Trade Unions and Work-Life Rights: The Challenge of Work-Life Interface in a Union Environment


The issue of work-life rights is increasingly present in trade unions, who advocate for improved working conditions and living standards of workers. Indeed, unions have adopted numerous resolutions on the subject of work-family balance over the years and they have been negotiating with companies and public organizations in this field, and started to look at the situation within their own organization. However, while unions have negotiated work-life rights for their members, this appears to apply more to the workplaces unions represent than to unions themselves, as employers, and the situation of their own employees. Our research shows that a culture of long hours and strong commitment to the cause sometimes makes it difficult to balance work and family for union employees. Also, the younger generation appears to question the culture of long hours as a signal for performance.

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  1. 1.

    The numbers in parenthesis refer to the interviewees, in Table 1.

  2. 2.

    Numbers refer to the respondents presented in Table 1.


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Correspondence to Diane-Gabrielle Tremblay.

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Tremblay, D. Trade Unions and Work-Life Rights: The Challenge of Work-Life Interface in a Union Environment. Employ Respons Rights J 28, 171–187 (2016).

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  • Work-life
  • Work-family
  • Unions
  • Work-family balance
  • Work-life balance
  • Performance
  • Working hours
  • Work culture
  • Union staff
  • Union employees