“Labour Activists Always Find a Way:” Social Reproductive Unions and their Social Unionism During the COVID-19 PandemicPublic Deposited
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How are workers organizing to retain long-term care as a public service and what have been key opportunities and challenges in organizing? How has organization around public ownership of long-term care been influenced by the COVID-19 Pandemic? This thesis contributes to these questions by examining long-term care sector union activities in Manitoba. I draw on Feminist Political Economy to consider how social, economic, and political factors shape gender and race-based inequalities, and Social Unionism, to understand union engagement with social justice issues affecting union members and communities. I employ four qualitative methods: a literature review; semi-structured interviews; social media analysis; and digital ethnography. Findings show unions constructed collective action frames which identified the diagnoses (problems) of for-profit care, privatization, and lack of care standards. Mental health support, a seniors advocate, ending for-profit care and national care standards were prognoses (solutions). The repertoire (strategies) included union-community coalitions, political lobbying and mobilizations.
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