CEU eTD Collection (2020); Turai, Eszter Korinna: Transforming Labor Relations at the Hungarian Post

CEU Electronic Theses and Dissertations, 2020
Author Turai, Eszter Korinna
Title Transforming Labor Relations at the Hungarian Post
Summary From the 1990s national postal companies have gone through gradual transformations, as the demand for their traditional functions has declined and the future of posts as we knew them got questioned. The Hungarian Post tries to adjust itself to the changing environment as well by diversifying products and restructuring the operation of the company in alignment with market logic. In my thesis I showed how this process is experienced by mail carriers, whose occupation has radically changed along with the transformation of the postal sector. Based on interviews with the workers, I identified the main tensions in the transformation of the Post, during which process public sector functions clash with marketization. Analysing the labor regime of the company, I found that the burdens of this contradictory process are to a large extent pushed to the workers by the management, which tries to squeeze out more and more from them in the name of efficiency. While in the 1990s mail carrying was a secure, well-paid, autonomous, prestigious and not too demanding job, these characteristics have been eroded. Analysing mail carriers’ relationships with the clients, I argue that mail carriers’ social networks with clients and informal activities provides unexpected emotional rewards and non-alienated work practices contributing to the labor regime of their formal work. The degradation of the occupation is entangled with the erosion of this informal realm.
Supervisor Zentai, Violetta; Cucu, Alina
Department Sociology MA
Full texthttps://www.etd.ceu.edu/2020/turai_eszter.pdf

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