The fictitious commodity

Cumbers, A. (2007) The fictitious commodity. Variant, 28, pp. 16-18.

Full text not currently available from Enlighten.

Publisher's URL:


Comparing different experiences of the North Sea oil industry, from the perspectives of so called 'deviant' trade unionists in the UK and Norway, Andy Cumbers considers the diminishing returns of larger bureaucratized trade unions who, like the employers, regard labour as a commodity. Focusing on individual cases, this article highlights the Norwegian cases where divers were betrayed by trade unions which colluded with false safety standards. Yet discussions at the SAFE union in Stavanger, that are reported here, suggest that Scandinavia's history of militancy, and a more honest trade unionism, is not yet over. Organisations like SAFE, and their sister union OILC in the UK, are rightly proud of their achievements, but their greatest challenges lie ahead in integrating immediate needs of their members with the broader issues facing society.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Cumbers, Professor Andrew
Authors: Cumbers, A.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > Adam Smith Business School > Management
Journal Name:Variant

University Staff: Request a correction | Enlighten Editors: Update this record