This contribution to On The Frontline records a dialogue between two female Fire Brigades Union (FBU) representatives in the Essex Emergency Control Room who led industrial action over the imposition of a shift system that stretched their work-life balance to breaking point and constrained their ability to work full-time. Their testimony reveals how male members were mobilised in the interests of predominantly female control staff. Kate and Lynne’s discussion illuminates the interaction of gender and class interests and identities in the union and in the lives of its women members. It provides insight into the efficacy of trade unions for women’s collective action.
- industrial action
- trade unions
- work life balance
Hudson, L., Moore, S., Tainsh, K., Taylor, P., & Wright, T. (2017). 'The only way is Essex': gender, union and mobilisation among fire service control room staff. Work, Employment and Society. https://doi.org/10.1177/0950017017728613