Members of our Warehouse Sector Dialogue group used the phrase “job ownership” in two distinct but related ways. More practically, job ownership was discussed in the sense of a clear job classification and description, as a contrast to many employers’ demand for a flexible and “on demand” workforce. Workers described the need for a fair process to determine what jobs were appropriate for which worker, based on seniority, skills required, development and training, and other factors.
At the same time, on a more conceptual level, job ownership also refers to the self-identification of workers as workers in a particular role. On this level, job ownership involves ideas of pride in their work, and a recognition of their own knowledge and experience in a particular job. A member of the Warehouse Sector Dialogue group contrasted this idea with the employer’s tendency to see them as bodies or robots to be commanded at will.