Revistes Catalanes amb Accés Obert (RACO)

Quality of Employment: Strategies and Interpretations of Spanish Employers and Trade Unions

María Arnal, Carlos Prieto, María Caprile


This article examines the different discourses of trade unions and employers on quality of employment in Spain. The study takes a qualitative approach, using discussion groups to obtain discursive information about the meanings of quality, assessments and the different strategies employed by social agents. Trade unions use the ‘quality discourse’ as a reason to examine and reconstruct their current role, extending their main concerns and paradigms from those which defend workers’ interests to those which consolidate their criticism of a reprehensible Spanish employer class. Employers’ discourse, on the other hand, is aimed at highlighting the market’s productive purpose, and sustaining their privileged position in labour management, whilst disassociating and distancing themselves from the employment decisions they make.

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