International Unionism in CanadaSince 1970 School of Industrial Relations Research Essay Series No 19. Industrial RelationsCentre Queen’s University at Kingston p 637Economic Council of Canada 1991 Employment in the Service Economy Supply andServices Canada, Ottawa p 143the total labour force employed in the services sector in 1989 women comprised 62.4 percent.8The overall rate of unionisation for all workers in Canada is 38 percent where 34 percent ofwomen belong to unions, compared to 41 percent of men.9 Although women remainunderrepresented as union members compared to men, women’s membership within unions hasgrown, especially in comparison to manufacturing. While union membership in manufacturinghas declined from 39 percent in 1966 to 19 percent in 1989, the proportion of unionised workersin services increased during the same time period to 34 percent. 10There is evidence to suggest, however, that organisation of women service sector workershas not occurred uniformly across the service sector. The expansion of unionism among womenservice sector employees has been selective such that while workers in some occupationalcategories are now highly organised, others such as private-sector, clerical, sales and serviceworkers remain largely outside the labour movement. Most women unionists are found inmanufacturing and public administration. These are sectors in which unions traditionallyorganised, or where government-sponsored organisation drives occurred. For example,unionisation in the public sector has ostensibly reached ‘saturation’ point. Respectively 67percent of education/health service workers, and 70 percent of public administration workers arenow union members.”8Labour Canada 1991 Women in the Labour Force 1990-199 1 Edition Women’s Bureau,Minister of Labour, Government of Canada pp 1-49White, Julie 1993 op cit p 164‘°White, Julie 1993 ibid p 57“The organisation of public sector workers was made possible by new legislation whichgranted federal public administration workers the right to collective bargaining in 1967. SeeWhite, Julie 1993 op cit p 51 (for a discussion of the extension of collective bargaining44The three private sector service industries of trade, finance and personal/business serviceshave, however, very low rates of unionisation.’2 In trade only 15 percent of workers areunionised. Supermarkets and warehouses have some degree of unionisation, but independent andchain retail outlets and department stores remain predominantly non-union. Approximately fivepercent of workers are employed in the finance industry which includes insurance and real estatecompanies as well as banks. This sector includes 10 percent of unorganised women. For allfinance workers the general rate of unionisation is 12.4 percent. The personal! business servicessector has the lowest rate of unionisation. The personal services sector includes restaurants,hotels, bars, hairdressers, drycleaners, cinemas, and theatres. Business services includeemployment agencies, security and collection services, but also highly qualified and professionalbusiness consultants such as accountants, architects, computer programmers and lawyers.Although some employees in personal service occupations such as hotel workers, actors andmusicians are unionised, overall, unions have had little impact on this sector, organising only11.5 percent of workers up to 1989. Taken together women workers in trade andpersonal/business services constitute 53.4 percent of all non-unionised women workers.’3rights to public service workers in different provinces) and p 162‘2White, Julie 1993 d p 163‘3A11 figures in this paragraph are taken from White, Julie 1993 iJici chapter 6. White’sdata comes from the Labour Market Activity Survey. In January of each year since 1986 aquestionnaire has been attached to the monthly Labour Force Survey. This questionnaireobtains information on all jobs held by a respondent in the previous year. It asks whether thejob was union or non-union and this information can be analysed by detailed industrial andoccupational categories, by sex, by size of firm and by part-time and full-time work. Itprovides material for a more detailed analysis of unionisation by sex than informationpreviously available through the Corporations and Labour Unions Returns Act (CALURA).Most of the information White includes was unpublished data from the Labour MarketActivity Survey.45There are a variety of explanations that account for the low proportions of organisedwomen service sector employees. To allow for this fact, I will draw upon two differentarguments in the literature. Firstly, I argue that women service workers are underrepresentedas union members because of the nature of their employment and the sector of the economy inwhich they work. Secondly, I argue that male trade unionists in manufacturing sector havesimply ignored the opportunity to organise women private service sector workers. I illustrate thislatter point with reference to two case studies.WOMEN SERVICE WORKERS: WHY ARE THEY UNORGANISED?Linda Briskin and Marina Boebm, among others, have argued separately that it is nottheir sex per se that excludes women from union participation, but the nature of theiremployment. In a statistical review of union membership, Briskin found that the sector of theeconomy has more impact on the likelihood of union membership than gender.’4Boehm arguesfurther that women are employed in industries and occupations that are difficult to organise15for a number of reasons related to the nature of service occupations. First, its high turnover;second its industrial organisation is dominated by either very large employers (banks, hotelchains, department stores) or small-sized firms that both employ a large proportion of women,‘4Briskin, Linda 1983 “Women and Unions: A Statistical Overview” in Linda Briskin andLynda Yanz (eds) Union Sisters: Women in the Labour Movement The Women’s Press,Toronto pp 32-3 3‘5Boehm, Marina C. 1991 Who Makes the Decisions? Women’s Participation inCanadian Unions School of Industrial Relations Research Essay Series No 35. IndustrialRelations Centre, Queen’s University at Kingston p 446part-time workers or young workers;16 third, its high use of subcontracting of work especiallyto low-wage firms and to an expanding, permanently temporary workforce.The consequence of these kinds of features found within the service sector is one whereworking conditions are easily abused, affecting typically, minority and women workers. In thatlight, Christopherson’ s research on the US service sector is very revealing. Christophersonargues that the United States has the least ‘rigid’ employment security system, and the largestflexible workforce of all OECD membership countries. Employers have been able to utiliseworkers flexibly (in terms of hours and times of work), most notably among women andminority workers, because of the lack of employee protection and bargaining power.Christopherson concludes that the costs of a flexible economy are being borne by those segmentsof the workforce historically neglected by labour institutions.’7 This is, of course a strongargument for unionisation of previously unorganised service sector workers. However, the natureof both the work and the workers in the service sector precludes such organisation. Either unionsare not willing to learn about the unique work experience of service occupations, or they do nothave the resources to organise workers located in isolated and fragmented work spaces. 18The intersection between the workplace, the presence of women and minority workersin the service sector complicates the organising process and, ultimately, perpetuates theexclusion of service workers from labour organisations. It is also the case, however, that unionshave simply neglected to organise the service sector. The reasons for this neglect are a result‘6Coates, Mary Lou 1992 Is there a future for the Canadian Labour Movement?Industrial Relations Centre, Queen’s University at Kingston, p 6‘7Christopherson, Susan 1989 iNd p 138, 14018Ward, Susan E. 1991 op cit47of unions either treating service sector workers as unimportant, or seeing them as irrelevant totheir jurisdiction. In general, Townsend argues that in the British labour movement serviceindustries are excluded from organisation because they are viewed as only a subordinate activitywithin manufacturing. The consequence is that the unionised manufacturing sector, for example,has received support and protection at the expense of low-paid service employment.19 In theUnited States labour movement, Christopherson argues that services remain on the fringe oflabour activism because of the reluctance of the dominant craft unions to organise in unfamiliarindustries 20Such neglect is illustrated by the history of private sector clerical and bank workers inCanada and the United States. As a group, Sharon Hartman Strom argues clerical workers haveconsistently remained outside the labour movement. The backdrop for her analysis is thefeminisation and mechanisation of clerical work which she argues was largely complete by theend of the 1 930s •21 Clerical workers were situated at different times as either part of the craftunion movement and associated with the American Federation of Labour (AFL), or the industriallabour movement and in the Congress of Industrial Organisations (ClO). The AFL respondedto the expansion and mechanisation of office work in the 1920s and 1930s in two different ways.Firstly, the AFL argued for an apprenticeship system (although Strom argues that this was‘9Townsend, A. 1991 “Services and Local Economic Development” Area Vol 23 No 4pp 310-31120Christopherson, Susan 1989 op cit p 13921Hartman Strom, Sharon 1985 “We’re no Kitty Foyles’: Organising Office Workers forthe Congress of Industrial Organisations 1937-1950” in Ruth Milkman (ed) Women’s Workand Protest: A Century of US Women’s Labour History Routledge and Kegan Paul, Londonp 20748inappropriate) given the continued deskilling and proletarianisation of office work. Secondly,office workers were shunted into ill-financed locals where union officials had no intention ofeffectively representing them.22 Clerical workers were also organised by the industrial labourmovement into unions affiliated with the ClO. At first, the United Office and ProfessionalWorkers of America (UOPWA) organised clerical workers employed in the steel and rubberindustries, but they were forced to transfer these members to the United Steel Workers and theUnited Rubber Workers. As Strom notes, during the 1930s male unionists in CIO affiliatedunions consistently signed contracts which exchanged gains for blue-collar members for anagreement to eliminate office-workers’ bargaining rights. These organisations did not includeclerical workers in their contracts. Thus, as members of industrial union monopolies, clericalworkers effectively had no union. Male unionists justified their neglect of office workers withthe assumption that clerical workers would either side with management, or prove impossibleto organise because they were susceptible to manipulation by supervisors or bosses 23More recently, attempts to organise private sector bank and financial workers in Canadahave also met with only limited success. In 1988, for example, union membership in thefinancial industry, which includes banks, credit unions, and so on, comprised only 3.4 percentof paid workers in that sector.24 The difficulties and costs of organising and servicing amultitude of small geographically dispersed bargaining units are illustrated by the bank workers22Hartman Strom, Sharon 1985 ibid p 22723Hartman Strom, Sharon 1985 ibid p 21324Baker, Patricia 1993 “Reflections of Life Stories: Women’s Bank Union Activism” inLinda Briskin and Patricia McDermott (eds) Women Challenging Unions: Feminism.Democracy and Militancy University of Toronto Press, Toronto p 6349attempts to organise in British Columbia in the late 1 970s. At that time the Service, Office andRetail Workers Union of Canada (SORWUC) supported a group of bank workers who wantedto organise their workplaces •25 The battle to organise was waged on two fronts, against thebanks and the established labour movement, neither of which considered banks as likelyworkplaces for union activity. In the face of the bank’s persistent efforts to intimidate employeesand derail the organising campaign, the union struggled to organise and then maintain a majorityof support in each workplace. Each branch was designated a separate bargaining unit and wascertified separately despite the time and financial costs incurred.As the costs of the campaign mounted, however, the United Bank Workers becameincreasingly isolated from the broader labour movement. That movement, however, was alsopart of the problem. At the beginning of the campaign the CLC seemed to favour the SORWUCbank workers. But during this organising drive the CLC itself began to organise bank workers.This confused the bank workers and provided bank managers with the opportunity to ask theiremployees to ‘wait and see’ which union would offer the best deal. Ultimately, such uncertaintystalled the organising efforts of SORWUC to the point where no new members were joining andthe union ran into financial difficulties. After eight months of contract negotiations for workersin the 24 banks which had been certified, SORWUC was forced to withdraw because of the lackof funds either to support a strike or to continue negotiations.2625SORWUC is an independent, Canadian labour union committed to the organisation ofwomen workers into a democratic and feminist union. See, The Bank Book Collective 1979An Account to Settle: The Story of the United Bank Workers (SORWUC) Press GangPublishers, Vancouver26The Bank Book Collective 1979 ibid50The United Bank Workers argued that the structure of the CLC was not geared toorganising, having not been involved in major organising campaigns for a number of years.Furthermore male trade unionists were not convinced that women should earn similar wages orbe involved in union meetings •27 As I will discuss in the next section, there is evidence tosuggest that the experience of the bank workers indicates a broader trend within the Canadianlabour movement; that of the reluctance of unions associated either with the international unionmovement or industrial occupations to organise in sectors where workers are traditionallyunorganised, or in occupations which are beyond the jurisdiction of an established union.THE CANADIAN LABOUR MOVEMENTI. Non-traditional OrganisingWithin the Canadian labour movement there are three factors that cause women privatesector workers to remain predominantly unorganised. These factors stem firstly, from the actionsand ideologies of existing unions; secondly, from the lack of government and public support forthe unionisation of private sector workers and finally from the fragmented nature of the labourmovement itself.First, Susan Ward concluded that union organising efforts in Canada are gearedsubstantially towards organising in traditional sectors, rather than in services occupations wherewomen’s employment is expanding •28 Ward attributes this feature to the perceived difficultiesof organising women service sector workers. In contrast, Gilson and Spencer argue that unions27The Bank Book Collective 1979 ibid p 11328Ward, Susan E 1991 op cit pp 9, 1151actively seek to organise workers in those occupations where it is possible to develop collectiveidentity through similar bargaining experiences. Gilson and Spencer note that, while theexpansion of union membership into non-traditional sectors occurs in Canada, it is actuallyrestricted to a few, high-profile unions •29 Thus Gilson and Spencer comment that,apart from some high-profile unions such as the UAW (CAW), NUPGE and CUPE, itappears that membership growth is typically taking place along traditional lines ofrepresentation, reflecting perhaps that similar collective bargaining experiences betweenworkers continues to exert a powerful influence over trade union developments.30Second, while unions may not actively be organising where women’s employment isexpanding, the possibility for the organisation of private sector service workers is influenced byfactors beyond the actions of the labour movement itself. White argues that there is a cleardifference in employer opposition to unionisation between the private and the public sectors.Although many restrictions have been placed upon the rights of public sector workers, basicrecognition of unions has been easier to obtain in the public sector.3’ In contrast, workers inthe private sector have not enjoyed government sponsorship of unionisation. As a result there29Gilson, Clive and Spencer, Ian 1986 op cit p 12330Gilson, Clive and Spencer, Ian 1986 jijç p 123a. UAW is United (Canadian) AutoWorkers, NUPGE is National Union of Provincial Government Employees and CUPE isCanadian Union of Public Employees., Julie 1993 op cit p 174. Panitch and Schwartz described restrictions placed onpublic sector workers’ rights in BC at the beginning of the 1980s. The Social Creditgovernment legislated a series of curtailments of union power and activism. Changesincluded new legislation to deprive provincial government employees of the right to bargainover working conditions, the organisation of work, job security and the right to strike at anywork site classified as an ‘economic development project’. These bills were part of a broaderpackage of legislative assault on the welfare state in British Columbia. Panitch, Leo andSwartz, Donald 1984 “Towards Permanent Exceptionalism: Coercion and Consent inCanadian Industrial Relations” Labour! Le Travail 13 p 133-15752has actually been a decline in private sector unionisation. Indeed, Troy Leo found that unionmembership in the private sector declined from 26 percent to 21 percent between 1975 and1985.32 A number of factors have contributed to this decline, including structural shifts in theeconomy, public policy that restricts organising and collective bargaining, employer hostility tounions and an unfavourable public opinion.33Third, private sector workers are not incorporated into a labour movement because ofits fragmented nature. The central division here is between international and national unions.34Workers in Canada are predominantly organised into either international unions which areaffiliated to labour federations in the United States, or national unions where workers areorganised and represented by Canadian labour activists in Canada. Typically, internationalunions represent workers in manufacturing, steel, lumber and other secondary industries. Unionmembership, though, in international unions is declining as a proportion of overall unionmembership, from 66 percent in 1962, to only 39 percent in 1989. As I argue in the nextsection, while expansion of union membership in national unions has extended unionisation tolarge numbers of women workers, those employed in private sector occupations have notbenefitted.32Leo, Troy 1990 “Is the US Unique in the Decline of Private Sector Unionism?” Journalof Labour Research XL: 2 Spring p 12733Coates, Mary Lou 1992 op cit pp 3-534Lipton, Charles 1972 “Canadian Unionism” in Gary Teeple (ed) Capitalism and theNational question in Canada University of Toronto Press, Toronto p 10535White, Julie 1993 op cit p 5853II. The National Labour MovementThe rise of distinctly Canadian national trade unions within the context of aninternationally based labour movement is perhaps the most significant alteration to trade unionmembership in recent years. Two separate organising trends have occurred. Firstly, a largeproportion of public sector workers have been unionised across Canada since collectivebargaining rights were granted to federal government employees in 1967. National ideologiesand local conditions produced this expanding labour movement in the public sector. Such a movewas crucial for the unionisation of large numbers of women workers across Canada since thelate 1960s. Indeed, by 1989, 48 percent of all women union members were represented bynational, public sector unions •36Secondly, in the 1960s a large proportion of Canadian unions were affiliated with UScounterparts. In the mid-1960s, however, a small number of Canadian locals broke fromAmerican unions to form independent unions such as CAIMAW. Palmer argues that nationalunions gained support primarily because workers rejected international unionism’s alienating andcontemptuous treatment of locals in Canada. The national question persisted throughout the1970s as breakaways and raids continued, especially in labour movements in the west ofCanada.37 These new national unions particularly organised workers in the industrial sector.The relationship between international unions and the Canadian locals has remainedsomewhat uneasy. The source of this unease is the control that American internationals exerciseover their Canadian locals. This control is exemplified by the ability of international unions to36White, Julie 1993 ibid p 5837Palmer, Bryan D. 1983 op cit pp 282, 284-554impose trusteeships on Canadian workers •38As workers in Canada have sought to create a labour movement independent of Americanunions, however, the growth of the national labour movement has been resisted. From the pointof view of those in the labour movement who are affiliated to the CLC and the AFL-CIO,isolated, breakaway unions in Canada are considered too weak to serve the interests of theirmembers. The eventual outcome is perceived to be a general fragmentation and weakening ofthe whole trade union movement.39As already suggested the struggle between Local 40 and CAIMAW was partly a resultof tensions between international and national unions in the Canadian labour movement.CAIMAW is a member of the Canadian Confederation of Unions (CCU) which unites thoseunions that disaffiliated themselves from American international unions in the 1 960s. Despitethe smallness of the union (about 8000 members in British Columbia and Manitoba), CAIMAWorganisers insist that their union has had a big impact on the labour movement.40 This impactcan be measured, partly, by the serious and carefully organised response that Local 40 officialsand the British Columbian labour movement (through the BC Federation of Labour) made toCAIMAW’ s raids of Local 40 certifications. I would argue that such a response (which I discussmore extensively in chapter six) was an example of resistance to the expansion of nationalunions as much as it was an attempt to save Local 40 from disintegration. In the next sectionI consider Local 40 and CAIMAW’s organising traditions which I argue made it possible for38Dawes, Cohn Jonathon 1987 oz cit p 3339Atherton, Patricia Gwen 1982 oz cit pp 125-640lnterview: Secretary/Treasurer, CAIMAW55both these unions to represent workers in private sector workplaces.ORGANISING SERVICE SECTOR WORKERSI. Organising womenUntil Local 40 was fonned in the mid-1970s, women in some hotel occupations includinghousekeepers were not systematically organised into unions. By the beginning of the hotelmembership struggle in 1982, however, all hotel workers in certified properties were representedby the union. Furthermore, throughout the struggle Local 40 engaged in a systematicreorganisation of their representational practices with regard to women members. For example,where previously women were not visible activists within the union office, women wereencouraged to became shop stewards and members of the executive board of the union.In contrast it wasn’t until CAIMAW organised women in the Vancouver hotel sector thatit had ever represented service sector workers. The history of CAIMAW’ s membershipexpansion stands as a notable exception to the general organising trends described above. Inorganising service sector workers, CAIMAW actively broadened its representational boundariesto incorporate women and unskilled workers. The union now broadly represents industrial,manufacturing and service sector workplaces. Since the formation of the union in 1964 themembership has expanded as the result of a variety of strategies 41 CAIMAW’ s commitmentto organising workers who are trapped in American-based unions has resulted in significantmembership expansion. This said, 50 percent of CAIMAW’s organising has been also conducted415ee Atherton, Patricia Gwen 1982 oz cit56in non-union workplaces.42 CAIMAW organisers believe strongly that there is merit in beingan organisation that represents workers in a diverse range of occupations. One organiser said,I am a real believer in the importance of having unions bring people together who areworking in different industries and getting away from just being obsessed with yourparticular industry. Because I don’t think its healthy for people always just to be focusingon the problems in their little industry or type of work.43In the next section I consider the different organising traditions from which both theseunions have emerged. I argue that despite the recent general tendency to exclude private sectorworkers from unionisation in Canada, both Local 40 and CAIMAW are products of uniontraditions which make organising in that sector possible.II. Organising traditionsAlthough, Local 40 has a long history of organising workers in the service sector, as aninternational union in Canada it is quite unusual for its presence in a non-industrial sector. Local40 is still affiliated to the International from which it originated, the Hotel Employees andRestaurant Employees union (HERE). HERE grants Local 40 jurisdiction to organise hotelworkers in British Columbia.44 Both HERE and Local 40 have successfully organised womenworkers, especially waitresses, in the past.4542lnterview: Regional Vice-President, CAIMAW.43lnterview: Full-time Organiser, CAIMAW44lnterview: Legal Services Officer, Local 4045See chapter five for a brief discussion of the women in hotel unions between 1900-1920. For a consideration of the history of organisation among waitresses in HERE seeCobble, Dorothy Sue 1990 “Rethinking Troubled Relations Between Women and Unions:Craft Unionism and Female Activism” Feminist Studies 16, No 3 Fall p 54157Union officials at Local 40 orientate their organising efforts towards two aims. The first is toensure a successful hotel industry, and the second aim is to guarantee and protect the jobs andliving standards of their members46. Local 40 officials work towards maintaining stablerelations at the workplace, including the settling of disputes before they reach arbitration47.CAIMAW is part of the industrial union movement which emerged in the late 1930s inboth Canada and the United States in response to american craft unions’ dominance of the labourmovement. Industrial unionism incorporates a commitment to the recruitment of unskilledworkers and the abandonment of racial and gender exclusiveness.48 CAIMAW’s organisingefforts are directed towards developing a collective identity among all the skilled, unskilled,male and female workers they represent. Union officials at CAIMAW argue that their role isto identify a series of issues about which all workers in their membership are interested.Typically these issues relate to concerns other than those found immediately in the workplacesuch as union resistance to the various free trade agreements in North America.49In different ways both these unions try to overcome the problems of organising in anindustry where the workers are isolated from each other and the organisation of the hotelindustry itself is fragmented into separate bargaining units.46lnterview: President, Local 4047lnterview: Legal Services Officer, Local 4048Milkman, Ruth 1990 “Gender and Trade Unionism in Historical