Co-Lead, Research Theme 4: Reconnecting the Disconnected: New Channels of Voice and Representation
Leeds University Business School
+44 (0)113 343 2615
  • Awarded PhD (“Managerial and mobilizing internationalism among British trade unions”) in 2012, from the University of Leeds.
  • Worker as Lecturer/Senior Lecturer at the University of Greenwich, September 2011-December 2014
  • Joined as a Lecturer then Associate Professor in the Work and Employment Relations Division at Leeds University Business School January 2015.
Research interests
  • The creation and intensification of market competition and its effects on working conditions, particular as driven by digital technologies
  • Marxist thought, particularly regarding state and class
  • Work in the cultural/creative industries
Research articles

Umney, C. (2019). Creative placemaking and the cultural projectariat: artistic work in the wake of Hull City of Culture 2017. Capital and Class (forthcoming)

Greer, I., Samaluk, B., & Umney, C. (2018). Toward a precarious projectariat? Project dynamics in Slovenian and French social services. Organization Studies (online first format)

Alberti, G., Bessa, I., Hardy, K., Trappmann, V., & Umney, C. (2018). In, against and beyond precarity: work in insecure times. Work, Employment and Society, 32(3), 447-457

Umney, C., Greer, I., Onaran, Ö., & Symon, G. (2018). The state and class discipline: European labour market policy after the financial crisis. Capital & Class, 42(2), 333-351.

Umney, C., & Coderre‐LaPalme, G. (2017). Blocked and New Frontiers for Trade Unions: Contesting ‘the Meaning of Work’in the Creative and Caring Sectors. British Journal of Industrial Relations, 55(4), 859-878.

Umney, C. (2017). Moral economy, intermediaries and intensified competition in the labour market for function musicians. Work, employment and society, 31(5), 834-850.

Umney, C. (2016). The labour market for jazz musicians in Paris and London: Formal regulation and informal norms. Human Relations, 69(3), 711-729.

Umney, C., & Kretsos, L. (2015). “That’s the Experience” Passion, Work Precarity, and Life Transitions Among London Jazz Musicians. Work and Occupations, 42(3), 313-334.

Umney, C., & Kretsos, L. (2014). Creative labour and collective interaction: the working lives of young jazz musicians in London. Work, employment and society, 28(4), 571-588.

Umney, C. (2012). Managerial and mobilizing internationalism in the British docks and seafaring sector. European Journal of Industrial Relations, 18(1), 71-87.


Umney, C. (2018). Class Matters Inequality and Exploitation in 21st Century Britain. Pluto Press (UK).

Working papers

Azzellini, Dario, Ian Greer, and Charles Umney. “Limits of the platform economy: digitalization and marketization in live music.” Hans Boeckler Foundation working paper No. 154


Forde, C., Stuart, M., Joyce, S., Oliver, L., Valizade, D., Alberti, G., … & Carson, C. (2017). The social protection of workers in the platform economy. European Parliament Think Tank, 128.

Invited guest speaker roles

‘Class, classification and the dialectics of precarity’. Invited speaker at Bristol University Management Seminar, 19th November 2019

‘Class and classification’. Opening plenary address; Association Française de Sociologie Congress 2019, Aix-en-Provence, 27th August 2019

‘Why class matters’: guest speaker in Left Book Club reading group, Common Place, London 25th June 2019

‘Class, austerity and precarity’. Invited speaker at Sheffield Institute for Policy Studies symposium, Sheffield Hallam University, 17th April 2019

‘Class theory and precarious work’. Research seminar series at Southampton Solent University, 4th June 2019

‘Eliane Glaser and Charles Umney in conversation’: event at Faversham Literary Festival, 23rd February 2019

Guest speaker at political education event, Sedgefield Constituency Labour Party, 25th January 2019

‘Charles Umney discusses “Class Matters”’, 6th December 2018, Red Haus Books, Sheffield

‘Precarious work: the class dimension’. Main speaker at Kevin McMahon Memorial Lecture, 6th November 2018, Liberty Hall Theatre, Dublin

‘Jazz and the city’. invited panellist at London Jazz Festival ‘Talks’ programme, 11th November 2016, The Barbican, London

‘Critical capacities: Media workers, labour and action’; invited panellist in CAMEo conference session on ‘Organizing and activism’; Curve theatre, Leicester, 26th July 2016

Planned Research

Policy briefing paper for ETUI on the “Leeds Online Labour Protest Map”

“Limits to platformization in live music”. Research paper currently under submission at a journal following “Revise and Resubmit” recommendation.