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Mobilizing within and beyond the Labor Union: A Case of Precarious Workers’ Collective Actions in North Africa

Han, Saerom (2023) 'Mobilizing within and beyond the Labor Union: A Case of Precarious Workers’ Collective Actions in North Africa.', ILR review. .


Drawing on a qualitative analysis of a group of mobilized precarious workers in Tunisia’s public sector, the author asks how workers’ collective actions are shaped by and, at the same time, can act upon labor unions’ responses to them. Findings suggest that unions can enable and simultaneously constrain precarious workers’ collective actions. More important, workers learn from their interactions with the union, and this learning process can contribute to innovations in workers’ mobilizing structure and repertoire of actions. The Tunisian case contributes to the debate on the relationship between precarious workers and institutionalized actors as well as to the study of mobilized precarious workers by elucidating the ways in which the workers’ embedded and innovative agency plays out within and beyond a well-established labor union.

Item Type:Article
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Publisher statement:This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License ( which permits any use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access page (
Date accepted:07 September 2022
Date deposited:25 January 2023
Date of first online publication:03 January 2023
Date first made open access:25 January 2023

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