Perspective” inPatricia Gurin and Louise Tilly (eds) Women, Politics and Change Russell Sage Foundation,New York49lnterviews: Secretary/Treasurer and Staff Representative, CAIMAW.58CONCLUSIONWhile service sector employment has greatly expanded in the post-war era, I argue thatprivate sector workers, particularly, are situated predominantly outside the labour movement.Women’s concentration in private sector workplaces and their poorer representation (in bothsenses) as union members largely relates to the nature of the workplace in which they areemployed (although I would argue that this is inseparable from questions of gender).Furthermore women workers have historically been excluded from labour organisation becausemale trade unionists in industrial unions have neglected or ignored women’s contribution in thelabour force.In the next chapter I consider Local 40 and CAIMAW’s attempts to organise in hotelworkplaces in which women workers dominate numerically, and where union membership,historically, is not extensive in Canada. The previous organising experiences of these unionshave led Local 40 and CAIMAW to their present participation in private service sectorworkplaces. I examine the interaction between union representations made about workers, thenature of the hotel industry, and the organisational strategies employed by CAIMAW and Local40 as both unions approach the task of representing workers in private sector workplaces.59CHAPTER 4THE HOTEL INDUSTRY: REPRESENTATION(S) AND ORGANISATIONINTRODUCTIONMy aim in this chapter is to examine the challenges unions face in organising employeesin hotel workplaces. Union activity in such workplaces is hindered by several factors: thefeatures of hotel employment, the isolated and fragmented work experience, the closerelationship employers establish with employees, and worker’s presumed lack of interest inunions given their often temporary stay in hotel employment. In this chapter I examine thequestion of potential and actual union organisation in hotel workplaces, particularly for the casesof Local 40 and CAIMAW. Specifically, this chapter explores union representations anddiscourses surrounding the hotel industry, the employees and union activism.The chapter is not an analysis of the strength or weakness of CAIMAW and Local 40as such, but rather a discussion around the specific forms of unionism practised by each, andtheir interplay with the hotel workplace. For the responses of CAIMAW and Local 40 to theconditions of employment and the experiences of different types of workers in hotel occupationsvaries with their particular understanding of the industry. Through an elaboration of the recenthistories of Local 40 and CAIMAW, and an examination of each union’s approach to organisingboth within and beyond the hotel industry, I will examine the factors that lead the two unionsto conflict 1982 and 1984. I argue that the particular histories of Local 40 and CAIMAW meantthat each had ‘preconstructed’ assumptions about the hotel industry, the employees and potentialunion activism, which in turn directly created different organisational and workplace unionism.I have two purposes in this chapter. Firstly, to describe the obstacles in organising hotels,and secondly, to compare CAIMAW and Local 40 union official’s testimony about the60difficulties organising hotel workers. CAIMAW established its organisational practices as abargaining unit in male industrial workplaces. In contrast, Local 40 and its predecessor localshave a long history of organising hotel workers. I argue that the impact of these differenthistories is evident in the ways that each attempted to overcome the difficulties of organisinghotel workers. The chapter begins with a brief discussion of the recent history of each union.In subsequent sections I consider the problem that employee turnover creates for organisation,the means by which unions understand their members, and finally the employer! employeerelation in hotels. The final section considers workplace unionism as practised in the hotelindustry of Vancouver by Local 40 and CAIMAW. In particular, I consider the debate betweenthe two unions about which style of unionism is most appropriate for organising in the hotelindustry. The primary sources of information are union magazines (which each member receivesquarterly) and interviews. Both union magazines, The Local 40 Mixer and The CAIMAWReview, include editorial comments, reviews of current negotiations and organising drives,discussions of issues such as Free Trade, labour relations policy in BC, and so on.CAIMAW AND LOCAL 40: RECENT HISTORYCAIMAW was formed in 1964 in Winnipeg when members of Local 174 of theInternational Moulders Union formed a breakaway group from the American International armof the IMU. A variety of factors lead to this move including dissatisfaction with the poorrepresentation of Canadian worker concerns, a desire for Canadian worker sovereignty andunwelcome interference in collective bargaining.’ Throughout the 1 960s and 1 970s the‘Atherton, Patricia Gwen 1981 op cit pp 32-3961membership of CAIMAW expanded to incorporate various industrial workers throughoutWestern Canada including electrical and manufacturing workers and, in BC, 30 percent of theabove ground miners •2 The result was that most members were male industrial workers.CAIMAW defined the struggles of its male industrial members in terms of health andsafety, wages and conditions and the right to be organised by a Canadian labour organisation.Control of CAIMAW by the membership (i.e., the rank and file) is enshrined in the constitution.Individual locals, represented by elected local officials, retain decision-making power over suchmatters as the rate of membership dues. Negotiating committees are elected from the rank andfile, the aim being to achieve a democratic structure without hierarchy or the potential forempire building.3 In an unpublished history of CAIMAW, which takes the story of the unionup until 1981, Atherton describes the emergence of orgariisational democracy as the guidingphilosophy of the union’s workplace activism.4 It was precisely these themes of the quest fordemocratic union structures, rank and file control of policy and decision making and sovereigntyof the Canadian labour movement, as I will argue below, that motivated CAIMAW’sinvolvement in raids of Local 40 workplaces between 1982 and 1984.Historically, Local 40 is the ‘official’ hotel industry union in BC. The original hotel andrestaurant employees union began within the Knights of Labour around 1898. Rosenthal notesthat women were probably involved from the beginning, but especially between 1910 and 19142See Atherton, Patricia Gwen 1981 Thid chapters 2 and 33see The CAIMAW Review Vol 10 No 6 Sept/Oct 19784Atherton, Patricia Gwen 1981 op cit5lnterview: Secretary/Treasurer, CAIMAW62there was a women’s local known as Waitresses Union, Local 766. This local maintained anactive presence at the Vancouver Trades and Labour Council as it fought for better wages andconditions for waitresses.6 In the 1 930s and 1 940s women were again leading figures in theorganisation of hotel and restaurant employees . Women are approximately 60 percent of thepresent membership of Local 40, and of the three leadership officers there is a woman vice-President. However there are no separate women’s committees. One organiser remembers onlybartenders being involved in the union in the hotel in which he was employed. In the late 1970she became an organiser to assist in the unionisation of housekeepers. This organiser said;As I recall. . . .part of the hotel, our part (bartenders) was union, and the other part of thehotel, the chambermaids and so on were not. They weren’t union. And so what happenedwas I got involved and I signed them all up.8Today, Local 40 represents all the workers in each location in which it is certified. Theunion presents itself in The Local 40 Mixer as an organisation that works with government andthe industry to further the interests of hotel workers. The dominant concern throughout the1980s in the BC tourism industry has been to work towards creating and maintaining a viable6In June 1914 when the membership of the Waitresses Union was 35 they merged backwith the male union, Local 28 of the Waiters and Cooks Union. It was reported to the VTLCthat the charter of the Waitresses Union had been sent back. Although it is not clear inRosenthal’s discussion, I am assuming that the male unionists determined that this occur. In1910 the charter had established a separate and autonomous local for unionised waitresses inVancouver. Between 1910 and 1913 Rosenthal notes that unionised waitresses were in greatdemand from employers. Rosenthal, Star 1979 op cit p 48-507lnterview: President, Local 408lnterview: Rank and File Reform Committee Member63hotel sector.9 Local 40 has sought to support the development of tourism, particularly topromote job creation in the industry through a range of strategies: making concessions withrespect to wages and hours of work, and promoting holiday specials for union members whostay in union hotels. In particular the union asserts the link between a successful tourist industryand jobs for its members. One headline in The Local 40 Mixer read, “support tourism, tourismmeans jobs”.’oLocal 40’s positioning of itself as the link between government and successful tourismstands in sharp contrast to CAIMAW’s position as a bargaining unit with no experience intourism and the service sector. Before examining further the possible implications of thesedifferent histories it is first necessary to discuss the possibilities for effective representation ofhotel workers given employment patterns and industry characteristics. In the following sectionI examine the issue of employee turnover and its potential impact on union organising effortsboth generally and with specific reference to British Columbia. Later in the chapter I argue thateven though Local 40 and CAIMAW are faced with similarly unfavourable organising conditionsthey maintain quite different strategies and attitudes towards their task in the local hotel industry.9see, Stevenson, Kellogg Ernst and Whinney 1989 The BC Hotel Industry Study:Executive Summary. Prepared for the Province of BC and BC and Yukon Hotel’sAssociation.‘°The Local 40 Mixer Vol 3 No 3 July 1977 p2. In many issues Local 40 links the needto promote tourism with the preservation and expansion of jobs; see for example Vol 4 No 1Feb 1979 p 1-3; Vol 5 No 1 April 1979 p 1-2; Vol 7 No 2 April 1981 p 4; Vol 11 No 1 Dec84 - Feb 85 p264THE INDUSTRY: TURNOVER AND ORGANISATIONThe hotel industry is notorious for the high turnover of employees, and managers, andthis in turn raises questions about the possibilities for ongoing representation and organisationwithin hotel workplaces. The literature (primarily British) on turnover notes somerepresentational strategies that revolve around understandings of the rate and costs of employeeturnover. Johnson alludes to the fact that employers use perceptions of high turnover both tomanage and control their workers. Despite the resulting retraining costs high turnover hasbenefits for employers in that they are able to manage seasonal fluctuations in trading withoutsignificant adjustments to internal staffing levels.” As Cockburn argues, turnover affordsemployers the freedom of selecting workers from within a more numerous and potentiallycheaper labour market.’2In contrast, turnover creates problems for unionisation. For workers, turnover can beunderstood in two ways. Firstly, it is seen as an expression of discontent. Workers change jobsrather than seek to alter fundamentally the workplace through collective action.’3 Secondly,turnover is part of a worker strategy to gain experience that will enhance career prospects. Itis assumed that both these strategies destroy the potential for union organisation because workerseither move out of the hotel industry altogether, or have no interest in collective action alongsidetheir career development. However, it is not clear which employees are moving in and out of“Johnson, Keith 1985 “Labour Turnover in Hotels - Revisited” The Service IndustriesJournal Vol 5 No 2 July, p 135‘2Cockburn, Cynthia 1983 op cit p 148‘3Johnson, Keith 1981 “Towards an understanding of labour turnover” The ServiceIndustries Journal Vol 1 No 1 Feb p 6; Gabriel, Yannis 1988 Working Lives in CateringRoutledge, London and New York p 5465jobs, and if they are actually moving out of the industry altogether. In British Columbia, forexample, turnover may indeed be intra-industry;I started in 1976, when I was in high school, in Kamloops. I worked at the CanadianInn, which is the nicest hotel in Kamloops and it was a union hotel. I have mostlyworked in union hotels, I try to seek them out. . . . its not a BCGEU, its not a Local 40hotel any more, in Kamloops. But I’ve actually worked in a few in Kamloops. But yougo from one hotel to another, just to try them all out, just to get different experience.’4Further, it is also not clear if turnover is voluntary, or to what extent it relate to the state of theeconomy. The contribution of Johnson’s research in Britain is to suggest that external economicfactors predominantly influence the rate of turnover.’5 Turnover in the Vancouver hotelindustry has been found to be approximately 20-25 percent per year.’6 As British researchsuggests, there are also contradictory interpretations of the actual impact and importance ofturnover rates in Vancouver. In a recent industry and union survey, it was found that there wasevidence of high turnover levels among front-of-the-house workers.’7 This suggests thatturnover is not entirely voluntary, but rather a strategy to overcome the traditionally highunderemployment among these workers. Turnover was also attributed to the large number ofstudent workers holding summer jobs.’814lnterview; dining room waitress, 8.9.92‘5Johnson, Keith 1985 op cit pp 135-151‘6lnterview: hotel personnel manager, 19.8.9217’ staff’ include; food servers, bartenders and drink servers, frontdesk personnel and service workers including bellmen, doormen and concierges.‘8lnterium Progress Report: The Impacts of Technical Change on the HospitalityIndustry: Assessing Educational Needs and Testing a Training Response. Sponsored by Local40 of the Hotel, Restaurant and Culinary Employees and Bartenders Union. Funded byTechnology Impact Program; Labour Outreach Branch, Labour Canada. Feb 28 1992 pp24-2566In the early 1990s in Vancouver, Johnson’s hypothesis that turnover decreases inuncertain economic times seems true. There is consensus in both Local 40 and CAIMAW thatworkers are tending to remain in their jobs longer because there are neither new nor other jobsin which to shift. In a slightly different, but related trend, workers are remaining in the hotelindustry by choice, creating career paths especially in management.’9Yet the incidence oflowered turnover does not remove other problems unions must confront in hotel workplacesduring bad economic times. As one organiser said,I think that our industry where [sicj we have difficult economic times, there is a lack ofhours available to our members, which makes our members unhappy quite frankly wefind that there are usually more problems in January, February and March. When there’sless business, you’ve got more people scrambling around for less hours.2°Declining, or, at least, stagnating union membership also presents some real challengesto the hotel unions in BC. Only about 20 percent of all hotel employees in British Columbia areorganised.21 Since 1983 all the new major downtown hotels are union-free with themanagement paying comparable or above-union wages to discourage workers from seeking unioncertification.22 I later return to the role of employers in discouraging union organisation, but‘9Local 40 is actively contributing to the development of a scholarship training programfor hotel and restaurant workers in conjunction with the Association of TourismProfessionals. The aim is to create an internationally recognised degree for hotel andrestaurant workers. This is all part of an effort to upgrade the industry in terms ofrecognition of worker’s skills and improved wages and thus attract young people to theindustry who are looking for a career. This program would include all workers, not justthose interested in careers in management. Interview: Legal Services Officer, Local 40.20lnterview: President, Local 4021Telephone interview: Local 40 organiser22lnterview: Research Officer, Local 4067it is useful now to return to the unions in Vancouver to examine how they understand workersin the hotel industry given both these employment trends I have described here and the potentialconstraints on organisation.REPRESENTATIONS: THE WORKERS AND UNIONISMAs argued above, women service sector workers are assumed to have two characteristicsin relation to their labour market participation. First, low levels of attachment to the labourforce, and therefore, second, they are difficult to organise. However, to organise successfullyin the service sector, unions must reconsider their understanding of service sector workers. I willargue in this section that the typical assumptions and generalisations about service sector workersserve only to immobilise organising efforts rather than to motivate unions to explore new andcreative ways of expanding the boundaries of their representational jurisdiction.Local 40 and CAIMAW understand the hotel workers they represent in different ways,as a result of their different sectoral histories. The task of unions is to represent their memberswhether it be at the bargaining table or in the workplace. However, the representation ofmembers does not occur objectively; Local 40 and CAIMAW bring to the bargaining tablecertain assumptions about their members. These assumptions which are the basis of unionrepresentations underpin each union’s understanding of, for example, ethnic diversity in theirmembership, gender divisions of labour, and worker interests. L o c a 1 4 0 ‘ srepresentations of the workers in the hotel industry are apparent in the pages of The Local 40Mixer. Since 1974, when this magazine was first published, readers have been presented withthe public face of the union. There are many pictures of workers at work, of union social68events, and pictures of, and columns by, the leadership of the union. The images conveyed areof workers “happily” going about their tasks, or participating in union training weekends. Somegroups of workers are more visible than others. As mentioned bartenders historically dominatedthe hotel worker unions. They are described in The Local 40 Mixer as “mixologists”, and arerepresented in a colunm called “Bar Banter” and also by many drinking poems.23 Theprominence of bartenders is further reflected in the very title given to the union magazine.This focus on barworkers, who are mostly men, serves to exclude those who work inother jobs. Cleaners and maintenance workers, are rarely present in the magazine, although asWaldinger notes with respect to the American context, twenty-five percent of hotel employeesare engaged in such heavy, manual work.24 One CAIMAW representative suggested that these‘back-of-the-house’ jobs tend to be performed by workers who are predominantly from differentethnic backgrounds;I think that today you find out that more and more people of colour or minority groupsor non-english speaking groups are in hotels and they hide them. They put them in theback end of the restaurant cooking and they put them in maintenance work where they’rean invisible group or they put them in housekeeping or something like that.25The occupational invisibility of workers from different ethnic backgrounds is mirrored in thestructures of both Local 40 and CAIMAW. The unions acknowledge a problem, yet it ispresented as a fault associated with the individual worker. It is understood, or assumed, at Local40, that workers from different cultural backgrounds do not understand the rights of workers in23see issues of The Local 40 Mixer in the 1970s24Waldinger, Roger 1992 “Taking Care of the Guests: The Impact of Immigrants onServices- An Industry Case Study” International Journal of Urban and Regional ResearchVol 16 No 1 p 10225lnterview: Secretary/Treasurer, CAIMAW69Canada, that they may be frightened from approaching the union for fear of reprisal, and thata lack of English language skills leaves the union without a way to communicate about the unionand its role in the workplace 26 Local 40’s strategy to overcome the language and culturaldistance between workers and the union is to publish the president’s column in the language ofthe membership. In 1984, The Local 40 Mixer published, for the first time, the President’scolunm in Chinese as well as English. This is considered an appropriate recognition of the ethnicmembership of the union, one in which 28 percent of the workers in large corporate hotels inVancouver are of Chinese origin.27 Yet there are many other ‘visible minority’ workers whoremain unrecognised in this public fashion by Local 40.‘Visible minority’ workers are also not generally represented in the executive in eitherunion, yet, in CAIMAW they are considered the “silent supporters” of the union. CAIMAW isvery concerned to resist racism and racist discrimination in the workplace whether it be causedby employers or members of the union themselves. However, CAIMAW was, and is, restrainedin their efforts to organise non-anglo Canadian hotel employees by some of their assumptions.Despite their recognition that workers from different ethnic backgrounds are made invisible bythe location of their job (see quote on page 11) CAIMAW places the problem of invisibility ofminority groups within the cultural context from which their members come. It is not thatworkers fear reprisals or do not understand the function of the union, but rather the assumptionis that;[Visible minoritiesi don’t participate in the union because they can’t get out of the house26lnterviews: Local 4027lnterview: President, Local 4070to come to meetings, they can’t come out.28Another CAIMAW representative reiterated that there are no constraints on the participation ofnon-english speaking groups,as far as the union [is concernedj. There maybe other cultural constraints within theirown communities.29Neither CAIMAW nor Local 40 have addressed the problem of underrepresentation ofmembers from different ethnic backgrounds as a structural problem. CAIMAW does not activelytry to change itself rather it relies on the belief that the democratic structures of the unionprovides space for any member to put forward their point of view. As one CAIMAWrepresentative argued:I’m sure they’ll come forward, you know I’m confident that they will because there isa democratic structure there, and what we have to make sure is that we facilitate that andaccommodate that.3°All members have an equal opportunity to speak or vote about the actions of CAIMAW, yet thenotion of democracy which underpins this assumption ignores ethnic and gender differencesbetween members that serve to exclude them.Local 40’s approach to the question of the invisibility of ethnic minority workers isdifferent to CAIMAW’ s in that it emerges directly from the union’s desire to promote the touristindustry to improve employment. Thus, when organising workers in the late 1970s, Local 40did not address the question of visibility of ethnic minority workers per se, but rather, wasconcerned only to improve the bargaining position of workers within the industry. The skill28lnterview: Secretary/Treasurer, CAIMAW29lnterview: Regional Vice-President, CAIMAW30lnterview: Regional Vice-President, CAIMAW71levels and qualities demanded from tourism workers are not generally recognized by formalcredentials and, according to Britton,3’ this encourages market underpricing of the value oflabour. The hotel industry predominantly operates on a 24 hour basis, and in terms of thestructure of the hotel workforce structure, labour flexibility is portrayed as an employee problemrather than an employers one 32 For example, one hotel worker in Vancouver claimed that itwas made clear in an interview that despite the fact that the hotel would not guarantee himregular hours of work, he should be available to work at any time.33 In this context, Local 40defends the skills and commitment of the hotel workers to their jobs arguing that these workersare vital to the overall success of the industry. Local 40 argues also for a recognition of theindustry’s contribution to the economy of British Columbia. In particular, The Local 40 Mixernotes the role of the industry in absorbing minorities, skilled, semi- and un-skilled workers.Yet in the pictures of the workers that are very prominent in the magazine during the1970s the faces and names represented in photographs are mostly anglo-Canadian. In issuesthroughout the 1980s anglo faces still predominate in photographs of the workers but there isa recognition of the multi-racial nature of the hotel workforce. As well as some photos ofChinese Canadian workers, there are also explicitly anti-racist statements and columns, including31Britton, Steven 1991 “Tourism, capital and place: towards a critical geography oftourism”. Environment and Planning D: Society and Space Vol 9 p 45932Guerrier and Lockward suggest hotel labour forces can be efficiently organised ifcomprising a core of functionally flexible employees, surrounded by ‘peripheral’ employeesto provide numerical flexibility; see, Guerrier, Yvonne and Lockward, Andrew 1989 “Coreand Peripheral Employees in Hotel Operations” Personnel Review Vol 18 No 1 pp 933lnterview: Banquet Waiter, downtown hotel Vancouver, 23.8.9334The Local 40 Mixer Vol 3 No 3 Nov 1977 p 772one column entitled, “Don’t blame immigrants [for unemployment]”35 and of course thePresident’s colunm in Chinese.36CAIMAW and Local 40 offer different reasons for why hotel workers from differentethnic backgrounds do not participate in their union. By situating the responsibility for theinvisibility of the workers either with the individuals themselves, or the cultural context, neitherunion recognises the constraints within their own organisation that discourage participation. Afurther invisibility or exclusion in union representations occurs in discourses around the genderdivision of labour.I. Gender, occupational segregation and invisibilityCrompton and Sanderson identify the sex-typing of jobs that occurs in the hotel industry.Hotel occupations are overlain with meanings of sexuality and assumptions about gender roles.For example, the occupation ‘cocktail waitress’ is reserved for women,37 as are also roomattendants or ‘maids’. In these examples there is the exploitation of gender roles. In the first,women’s sexuality is portrayed as alluring, while in the second women replicate the domesticresponsibilities they are assumed to have at home.While gender stereotypes still determine the division of labour within hotels, there is35see The Local 40 Mixer Vol 13 No 4 March-May 1988 p836The tone of the magazine appears to have changed quite significantly by the end of thetrusteeship. In issues during the 1980’s The Local 40 Mixer addressed a broader range ofissues than previously including, for example, drink driving, sexual harassment, the literacyof workers and updates on the state of the hotel industry in BC.37Crompton, Rosemary and Sanderson, Kay 1990 Gendered Jobs and Social ChangeUnwin Hyman, London p 13373increasingly a mixing of the sexes. Whether occupational segregation based on gender occursin the hotels in Vancouver was a point of contention between representatives from CAIMAWand Local 40. When