Monday, 18 March 2013

The degradation of work and the end of the skilled emotion worker at Aer Lingus: is it all trolley dollies now?

an article by Caitriona Curley and Tony Royle (National University of Ireland Galway) published in Work Employment & Society Volume 27 Number 1 (February 2013)


The article focuses on emotional labour and self-identity at the Irish-owned Aer Lingus airline from 1998 to 2008.

It has been suggested that emotional labour is likely to be an increasingly important feature of front-line service jobs. However, in this case management has reduced the level of emotional labour requirement while work organisation, recruitment policy and training have changed to focus on sales and lower labour costs, intensifying workloads and reducing cabin crew autonomy.

Although some may suggest that a reduction in emotional labour requirement would be a positive outcome for employees, this is not how it has been perceived by some cabin crew. Long-serving cabin crew in particular see these changes as an attack on their professionalism and a challenge to their identity as skilled emotion workers.

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