Why Workers Mobilize: Working Conditions and Activism Attitudes

Working Paper

Published By

CDDRL Working Papers

January 2009

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Various forms of sabotage and corruption that stem from workers' inability to voice their discontent at perceived injustices any other way have cost the Soviet and post- Soviet societies dearly. Under what circumstances are workers ready to take overt action against perceived injustices against themselves and the interests of their colleagues?

Using ordered logistic regression models and People's Security Survey data from a 2004 national sample from Ukraine, this paper argues that different forms of socio-economic security significantly increase the readiness of workers to take action if faced with grievances. Our findings add to the body of literature on mobilization in several ways. First, they contribute to the social movement literature on Post-Soviet countries by focusing on Ukraine.

They also enrich the social movement literature by the concept of security or the perception of resources across time. Furthermore, our models translate largely macro-level concepts, such as the political opportunity structure, to the microlevel of an individual's attitudes as they relate to their work life. Finally, our results provide limited support for the older grievance theory in the social movement literature: grievance is not the most influential factor, yet it remains significant.

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