asked whether gender stereotypes were still evident in hotels the Local 40representative said;not much, occasionally you’ll get some room manager’s got it in his head that he wantsnothing but male waiters or nothing but women working in his bar, but as a rule no.38In interviews, hotel workers confirmed the mixing of the sexes in many occupations includingthe front desk, food serving, and management, at least up to the middle management level.39The service staff in the lobby of the hotel, the doorman, concierge and bellmen, as some of thejob titles suggest, are predominantly men, although, at the time of writing there are a smallnumber of women employed in bell departments of some hotels in Vancouver. CAIMAWrepresentatives, however, recognise that even in occupations where women and men are bothrepresented, gender and sexuality are still manipulated.A young woman should work the cocktail hour because they can sell more and theelderly woman should serve the breakfast shift. So there is a lot of manipulation goingon in that area, that kind of thing is important. We certainly haven’t seen a genderbreakthrough in housekeeping. In the kitchen it was always pretty balanced, you didn’tsee the separation of labour. In housekeeping the housemen wash the hallways and dothe floors and the stairs and you have the room attendants, women, absolutely.4°The division of labour in hotels presents a divided and fragmented shop floor where both38lnterview: Legal Services Officer, Local 4039lnterviews: Hotel Workers, Vancouver40lnterview: Staff Representative, CAIMAW74occupations, and the spaces where those occupations are performed, are gendered.4’However,Crompton and Sanderson do not consider the role unions play in either perpetuating suchdivisions, or trying to break them down. From my research it is clear that Local 40 andCAIMAW construct different representations of the gendered divisions of labour, and it isinteresting to consider how these representations motivate and structure the workplace activismin which each union engages.EMPLOYERS, EMPLOYEES AND WORKPLACE UNIONISMOrganising in hotels is complicated by the closeness of the relationship between employerand employee. MacFarlane argues that the employer is fundamental to the potential developmentof a trade union presence. He found that if hotel managers are opposed to unions there is lessopportunity for collective action. Employers work in close proximity to the hotel employees, andthus they can impose their authority leaving employees with little control at the workplace •42A representative of Local 40 argues that;the employers are without a doubt among the worst in any industry. I mean not all ofthem of course, there’s good ones, but they exploit and they lie and they cheat, I meanthey are horrible, horrible employers, and they treat their employees like dirt.4341For example, cleaning hotel rooms is associated with women, but cleaning of the publicspaces in the hotel such as hallways and lobbies is performed by male janitors. Some spacesmay change their gender characteristic depending on the time of day. A coffeeshop/restaurant is served by waitresses during the day and by night becomes a silver servicedining room served by male waiters. Interview: Personnel Manager, downtown hotel,Vancouver.42MacFarlane, Alistair 1982 “Trade union growth, the employer and the hotel andrestaurant industry; a case study” Industrial Relations Journal Vol 13 No 4 Winter p 3143lnterview: Legal Services Officer, Local 4075Fear of the employer is, according to Local 40, the greatest deterrent to union activism by themembership.44 The shift work typical of the industry combined with the multiple, divided andisolated workplaces of the hotel serves to create opportunities for employers to destroy acollective identity among workers. For example, as Wood argues, room cleaners working ontheir own may enjoy a freedom from close supervision. Their isolation, however, is alsoproblematic. Lack of management attention and support may mean that requests from back-of-the-house workers for more equipment, or their protests over short-staffing often remainunattended.45 In such an environment there is little potential for resistance or organisation.So how can Local 40 and CAIMAW overcome problems of organisation? How do theunions create collective action? During the trusteeship, Local 40 sought to establish internalorganisational coherence as a starting point for more effective collective action. Given thetroubles in the main office of Local 40 itself, it was considered necessary to redefine and clarifythe responsibilities of different officials and business agents working there. Furthermore, Local40 sought to ensure a greater representation of the diverse membership. The executive board ofthe union was reorganised to guarantee representation of workers in all parts of the province,and new union staff were hired including women, back-of-the-house workers and youngerpeople.The administration of the union was old, male. The members were young, female to agreat degree. English as a second language, no minorities at all around the unionwhatsoever, very few women.4644lnterview: Legal Services Officer, Local 4045Wood, Roy C. 1992 Working in Hotels and Catering Routledge, London and NewYork p 7746lnterview: President, Local 4076One of the achievements of the Local 40 leadership since the early 1 980s has been to breakdown barriers between workers in different occupations, to create the understanding that theyare part of a collective bargaining unit.It took a while but nobody considers the bar workers any longer to control the union likethey did for a number of years we didn’t want the campers or the bartenders runningthe union because how would the English as a second language women and men get anysay in the union?47However, Local 40’s strategies for communication with hotel workers, especially visibleminorities, were not well considered. A former Local 40 Business Agent described his role aseffectively a public relations representative of the union. His job was to communicate with theworkers and see that they were happy, or to deal with any problems that had arisen since hislast visit.You spend an awful lot of time just going around to places talking to the membership,asking them questions, How are you doing? What is going on? Do you have problems?You can head most grievances off at the pass just by asking them [the members]questions. So that way its [the business agents job] is more like a PR position.48Yet, it was also the practice of this Business Agent to sit in the bar of the hotel and wait formembers to approach him. He argued that it was expected that Business Agents join “some ofthe guys for a beer” and from their place in the bar to conduct union business.49 Theeffectiveness of such an organisational strategy is questionable. Firstly, in the 1 970s Local 40business agents had quite a reputation for drunkenness.5°And secondly, bars in hotels are very47lnterview: President, Local 4048lnterview: Business Agent, Local 40. This business agent is now the FinancialSecretary/Treasurer of Local 40.49lnterview: Financial Secretary/Treasurer, Local 4050lnterview: President, Local 40; Interview: Rank and File Reform Committee Member77public places and to be seen discussing problems with the business agent could be a difficultsituation for an hotel employee given the typical nature of employer/employee relations.For both the unions, but particularly CAIMAW, maintaining a presence in the hotels wasa way to convince workers of a number of things. Firstly, that they had a supportive union, andsecondly, that the real interests of the workers above and beyond getting along withmanagement, were their wages and conditions .s By their frequent presence in hotels, the unionorganisers hoped to overcome some of the difficulties created by the close personal relationshipthat develops between workers and managers. For CAIMAW and Local 40, the organisingchallenge was to create visibility of union officers and shop stewards without the advantage ofa big lunch room on an industrial site, or other places where organisers could make contact withthe members 52CAIMAW’ s organisational and representational strategies emerged in direct response tothose of Local 40. When it began negotiating contracts in the hotels in 1985, CAIMAW foundthat the collective agreements they inherited were very restrictive. The contracts negotiated byLocal 40 did not allow for sufficient numbers of shop stewards to communicate with workersin many departments;For instance, the language says you can have one shop steward. Now if your shopsteward happens to come from housekeeping, very seldom do they have connections withfront of the house gratuity workers. As a matter of fact there is a real division. Youknow many times there is a racial division. Many times there is a gender division. Sovery likely you don’t have anybody [to service workers] in the other areas.5351lnterview: Staff Representative, CAIMAW52lnterview: President, Local 40; Interview: Staff Representative, CAIMAW53lnterview: Staff Representative, CAIMAW78CAIMAW thought there should be shop steward for all the different departments. They basedthis on the understanding that workers in different departments did not, nor could not, know theproblems that other workers were experiencing. In interviews conducted with workers, it is clearthat workers in different occupational spaces in the hotel had both a limited opportunity anddesire to communicate with one another except to discuss the arrangements of work whenresponsibilities of the separate departments overlapped.54In the British context Wood suggests that trade unions in the hotel sector have failed todevelop an administrative structure suitable to the organisation of the industry. CAIMAW andLocal 40 have attempted to overcome the difficulties of organising hotel workers, in part, byestablishing a representational infrastructure that incorporates and administers the variety ofworkers and occupational classifications. Their respective strategies are slightly different fromone another. Local 40 reorganised the representative functions of the union office. CAIMAW,in contrast, altered the representation of workers at the workplace. In their different ways, Local40 and CAIMAW both sought to enhance union activism among workers by neutralising someof the barriers to organising established by employers. Yet, for both these unions there remainedthe problem of differences among workers who were divided both by occupation and by attitudetowards the union itself. The following section considers union efforts by the unions to establisha collective identity, and thereby to promote an appreciation of the union itself.54lnterviews: Hotel workers, Vancouver55Wood, Roy, C., 1992 op cit p 10579UNION PARTICIPATION AND (MILITANT?) WORKPLACE UNIONISMI. Membership participationA perennial problem in organising service sector workers is to persuade employees ofthe relevance of unions. In the literature there are two different takes on this problem. Firstly,Mars and Nicod’ s ethnographic study of restaurant work cultures suggests that the boundariesbetween home and work are becoming blurred, and that waiters are not experiencing their workas paid work but as ‘fun’. Work has become a place for socialising and a way of life.56Marshall found that as leisure and work boundaries became blurred for waiters, there wascorrespondingly less resentment about their poor conditions of work.57 As such, the veryrelevance of unions is put in doubt. I would argue, however, that Mars and Nicod present aparticularly romanticised picture of restaurant work that ignores, among other things, thephysically punishing nature of waitering. Food servers in hotel restaurants in Vancouvercertainly describe their situations quite differently from those in Mars and Nicod’s study. Onone hand, they struggle to maintain steady employment from week to week and throughout theseasonal downturns of the tourist industry,58 sometimes juggling two part-time jobs.59 Andon the other hand they often desire to leave the restaurant behind. One waiter who was56Mars, Gerald and Nicod, Michael 1984 The World of Waiters George Allen andUnwin, London.57Marshall, G. 1986 “The Workplace Culture of a Licensed Restaurant” Theory, Cultureand Society Vol 3 No 1 pp 33-47.58lnterview: dining room waitress, 8.9.9259lnterview: Restaurant waiter, 25.9.9280interviewed preferred to work up to 20 hours a week as a home renovator.60Secondly, the question of the relevance of the union arises in workplaces whereemployees work autonomously from management, and in teams. Hannah Creighton, in a furtherrestaurant study, found the work culture mitigates the development of formal unionorganisations. The waitresses6’ where Creighton worked enjoyed a strong sense ofindependence and satisfaction from the contribution of their work, but also a sense of teamworkbecause they worked in a non-hierarchal system of job rotation. The incongruity between the jobrotation plan, and the union contract, did much to inhibit any interest in the union. Waitresseswere happy to retain the job rotation system given the level of autonomy and independence theyenjoyed when performing their jobs. They did not feel their craft was compromised, and soresisted attempts to become organised.62Although these studies focus on restaurant workers, the discussions of workerconsciousness and workplace culture are instructive for hotel workers more generally. BothLocal 40 and CAIMAW expend considerable energies motivating hotel workers to becomeinvolved in their union. There are frequent calls in the magazines of both unions to encouragemembership participation. Again, the specific focus and strategies of the two Vancouver hotelunions are diverse, although both are attempting to deal with the same problem of activatingmembership.60lnterview: Banquet waiter, 25.9.9261Creighton considers waitresses, while the other studies referred to above are of malewaiters62Creighton, Hannah 1982 “Tied by double apron strings: female work culture andorganisation in a restaurant” The Insurgent Socialist Vol XL No 3 Fall pp 63-6481In The Local 40 Mixer the union’s function is presented as one of protecting the interestsof members. Members are asked to attend regular union meetings to ensure that union policyreflects their wishes •63 Members are also asked to find out ‘the facts” from their unionrepresentative about collective agreements and about their rights as workers.64 Yet there arecontradictions between the public calls for rank and file membership participation and the actualpossibilities for participation especially before the imposition of the trusteeship. It isacknowledged by the present leadership of Local 40 that before 1982 there was little involvementby the rank and file in negotiating. Instead the Morgan leadership conducted top downorganising whereby;you go to the employer and say you are opening a hotel in three months, here’s the unionagreement, sign the agreement, the employer says great, no problem [with the outcomebeing] there was no involvement by the rank and file to determine if they wanted theagreement or not.65CAIMAW representatives maintain that Local 40 is still “not at all a rank-and-file orientatedunion” 66 However, by 1985 policy regarding strategies for providing information to membersof their collective agreements had shifted. Local 40 members were now informed aboutparticular features of collective agreements in a regular column entitled “know your collectiveagreement”. This column recorded information about seniority, wages and workingconditions.67Yet, in support of CAIMAW’s claim, such information to members only becomes63The Local 40 Mixer Vol 6 No 2 April 1980 p 1; Vol 6 No 3 July 1980 p 164see various issues of The Local 40 Mixer up until 198165lnterview: President, Local 4066lnterview: Full-time Organiser, CAIMAW67The Local 40 Mixer Vol 11 No 2 March-May 1985 p 682public after collective agreements are in place.In contrast to The CAIMAW Review, the pages of The Local 40 Mixer do not recordin detail the terms and conditions of contracts that are being negotiated, although there are manyreminders that negotiations are ongoing. The reason Local 40 does not publish more specificdetails of contract negotiations is unclear. CAIMAW, however, has some particular reasons fordoing so. In publications after the raiding period, CAIMAW was interested in reminding the newhotel members of improvements to their contracts since changing unions68 although it is alsothe case that even before CAIMAW certified hotel workers it was the practice of the union torecord details of contract negotiations in their magazine. The union acknowledges thatmembership participation is always strongest during contract negotiations69 so, in the spirit ofdemocratic unionism, CAIMAW actively sought to create an informed membership as the basisfor effective, participatory union activism.Of the two unions, CAIMAW represents itself as more successful at creating a collectiveconsciousness through workers’ participation in their union. CAIMAW’s advantage over Local40 is that it represents many fewer hotel workers, about 700 in total. As a result, such membersdo have a greater opportunity to know one another and their representatives more closely thanis possible at Local 40. As one organiser commented;you know there are quite a few people we almost form a personal relationship with soyou know, advise them on all sorts of things70.A long time organiser preempted the sentiments of current CAIMAW representatives when she68 see: The CAIMAW Review Vol 17 No 1 Jan/Feb 1985 p 169lnterview: Staff Representative, CAIMAW70lnterview: Staff Representative, CAIMAW83wrote in The CAIMAW Review that unionism is “more than just paying dues”. This organisercalled upon members to remember about the union after they pay their dues and to makeunionism a way of life. Unions in Canada do have legal recognition, but this does not give themgreat power, especially if they also lack membership support.7’ CAIMAW organisers,therefore, work towards giving the members a sense of obligation to participate in the union;if its a union like ours, we have expectations on the members to participate and to voteon things and to get involved in not only the workplace issues, but broader issues aswell, the fight against free trade and things like that.72It is remarkable that CAIMAW’s interpretations of unionism is perceived by itsorganisers to engender a collective consciousness among hotel workers, because many of itsstatements fail to mention a number of the different workplaces and industrial contexts that theyrepresent. Firstly, in the quote above taken from CAIMAW’ s magazine there is no referenceto gender differences in union participation, making it appear that all workers have the sameopportunity for union participation. Secondly, these statements appear to refer to an era, or atleast a workplace, where whole communities are involved in the union. Indeed, many ofCAIMAW’ s organising experiences were in such workplaces .‘ This cannot persist, however,in the urban-based work environments of hotels where people’s attachment to work and to theunion is very much moderated by the different types of work they do, and by the differentrelationships between home and work.71The CAIMAW Review Vol 12 No 3 April/May 1980 p 672lnterview: Full-time Organiser, CAIMAW73see Atherton Patricia 1981 op cit84II. Union militancyLocal 40 responds to its members seeming indifference to the union by a non-militantstyle of unionism. The union appears reluctant to challenge the perceived “realities” of the hotelindustry. For example, although Local 40 does not approve of the entry rate of payment74 forworkers beginning a new job, they see it as a no-win situation. It is understood that existingemployees will not strike to alter something that does not affect them. It is considered almostimpossible to ask workers in the industry to go on strike. First, the workers have littlebargaining power once they reach a threatened strike position because managers of hotels canengage other workers to perform their jobs. Secondly and more importantly in terms of Local40’s representations of their membership, the union does not believe that workers would actuallyvote to strike if their jobs were perceived to be at stake.It is difficult to determine if Local 40’s reluctance to ask their members to go on strikeis a strategic response to recognised difficulties of organising in the hotel sector, or indeedwhether the union really is inherently reluctant to defend its members. The issue of workplacemilitancy is an interesting one, and was used during the struggle to discredit CAIMAW. Local40 argued that CAIMAW was a radical union, and its militancy would threaten the job securityof the hotel workers Local 40 representatives further argued that given CAIMAW’ s historyof organisation in industries other than hospitality, it was an inappropriate organisation torepresent such workers because;74The entry rate of payment was introduced into the Local 40 contract’s in 1985. Newlyemployed workers begin their jobs earning 75 percent of the full wage, after 3 months theymove to 100 percent payment.75lnterview: President, Local 4085workers in the hospitality industry [don’t] belong anywhere but in a union that representsonly hospitality industry workers. I think that this industry is so unique and the problemsare so different that you’d get lost in the shuffle if you were in there with a bunch ofironworkers 76CAIMAW countered such charges by referring to Local 40’s lack of militancy. If it ismilitant argued CAIMAW, then it is only because it is acting with, and on behalf of, workerswho vote in support of strike motions that are put at membership meetings.77 Local 40,CAIMAW representatives argue, conducts their decision-making at the union office and withoutconsultation with their membership. It is this strategy that also permits Local 40 bargainingcommittee members to negotiate wage and working condition concessions, including the entrywage rate referred to above. CAIMAW claims that they have been able to protect workers intheir hotels from such concessions in every contract they have negotiated since 1985 •78In chapter six the debates about unionism during the struggle are considered in moredetail. However it is interesting to note that to some extent hotel worker participation in theirunion revolves around the styles of unionism that both Local 40 and CAIMAW present. Local40’s long standing history as a bargaining unit in the hospitality sector has not automaticallyresulted in a participatory style of unionism. CAIMAW takes to the hotel workers adetermination to represent all members in a democratically constituted organisation. Yet in bothunions some members are rendered invisible or excluded. Between 1982 and 1984 the case forand against the merits of both unions was contested as Local 40 and CAIMAW sought to justify76lnterview: Legal Services Officer, Local 4077lnterview: Staff Representative, CAIMAW78lnterview: Staff Representative, CAIMAW86their claims to represent hotel workers.CONCLUSIONAs discussed in chapter two, much of the literature about service sector employees isgeneral and considers the problems of organising without specific reference to either the unionsor specific workplaces sought to rectify such omissions by considering the relationship betweenorganisational strategies, workplace unionism and hotels as specific worksites. The hotel industryitself comprises many geographically widespread and diverse units. In British Columbia, forexample, hotel sizes vary from those with only 10 rooms to those with over 400. In addition,international capital dominates ownership patterns in the industry.80 The role of geography ininhibiting successful union organisation should not be overlooked. Whether considered at theindustry scale or within each hotel, the workforce is separated and isolated. Union officials mustfind ways to overcome the difficulties of creating a collective identity between workers who areemployed firstly, in separate bargaining units (the hotels) and secondly, in very differentpositions and workplaces within the same hotel.The type of unionism perpetuated by Local 40 and CAIMAW emerge from the differenthistories and organisational experiences of each. The practices of both unions are influenced bytheir organisational experiences in male trade union environments. Although Local 40 has years79Stevenson, Kellogg, Ernst and Whinney 1989 The BC Hotel Industry Study: ExecutiveSummary Prepared for the Province of British Columbia and the BC and Yukon Hotel’sAssociation.80Western Canadian Lodging Industry: 1988 in review 1989 “Foreign Ownership ofCanadian Hotels”. Laventhol and Horwath, Chartered Accountants/Management Consultants,Vancouver pp 8-987of experience as a bargaining unit in the hotels in Vancouver where employees arepredominantly women, the leadership of the union remain predominantly men, and, as will beseen more specifically in relation to women in the following chapter, there is a marked lack ofwillingness by the union to step into the workplace on behalf of its members. Local 40’sworkplace representational strategies do not challenge, nor overcome the isolated and fragmentednature of the hotel work experience.CAIMAW, as an industrial worker union with a concern for achieving democracy in thelabour movement, organises the workplace so that all members can speak with shop stewardsor staff representatives from the union. CAIMAW does not, however, readily admit differentcultural or gendered experiences and in this sense offers only a limited notion of democracy.The underlying assumption of CAIMAW is that all members, including women, are the samein that they have the equal opportunity to present their concerns to the union.Perhaps a unique characteristic of the unions considered in this thesis is that they do notprovide an example of active and deliberate exclusion of women from unions by male tradeunionists, as, for example, found in Cockburn’s study of male printing workers and theirexploitation and maintenance of sex/gender occupational segregation and female exclusion fromthe union.8’ Women cannot be excluded from membership in the Vancouver hotel unionsbecause they dominate the membership. Although this chapter focused on representations of ‘theworker’ and styles of unionism in the hotel workplace, the following chapter considers morespecifically the influence of male trade union ideologies in constructing gendered discourses and81Cockburn, Cynthia 1983 op cit88representations of women trade union members. I argue that these representations of gender haveimplications for women in service sector employment and for the possibilities of ongoing,effective organisation.89CHAPTER 5: GENDERED DISCOURSES AND REPRESENTATIONSINTRODUCTIONWhen we understand the gendered constructions of the working class we gain newperspective on old problems - the problems of competition from women, of sexuallydifferentiated wage scales, and of organising women workers - problems central not onlyto women, but also to the working-class movement as a whole.’In a climate of economic restructuring and membership loss, the inclusion of unorganisedwomen workers is an important strategy to retain and improve the bargaining strength of unions.Beyond numerical strength and bargaining power, two further benefits of women’s membershipaccrue to unions. First, Ann Marie Wierzbicki argues that women, particularly feminists,contribute to the democratisation of unions, an important consideration given that unions havebecome very bureaucratic and the membership inactive. Second, active