Labor in Brussels' hotel and catering industry

Labor, labor relations and identity in the Brussels hotel and catering industry, 1910-1940 (preliminary title).

Glenn Steenhouwer

The history of everyday life on the shopfloor, and especially as far as the hotel and catering business is concerned, remains a neglected field of research. This research project investigates exactly this topic, focusing on Brussels in the beginning of the twentieth century. It examines the daily practices, as well as the implicit and explicit rules that were fundamental to the functioning of the sector. Different kinds of sources will be used: reconciliation files, letters and verdicts that can all be found in the archives of the 'werkrechtersraden'. This will be combined with archival records produced by the trade unions and with ego documents. This should shed some light on the intransparent statutes of staff and on labor relations within this specific sector. Finally, this research project wonders about the (construction of the) labour identies within the hotel and catering business.