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Trade unions, workers' rights and the 'frontier of control' in UK call centres

Taylor, P. and Bain, P.M. (2001) Trade unions, workers' rights and the 'frontier of control' in UK call centres. Economic and Industrial Democracy, 22 (1). pp. 39-66. ISSN 0143-831X

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Abstract

In developing a model of call centre diversity, spanning the dimensions of quantity and quality, the article develops a critique of aspects of Frenkel et al.'s recent study of 'front line' work. Drawing upon employee survey and interview data from six UK financial sector call centres, patterns of resistance and the contrasting responses of trade unions to the experience of intensive working conditions are examined. It is argued, in conclusion, that the newly established managerial 'frontiers of control'require to be combated by new union bargaining agendas which seek to address employees'concerns at the point of production.