women members are ableto challenge hierarchical power structures and empower themselves. Further, women membersbroaden the scope of issues that unions consider and fight for. Both benefits extend to both menand women union members alike.2However, as discussed in chapter two, barriers to women’s participation in unions tendto limit the possibility and their contributions. As already argued, underlying and reinforcing‘Scott, Joan W 1987 “On Language, Gender and Working-Class History” InternationalLabour and Working-Class History No 31 Spring pp 10-112Wierzbicki, Ann Marie 1988 Interviewed by Barbara Sanford “Union Maid” Womenand Environments Vol 11 No 1 Fall p 13. At the time of the interview Wierzbicki was aRegional Representative with the Public Service Alliance of Canada, the union for federalgovernment employees. Her role was to resolve grievances, represent people on appeals,help organise locals and represent the PSAC on issues such as workforce downsizing. Shealso worked with women running education workshops, a newsletter, and starting women’sregional committees.90barriers to union participation are gendered understandings, or constructions, that are producedand materially recreated in households, communities and within unions. As Carole Patemanargues women have not been incorporated into the patriarchal structure of capitalist employmentas ‘workers’ but as women.3The aim in this chapter is to expose the construction and reproduction of gender andgendered identities in the hotel unions in Vancouver with particular reference to womenmembers, trade union activists and leaders. My question is how are women situated within acomplex set of discourses that refer to gender within their union? The focus of this chapter ison union constructions of gender and gendered identities. This is not to argue that women arenot active participants in this process, but rather, that both the hotel unions in Vancouver thatI investigate ascribe competing, changing and sometimes contradictory meanings to women.In the first section of this chapter I refer briefly to the magazines of Local 40 andCAIMAW, and consider ways in which gendered identities constructed within households areincorporated into union discourses about women. These gendered identities are the basis of bothrepresentations of women’s participation in unions, and also the issues that union officials selectas important to women. In the second section I explore more specifically union representationsof the constraints imposed upon women’s participation in the hotel unions by their householdresponsibilities, and the issues that hotel unions in Vancouver identify as important to womenmembers. In the third section I consider one particular workplace issue that specifically affectswomen hotel workers, that of sexual harassment. I explore the ways in which women’s bodies3Pateman, Carole 1988 The Sexual Contract Polity Press, Oxford p 142 Quoted inCockburn, Cynthia 1991 In the Way of Women: Men’s Resistance to Sex Eiualitv inOrganisations Macmillian, London p 2391and their sexuality are implicated in the performance of their jobs, and I consider the differentways in which both hotel unions approach the problem of such on behalf of their womenmembers. In the fourth section I refer to the possibilities for women trade union activists makinga contribution to their union as shop stewards or union officials. I argue that there are severeconstraints imposed on potential women organisers. In the final section I refer specifically tothe events at Local 40 in the early 1980s when two women leaders were elected and laterdismissed. A complicated series of discourses surround these circumstances. I examine thememories of present union organisers about these events and the trusteeship at Local 40 in orderto consider the implications for women’s leadership of unions.GENDERED REPRESENTATIONS AND THE FAMILYGender relations are an integral part of the sphere of production because patriarchy isalways present in the workplace and workplace institutions such as unions. Women’sparticipation in the labour market, and in labour organisations, is thereby linked with, andregulated by, the position of women in patriarchal family structures .‘ This is certainly apparentin the way in which women are represented in the union magazines of Local 40 and CAIMAW.Although up to the end of 1984 there are only infrequent references to women, they arerepresented in ways that emphasise both traditional notions of femininity and archetypal rolesof women within the home.Gender stereotypes abound in pictorial representations of women and men in The Local40 Mixer. In the mid-1970s, for example, the magazine portrayed the meaning of union4Hunt, Pauline 1980 op cit92‘brotherhood’ through representations of how men and women could contribute to tradeunionism. Men are shown in photographs marching in protest, while women are shown “makingcakes for sick neighbours” . In addition, the gendered occupational divisions are representedby photographs and texts indicating “hard working men” and “smiling ‘pretty’ women” •6 Thepurpose of these stereotypes I believe, is to reinforce a division of labour within both the hotelworkplace and in the union office that serves to limit or to exclude women’s participation asmembers.However, in the pages of The Local 40 Mixer such stereotypes are occasionallychallenged by the membership. For example, in 1984 a letter from a women member thatreferred to the neglect of women’s issues by Local 40 was published. In response, in the sameissue, an unnamed union reporter wrote a column discussing the on-the-job health hazards facedby waitresses when carrying heavy trays of food.7 Yet despite the growing awareness ofwomen’s issues there is evidence that particular stereotypes remain fundamental torepresentations of women and men hotel workers. In late 1986, a series of columns began in IiLocal 40 Mixer profiling various hotel occupations. In one issue, housekeepers are describedas the “Cinderellas” of the hotels.8 In another issue, it is suggested that women bar workers are5The Local 40 Mixer Vol 1 No 5 May 1975 p 76see The Local 40 Mixer Vol 1 No 5 May 1975. Although this issue was published a fewyears before the struggle in the early 1 980s I argue that such representations dominatedLocal 40 up until the beginning of the struggle. As was discussed in chapter 3, suchrepresentations of gender roles and gender relations remain powerful influences on unions inthe present.7The Local 40 Mixer Vol 10 No 3 June-August 1984 pp 6-78The Local 40 Mixer Vol 12 No 4 Sept-Oct 1986 p 293only able to perform bar jobs because of the unique characteristics they bring to the work. It isassumed that female bartenders are more successful at stopping bar fights because they have adistracting, calming presence” . It was not until 1988 that a framework was systematicallyestablished to address women’s issues. The members were notified in their magazine of theformation of a new committee to develop policy on women’s issues.’°Pictorial representations of women in The CAIMAW Review are a little more scarce,particularly through the 1970s when women were only a small proportion of the membership.However the portrayals of women in this magazine are not free from gender stereotypes.Photographs during this period show women acting in supportive roles to male union members.One image depicts a ‘family day’ at the picket line. The wife of a union member is picturedholding a baby and being interviewed by a radio reporter.” However, up to the time of thestruggle CAIMAW’ s attitude to women at the workplace is quite different than that of Local 40.The CAIMAW Review refers specifically to several ways in which women are disadvantagedin the workplace.Firstly, CAIMAW addresses the persistent underpayment of women workers, calling forlegislative change to implement standards of equal pay for work of equal value.’2 In supportof such claims CAIMAW has fought successfully equal pay wage cases for their members. Forexample, in 1980 CAIMAW won a wage rise for a group of newly certified women data9The Local 40 Mixer Vol 13 No 1 Jan-March 1987 p 2‘°The Local 40 Mixer Vol 13 No 4 March-May 1988 p 3“The CAIMAW Review Vol 10 No 6 Sept-October 1978 p 4‘2The CAIMAW Review Vol 12 No 1 Jan 1980 p 694processors at Kenworth, a truck assembly plant.’3 Secondly, CAIMAW acknowledges, and hassought to improve, the situation of women’s underrepresentation in trades occupations. In thesame year as the Kenworth equal pay case, a letter was published in The CAIMAW Reviewnotifying members of the formation of an organisation to promote women’s access to tradesoccupations.14These representations of women in both union magazines speak to two aspects of unionlife. Firstly, that unionism and ‘brotherhood’ is constructed as a family and community affair.In such a construction women replicate the role they have in households and do not, therefore,contribute to unions as workers. Secondly, although this is less obvious, at CAIMAW, women’s‘difference’ in the labour movement occurs because they are represented as women rather thanas workers. In the following section I attempt to unpack the distinction unions make between‘women’ and ‘worker’ and examine its impact on efforts to organise and represent womenmembers. I argue that the artificial separation of women from workers in representationaldiscourses serves to justify the unions’ failure to address so called ‘women’s issues’ at thebargaining table. In both unions different representations are called upon first, to legitimateparticular policy decisions with respect to women members, and second, to support a particularideological approach to unionism. I consider below union representations about the householdconstraints on women’s participation in unions. Secondly, I examine the issues that‘3The CAIMAW Review Vol 12 No 2 Feb/March 1980 p 3. At the time at Kenworth theplant workers were all men except for two women. The data processors who worked in thecompany office were all women. The union demanded that they received pay ratescomparable to the assembly line workers. See also Larkin, Jackie 1981 Resources forFeminist Research: Women and Trade Unions Vol 10 No 2 p 78‘4The CAIMAW Review Vol 12 No 3 April/May 1980 p 295representatives from Local 40 and CAIMAW define as relevant to their men and womenmembers.WOMEN MEMBERS/WOMEN’S ISSUES: THE LINKS BETWEEN HOME AND WORKI. ParticipationThe representation of women members in the hotel unions in Vancouver as women ismost apparent when both Local 40 and CAIMAW refer to the household situation of thesemembers as the source of constraint upon their participation in unions. The most commonrepresentations of women’s lived experiences are those that refer to the phase of women’s lifecourse that is associated with marriage and childbearing.’5That women participate in such alife course pattern is implicit in statements made by Local 40 and CAIMAW representatives.It is assumed that women are too busy with unpaid housework and family responsibilities toparticipate in union business. According to CAIMAW, the ability to participate in unions isdifferent for men and women,It always has been. I mean the basic is availability. I mean women by and large tend tohave far more demands on their time at home, women at home or single women out. Ifthey had children the problems were magnified far more.’6CAIMAW representatives are particularly aware of the constraints on women’s participationwhich is particularly acute given that the hotel workforce is predominantly female. The staffrepresentative who is responsible for hotels said “you have women barely having enough energy‘5Pratt, Geraldine and Hanson, Susan 1993 “Women and Work Across the Life Course”in Cindi Katz and Janice Monk (eds) Full Circles: GeograDhies of Women over the LifeCourse Routledge, London and New York p 27‘6lnterview: Secretary/Treasurer, CAIMAW96to make it through the day and live up to all the other responsibilities that they have”Constraints on women’s participation in unions beyond their responsibility for childcare andhousework are also acknowledged at CAIMAW, but these too are primarily related to householdcircumstances and living conditions (including wages) of women. The lack of access to a car,spousal resentment of time spent at meetings, and low wages,18 are perceived to contribute towomen’s lack of availability for union participation.’9These representations position womenoutside unions and inside the home.There are very real material limitations placed on women’s time and these areacknowledged by both unions. One representative at CAIMAW expressed frustration with theaccepted social relations and gender divisions of labour in the household that limits women’sparticipation in unions 20 At Local 40 there is concern that given women’s responsibility forboth paid employment and unpaid domestic work “there are a lot of exhausted women walkingaround out there” 21 Thus, that home and work are intimately related is acknowledgedin union discourses about the restrictions placed on women’s participation in unions. Union‘7lnterview: Staff Representative, CAIMAW‘8One organiser at CAIMAW explained the relationship between women’s lower wagesand their lesser participation in unions as follows, “If you are going out for a meeting andyou go for a few beers afterwards, well a person making $100 per week compared tosomeone making $200 per week, then it is far harder to socialise than it is for the otherperson”. Interview: Secretary/Treasurer, CAIMAW. It is of course a rather broad (andmasculinist) assumption that all women, and even all men, would wish to spend time aftermeetings drinking beer.‘9lnterview: Secretary/Treasurer, CAIMAW20lnterview: Regional Vice-President, CAIMAW21lnterview: Legal Services Officer, Local 4097officials’ understandings of the links between home and work are also apparent in the ways thatunions define issues as relevant to their women members, or to the workplaces in which theyorganise. Where the hotel unions perceive that they can most actively support their members areon those issues that directly relate to the workplace, including wages, working conditions,scheduling arrangements and so on. These workplace issues are considered common to womenand men employees. The question then arises as to whether ‘women’s issues’, which mayinclude childcare, health and welfare benefits, time for child sick-leave, affirmative action andprotection from sexual harassment, are also understood within the union context as workplaceissues. Typically women’s issues such as these are not included as bargaining items in unionsthat focus only on the workplace issues of wages, conditions and so on. In the following sectionI refer specifically to the testimony of union officials to clarify Local 40 and CAIMAW’ sunderstanding of ‘workplace’ and ‘womens’ issues’.II. Women’s issues! workplace issues; similar or different?Despite their different sectoral experiences, Local 40 and CAIMAW organisers identifieda range of issues that are considered equally important to men and women members. It is whenreferring to these issues that the hotel unions consider men and women on equal terms asworkers. Local 40’s jurisdiction is concentrated in one sector, which includes tourism servicessuch as travel, entertainment, accommodation, fast food outlets and restaurants. The greatestproportion of union members are in the hotels.22 According to Local 40, men and women areattracted to unions because they offer “job security and seniority and benefits, health care, that22lnterview: Legal Services Officer, Local 4098kind of stuff” •23 CAIMAW represents a broad range of workers in many different workplacesyet one representative argued strongly that the interests of all workers they represent, includingwomen and hotel workers, are the same. As one organiser said,is a worker in a restaurant there any different to the worker down the street? Very littledifference, we’ve gotta go to work, we got the same problems, we’ve gotta live, wegotta eat, we gotta raise our families and all of these things. Everywhere you go you get,‘oh our group’s different’. But when you’ve heard it from about twenty separate groups,‘oh you gotta admit our groups are all different’. Hardly.24Thus, wage and employment security are specifically identified as workplace issues. Unionstraditionally develop policy and establish bargaining programs around these issues. However,both Local 40 and CAIMAW also understand that their women members are concerned abouta unique set of ‘womens’ issues’, including equity, childcare, health and safety at the workplaceand safely getting to and from work.Local 40 organisers believe employment equity issues including training, day care, flextime and child sick time are the bargaining issues that attract women.25 Wage inequality isconsidered less of an issue in the hotel industry. Local 40 representatives maintain that there isno obvious wage inequity between women and men primarily because women are representedin so many occupations throughout hotels, “so you don’t have the wage ghettos like you do inthe public sector for instance” •26 It is argued that the industry has always paid people for thework they do, including paying equal wages to men and women in similar occupational23lnterview: Legal Services Officer, Local 4024lnterview: Secretary/Treasurer, CAIMAW25lnterview: Legal Services Officer, Local 4026lnterview: Legal Officer, Local 4099classifications •27 I would argue, however, that Local 40’s position with respect to occupationalsegregation and wage equality ignores differences in earnings both for men and women insimilar and different occupations. Aside from obvious divisions of labour based on gender whichwere discussed in the previous chapter, there is also a division between gratuity and non-gratuityworkers.28 Male workers employed as bellmen, doormen or concierges earn up to 50% abovetheir hourly rate in ‘tips’ 29 There is no opportunity for women employed as room attendantsto supplement their income in such a fashion. Even where women do earn gratuities their abilityto supplement their income may be limited by men’s readier access to the more lucrative hoursof work such as evening ‘fine dining’. One Local 40 organiser commented that,in some jobs, like for instance in a fine dining room, generally speaking men are hiredto be waiters in fine dining because the operator and the customer think’s its classier to27lnterview: Research Officer, Local 4028This general evidence would appear to be born out in at least one downtown Vancouverhotel. In this property at the time of interview (summer season) there were approximately170 employees. Housekeeping employed 55 who were all women except for eight housemen.Administration included 15 staff; all non-managerial staff in this department were women.Food and beverages included three separate areas. There were 12 employees in the kitchen(no information was provided as to the gender of these employees). Room service employedsix men. The restaurant employed a mixture of men and women, although it was standardpractice for the women to work the morning shifts and men to work in the evenings, whenthe earnings from gratuities are higher. The front desk area included reservations, clericalstaff, bellmen, concierges etc. There were 22 staff in this area. At desk itself the gendercomposition of workers was mixed although four management staff present were men. In thelobby where employees such as bellmen could earn gratuities the staff were men. Sales staffare women and maintenance workers are men. Interview: Personnel Manager, downtownhotel, Vancouver.290ne bellman working in a downtown Vancouver hotel estimated that over a year 50percent of his income came from gratuities. Interview: Bellman, 4.8.93. A bell captain atanother downtown hotel estimated that this translated into a wage of $20 to $25 per hour.Interview: Beilcaptain, 31.8.93. This is significantly more than approximately $12 per hourearned by room attendants or front desk staff.100have a male waiter than to have a female waitress.3°In contrast to Local 40, CAIMAW representatives were reluctant to concede a differentrange of concerns for men and women, although there is a suggestion that women’s concernsrelate to their family and children. One organiser said,I don’t know so much if there’s a difference between men and women. I do know thatwhat women talk about is you know, the need to be able to take the kids to the dentist,you know that kind of stuff.3’In the spirit of CAIMAW’ s belief that all workers have the same concerns related to family andsurvival, one central goal of the union is to improve medical and health benefits that the hotelworkers receive. To focus on such benefits during bargaining is part of an income maintenancestrategy because, “in the hotel we’re talking about marginal incomes really and so I always thinkthat facing those kinds of issues are really important” 32 CAIMAW organisers are aware thathotel workers in different occupations or at different stages in their life course have a varietyof concerns. Benefits that provide health and dental coverage are considered vital for workerswho have families. Yet, health benefits are not so important to those workers who are “youngand healthy and they can’t imagine that they would get sick” ,‘ or who do not have families.The concerns of women members are more clearly drawn by CAIMAW representativeswhen they refer specifically to the hotel workplace. Health and safety has always been a primary30lnterview: President, Local 40.3’Interview: Staff Representative, CAIMAW32lnterview; Regional Vice-President, CAIMAW33lnterview: Staff Representative, CAIMAW101concern of CAIMAW34 as the membership is largely employed in potentially dangerousworksites with heavy machinery. With respect to the health and safety of women hotel workers,union organisers identified two concerns. Firstly, CAIMAW has addressed the issue of workerssafety when leaving work late at night and making their way home. The union responded towomen members concerns for their safety by formalising the need for employers to guaranteethe safety of women workers in contract language. Employers were asked to provide escorts forwomen returning to their car or waiting at the bus stop late at night.35 Secondly, womenmembers in CAIMAW also ask the union to help them protect their bodies at work so as,not to loose their job you know because their body doesn’t hold out. Younger womenwho would be [food] servers for instance, they want to be able to get their feet fixed.Quite a few of them have problems with their feet from wearing high heels 36Women’s issues are indeed considered subjects about which either union can and shouldbargain. CAIMAW particularly has defined and addressed some concerns of women asworkplace issues. However, I would argue that when it is the case that women’s householdresponsibilities, rather than the circumstances of the workplace are the basis for their problems,there is less willingness to act in support of women union members. For example, in interviewsrepresentatives from both unions referred to childcare as a particular concern of womenmembers. However, neither union has a childcare policy nor a program for bargaining childcare34See Atherton, Patricia Gwen 1981 op cit35lnterview: Regional Vice-president, CAIMAW. The issue of safety when movingbetween home and work is not new for hotel workers. In 1945 Local 40’s president, EmilyWatts Nuttal, demanded waitresses be given shifts that would enable them to finish work ator before midnight, so that it was reasonably safe to get home. The Local 40 Mixer Vol 13No 3 July-Sept 1987 p 8.36lnterview: Staff Representative, CAIMAW102during negotiations. At CAIMAW, childcare provisions have been made occasionally atconferences but never on an ongoing basis. The union argues that it has not developed achildcare program in the industrial sector because it is not organised in large workplaces whichwould financially support such a program. In the hotels CAIMAW has not successfullydeveloped childcare as an issue. One representative said,I’ve got to be honest with you, childcare in terms of the hotels, we’ve just never havegot to making that a major issue. I am not saying that it isn’t. Obviously its a majorissue.37Local 40 does not present childcare as a bargaining or workplace issue. It is accepted inprinciple that unions can bargain for childcare, but Local 40 appears to avoid this responsibility.The implication is that workplace childcare is not an appropriate issue on which to bargain inthe hotel industry. Further, it is not clear what form of childcare Local 40 would negotiate onbehalf of their members. As one union representative said:And I don’t necessarily think that workplace childcare is always the answer, I mean insome cases it might be, but some sort of subsidy [might be preferable]. Some employersnow buy, actually purchase, childcare spaces for their employees.38Although each union explains differently their neglect of childcare as a bargaining issue, I wouldargue that both positions reflect Local 40 and CAIMAW’s unwillingness to challenge divisionsof household labour which determine that women shall be responsible for childcare.Women’s different concerns as workers arise from factors other than their relation tohouseholds, however, as witnessed by CAIMAW’ s attention to health and safety issues. In the37lnterview: Regional Vice-President, CAIMAW38lnterview: Legal Services Officer, Local 40103next section I examine union representations of women’s experiences as hotel workers. In hotelworkplaces women’s bodies are implicated in the performance of their work in unique ways. Iargue that this demands union intervention in workplaces in ways that may not have beenpreviously considered either appropriate for union activism, or relevant to bargaining. I arguehere that Local 40 and CAIMAW’ s different attention to their women members as either womenor workers determines the approach they take toward protecting members from harm andharassment at work. In the next section I address the need for the hotel unions to be activelyconcerned about the working conditions of their members. I refer particularly to sexualharassment and both CAIMAW and Local 40’s understanding and approach to this problem.GENDERED WORKERS AND SEXUAL HARASSMENTWomen’s bodies are involved in relations between employers and women workers inmany occupations. Sexuality, including a woman’s smile, dress and femaleness are often animplicit part of the employment bargain.39 Gender identities, often taken to be natural, areintegral to the performance of interactive service jobs.4°Gender segregation of work reinforcesthis appearance of naturalness. Leidner demonstrates through an examination of interactiveservice jobs both at McDonalds and the insurance industry that gendered divisions of labour areboth socially constructed and flexible. In hotel workplaces, however, it appears as though there39Cockburn, Cynthia 1991 In the Way of Women: Men’s Resistance to Sex Euality inOrganisations Macmillian, London p 2740Leidner, Robin 1991 “Serving Hamburgers and Selling Insurance: Gender, Work andIdentity in Interactive Service” Gender and Society Vol 5 No 2 June p 156. ‘Interactiveservice work’ refers to those that involve direct interaction with customers or clients (p 155)104are some particularly rigid gendered divisions of labour which are based on perceptions ofappropriately feminine or masculine work. For example, women as the ‘fairer and weaker’ sexare excluded from jobs which involve carrying bags. Bellmen and other front lobby jobs arereserved for stronger men.Elizabeth Stanko argues further that the jobs women perform such as care-giving andwaitressing contribute to the sexualisation of women in the workplace.4’Employers exploitdifferent aspects of women’s femininity and sexuality in hotel workplaces. On the one hand,women’s sexuality is perceived as non-threatening. According to a Local 40 representative, onereason women are employed as room attendants is to ensure the comfort of the guests. Heargues,think of walking into a room and this man is in there fooling around, setting things aside.And you [a woman guest] think god I don’t want men touching my stuff. You have tothink of that angle. We have because we are not trained to think that there is a manmakes up a room, we’re trained that a woman makes up a room.42This union organiser did not consider, however, the possible threats women room attendantsmay face from male guests as they go about cleaning rooms.On the other hand, women’s sexuality in the workplace leaves them vulnerable to sexualharassment. Mackinnon has argued that the willingness to tolerate sexual harassment is often acondition of the job .