Workplace voting, between a relationship to trade unionism and a relationship to the profession and the institution: The case of French public sector teachers

By Tristan Haute

In France, abstention in workplace elections is high and rising, even among primary and secondary school teachers—a profession with a high level of commitment, mobilization, and trade unionism. Using the methods and approaches developed in electoral sociology, and based on new data from a quantitative survey, this article aims to shed light on this paradox, showing that, for teachers, workplace voting is a form of participation influenced both by their relationship to trade unionism and by their relationship to their profession and the school in which they work. Although workplace voting is strongly linked to other participation—and union-related behaviors, our analysis reveals that it is determined more by the teacher’s degree of professional integration than by their union membership or awareness.Moreover, the different motivations for abstention are associated with different socioprofessional profiles. On the one hand, there are non-voters “by choice,” who are very distant from trade unionism. On the other, there are non-voters “by omission,” who are very poorly integrated into the teaching profession. The existence of this latter group poses the question of a social disembeddedness of workplace voting following the implementation of e-voting.

  • teacher
  • workplace voting
  • participation and citizenship in the workplace
  • heavy variants
  • trade unionism
  • industrial relations
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