Gender, Work & Organisation

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Volume 26 Issue 5 (June 2019), Pages 593-764

Sisters (can’t) unite! Wages as macro‐political and the gendered power orders of corporatism (pages 633-649)

In addition to political parties and the government, trade union confederations and employer organizations are major power players in the Finnish labour market, policymaking and the wider society. This article analyses the significant role of the Finnish corporatist regime in creating and maintaining the gendered hierarchies of the labour market, including the gender pay gap. Using the case of the Finnish nurses’ industrial action in 2007, our analysis highlights the capacity of the corporatist regime to resist change in current wage relativities and effectively block attempts made to challenge the status quo. This article describes how wages are macro‐political, shaped by political processes, negotiations, power relations and vested interests of central stakeholders within the Finnish corporatist regime. The analysis focuses on the problem representations through which the actors articulate either their attempt to increase wages or to maintain the status quo, which makes their vested interests, as well as politics, visible.

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