‘ In the hotel unions in Vancouver there are different degrees to which4’Stanko, Elizabeth A. 1988 “Keeping women in and out of line: sexual harassment andoccupation segregation” in Sylvia Walby (ed) Gender Segregation at Work Open UniversityPress, Milton Keynes42lnterview: Financial Secretary/Treasurer, Local 4043Mackinnon, Catherine A 1979 Sexual Harassment and Working Women YaleUniversity Press, New Haven CT. Quoted in Acker, J 1990 op cit p 152. The basis ofMackinnon’ s research is extensive analysis of sexual harassment legal cases.105each will allow their members to tolerate sexual harassment. Ten years of experience in the hotelindustry has created much awareness among CAIMAW representatives of the problems of sexualharassment. Despite CAIMAW’s insistence that all workers have similar concerns, the union isaware that sexual harassment is a much greater problem for hotel employees compared to theother workers they represent. One male staff representative said,There is a lot more sexual harassment in the hotel and restaurant industry than there isin the average factory managers doing everything from trying to coerce the womento going out on dates to making jokes that are uncomfortable for them. And its not justmanagement, its a problem with our own members, we deal with that too.My sense from discussion with union representatives is that CAIMAW is prepared to step intothe workplace to deal with sexual harassment. It is considered an element of genderdiscrimination which manifests itself in, among other ways, wage and employment inequity.Along with discrimination on the basis of race, CAIMAW views sexual harassment as a seriousinfringement of workers’ rightsAt Local 40 there are contradictory responses to sexual harassment. The Legal andServices Officer noted that in the last five years there has been at least one sexual harassmentgrievance constantly on her desk. One representative argued that instances of sexual harassmentarose from the customers in the hotels,46 not managers or colleagues as the CAIMAWrepresentatives argued. In contrast, however, another official suggested that sexual harassment44lnterview: Full-time Organiser, CAIMAW45lnterview: Full-time Organiser, CAIMAW46lnterview: Legal Services Officer, Local 40. When asked about sexual harassment shesaid, “oh the customers of course. It’s a sadly growing segment of arbitration laws, sexualharassment. The public is hard enough to deal with, but when they have had three or fourdrinks under their belt they’re even worse, and our members have to face that every day106is virtually a non-issue in the hotel industry. The President of Local 40 describes an attitudetoward sexual harassment that is ambivalent at best. He said,I’ll explain women to you in this industry, this industry is different with women, we donot have the kind of problems that you may associate that women have in otherindustries. What would be considered in most environments sexual harassment, is notsexual harassment in this industry. Because a woman goes in there with her buttonsundone, with a short skirt because she knows she can make $150 a day in tips and sheaccepts comments, she accepts remarks without responding to them or laying sexualharassment charges because she is going in there knowing exactly what she is doing andwhy she’s doing it. That is the reality.47In public places in hotels, then, women are understood to be empowered by their sexuality,which they can exploit to attract customers and to increase their earnings.There are several problems I see as arising from Local 40’s position that sexualharassment is an aspect of the paid work experience that empowers women. Firstly, women whodid object to sexual harassment in places where such behaviour is considered acceptable wouldprobably lose their jobs. Secondly, as Britton argues, workers in tourism are simultaneouslyproviders of labour services and also part of the consumed product.48 Local 40’s position, then,further reinforces women’s status as sexualised beings in the workplace, and thereforeundermines the gains women have made towards being taken seriously as workers and unionmembers. Finally, as economic restructuring and decreasing welfare assistance increase thepressures on women to remain part of the wage-earning workforce, it becomes less and lesslikely that women as individuals will be (if they ever were) in a position to challenge theirsubordinate status in the workforce. As a result this challenge must come from their union. The47lnterview: President, Local 4048Britton, Steven 1991 op cit p 458107problem for women members of Local 40, however, is that their union does not recognise therelationship between the low wages they receive, and the acceptance of sexual harassment bythose same workers.The question arises, then, as to whether women can overcome the ‘traditional’ limitationsimposed on their ability to be active in the labour movement. For it is clear that women arelocated such subject positions, for example that of unpaid domestic caregivers from which theunion assumes they cannot become politically active. In the next section I consider the situationof women trade union activists in Local 40 and CAIMAW. While women have successfullyworked as shop stewards or union officials in both these unions, I argue that the ‘jobdescriptions’ for such organisers are inherently gendered. That is, models of trade unionactivism are based on the template of male organisers. Within such a context women’scontribution as activists is bound to be limited.WOMEN MEMBERS AND TRADE UNION ACTIVISMAs Field and many others have argued, male trade unionists have neither centrallyintegrated women’s job demands or women members into unions .‘ Different strategies havebeen proposed to overcome the underrepresentation of women’s voices including (especially) thepromotion of women to policy decision making or to shop floor positions. The challenges forwomen trade union activists are two fold; firstly, to represent women’s concerns in bargainingand union policy making; and secondly, to challenge the constructions of women workers andactivists in ways that broaden the scope for their participation in unions. It is important,49Field, Debbie 1981 op cit p 2108however, to place discussion of women union activists in the context of the union in whichwomen are members. In both hotel unions in Vancouver women are represented either as shopstewards or in more formal capacities in the union office. I argue, however, that masculinismcontinues to influence and limit both the job description and the union’s organisational structureswithin which these organisers perform their job. This section specifically considers the testimonyof the two women union organisers interviewed at both unions.I. Participation as union activistsAt both Local 40 and CAIMAW it is understood that the motivation for union activismarises from a variety of sources including family history and experiences as an employee. Local40’s Legal Services Officer’s long experience in a union family motivated her to continue tosupport unions through activism. She said,I had early exposure not just in my family, but in the community that I grew up in. Iremember the coal miners and their families in the Kootneys and the struggles they wentthrough... accidents... employers taking off and leaving their employees without theirpayroll. So it was always the union that fought for those things. So you are almost borninto being in a union in a way.5°At CAIMAW, the staff representative I interviewed became an active union organiser throughher own initiative. As a new employee in a lock producing plant she was faced with the decisionto vote for CAIMAW, who was raiding the plant at the time, or the existing international union.This organiser phoned the CAIMAW office to “find out why they were different”, and fromthere became very active in the union, holding a variety of positions including those of shopsteward, chief steward on the negotiating committee and health and safety officer in her50lnterview: Legal Services Officer, Local 40109workplace 51Union activists are critical to the ongoing actions of their union. When asked whoparticipated in general union meetings a Local 40 representative said;I think its probably mostly the union activists come to the membership meetings, unlesssomebody’s got an issue or something going on, then they will come to the meeting.52Local 40 representatives argued that union activists participate in unions to find ways to confrontproblems that they are experiencing at work. It is generally understood that if workers were notborn into unions then “a lot of the union activists were driven to it because they were workingfor some heartless dictator, and they had to find out how to defend themselves”II. Participation as shop stewardsThe union activists among Local 40’s membership often become shop stewards.54 Theinternal reorganisation of Local 40 during the trusteeship improved the possibility for womenin the hotel workplaces to become officially involved in their union, either in the workplace asshop stewards or as organisers working from the union office. Presently at Local 40 the ratioof women to men shop stewards is two to one which reflects the predominance of women in themembership. In general women at Local 40 are motivated to become union officials for differentreasons than men. One woman organiser said,Maybe it’s expectations too, because more from men in this industry you’ll hear ‘oh I’m51lnterview: Staff Representative, CAIMAW52lnterview: Legal Services Officer, Local 4053lnterview: Legal Services Officer, Local 4054lnterview: Legal Services Officer, Local 40.110just doing this until something better comes along’. But women you know because theydon’t have as high a self-esteem maybe think ‘well okay I am going to be a bartenderhere for the rest of my life’. Maybe they think this is the best I can do. And so they havea bigger stake in the job.55At both CAIMAW and Local 40 when women become active in their union organisers are notaware of barriers related to gender that either encourage or constrain women’s contribution.During union meetings, for example, gender differences are not thought to preclude women fromspeaking out. As one organiser at CAIMAW said;I think the reasons why people don’t participate in unions, you know I don’t think thereis a difference between men and women. [If you don’t participate] I think you feel youdon’t have something to say or you don’t know how to say it. Your educationbackground might have something to do with it.56Shop stewards are a crucial element in the geography of trade union activism. Theymediate between the shop floor where the workers are located, the organising office and theemployer.57 However, evidence from interviews with hotel workers in Vancouver suggests thatunion members reluctantly take on the role of shop steward because they don’t want the‘headaches’ associated with such a responsibility.58 There are two related problems. Firstly,in interviews workers expressed disinterest in Local 40 as a representational body. There is astrong feeling that the union will not act in support of members and the shop steward. Theperception is exacerbated because members do not ‘know’ the union organisers. According to55lnterview: Legal Officer, Local 4056lnterview: Staff Representative, CAIMAW57Cynthia Cockburn found male branch secretaries in a British union were very consciousof their role as a link in the geography of union activism. Cockburn, Cynthia 1991 op cit p11658lnterview: Assistant Housekeeper, 9.8.93 and Assistant housekeeper, 16.8.93111some members, Local 40 organisers have only a minimal presence on the shop floor, exceptduring election time.59 This is because the union conducts its organising from the union officeand only rarely enters the shop floor itself. Secondly, acting as a shop steward is perceived asa thankless task which lacks support from the membership. Shop stewards become veryfrustrated that women hotel workers will not speak up about their problems when unionrepresentatives are in their hotel. Women workers do not want to be seen as trouble makers bytheir colleagues. I argue that this speaks to the difficulties of being a union member in the hotelindustry, as discussed in the previous chapter, but it is also indicative of the lack of unionactivism in hotels by organisers from the union office.Thus, regardless of the good numerical representation of women in shop stewardpositions, the structure of Local 40 and the difficulties of organising reluctant workers in hotelsprecludes any successful interventions by shop stewards. The geography of union organising atLocal 40 has weak links at the workplace. The dissemination of power and activism, emanatingas it does from the central union office of Local 40, does not incorporate effectively those whocould perhaps most contribute to the development of different representational and organisationalstrategies, those actually in the hotel workplaces.CAIMAW takes a direct approach to the promotion of women as stewards andorganisers. In the mid-1970s they employed a woman health and safety officer. The decision tosend a women union representative into predominantly male working environments causedconflict at CAIMAW.6°The disagreement was over whether men at the union’s industrial sites59lnterview: Assistant Housekeeper, 9.8.9360lnterview: Secretary/Treasurer, CAIMAW112would accept a female official. The present secretary/treasurer of the union who eventually hiredKathy Walker remembers,my argument was let the guys down there decide and let no-one else decide it for them.If she can’t cut it down there and they give her a bad time, so be it. Better to give herthe same opportunity as everyone else. Throw ‘em in the water, see if they can swim.6’Kathy Walker has been remarkably successful in the labour movement. She worked forCAIMAW for 20 years, and is now director of health and safety at the CAW in Toronto.62 Theappointment of a woman in such a position is cited as evidence of CAIMAW’s preparedness togive all union members equal opportunity. It was explained that women experienced no barriersto opportunity within CAIMAW, and that problems for female organisers and bargainers arerelated instead to the sexist employers they have to deal with;[employers] find it more difficult still today to bargain with a woman, because I thinkmost of the management in the hotel industry are sexist. . . .not unlike another employera few years ago, you know you could sense that that person would have trouble dealingwith Kathy Walker.63ilL Gender and trade union activismThere is no question at both Local 40 and CAIMAW that women are able to besuccessful trade union activists. However, the characteristics of a committed trade union activistremain gendered. Cockburn argues union organisers are constructed as masculine heros. Theymust display commitment and leadership skills, be able to endure flak from members andofficers, strongly believe in themselves, be patient, well organised and resilient. Cockburn61lnterview: Secretary/Treasurer, CAIMAW62lnterview: Secretary/Treasurer, CAIMAW.63lnterview: Regional Vice-President, CAIMAW. nb Kathy Walker is the health andsafety officer mentioned above113reported that the ‘masculine hero’ organiser frequently suffers severe health problems given thetime spent working, travelling and in stressful situations.M Women are expected to mimic menas they climb the union hierarchy.65 An organiser at Local 40 concurred with thischaracterisation of union activists behaviour. She argued that women union activists need,the same thing men need, the same thing anybody needs who aspires to positions ofleadership for their fellow workers. . . vision. .commitment to social change. . [be] able tocommunicate reasonably well. . devote 16 hours a day seven days a week, and havepeople around you that you can trust, and who will be honest.66I would argue that this is a model for male union organisers which prescribes a level ofcommitment and a style of involvement in the labour movement that many women are unableto achieve. The description of the character required to be a union organiser does not suggestways that women organisers could overcome barriers to their involvement in the labourmovement. Rather, they must endure the enormous demands on their time and energy if theyare to be active union members. While there is no doubt that these qualities are necessary to runa successful union, I argue that the model is based on traditional and masculine organisationalstructures. Within her union context, the union organiser quoted above has assumed thesecharacteristics as necessary to perform her job. However, as was discussed in chapter three,women have different approaches to workplace organisation. I would suggest that differentorganisational practices necessarily require different and creative commitments from trade unionactivists. Research in Canada identified three major ways in that women approach their trade64Cockburn, Cynthia 1991 op cit pp 120-12165Cockbum, Cynthia 1991 d p 23866lnterview: Legal Officer, Local 40114union work differently than men including: a service orientation to workers that incorporatesboth cooperative and caring attention to workers concerns; an insistence upon a balancedlifestyle that allows women organisers to balance the competing demands of their paid work andfamily life; and a commitment to use power as a means to distribute resources fairly rather thanto gain control over others.67In the model of trade union behaviour described above there are other characteristics thatwomen union organisers might bring to their job but are not listed. For example, one suchcapacity is the ability to make connections with working people in the hotels, especially thewomen. Thus, one CAIMAW hotel representative was praised precisely for possessing thesecharacteristics.What’s really so excellent about Silvia is that she relates to working people so well,particularly to women. You know she’s got that connection, she’s got that wonderfulchemistry 68This hotel staff representative herself emphasised her social connections with present and pastmembers of CAIMAW. With some members it was possible to form “close personalrelationships” and former members would “come by every so often, and we would have lunchand a chat”. Beyond union business such as grievances and arbitration this organiser found shewas able to talk with and assist members about a broader range of issues includingunemployment insurance claims and workers compensation appeals 6967Lunneborg, Patricia 1990 Women Changing Work Bergin and Garvey, New York pxviii. Research reported in Stinson, Jane and Richmond Penni 1993 “Women Working forUnions” in Linda Briskin and Patricia McDermott (eds) Women Challenging Unions:Feminism. Democracy and Militancy University of Toronto Press, Toronto p 14768lnterview: Regional Vice-President, CAIMAW69lnterview: Staff Representative, CAIMAW115Discourses of commitment to trade union activism do not merely float around the unionoffice, they have a material reality. In the next part of this chapter I examine representations andmemories of the leadership of Local 40 by two women. Their experience of dismissal fromelected positions is a material outcome of male control of discourses about leadership andauthority in the labour organisations. Further, this example makes concrete the points I havemade about the relationship between social constructions of gender and the exclusion of womenmembers and activists from trade unions.WOMEN AS UNION LEADERSWomen are underrepresented at all levels of the union, but never more so than inleadership positions. While women in Canada number 39 percent of the unionised workforce,they hold only 25 percent of executive positions.7°It is interesting to note the positioning anddistribution of women throughout the executive and staff positions at both Local 40 andCAIMAW. At the end of 1993, 15 men and 15 women were employed in Local 40 staffpositions. It is clear, however, that women are underrepresented in both leadership and businessrepresentative positions. Of three executive staff (the elected leadership), there is one woman.In total twelve people are employed as business representatives. Men predominate in thiscategory - ten men and two women work as business agents. Nine women are employed invarious office staff categories including office manager (one), executive secretary (one) andsupport staff (seven). The functions of the directors (two women) and specialty staff (two men70Galt, Virginia 1993 op cit p A6116and one woman) are not clear.7’At CAIMAW there is only one officer who is both elected and paid by the membership.He is the Secretary/Treasurer and works from the head office. The responsibilities for a varietyof union concerns are distributed between six different people, including the secretary/treasurer,who are employed as staff representatives in the CAIMAW head office. Five men are listed asresource persons, and they share responsibilities for the BC Federation of Labour,coalitions/International affairs, Communications, Education, Substance Abuse, Training, UICand Worker’s Compensation Board Policy. The one women staff person has responsibility forHuman Rights, Women’s Department, Literacy and Public Transportation. While it is the caseat CAIMAW that there is a women staff member responsible for women members concerns,women are underrepresented at CAIMAW.72If women are to have their concerns seriously considered by unions that represent themthey need to be in positions of power to ensure those concerns are addressed. Marina Boehmargues that unions in Canada have introduced progressive policies to improve women’srepresentation. However, the situation remains that women union members need both leadershiprole models, and ideological support for women union leaders. To achieve change in the balanceof power in unions there must also be a change in the cultural focus of the labour movement.Boehm argues unions need to continue the steady but slow assault on the prevailing attitudes thathinder women in their attempts to gain increased access to positions of power.737’The Local 40 Mixer Vol 19 No 1 Jan-March 1994 p 372lnterview: Staff Representative, CAIMAW73Boehm, Marina C. 1991 op cit pp 7-8, 47117The election of two women officers in 1981 was the first experience Local 40 had ofwomen in leadership positions. Women were not present in the union office during the 1970sexcept for a daughter of Al Morgan who worked in a clerical capacity in the union office andas a business agent. Another daughter ran the union shop steward training school.74 However,leadership of the union by these women did not necessarily signal a challenge to prevailingattitudes. There are two themes here. Firstly, the women leaders, by virtue of a perceived lackof skills and experience, were deemed unsuitable leaders. Secondly, the attributes necessary tobring control back to the union are masculinised in ways that excluded the possibility for thewomen leaders to exercise their power.Power in Local 40 is formally located in the officer positions of President, Vice-Presidentand Secretary/Treasurer.75 This is in contrast to CAIMAW where there is only one paidleadership position, that of Secretary/Treasurer.76It was because of Al Morgan’s misuse of hispresidential power that troubles began in Local 40. Disenchanted members of Local 40established a rank and file reform committee to protest the lack of accountability within theunion. The committee channelled their protest into an election campaign in which they put74Ward, Doug 1981 op cit September 12, H5. Morgan was accused of nepotism, by bothLocal 40 and CAIMAW representatives. It was claimed that to get a job at Local 40 duringhis leadership, you had to be a member of his family. Further, the women who were electedin 1981 were members of the executive board, however, they did not participate in the dailyrunning of the union as did Morgan’s daughters. Interview: President, Local 40.75The power and influence of the elected officers of Local 40 is extensive. For examplethe President and Secretary-Treasurer comprise the total Editorial Board of The Local 40Mixer. The Vice-President of Local 40 is not involved because she is currently based onVancouver Island.76Both unions have executive boards comprising elected representatives from themembership.118forward two women as leadership candidates running in opposition to Al Morgan.77 When thesewomen were elected, though, their victory was perceived only as the outcome of Morgan’sexcesses, rather than as a successful take over of the union by the reform committeerepresentatives. As one Local 40 representative remembers,So what happened is the first time they had their elections the only two people eligible78to run, and I use this without being derogatory at all, were the two waitresses from smallrestaurants in New Westminster. They were grandmothers essentially. The dog catchercould have won this election against Morgan.79There are several points of interest in this statement. Firstly, the information about theoccupations of the women leaders is incorrect. The new president was indeed a waitress in acoffee shop. The new vice-president was a bar waitress in Abbortsford.8°This slightmisunderstanding suggests perhaps that members of the union did not know their elected officialswell. Indeed, immediately after her election the vice-president publicly addressed themembership in the pages of The Local 40 Mixer. In a column thanking members for theirsupport she records her credentials as a union member, stressing that she was “not a trade uniongreenhorn” 81 However, as the reference to the women leaders as ‘grandmothers’ perhapsconnotes, it was believed in many quarters that these women did not have the skills and77lnterview: Rank and File Reform Committee Member78To stand for election in Local 40 it is necessary to have had five or more yearsexperience on the executive board of the union. The two waitresses fulfilled this eligibilitycriteria having had over 12 years experience between them. The membership reformcommittee therefore put these women forward to lead the challenge against Morgan.Interview: Legal Services Officer, Local 4079lnterview: President, Local 4080Ward, Doug 1981 op cit p H581The Local 40 Mixer Vol 7 No 4 November 1981 p 3119experience to manage Local 40. The following is a lengthy quote from a Local 40 representativewho constructs the inexperience of the women leaders in terms of both generational and genderdifferences.They were a couple of sweet middle aged