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Employee relations in the non-union hotel industry: a case of 'determined opportunism'?

Head, Jeremy and Lucas, Rosemary E. (2004) Employee relations in the non-union hotel industry: a case of 'determined opportunism'? Personnel review, 33 (6). 693-710.. ISSN 0048-3486

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Abstract

This paper examines employee relations management in a non-union sector, showing how employers in the hotel industry remain relatively free to manage in an arbitrary and determined fashion, in spite of an increasingly wide net of statutory employee rights. These management practices are effected in the way the workforce is structured, and in the differential treatment of workers in the same organisation. Notably “peripheral” unskilled workers, which are in the majority, are subjected to a more “hard” form of human resource management and are made more vulnerable from lack of eligibility to employment protection rights. Employers are not constrained from dismissing workers and fail to comply with many minimum legal requirements or observe the law in spirit. “Determined opportunism” represents an extreme instance of a “retaining control/cost-control” style of management.

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