demarcation line

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Related to demarcation: demarcation line, Demarcation point, Demarcation problem

demarcation line

the boundary between those tasks workers are permitted to do and those which they are not, as established by their TRADE UNION or by themselves collectively. Characteristically, demarcation lines develop in workplaces where there are several unions representing different occupational groups: their function is to establish which unions' members can work on which job, and hence to ensure that the unions do not damage each others' interests. They are usually policed by SHOP STEWARDS. Demarcation lines have been criticized for their potentially damaging impact on efficiency and LABOUR FLEXIBILITY, especially where tasks either side of the line are very similar. See RESTRICTIVE LABOUR PRACTICE.