ladies. You know the kind of women that I’mtalking about. They came from a different era. I mean they did not have the benefit ofthe years of experience that I have had for instance, I mean they came from a differentalbeit ... maybe someways more oppressive, but gentler time, you know and there wasnever anybody in their lives that expected them to be able to do anything more than servecoffee and make pleasant conversation, raise a family and do all the good things that ourgrandma’s did. But I mean lets face it, our grandmas did not know how to run ameeting, our grandmas did not know what was legal and what was illegal, our grandmasdid not have any sense that they could actually assert authority and carry it, they didn’tknow how to manage people, they didn’t know how to manage a crisis.82It was asserted by this union representative that, in contrast, women today have the benefit ofeducation and experience in trade unions that enables them to assert authority and perform aseffective trade union activists •83Due to their inexperience and their gender, the women union leaders were portrayed asineffective. Furthermore, traditional understandings of masculinity and femininity were deployedto justify the imposition of the trusteeship and the wresting of control of Local 40 from thereform committee. The first conclusion the trustee came to after his appointment was that thewomen leaders were responsible for the worsening problems in Local 40. According to thepresent leadership “it was alleged and proven that Joyce and Viola had not acted in compliancewith the constitution and by-laws of the local union”. Note that these charges were “quitefrivolous, but it was enough grounds to impose the trusteeship”.82lnterview: Legal Services Officer, Local 44083lnterview: Legal Services Officer, Local 40120The pervasiveness of male cultural norms is evident in the language and memoriessurrounding the perceived problems in Local 40 after the election of the reform committee. Theproblems in the union are feminised, that is, they are attributed to the women leaders rather thanbeing considered an outcome of Morgan’s erratic leadership of the union.84 Also masculinisedare the attributes supposedly required to bring control back to the union. When describing theeffort to defend Local 40 from raids, and eventually to reconstruct the union, representatives’recalled the shift from a situation of chaos to one of creating a calm environment of discussion,control and careful planning. Experienced (mostly male) trade unionists gathered together tosit down and talk about the trusteeship and the pending raiding season so, “we started a warroom, you run a real tight ship, everything is orchestrated, not one thing happens, not one lettergoes out unless its been approved” •85 In contrast, it was supposed that the women leaderswould not be able to impose this’ve gotta remember, they did not have any experience and ability to put a master plantogether to bring this local union around to where it should go. Trade unions are politicalorganisations, they are very difficult to manage, they are very difficult to keep movingin the right direction.86The implications are, I think, that women are perceived as unable to participate in, orsuccessfully manage large political organisations. Certainly it is acknowledged at Local 40 thatimmediately upon their election the women leaders faced strong, disruptive opposition from84The tales of Morgan’s wealth and life style are legendary. He was a member of theSocial Credit party. He owned fancy cars and was famous for conducting negotiations withhotel employers on his yacht. Interview: Legal Officer, Local 4085lnterview: President, Local 4086lnterview: President, Local 40121Morgan supporters remaining in the membership.87 However, throughout interviews it wasrepeatedly maintained that the women leaders lacked appropriate leadership skills. The tradeunionists who were brought into the union from the British Columbia labour movement did,however, have experience gained control of Local 40. Despite six years representation on Local40’s executive board, the women leaders couldn’t overcome the perception that they lacked theexperience necessary to be leaders of a trade union.CONCLUSIONThis chapter has sought to expose the ideological constructions that underpin women’sstatus in unions. These representations occur as the result of interactions between theinstitutionally-legitimated and socially-constructed assumptions about the role of women in theworkforce. Discourses and representations about women members, activists and leaders inunions are gendered in ways that perpetuate the exclusion of women’s workplace concerns fromunion policy and prevent effective action by women within unions. Representations of genderin the hotel unions in Vancouver are especially motivated, either explicitly or implicitly, by theperceived relation of women to the home, the labour market and their suitability for unionactivism. Gendered representations preserve the status quo in that they do not challengeestablished and ‘traditional’ gender roles at home and work.87Organisers at CAIMAW agreed that the women leaders did not have a fair andunchallenged opportunity to exercise their power and gain control over the union. Oneorganiser commented that the women leaders at Local 40 were honest but “overwhelmed.They just didn’t know what head was up and they were manipulated by some other peopleand before they know it they were out. They never did get a look in’t. Interview:Secretary/Treasurer, CAIMAW.122Representatives at both unions emphasised that women and men share a common interestin the workplace issues of job protection, benefits and seniority. And it is around these concerns,and the issue of the best union able to represent hotel workers, that the struggle was fought. AsI will discuss in the next chapter considerations of gender were neglected in the face of bothLocal 40 and CAIMAW’s focus on issues of unionism and nationalism.123CHAPTER 6STRATEGIES AND ISSUES: THE HOTEL MEMBERSHIP STRUGGLE, 1982-1984INTRODUCTIONIn the previous chapter I focused on Local 40 and CAIMAW’ s representations of womenand gender issues within their organisations. In this chapter I consider representations of tradeunionism as expressed by union officials during the 1982-1984 struggle. The daily practices andideologies of Local 40 and CAIMAW, which I term unionism, were apparent in the ways theseunions defined both the issues they considered important, and the strategies that they employedto conduct the struggle. CAIMAW couched the struggle in terms of nationalism. They arguedthat American International unions such as Local 40 had no place in the Canadian labourmovement. The debates of the struggle also coalesced around the question of which union wasmost appropriate to represent workers in the hospitality sector.The effects of this inter-union dispute were generally negative for workers, who foundthat their concern’s were increasingly neglected. Admittedly, some issues of concern forworkers, such as protection of the health benefits and pension rights were addressed by bothunions. But as I will argue below, hotel workers themselves were not well represented on thecommittees within both Local 40 and CAIMAW that were responsible for identifying theseissues of concern. Not surprisingly, gender issues and the concerns of women workers also didnot become central issues. Rather, issues were determined only by male trade unionists whomade their decisions on a strategic basis with respect to the struggle.In this chapter I will first identify the different sites in which the struggle was conducted.Second I will add to the details of the struggle that were outlined in the prologue, consideringespecially here the different stages that were important. In the third section, I consider the124strategies employed by each union during the struggle. I focus particularly on CAIMAW. Thetensions within that union with respect to the organisation of hotel workers indicate some of theproblems industrial unions face as they organise in the service sector. In the final section Iexamine Local 40 and CAIMAW’s understanding of trade unionism. The philosophy andorganisational practices of these unions are evident in the issues that were deemed important,and more germane here, not important, to the struggle.THE SITES OF STRUGGLEThe first sites of struggle were the already unionised hotels in Vancouver and BritishColumbia. In these hotels, union officials, and to some extent hotel managers, discussed withemployees the certification of either Local 40 or CAIMAW. Representatives from both unionswere very active in communicating with the workers in the hotels. One organiser recalls meetingopposing union officials in the same hotels, although “we basically tried to steer clear of eachother” . When union organisers were not physically present, literature was circulated amongworkers. This literature conveyed ‘facts and information’ about both unions. Workers wereexhorted either to remain members of Local 40, or shift their allegiance to CAIMAW.The role of employers in the hotels during the struggle was interpreted differently by bothhotel unions. CAIMAW officials asserted that employers actively contributed to the successfuldefense of the Local 40 certifications because, as one organiser claimed, employers preferreda non-militant labour union to represent workers:the employers very much did not want to lose Local 40 as the bargaining agent, so we‘Interview: Legal Services Officer, Local 40125had all sorts of intimidation, letters given to the employees saying that they prefer if they(employees) stayed with the union that they had now (Local 40). The employers [had]all sorts of individual meetings in various hotels with employees saying this CAIMAWis a militant union that would have them (hotel workers) out on strike.2In contrast Local 40 representatives dismiss the idea that hotel employers played anydirect role in the struggle. Rather, employers “stayed back out of it and made sure that theyweren’t perceived as being on one side or the other” . It is clear, however, that Local 40’sconcern to remain as the only union in the hotels concurred with employers’ interest to retainLocal 40 as the bargaining unit for the hotel industry. One Local 40 organiser described hisperception of employers interests in the following manner,employers in this industry, like any industry would be very concerned for thefragmentation of unions within their industry. I mean we’ve seen it in the forestryindustry, tremendous disputes, long disputes because of three unions in the industry, andwhat they were all doing is posturing to get the best agreement.4It is impossible to gauge the real impact of either employers’ opposition to CAIMAW’ s attemptsto organise hotel workers, or their desire to maintain the status quo and retain Local 40 as theonly bargaining unit in the industry. The role of employers, however, was certainly acomplicating factor in the dispute.The head offices of Local 40 and CAIMAW provided the second location in which thestruggle was conducted. While the raiding campaign occurred publicly in the hotels, in theprivacy of union offices there were debates about how the struggle should be managed. Thesedebates largely referred to organisational strategies, and the meaning of trade unionism2lnterview: Full-time Organiser, CAIMAW3lnterview: President, Local 404lnterview: President, Local 40126associated with each. At Local 40, for example, following the imposition of the trusteeship, a‘revitalisation’ committee was formed. The role of this committee was two-fold. Firstly, thecommittee planned and implemented Local 40’s response to the raids. Secondly, this committeesought to stabilise the financial disarray and the political conflict which had arisen betweenreform committee members and the previous leadership of Local 40. Thus, while Local 40defended its claim to represent workers in the hotels, organisers constructed both a discourseand a plan of practical application to revitalise the union.5 In contrast to the united effort atLocal 40, an internal power struggle developed within CAIMAW. At issue was CAIMAW’sexisting trade union ideology and practice, and its application during the organisation of hotelworkers. As I will argue in this chapter, the internal conflict distracted CAIMAW’s attentionaway from the hotel workers. Indeed, one CAIMAW organiser recalled the hotel sign-upcampaign being relegated to secondary importance as the internal struggle was played out.6The third context in which this struggle was conducted was within the broader one of theBritish Columbia labour movement. At the beginning of the organising campaign CAIMAW waspositioned both by itself, and in the imagination of the BC labour movement as the aggressorunion.7Throughout the struggle, however, CAIMAW was forced into an increasingly defensive5The term ‘revitalise’ is the one used by the present President of Local 40. He wasbrought into Local 40 to defend the raids and at the same time to restructure Local 40 so thatthe problems of lack of accountability and poor representation of members, commonthroughout the 1970s in the union, would not also be a feature of the 1980s. Interview:President, Local 406lnterview: Secretary/Treasurer, CAIMAW7see Buchanan, Brian 1989 “No Compromise: CAIMAW is the most hated and fearedunion in this province. Why?” BC Business Magazine Vol 17 (5) May pp 52-65. Buchanandescribes CAIMAW as “the supremely cantankerous and fiercest-bargaining organisedlabour factions in British Columbia” (p 52). He argues that CAIMAW’s uncompromising127posture. Local 40 was able to exploit CAIMAW’s position outside the mainstream labourmovement in BC by calling for, and receiving, support from the BC Federation of Labour. TheFederation provided the first “real strong injection of credibility” that Local 40 required in orderto survive the raids.8 The Federation’s support ensured that the union was not lost to a non-affiliated organisation such as CAIMAW. So while Local 40 began the struggle desperatelydefending their certifications, by the end of it, as a result of their own revitalisation strategies9and the alliance with the BC Federation of Labour, the majority of their certifications remainedintact.THE STRUGGLE ITSELFThe raid on Local 40 workplaces by CAIMAW and the other unions is acknowledged asthe biggest raid, in terms of the number of members that were applied for, ever attempted inCanada.’° The membership of Local 40 at the beginning of 1982 was approximately 14,000.At the beginning of the struggle organisers estimated, and feared, Local 40 could loose up tostand draws enemies from employers, workers and unions alike.8lnterview: President, Local 409Revitalisation strategies included a commitment to diversifying the membershiprepresented on the executive committee. Further, the membership was assured that businessagents would be selected from the hotel industry itself rather than outside it; therebyguaranteeing that member’s concerns would be understood and acted upon by people withsimilar experience. Throughout this time Local 40 also develop an organisational structurewhich ensured members would be notified in advance of meetings, the bargaining agenda andtheir responsibilities especially if they were a member of bargaining committees or theexecutive board. Interview: President, Local 40.‘°Interview: Legal Services Officer, Local 401285000 members from roughly 100 certifications within the province.” CAIMAW conductedmembership sign-up campaigns in Local 40 workplaces in two consecutive years during themonths of the legal raiding season, November and December. The CAIMAW leadership thoughtthey would gain up to 1500 new members.’2Although CAIMAW plans for the hotel workerswere not as grand as Local 40 representatives assumed, it must be remembered that there weresome organisers at CAIMAW who thought it possible to take over the whole of Local 40 hotelmembership.’3CAIMAW’s involvement in hotel workplaces began approximately two years prior to thefirst raiding attempts. In 1980 the union was approached by a member of Local 40 whorepresented the newly formed rank and file reform committee.’4At that time the plan of thereform committee was to change Local 40’s constitution from withjn.’5 Acting under the adviceof CAIMAW representatives a number of strategies were employed. A petition was signed by600 rank and file members and presented to the officers of the union.’6 Questions of the unionleaders were also asked at meetings as reformers sought to improve accountability within Local“Interview: President, Local 40‘2lnterview: Secretary/Treasurer, CAIMAW. See also The CAIMAW Review Vol 15 No11983 p 8. The figure of 1500 new members was noted in an article describing whyCAIMAW had not been more successful in organising greater numbers of hotel workers.‘3lnterview: Full-time Organiser, CAIMAW. Interview: Secretary/Treasurer, CAIMAW‘4The rank and file reform committee were referred to CAIMAW because that union wasnot an affiliated member of the BC Federation of Labour. BC Federation affiliates, bycommon understanding, do not raid each others memberships and workplaces.‘5lnterview: Full-time Organiser, CAIMAW‘6lnterview: Secretary/Treasurer, CAIMAW12940. They were concerned about the lack of servicing of its members, and also were uncertainabout the location of membership dues money. In particular, reformers resented the fact that,as members of an American union, funds from their dues went south to the International’s headoffice.’7The reformers persisted with the strategy of publicly shaming the union leadership intochange. Finally the reform committee representatives were elected in 1981.18CAIMAW’ s main support to the reformers during the years preceding the raids was toprovide secretarial and leaflet printing services.’9However, after the trusteeship was imposed,CAIMAW officially declared its intention to raid once they were granted a charter to a newlocal 20 Canadian Hotel and Allied Workers, Local 1 (hereafter referred to as CHAW), becamethe hotel organising arm of CAIMAW for the duration of the sign-up campaign. Today this localstill exists within CAIMAW, although, it no longer operates as a separate unit from thedowntown office as it did between 1982 and 1984. CAIMAW organisers recall the situation at‘7lnterview: Member, Rank and File Reform Committee. The concerns of the reformcommittee were not unlike those of the first wave of union reform movements thatproliferated throughout the 1960s and 1970s in Canada. These reforms were provoked by aquest for democracy. In particular, union insurgence was touched off by suspicion of moniesgoing missing, mismanagement of insurance funds, failure of american union representativesto process grievance, disciplining of critics of US internationals and favouritism towardsAmerican members. See Benson, Herman 1986 “The Fight for Union Democracy” in MartinLipset Seymour (ed) Unions in Transition: Entering the Second Century Instituted forContemporary Studies, San Francisco pp 330, 360‘8lnterview: Member, Rank and File Reform Committee. CAIMAW organisers recallwarning the reform committee that they would not be successful in challenging Local 40’sconstitution from within. Interview: Secretary/Treasurer, CAIMAW.‘9lnterview: Member, Rank and File Reform Committee20The CAIMAW Review Vol 14 No 3 November 1982 p 1. A headline read ‘Localchartered for Hotel Workers’. The article reports that CAIMAW had been approached byhotel activists from Local 40. This is first mention in the union magazine of the ‘sign upcampaign’ that CAIMAW was conducting in Local 40 workplaces.130the beginning of the sign-up campaign as “initially ... a real exciting period” •21 They remembermany hotel workers calling CAIMAW ‘ s office to request that their workplace be raided. Veryquicldy CAIMAW organisers found themselves busy in about 35 different workplaces in thelower mainland and on Vancouver Island. One organiser said,Well I remember the first few weeks of the campaign was utter madness. I mean wewere getting calls from hotels all over the province, not just the lower mainland. I meanthere were calls just coming in from all over the place from people who wanted to getout of Local 40. In the first few weeks I’m sure there were sign-up campaigns going onat 20, 25, 35 different hotels all at the same time.22After the initial rush of the campaign, some organisers returned to their previous duties andthose associated with CHAW continued to work in the hotels signing up new members. It is nowclear that such demands challenged CAIMAW’ s resources. This point is discussed more belowfor it was one of the issues around which internal conflict arose.As the CAIMAW raids began, the Local 40 office quickly marshalled a team oforganisers from a variety of unions affiliated with the BC Federation of Labour. Among therevitalisation committee were several representatives from the International WoodworkersAssociation, the Canadian Labour Congress, the BC Federation itself, the SteelworkersAssociation and one representative from the hotel industry 23 This committee worked alongsidethe appointed trustee of the union. The sole function of Local 40 now became one of defendingitself. Publication of The Local 40 Mixer was postponed between April 1982 and May 1983, and21lnterview: Full-time Organiser, CAIMAW22lnterview: Full-time Organiser, Local 4023lnterview: Legal Services Officer, Local 40. Interview: President, Local 40. Asidefrom the one hotel worker on this committee, those such as the international woodworkerrepresentatives had experience in defending raids in other workplaces. The BC Federationalso made available to Local 40 their public relation’s officer.131business agents and revitalisation committee members were asked to be at work 18 hours aday.24 Their tasks were to save the Local, and to continue providing services to themembers.25 The continued provision of services enabled Local 40 to claim that the union wasable to perform an effective job as the representational body for the hotel industry.Between legal raiding seasons the focus of the struggle was transferred from the hotelsand union offices to the Labour Relations Board. It was at the LRB that Local 40 engaged inits most successful strategy to thwart CAIMAW’s raiding efforts. The LRB was responsible forarbitrating the struggle, including counting votes and granting certifications to CAIMAW if theresult of a vote was favourable.26 Through the LRB Local 40 sought to redefine the geographyof contract bargaining for hotel unions in British Columbia. In the hotel industry each hotel iscertified as a separate bargaining unit. For practical purposes there are both employer (the B.Cand Yukon Hotels Association and the Greater Vancouver Hotel Employers Association) andemployee (Local 40) organisations which conduct collective bargaining, although representativesfrom each hotel must ratify contract agreements 27 Local 40 tried to create one large bargainingunit from the fragmented ones that existed at the time.24lnterview: President, Local 40. Interview: Business Agent, Local 40. Whether peopletruly worked 18 hours a day for a full two year period is somewhat doubtful. The impressionconveyed however, was that revitalisation committee insisted that all business agents andthose working from the union office did, and were seen to be doing, a proper job. Before thetrusteeship was imposed the reputation of the BA’s was poor, they were reported to wanderinto work mid-morning and to leave or start drinking early in the afternoon.25lnterview: Legal Services Officer, Local 40. This organiser was called into the headoffice of Local 40 after the trusteeship was imposed. She had been a shop steward andactively involved in the union throughout a career as a part-time bartender.26lnterview: Full-time Organiser, CAIMAW27lnterview: President, Local 40132We filed what we called a section 40 application in front of the Labour Relations Boardat the time, saying that those votes should never be counted because this local is abargaining unit. What we were trying to do quite frankly is make it an impregnablebargaining unit by moulding it all together into a poly-party certification. If they weregoing to raid, they had to raid the whole thing in one shot. It took a year to do that.What it gave us, I’ll be frank with you is a breathing period. Also it gave us a year whenthose votes were in the [ballot] box, where even if we’d lost in the box we’d had timeto go out and regroup because its not one of these things that you can handle in a fewmonths 28The time involved in settling the challenge at the LRB did detract CAIMAW’s energy awayfrom organising, and eventually had a detrimental effect on their success. One representative atCAIMAW argued that in between CAIMAW’s signing of new members and the certificationvote, both employers and Local 40 were able to convince those hotel workers to remain withLocal 40.29More generally, mounting raids presented logistical problems to CAIMAW because theunion simply did not have the resources to undertake a province-wide campaign. At thebeginning of the organising campaign the union had approximately 6000 members, with fewpeople able to go out organising. Nonetheless CAIMAW did raid Local 40 as we have seen. Inthe next section I examine the growing internal conflicts within CAIMAW as they becameincreasingly involved in the hotel industry. I begin by considering CAIMAW’s motivations forbecoming involved in representing workers in the service sector. I then consider the strategiesthat CAIMAW employed during the struggle.28lnterview: President, Local 4029lnterview: Full-time Organiser, CAIMAW133CAIMAW: AN INDUSTRIAL WORKER UNION IN HOTEL WORKPLACESGiven CAIMAW’s history as a male industrial worker union one wonders why this unionstruggled for the right to represent workers in service sector workplaces. Certainly CAIMAWorganisers were initially reluctant to become involved in the hotel sector. In fact they tried toencourage members of the Local 40 rank and file reform committee to approach another unionto assist them. For CAIMAW representatives feared that they did not have the experience toorganise in the service sector. They acknowledged being “up to our ears fighting in the industrialsector which we are more comfortable with, we understood” •30 Further, the union feared thepossibility of spreading their resources too thinly to be an effective representational body fortheir own members.3’Specifically, the rank and file reformers were introduced by CAIMAW to FASWOC, theFood and Services Workers Organisation of Canada. As CAIMAW argued, this organisation wasalready a presence in the service sector, and it was a Canadian organisation. However, the rankand file reform committee discovered that FASWOC did not have the resources to help them,and so returned to CAIMAW with their request for help.32 After debates a vote was eventually30lnterview: Secretary/Treasurer, CAIMAW: Full-time Organiser, CAIMAW32lnterview: Member, Rank and File Reform Committee. Interview: Full-time Organiser,CAIMAW. FASWOC represented workers in the White Spot restaurants. At CAIMAW itwas admitted that FASWOC was an embarrassment to the Canadian Confederation of Unions(which CAIMAW is affiliated to). Although the specific problems in FASWOC are not clear,it was thought that the hotel reformers could combine their reorganising the hotel workerswith a take over of FASWOC. FASWOC merged with CAIMAW in 1988. Interview:Secretary/Treasurer, CAIMAW. The CAIMAW Review Vol 20 No 1 June 1988.134taken at an executive board meeting and CAIMAW agreed to assist the reformers.33CAIMAW representatives insisted in interviews that their reluctance to organise thehotels was not motivated by the presence of women workers in the hotel workplaces, but merelyunfamiliarity with the industry. One organiser said,You know we didn’t really have a problem with the fact that it was women workers. Ifwe had an problem it was that it was a totally new kind of industry for us. Hotels versusmanufacturing facilities, its a completely different world.34This sentiment was echoed by all I spoke to at CAIMAW, and indeed as was discussed in theprevious chapter, this union has not been afraid to offer support to women workers especiallyaround the issue of equal pay for work of equal value. Ultimately CAIMAW elected to conductthe raid of hotel workplaces because they saw the need, and had the opportunity, to removeCanadian workers from an American union. Later I will return to the issue of nationalism in thelabour movement and examine how it was manifested as an issue during the struggle. Now, Iwant to focus only on the strategies employed by CAIMAW during the struggle. All atCAIMAW, including those in the new local, agreed that organising Canadian workers intonational unions was a fundamental issue. There was no agreement as I will argue, however,about the approach that was necessary to convince hotel workers to change unions.I. Organising Hotel Workers: Debates and Strategies at CAIMAWCrafting a way to organise the hotel workers entailed negotiations around the meaningof unionism at CAIMAW. The union learnt its trade as a bargaining unit in industrial33lnterview: Secretary/Treasurer, CAIMAW34lnterview: Full-time organiser, CAIMAW135workplaces where organising was a matter of talking to workers in their lunch room, or handingout leaflets at the end of a shift to a group of predominantly male employees. In organising thehotel workers CAIMAW faced challenges that they had not previously encountered. The debateswithin CAIMAW, however, did not refer to the different workplace or the type of workers, butrather to the issue of how CAIMAW would present itself to the hotel workers.Firstly, a tension arose in the relationship between CAIMAW, the sponsoring union, andthe new local, CHAW, which was comprised of some CAIMAW organisers and Local 40reform committee members. The question revolved around whether CAIMAW was to direct theraid or merely to sponsor it. By distancing themselves from CAIMAW, the reformers in CHAWhoped to establish a local that was staffed by those experienced in the hotel sector. Thereformers did not want “a bunch of mine workers running the local [CHAW] who didn’tunderstand the issues” The leadership of CAIMAW, however, resented CHAW’ s attemptsto distance themselves from the parent organisation.[the President of CHAW] was trying to do it sort of on the side door, not exactly theback door, he wasn’t that sort of dishonest person they think they’ve got their ownlocal and that’s who they are associated with... when you start putting out leaflets fromthe union and you don’t even mention which bloody union you are...! I’m not impressedby that.36CHAW organisers did not, however, completely deny CAIMAW. Indeed, in a fact sheetcirculated to the hotel workers they characterised the relationship between the CAIMAW andthe new local as a supportive one. CAIMAW provided the “strong backing and access to expert35lnterview: President, CHAW Local 1, CAIMAW (formerly referred to as a member ofthe Local 40 rank and file reform committee).36lnterview: Secretary/Treasurer, CAIMAW136assistance” that the local required. The CAIMAW National Union was understood as “there tohelp us.... never to dominate like the American Union” To a large extent the reformers weretrying to side step a public image of CAIMAW that could potentially derail the organisingdrive.38 Indeed, throughout the struggle, Local 40 was to exploit the perception that CAIMAWwas a militant, strike-prone union with no experience in the hotel industry.Secondly, although CAIMAW recognised the need to adapt their organising strategies tothe hotels they rejected the notion that running a “flashy” campaign was necessary toconvince hotel members to change unions 40 “Flashiness” was understood and resisted in anumber of ways. CHAW organisers required all of their representatives to wear suits and tieswhen working in the hotels. CAIMAW organisers, however, refused to wear “fancy clothes”.It was considered dishonest to dress differently while working as an organiser in the hotels. Oneorganiser said,I don’t come to work in jeans, but we are not going to get into a fashion show just toimpress some people. That’s not how the union runs and its not going to be the way itruns if we get them [hotel workers] into the membership37Canadian Hotel and Allied Workers Local 1 Democracy Fact Sheet No. 1. (undated)38lnterview: President, CHAW Local 1390ne organiser remembers that it was necessary to change the way employers weredescribed. He said, “In the hotels and restaurants, top management is right there you know.They (managers) are standing around beside them (employers). They may even have personalfriendships with them, its a lot closer. [Workers] don’t want to hear you make a lot ofderogatory conmients about the management, especially any personal comments. Whereasminers and industrial workers, they don’t care so much about whether you say they(employers) are a bunch of cheap so and sos, because they agree with that sentimentusually”. Interview: Full-time Organiser, CAIMAW.40lnterview: Full-time Organiser, CAIMAW41lnterview: Full-time Organiser, CAIMAW137As far as strategic conduct of the campaign was concerned some compromises were madethat for a time, allowed CHAW to run the campaign predominantly as they wished. For theduration of the organising drive CAIMAW provided the CHAW organisers with a separate officefrom which to run the campaign. They justified this downtown office as a matter of geography;for the purposes of organising it was necessary to be close to the major labour market in theindustry 42 Also, for a time, the leaders at CHAW convinced most of the CAIMAW executivethat it was necessary to run a high profile, and expensive campaign. The CHAW organisers hadspecial membership cards printed, buttons made and a cartoon produced to explain the issuesto the hotel workers. It was precisely around this question of campaign publicity, however, thatthe internal political struggle began. At stake was the authority and judgement of a CAIMAWorganiser, on one hand, and a former regional vice-president of CAIMAW who was workingwith CHAW, on the other.CHAW organisers maintained throughout that their experience as hotel workers qualifiedthem to determine appropriate campaign strategies .‘ However, the CAIMAW leadershiprejected the high profile publicity campaign, insisting that CHAW’ s strategies were in conflictwith the ideals of honest trade unionism. Further, they argued, it was irrelevant to present adifferent picture of the union to the hotel workers because ultimately hotel members would42lnterview: Full-time Organiser, CAIMAW. Interview: Secretary/Treasurer, CAIMAW.CAIMAW’ s offices are presently located in New Westminster. At the time of the raid thehead CAIMAW office was in Burnaby. The downtown office proved a vital focus to thecampaign. It proved to hotel workers that CHAW had established a base, and members couldcall or visit the office anytime to ask for help and information or to sign a membership card.Interview: President, CHAW Local 143lnterview: President, CHAW Local 1138“come face to face with all of our industrial workers and mines workers” . The CAIMAWorganiser who was eventually vindicated after the internal conflict was resolved said,My feeling was, you work towards getting the people’s commitment. You use yourgrassroots organising then, just like we had done traditionally, and then you build in thebases as you go along.45Although CAIMAW organisers had given CHAW permission to open a separatecampaign office located away from the rest of the union, they did not completely hand overresponsibility for the raids to CHAW. The CAIMAW leadership achieved a large measure ofcontrol over the definition of issues that would be presented to the hotel workers. CAIMAWapproached the hotel workers with a series of concerns about issues of fairness and honesty. Factsheets addressed the need for democracy in union organisation, the protection of worker’shealth, welfare, pension benefits and the right of workers to change unions 46 Although thesewere considered basic to the rights of workers, I would argue that these issues were also definedas part of a defensive strategy against Local 40 and the BC Federation of Labour’s efforts todiscredit CAIMAW.Once CAIMAW officials had identified the issues they considered important to thecampaign they proceeded to introduce these issues to workers in each hotel in which CAIMAWwas trying to become certified. While it is clear that the hotels in British Columbia are certified44lnterview: Full-time Organiser, CAIMAW45lnterview: Secretary/Treasurer, CAIMAW46Canadian Hotel and Allied Workers, Local 1. Fact Sheets 1. Democracy, 2. Health andWelfare Benefits, 3. Your right to change unions is protected by law, 4. Pension Protection.Box 31 CAIMAW, University of British Columbia, Special Collections. Also, Interview:Full-time Organiser, CAIMAW139as separate bargaining units, CAIMAW did not approach the Local 40 certifications as such. Asthe raids were conducted, CAIMAW did not enter each hotel aware that the size of the hotel,number of employees, relations between workers and management and previous experiences withunion representatives would impact the likelihood of a successful certification. Instead, the sameissues were presented to workers in each hotel throughout the campaign. With hindsight theCAIMAW and CHAW organisers did acknowledge the presence of locally-contingent factors thatdetermined the success of their raiding. For example, the role of union activists amongst thehotel workers was recognised as important.The hotels where we were successful were the hotels where we had the good leadershipwithin the workforce supporting us.47CAIMAW organisers were also aware that the campaign was made more difficult by relationsbetween employers and Local 40. Local 40 had a poor reputation for standing up to theemployer, and this created difficulties when trying to convince members to change unions.CAIMAW organisers felt that hotel workers who were members of Local 40 had learnt to thinkthat all unions were similarly poor at representing members, and would therefore rejectCAIMAW’s overtures to join that union.48Ultimately, given that the issues were considered transportable from hotel to hotel,CAIMAW conducted a geographically insensitive campaign.49 Indeed, it is not clear how andon what grounds CAIMAW chose the hotels they raided at the beginning of the sign-upcampaign. I argue, then, that the uniformity of issues with which the hotel workers were47lnterview: Full-time Organiser, CAIMAW48The CAIMAW Review Vol 15 No 3 Dec 1983 p 449lnterview: Full-time Organiser, CAIMAW140presented restrained CAIMAW and CHAW from developing geographically subtle andappropriate organising strategies. In contrast, Local 40 developed a strategic defense campaign.While Local 40’s strategies were not necessarily more locally sensitive to the hotel workers andtheir situation the revitalisation committee mapped out their response to CAIMAW’ s raids verysystematically. Local 40 organisers monitored the status of a CAIMAW raid, and would targeteach hotel where it was thought that CAIMAW was gaining the upper hand.5° In this wayLocal 40 conducted a very organised, and predominantly successful, defense of theircertifications.The internal conflict at CAIMAW had two related effects on CAIMAW’s initialorganising attempt in the service sector. First, tensions between CAIMAW and CHAWleadership distracted attention away from the hotel workers and focused concern instead on theappropriate way to present CAIMAW to the hotel workers. ‘Flashy’ publicity was consideredby CAIMAW leaders to be dishonest and unnecessary. These leaders fashioned a style oforganising that involved a strategic definition of a small selection of issues considered relevantto the hotel workplaces where Local 40 was certified. Second, the focus on basic organisingissues, the ‘honest trade unionism’ approach, allowed CAIMAW to conduct an organisingcampaign that did not allow organisers to adapt to different local situations within each hotel.Furthermore, while honest and fair trade union practices are indeed important issues, it was notpossible within the terms that CAIMAW leaders established to introduce other issues such aswomen worker’s concerns and issues of gender and ethnicity.In the following section I examine more closely the issues that became important during50lnterview: President, Local 40141the struggle. According to their understanding of trade unionism each union defined a differentset of core issues during the struggle. Emphasis on core issues such as, for example,nationalism, union structure (CAIMAW) and a successful tourist industry (Local 40) meant thatother issues, including those of gender were neglected.THE ISSUES OF THE HOTEL STRUGGLEBoth Local 40 and CAIMAW entered into the struggle determined to offer hotel workersan effective organisation and membership services. Throughout the raids both unions spent muchtime and energy discrediting the other. CAIMAW claimed, and continues to assert, that Local40 does not have the best interests of the workers at heart.5’ In reply, Local 40 argues thatCAIMAW is completely unsuited to organising in the hotel industry.52 Whatever the ‘truth’ ofthese allegations, they served a purpose during the struggle as way of either attracting newmembers or retaining existing ones. Further, these claims allude to the very real differences thatexist in the way Local 40 and CAIMAW conduct themselves as trade unions.By their own account, Local 40 was placed in a trusteeship expressly because theorganisation was not operating effectively as a trade union. Organisers at Local 40 identified theneed reorganise and restructure the functions of that union as the main issue of the struggle.53According to CAIMAW the main issue of the struggle was the need to offer hotel workers theopportunity to become members of a national union.5’Interview: Full-time Organiser, CAIMAW52lnterview: Legal Services Officer, Local 4053lnterview: President, Local 40142There are contradictory interpretations of the importance of nationalism. Nationalism wasan important part of the CAIMAW campaign. Indeed, the maple leaf is part of the union’sletterhead, and was displayed on all the fact sheets and literature presented to hotel workers.Yet, organisers at Local 40 argue that nationalism was hardly an issue amongst the hotelmembership,it was only an issue because the other parties (CAIMAW) were saying it was an issue.These people (the membership) hadn’t thought of it before, it wasn’t an issue in theirmindsIn particular, nationalism was debated with reference to the financial relationship between USand Canadian locals. CAIMAW, and other Canadian unions, strongly reject the practice ofCanadian locals sending all or part of their membership dues to union head offices in the UnitedStates This was an especially pertinant issue in the hotel struggle because of fears among thehotel reform committee members that their union dues had gone missing. Although organisersat Local 40 argue that in fact the there were no financial irregularities, they directly addressedthe issue during the struggle. As one organiser said,we quite successfully beat that one back though. Because in fact what the internationaldoes with our per capita (membership dues) is they simply process it and redeposit it ina national Canadian strike fund. I think we beat that back (the issue of financialirregularity) pretty efficiently. Certainly that was their (CAIMAW’ s) number oneissue.56As members of an international labour organisation, Local 40 organisers defined a clearrole for the union both in terms of their position within the labour movement, and within the54lnterview: Business Agent, Local 4055lnterview: Secretary/Treasurer, CAIMAW56lnterview: Legal Services Officer, Local 40143hotel industry in BC. With regard to the labour movement one organiser claimed that being amember of such an organisation provided strength in numbers.we’ve always looked at it because of the hotels, these are universal companies, they arenot just Canadian companies. You look at all the major hotels in Canada, their bases arein the United States. If I have one of the major hotels downtown on strike and I needhelp, I will go to the international and they’ll go and put pressure [on the head office ofthe relevant hotel company] and that helps us. If we were alone up here we, you knowwe wouldn’t have that great feeling I’ve got if I can rely on a quarter million people inthe United States to stick by meThat many hotels are owned by foreign capital was also used by Local 40 representatives tojustify their membership of an International union.58 Such representatives, however, do notacknowledge the incongruity that they are members of an American International union, while75 percent of the foreign hotel ownership is not North American based.59 Local 40 does,however, recognise the problems that foreign ownership creates for protection of worker’s jobs.One organiser admitted to a certain helplessness in dealing with financial organisers located faraway from the reality of the British Columbian labour market, he said,You’ve got to argue at the bargaining table and develop language that will hopefullyprotect your people against decisions that are being made a million miles away. But howdo you stop a massive Japanese company from deciding that this particular property [ahotel] they own is no longer economically viable [and they shut it down]? You can’t stopthat.6°The argument, thenm is that it is considered important to know the ownership structure of theindustry in order to develop relevant bargaining strategies and contract language that will protect57lnterview: Business Agent, Local 4058lnterviews: President, Legal Services Officer, Business Agent, Local 4059Stevenson, Kellogg Ernst and Whinney 1989 op cit60lnterview: President, Local 40144workers.61 In this sense, the model of trade unionism at Local 40 is business unionism. Thismeans that the purpose of unions is preserving market relations with capital and representingworking-class interests solely through the collective organising process 62 In the case of Local40 this implies that first, the union ensures that there is a viable hotel sector, and secondly, thathotel workers’ standards of living are maintained.63In contrast, CAIMAW’s model of trade unionism pays less attention to ownershipstructures in the hotel industry, or to the international union ‘brotherhood’ than to the concernsof workers and their rights. CAIMAW challenges the business union structures. It argues thatbusiness unions ahve too cosy [a] relationship with government and business.M Instead, thefocus must be on the worker. As one organiser colourfully described it,We weren’t overawed by the need for massive resources to strike and stuff of thatnature. What was more interesting is getting a fair deal for who we were representing,and not going along with sellouts and bulishit and lies and deceit [of AmericanInternational unions]. And if an employee has a legitimate grievance, then fight thebloody thing. And if she’s a woman or black or green or whatever, they’ve got the samerights as anybody else.65During the struggle, CAIMAW also challenged Local 40’s policy and decision-makingpractices as inherently undemocratic. CAIMAW argued that Local 40’s constitution is structuredto allow for the union to be run by full-time business agents and officials rather than the rank61lnterview: President, Local 4062Archer, Keith 1987 “Canadian Unions, the NDP and the Problem of Collective Action”Labour/Le Travail 20 p 17563The Local 40 Mixer Vol 12 No 2 March-May 1986 p 264The CAIMAW Review Vol 10 No 6 Sept/Oct 1978 p 165lnterview: Secretary/Treasurer, CAIMAW.145and file membership. Exemplary of the undemocratic structure at Local 40 was the inabilityof the rank and file reform committee to achieve constitutional changes without going outsidethe union. In contrast, CAIMAW presented itself to hotel workers as an open, honest union thatmaintained the accountability of organisers and officials by holding elections every two years,rather than every five, which was the case at Local 40. Indeed, Canadian union democracy isgrounded in the instant accountability of the shop steward, and on policies which are to bedetermined in discussion with the membership •67However, although CAIMAW makes claims that they include workers in all decision andpolicy-making activities, I would argue that throughout the organising drive the hotel workers,especially those participating in the rank-and-file reform committee and later CHAW, remainedrelatively voiceless and powerless. In general, the struggle was conducted in places, includingthe union offices and the Labour Relations Board, which were far removed from the dailysituations of the hotel workers. In particular at CAIMAW, it was alleged that the organisingefforts of those with hotel experience (the CHAW organisers) were actually undermined by theCAIMAW leadership. Firstly, the contributions of the CHAW organisers were not acknowledgedor considered a valid part of the campaign. Secondly, CHAW organisers argued they weremisled in believing that ultimately the hotel workers would have a separate local from which thehotel workforce would be represented after the main struggle was over. The President of CHAWargued that when the CAIMAW leaders ‘won’ the internal political conflict there was no further66lnterview: Full-time Organiser, CAIMAW67Kettler, David., Struthers, James. and Huxley, Christopher 1990 “Unionisation andLabour Regimes in Canada and the United States: Considerations for Comparative Research”Labour/Le Travail Vol 25 Spring p 175146opportunity to develop and extend the role and function of CHAW.68 Consequently, CAIMAWfocused its organising strategies around some ‘tried and true’ issues and the concerns of hotelworkers, especially women, were neglected. In the following section I consider the position ofwomen as the struggle was played out between Local 40 and CAIMAW.REPRESENTATIONS OF GENDER 1982-1984: WHERE WERE THE WOMEN?In the issues deemed critical to the struggle to claim the right to represent hotel workers,gender and the concerns of women members were not mentioned by either Local 40 orCAIMAW. The reasons are very different for each union.It is now admitted by the present Local 40 leadership that the women reform committeemembers were elected partly because of their appeal to women members in the hotels. However,among the current decision makers in the Local 40 head office, remains a denial of the relevanceand significance of gender in the events of the early 80s. For it was precisely the appeals tomasculine constructions of authority and control, in contrast to feminine ‘chaos’ that legitimatedthe dismissal of the women leaders at Local 40.CAIMAW representatives argued that they did not address questions of gender duringthe struggle because they were not raised by workers. Such representatives suggested that theLocal 40 workplaces they were attempting to organise were completely unpoliticised. That is,Local 40 organisers had neglected their representational mandate to the point where unionmembers were not encouraged to discuss actively union and workplace issues. Indeed accordingto CAIMAW organisers,68lnterview: President, CHAW Local 1147things like gender were just sort of beyond the level of where the people were atrealistically, and they weren’t into any sort of broader political issues. You’d be wastingyour time trying to put those to people.69The efforts of women were not entirely ignored, however. A few women were formallypart of the struggle as members of the committees for eitther conducting raids, or for defendingthe existing membership. At Local 40, two women were represented on the revitalisationcommittee.7°There were more women organisers in CHAW, including a women vice-president.7’Despite the lack of representation as participants throughout the struggle, womenfrom Local 40 who became active in the rank and file reform committee demonstrated a strongcommitment to their jobs and to their union. The President of CHAW was adamant that womenwere the backbone of the original reform committee, and then of CHAW’s organising campaignin the hotels. He said,I have to say that the people that supported the whole effort in the hotels more thananyone were the women. The workers inside who were willing to at least motivate someof the other staff, it always seemed to be that it was the women.72Despite the presence of female activists there had been no place for a feminist discourseor active representation of women trade union activists and gender related policies in Local 40or CAIMAW before the struggle. I would argue that throughout the struggle the deeplymasculinised nature of trade unionism as practised by Local 40 and CAIMAW was apparent.Structural barriers and male exclusionary practices to women’s membership and participation69lnterview: Full-time Organiser, CAIMAW70lnterview: President, Local 407’Interview: President, CHAW Local 172lnterview: President, CHAW Local 1148in unions were recreated and reinscribed in debates about unionism. Despite, or perhaps becauseof, the women leaders at Local 40, gender was neglected as a concern. Organisational andrevitalisation strategies were structured around the masculine virtues of authority and control.At Local 40 experienced male trade unionists were given the task of retrieving Local 40 fromfinancial problems and poor organisation. At CAIMAW the dispute over how to organise thehotel workers became a power struggle. Essentially at stake were two men’s judgements, andtherefore their authority, about effective trade union organising practices. Ironically, thepressures from the reform committee to be more aware of the different nature of the hotelworkers and workplaces were felt to be shifting CAIMAW away from its trade union focus .‘The contribution of women was limited both by a lack of numerical representation and the focusof the struggle on issues other than gender.CONCLUSIONCAIMAW couched their participation in the hotel membership struggle in terms of thephilosophy that had motivated all organising drives, whether conducted as raids or in previouslyunorgariised workplaces. That is, CAIMAW fights for the right for Canadian workers to berepresented by Canadian unions. While CAIMAW organisers did not address the hotelworkplaces with sufficient concern for the nature of those workplaces or the type of workerswithin in them these were not the only reasons for their lack of success. CAIMAW has beencharacterised as a nationalistic ‘flagwaving’ and “unintelligently militant” organisation standing73lnterview: Secretary/Treasurer, CAIMAW149outside mainstream labour movements.74 As the BC Federation of Labour contributed in apractical and supportive way to the defense of Local 40, so they were challenging the right ofCAIMAW to a presence in the Canadian and British Columbian labour movements.I argue that because of CAIMAW’ s battle to claim a legitimate place in the local labourmovement, and the previously unstable situation within Local 40, the terms of the struggle werefought around issues of trade union politics rather than issues directly of concern to the hotelworkers. The preoccupation of Local 40 and CAIMAW with their image as a trade union wasmost apparent in debates about their respective ‘styles’ of trade unionism. Local 40 called uponexperienced trade unionists (mostly men) to assist in the reorganisation and defense of Local 40.In so doing, the union claimed that their historical experience in the hotel industry, theirattention to ownership patterns and finally their efforts to establish an executive board that wasmore broadly representative of the membership legitimated their presence as the sole bargainingunit for those workers. In contrast, CAIMAW argued that their attention to both concerns ofCanadian workers regardless of the ownership structures in the industry, and the choice of unionthey offered hotel members, justified their raids on Local 40 certifications. I believe that thehotel membership struggle provided a unique opportunity for unions in the hotel industry toreconsider seriously the ways in which women service sector employees are both practically andideologically represented by unions. Yet, in the terms and conditions that were set for thestruggle by Local 40 and CAIMAW this did not occur.74Buchanan, Brian 1989 op cit pp 52-65150CHAPTER 7: CONCLUSIONAt one level this thesis is an interpretation of a struggle between two unions, Local 40and CAIMAW, who fought for the right to represent hotel workers in Vancouver and BritishColumbia. At another level, however, this thesis more generally addresses the question ofhow unions organise and represent women members. Through an analysis of therepresentational strategies of Local 40 and CAIMAW I attempted to position women in twodifferent union discourses, one on gender and the other on unionism itself. In so doing myaim has been to understand the numerical and ideological underrepresentation of womenworkers within unions. Throughout the thesis I have made three general points about theorganisation of private service sector workers and the way in which they are represented byunions.I. Private sector workers and unionisationThroughout this thesis I argued that to understand the reasons for theunderrepresentation of women in unions it is necessary to take into account contexts: theworkplaces in which women are employed, and the union offices where the organisation andrepresentation of women service sector workers is conducted. In chapter four, I consideredthe difficulties associated with organising hotel workers as they are understood by unionofficials in Local 40 and CAIMAW. Specifically union activity is hindered by severalfeatures of hotel employment including the isolated and fragmented work experience and theclose relationships that develop between employers and employees. Given employers controlof scheduling and job distribution, the potential for exploitation remains a defining feature of151work experiences in the hotel industry. While Local 40 and CAIMAW identify similarobstacles to successful and ongoing organisation of hotel workers, I argued that each employsvery different strategies in undertaking that task.Comparison of the different sectoral and organisational histories of Local 40 andCAIMAW drew attention to the complex sets of material (and historical) circumstancesunderlying trade union engagement in service sector workplaces. For CAIMAW organisers,the decision to raid Local 40 certifications was not taken lightly. I would argue that thisdecision was motivated by a combination of factors including the opportunity to removeworkers from an international labour organisation. This resulted in membership growth andthe expansion of CAIMAW’ s representational jurisdiction. While Local 40 alreadyrepresented hotel workers, the troubles in that union and the ensuing raids highlighted theneed to reassess representational and organisational practices. For this reason organisers inthis union worked to reclaim the right to represent hotels.IL Representations of GenderIn chapter two I identified barriers to women’s participation in unions, and later, inchapter five I considered the configurations of gender relations and gendered identities thatare found in Local 40 and CAIMAW. Union officials in Local 40 and CAIMAW constructrepresentations of femininity that rely on a spatial and ideological separation between home,work and union office. But gendered identities, I argued, are constructed in all three places.Specifically, it is women’s assumed commitment to just one of these places, the home, thatcreates barriers to women’s participation in unions at least in the minds of Local 40 and152CAIMAW officials. Union understandings of women members rely on the assumption thatwomen’s commitment to their home and domestic responsibilities either prevents or limitstheir participation in paid work and trade unionism. The myth of unorganisability, associatedwith women’s home lives and the occupations in which they are employed, has been bothpervasive and persuasive. I argued, however, that Local 40 and CAIMAW use these mythsto perpetuate, rather than to challenge, gendered divisions of labour in households, paidwork environments and union offices. Furthermore, although home and work are consideredseparate spheres, clear ideological links between home and work are evident in unionofficial’s representations of both constraints upon women’s participation in unions, andidentification of women workers concerns.Yet, gender and gender relations are neither constructed nor experienced uniformly inLocal 40 and CAIMAW. Union officials employ distinctly different understandings of genderin their workplace organisational strategies. This was perhaps most powerfully demonstratedin reference to the issue of sexual harassment which was discussed in chapter five. Local 40officials did not readily admit that women workers suffered because of sexual harassment inthe workplace. In contrast, CAIMAW officials worked to protect women from sexualharassment because it is considered a serious infringement of their rights as workers. I havedemonstrated that, although women are numerically dominant in the hotel unions,representations of gender constituted in Local 40 and CAIMAW’s offices contribute tosignificant (ideological) underrepresentation of women workers.153III. Gendered Representations of UnionismDefinitions of unionism and daily union practices exhibit gendered characteristics inthat they imply certain assumptions or notions about male and female union members. At thejuncture of representations of gender and unionism in Local 40 and CAIMAW sit trade unionofficials. Business agents and those elected to leadership are most often male, and, from theirposition as a geographical link between the members at work and the union offices, theyperpetuate the idea that union business is for men. In the two unions, different discoursesabout women’s ability to work as trade union officials were evident. At Local 40 thediscourses and memories surrounding the failed leadership of that union by two womenhighlighted the masculine characteristics of control, authority and trade union organisingexperience that are typically defined as critical to successful union activism. The womenorganiser interviewed at Local 40 has, by her own account, assumed these malecharacteristics in the performance of her job. In contrast at CAIMAW, the ability of onewoman organiser to relate professionally and socially to other women hotel workers waslauded as an important attribute for organising.Furthermore, I argued that in both Local 40 and CAIMAW the organisationalpractices are also gendered. The issues considered to be trade union bargaining andorganising concerns emerge from two sources typically associated with male trade unionism.Firstly, the membership of both unions prior to the struggle was predominantly male, andsecondly, both unions organising experiences have been directed predominantly by maletrade union leaders. Thus, as the struggle played out, male trade unionists working in eachunion’s office, defined issues of nationalism and previous trade union organising experiences154as important concerns. Union members, particularly women, had no opportunity to influencethe issues of the struggle because they were not present in the union offices where suchissues were constructed.The three general points raised above suggest that the deeply masculinised nature oftrade union practice and ideology persists despite the prominence of women members in thehotel unions in Vancouver. Throughout this thesis I have argued that gendered constructionsunderpin both the representations of union members and trade union issues in ways thatcontinue to prevent women from effective and meaningful participation in unions. Theexposure of gendered representations in union ideology and practice is only the beginning ofthe project, however. Labour organisations must reconfigure organisational practices suchthat gendered ideologies are continually challenged as union officials work towardsfacilitating the participation of women in unions.155BIBLIOGRAPHYAcker, Joan 1990 “Hierarchies, Jobs and Bodies: A Theory of Gendered Organisations”Gender and Society 4 pp 139-58Alcoff, Linda 199 1-92 “The Problem of Speaking for Others” Cultural Criticiue Winter pp 5-32Archer, Keith 1987 “Canadian Unions, the NDP and the Problem of Collective Action”Labour/Le Travail pp 173-184Atherton, Patricia Gwen 1982 CAIMAW - Portrait of a Canadian Union Unpublished MAThesis, Faculty of Commerce and Business Administration, University of BritishColumbiaBagguley, Paul., Mark-Lawson, Jane., Urry, John., Shapiro, Dan., Walby, Silvia., andWarde, Alan 1990 Restructuring: Place, Class and Gender Sage, LondonBaker, Maureen and Robeson, Mary-Anne 1981 “Trade Union Reactions to Women Workersand the Concern&’ Canadian Journal of Sociology Vol 6 No 1 pp 19-31Baker, Patricia 1993 “Reflections of Life Stories: Women’s Bank Union Activism” inLinda Briskin and Patricia McDermott (eds) Women Challenging Unions: Feminism,Democracy and Militancy University of Toronto Press, TorontoBarrett, Michele 1980 Women’s Oppression Today Verso, LondonBarrett, Michele 1988 Women’s Oppression Today Revised Edition Verso, LondonBarrett, Michele and McIntosh, Mary 1980 “The family wage: some problems for Socialistsand Feminists” Capital and Class 11 pp 51-73Beale, Jenny 1982 Getting it together: Women as Trade Unionists Pluto Press, LondonBeattie, Margaret 1986 “The Representation of Women in Unions” Signs: Journal of Womenin Culture and Society Vol 12 no 1 pp 118-129Benson, Herman 1986 “The Fight for Union Democracy” in Martin Lipset Seymour (ed)Unions in Transition: Entering the Second Century Instituted for contemporary Studies,San FranciscoBenson, Susan Porter 1988 Counter Cultures: Saleswomen. 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Industrial RelationsCentre, Queen’s University at KingstonDi Leonardo, Micaela 1985 “Women’s work, work culture and consciousness” Feminist Review11 No 3 Fall pp 490-495Edelson, Miriam 1987 Challenging Unions: Feminist Process and Democracy in the LabourMovement CRIAW/ICREF, Ottawa158Ellis, Valerie 1988 “Current trade union attempts to removed occupational segregation in theemployment of women” in Sylvia Walby (ed) Gender Segregation at Work OpenUniversity Press, Milton KeynesEconomic Council of Canada 1991 Employment in the Service Economy Supply and ServicesCanada, OttawaFairbrother, Peter and Waddington, Jeremy 1990 “The Politics of Trade Unionism: Evidence,Policy and Theory” Capital and Class No 41 Summer pp 15-56Field, Debbie 1981 “Women’s Committees in Unions” Resources for Feminist Research:Women in Trade Unions Vol 10 No 2 pp 8-11Gabin, Nancy F., 1990 Feminism in the Labour Movement: Women and the United AutoWorkers 1935-1975 Cornell University Press, Ithaca and LondonGabriel, Yannis 1988 Working Lives in Catering Routledge, London and New YorkGalt, Virginia 1993 “Unions urged to promote women, scrap ‘male culture’: Labour needsfemale partcipation to survive in next century, study says” Globe and Mail Feb 8 p A6Gannage, Charlene 1987 “A World of Difference: The Case of Women Workers in a CanadianGarment Facto” in Heather Jon Maroney and Meg Luxton (eds) Feminism and PoliticalEconomy: Women’s Work, Women’s Struggles Methuen Toronto pp 139-165Gilson, Clive and Spencer, Ian 1986 “Trade union growth and structure: an interdisciplinaryperspective”, in Mark Thompson (ed) Is there a New Canadian Industrial Relations?Proceedings of the 23rd Annual Meeting of the Canadian Industrial RelationsAssociation. University of Manitoba May 29-31Glavin, Terry 1982 “Hotel Restaurant Workers in BC Turning to CAIMAW” The ColumbianOctober 14, A4Glavin, Terry 1982a “Crown decision will help defend itself” The Columbian December 16, A4Guerrier, Yvonne and Lockward, Andrew 1987 “Core and Peripheral Employees in HotelOperations”. Personnel Review Vol 18 No 1 pp 9-15Hanson, Susan and Pratt, Geraldine 1988 “Spatial Dimensions of the Gender Division ofLabour in Local Labour Market” Urban Geography Vol 9 March-April pp 180-202.Hanson, Susan and Pratt, Geraldine 1988 “Reconceptualising the links between home and workin Urban Geography” Economic Geography Vol 64 No 4 pp 299-32 1159Hanson, Susan and Pratt, Geraldine 1991 “Job Search and the Occupational Segregation ofWomen” Annals of the Association of American Geographers 8 1(2) pp 229-253Hartmann, Heidi 1976 “Capitalism, Patriarchy and Job Segregation by Sex” in Martha Blaxalland Barbara Reagan (eds) 1976 Women and the Workplace: The Implications ofOccupational Segregation University of Chicago Press, ChicagoHartmann, Heidi 1979 “The Unhappy Marriage between Marxism and Feminism: Towards aMore Progressive Union” Capital and Class 8 pp 1-33Hartman Strom, Sharon 1985 “‘We’re no Kitty Foyles’: Organising Office workers for theCongress of Industrial Organisations, 1937-50” in Ruth Milkman (ed) 1985 Women.Work and Protest: A Century of US Women’s Labour History Routledge and KeganPaul, LondonHeery, Edmund and Kelly, John 1988 “Do Female Representatives Make a Difference? WomenFull-time Officials and Trade Union Work” Work. Employment and Society Vol 2 No4 pp 487-505Herod, Andrew 1991 “Homework and the Fragmentation of Space: Challenges for the LabourMovement” Geoforum Vol 22 No 2 p 173-183Howe, A and O’Connor, K. 1982 “Travel to work and labour force participation of men andwomen in an Australian metropolitan area” Professional Geographer Vol 34 pp 50-64Hunt, Judith 1982 “A Woman’s Place is in her Union” in Jackie West (ed) Work, Women andthe Labour Market Routledge and Keegan Paul, London pp 154 -171Hunt, Pauline 1980 Gender and Class Consciousness Macmillian Press, LondonInterium Progress Report: The Impacts of Technical Change on the Hospitality Industry:Assessing Educational Needs and Testing a Training Response. Sponsored by Local 40of the Hotel, Restaurant and Culinary Employees and Bartenders Union. Funded byTechnology Impact Program; Labour Outreach Branch, Labour Canada. Feb 28 1992Jackson, Nancy 1981 “Trade Unionists and Academics: Strategies for Collaboration” Resourcesfor Feminist Research: Women and Trade Unions Vol 10 No 2 pp 6-7Jackson, Peter 1991 “The cultural politics of masculinity: towards a social geography”Transactions: Institute of British Geographers New Series 16 pp 199-213Jamieson, Natalie and Webber, Michael 1991 “Flexibility and Part-time Employment inRetailing” Labour and Industry Vol 4 No 1 March pp 55-70160John, Angela (ed) 1986 UneQual Opportunities: Women’s Employment in England 1800-19 18Basil Blackwell, New YorkJohnson, Keith 1981 “Towards an Understanding of Labour Turnover” The Service IndustriesJournal Vol 1 No 1 Feb pp 4-15Johnson, Keith 1985 “Labour Turnover in Hotels - Revisited” The Service Industries JournalVol 5 No 2 July pp 135-15 1Johnson, K. and Mignot, K. 1982 “Marketing Trade Unionism to Service Industries: AnHistorical Analysis of the Hotel Industry” Service Industries Journal Vol 3 No 2 pp 5-23Johnson, Louise C. 1990 “New Patriarchal Economies in the Australian Textile Industry”Antipode Vol 22 No 1 April pp 1-32Kessler-Harris, Alice 1985 “Problems of Coalition-Building: Women and Trade Unions in the1920s” in Ruth Milkman (ed) Women. Work and Protest: A Century of US Women’sLabour History Routledge and Kegan Paul, LondonKettler, David., Struthers, James. and Huxley, Christopher 1990 “Unionisation and LabourRegimes in Canada and the United States: Considerations for Comparative Research”Labour/Le Travail Vol 25 Spring pp 161-183Kumar, Pradeep 1993 “Collective Bargaining and Women’s Workplace Concerns” in LindaBriskin and Patricia McDermott (eds) Women Challenging Unions: Feminism.Democracy and Militancy University of Toronto Press, TorontoLabour Canada 1983 Women in the Labour Force Minister of Labour, Government of Canada.Labour Catalogue Number 1 224-1068/81BLamphere, Louise 1985 “Bringing the family to work: womens’culture on the shop floor”Feminist Studies 11 No 3 Fall pp 519-540Larkin, Jackie 1981 Resources for Feminist Research: Women and Trade Unions Vol 10 No 2p 78Larkin, Jackie 1983 “Out of the Ghettos: Affirmative Action and Unions” in Linda Briskin andLynda Yanz (eds) Union Sisters: Women in the Labour Movement The Women’s Press,TorontoLeidner, Robin 1991 “Serving Hamburgers and Selling Insurance: Gender, Work and Identityin Interactive Service Jobs” Gender and Society Vol 5 No 2 pp 154-177161Leo, Troy 1990 “Is the US Unique in the Decline of Private Sector Unionism?” Journal ofLabour Research XL: 2 SpringLipton, Charles 1972 “Canadian Unionism” in Gary Teeple (ed) Capitalism and the Nationalquestion in Canada University of Toronto Press, Toronto Lunneborg, Patricia 1990Women Changing Work Bergin and Garvey, New York p xviii. Research reported inStinson, Jane and Richmond Penni 1993 “Women Working for Unions” in Linda Briskinand Patricia McDermott (eds) Women Challenging Unions: Feminism, Democracy andMilitancy University of Toronto Press, TorontoLuxton, Meg and Corman, June 1991 “Getting to Work: The Challenge of the Women Back intoStelco Campaign” Labour/Le Travail 28 Fall pp 149-185Macfarlane, Alistair 1982 “Trade union growth, the employer and the hotel and restaurantindustry: a case study” jpdustrial Relations Journal Vol 13 No 4 Winter pp 29-43McDowell, Linda 1993 “Space, place and gender relations: Part 1. Feminist Empiricism and thegeography of social relations”Progress in Human Geography Vol 17 No 2 pp 157-179Mackinnon, Catherine A 1979 Sexual Harassment and Working Women Yale University Press,New Haven CT. Quoted in Acker, J 1990 “Hierarchies, Jobs and Bodies: A Theory ofGendered Organisations” Gender and Society 4 pp 139-58Mars, Gerald and Nicod, Michael 1984 The World of Waiters George Allen and Unwin, LondonMarshall, G 1986 “The Workplace Culture of a Licenced Restaurant” Theory, Culture andSociety Vol 3 No 1 pp 33-47Mickleburgh, Rod 1982 “Union Trio ‘Out’ in Trusteeship” The Province September 28, no pagenumberMilkman, Ruth 1985 “Women workers, feminism and the labour movement since the 1960s”in Ruth Milkman (ed) Women, Work and Protest: A Century of US Women’s LabourHistory Routledge and Kegan Paul, LondonMilkman, Ruth 1990 “Gender and Trade Unionism in Historical Perspective” in Patricia Gurinand Louise Tilly (eds) Women, Politics and Change Russell Sage Foundation, New YorkMilkman, Ruth 1993 “New Research in Women’s Labour History” Signs: Journal of Womenin Culture and Society Vol 18 No 2 pp 376-388Morgan, John 1981 The Daily Sentinal “Mystery fund probe sought” September 25, p 3162Palmer, Bryan D. 1983 Working-Class Experience: The Rise and Reconstitution of CanadianLabour 1800-1980 Butterworths, TorontoPalmer, Bryan D. 1986 Solidarity: The Rise and Faall of an Opposition in British ColumbiaNew Star Books, VancouverPanitch, Leo and Swartz, Donald 1984 “Towards Permanent Exceptionalism: Coercion andConsent in Canadian Industrial Relations” Labour! Le Travail 13 p 133-157Parr, Joy 1990 The Gender of Breadwinners: Women. Men and Change in Two IndustrialTowns 1880-1950 University of Toronto Press, TorontoPateman, Carole 1988 The Sexual Contract Polity Press, Oxford, quoted in Cockburn, Cynthia1991 In the Way of Women: Men’s Resistance to Sex Eciuality in OrganisationsMacmillian, LondonPratt, Geraldine and Hanson, Susan 1993 “Women and Work Across the Life Course: MovingBeyond Essentialism” In Cindi Katz and Janice Monk (eds) Full Circles: Geographies ofWomen over the Life Course Routledge, London and New YorkPratt, Geraldine and Hanson, Susan 1994 “Geography and the Construction of Difference”Gender, Place and Culture Vol 1 pp 5-30Pringle, Rosemary 1988 Secretaries Talk: Sexuality. Power and Work Verso, London and NewYorkPollert, Anna 1981 Girls, Wives. Factory Lives Macmillian Press, LondonRank and File Reform Committee, Local 40, 1981. Leaflet to all members, July 4. Box 31CAIMAW, University of British Columbia, Special CollectionsRitchie, Laurell 1981 “So many unorganised” Resources for Feminist Research: Women inTrade Unions Vol 10 No 2 pp 13-14Rosenthal, Star 1979 “Union Maids: Organised Women Workers in Vancocuver 1900-1979”Studies No 41 pp 36-55Sangster, Joan 1981 “Women and Unions in Canada: A Review of Historical Research”Resources for Feminist Research: Women and Trade Unions Vol 10 No 2 pp 2-6Sangster, Joan 1985 “Canadian Working Women in the Twentieth Century” in WJC Cherwinskiand Gregory S. Kealey (eds) Lectures in Canadian Labour and Working-Class HistoryCommittee on Canadian Labour History and New Hogtown Press, St John’sNewfoundland163Sayer, Andrew and Morgan, Kevin 1985 “A Modern Industry in a Declining Region: Linksbetween Method, Theory and Policy”. In Doreen Massey and Richard Meegan (eds)Politics and Method Methuen and Co, LondonScott, Joan W 1987 “On Language, Gender and Working-Class History” International Labourand Working-Class History No 31 Spring pp 1-13Stanko, Elizabeth A. 1988 “Keeping women in and out of line: sexual harassment andoccupational segregation” in Sylvia Walby (ed) Gender Segregation at Work OpenUniversity Press, Milton KeynesStevenson, Kellogg Ernst and Whinney 1989 The BC Hotel Industry Study: Executive SummaryPrepared for the Province of British Columbia and the BC and Yukon Hotel’sAssociationTentler, Leslie Woodcock 1979 Wage-Earning Women: Industrial Work and Family Life in theUnited States. 1900-1930 Oxford University Press, New York and OxfordThe Bank Book Collective 1979 An Account to Settle: The Story of the United Bank Workers(SORWUK) Press Gang Publishers, VancouverThe CAIMAW Review various issues 1978-1992The Local 40 Mixer various issues 1974-1992Thompson, Mark and Blum, Albert A. 1983 “International Unionism in Canada: The Move toLocal Control” Industrial Relations Vol 22 No 1 Winter pp 7 1-86Thompson, Syd Open letter to the membership of Local 40 BC Federation of Labour. Box 31CAIMAW, University of British Columbia, Special Collections.Tivers, Jacqueline 1985 Women Attached: The Daily Lives of Women with Young ChildrenCroom-Helm, LondonTownsend, A. 1991 “Services and Local Economic Development” Area Vol 23 No 4 pp 309-3 17Walby, Sylvia 1988 (ed) Gender Segregation at Work Open University Press, Milton KeynesWaldinger, Roger 1992 “Taking Care of the Guests: The Impact of Immigrants on Services -An Industry Case Study” .International Journal of Urban and Regional Research Vol 16No 1 pp 97-113Ward, Doug 1981 “Hotel Union’s Chief Lands in Dispute” The Vancouver Sun September 12,pH5164Ward, Doug 1982 “Four Unions Cast Eyes on Embattled Local” The Vancouver Sun October13, no page numberWard, Doug 1982a “Hotel Union Takeover Blocks Spending Probe” The Vancouver SunSeptember 28 pp A1-A2Ward, Susan E 1991 Rising to the Challenge: Organising White-Collar Workers School ofIndustrial Relations, Research Essay Series No 39. Industrial Relations Centre, Queen’sUniversity at KingstonWekerle Gerda R and Rutherford, Brent 1989 “ The mobility of capital and the immobility offemale labour: responses to economic restcring” in Jennifer Wolch and Michael Dear(eds) The Power of Geography: How Territory Shapes Social Life Unwin Hyman,BostonWestern Canadian Lodging Industry: 1988 in review 1989 “Foreign Ownership of CanadianHotels”. Laventhol and Horwath, Chartered Accountants/Management Consultants,VancouverWestwood, Sallie 1984 All day every day: Factory and family in the making of women’s livesPluto Press, LondonWhite, Julie 1980 Women and Unions Prepared for the Canadian Advisory Council on the Statusof Women. Canadian Government Publishing Centre, QuebecWhite, Julie 1993 Sisters and Solidarity: Women and Unions in Canada Thompson EducationalPublishing Inc. TorontoWierzbicki, Ann Marie 1988 Interviewed by Barbara Sanford “Union Maid” Women andEnvironments Vol 11 No 1 Fall pp 11-13Willis, Paul 1978 Learning to Labour: how working class kids get working class jobs ColumbiaUniversity Press, New YorkWood, Peter 1991 “Conceptualising the role of services in economic change” Area 23, 1pp 66-72Wood, Roy, C., 1992 Working in Hotels and Catering Routledge, New YorkYanz, Lynda and Smith, David 1983 “Women at Work in Canada” in Linda Briskin and LyndaYanz (eds) Union Sisters: Women in the Labour Movement The Women’s Press,Toronto165Zavella, Patricia 1985 “Abnormal Intimacy’: The Varying Work Networks of Chicana CanneryWorkers” Feminist Studies 11 No 3 Fall pp 54 1-557166APPENDIX 1: Persons InterviewedFrom CAIMAWJess Succamore: President! SecretaryJohn Bowman: Full-time OrganiserRoger Crowther: Regional Vice-PresidentSilvia Simpson: National Staff RepresentativeSuccamore, Bowman and Crowther were all involved with CAIMAW at the time of thestruggle (Check CAIMAW Review). Silvia Simpson is now the CAIMAW staffrepresentative for hotels. She became a member of CAIMAW when employed at SledgeLock in 1978. Towards the end of the organising drive it was suggested to Simpson that sheapply for a position that was available in the laundry at the Pacific Pallisades. RogerCrowther wanted more union activists employed in the hotels because the hospitality industrywas notorious for not being particularly active (Interview: Silvia Simpson). In 1986 Simpsonwas appointed to head the bargaining team for CAIMAW’s hotel members.From Local 40Nick Worhaug: PresidentJohn Arnold: Financial Secretary!TreasurerMarie Decaire: Director, Legal and Legislative ServicesWorhaug and Decaire were brought to the offices of Local 40 during the trusteeship to assistin the revitalisation and defense of Local 40. Worhaug was formerly associated with theInternational Woodworkers Association and had extensive experience fending off raids of thisInternational union (Interview: Nick Worhaug). Decaire has been a member of Local 40 for16 years, before 1981 as a bartender, and after then as a union official. Arnold was abusiness agent employed by Al Morgan in the early 1970s. He was the only business agentto survive the transition in leadership and the trusteeship.From Local 40 and CAIMAWDavid Matthews: Member of Rank and File Reform Committee; President of CHAWLocal 1David Matthews was a member of Local 40 in the late 1970s and early 1980s. He lead therank and file reform movement within Local 40 and supported the election of Joyce Charltonand Viola Powell. His most important involvement in the two year struggle was to approachCAIMAW for advice on how to reform Local 40 from within and when this wasunsuccessful to ask CAIMAW to sponsor a raid of the Local 40 hotels. He became Presidentof the new local struck by CAIMAW, Canadian Hotel and Associated Workers, Local 1, andconducted much of the organising in the hotels. Ironically Matthews left union organisingand activism at the end of 1984 having been displaced from both Local 40 and CAIMAW.


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