Power at Work: Rebuilding the Australian Union Movement

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Federation Press, 2005 - Industrial relations - 306 pages
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For the past 100 years, Australian unions have played a key role in protecting and improving the wages and working conditions of Australian employees. Now, membership is collapsing and the union movement is under unprecedented political attack. How can it rebuild itself so as to play its role in the modern deregulated, globalised world?In Power at Work, Michael Crosby documents the crisis facing the union movement and focusses on the central role of organising workplaces and industries in an evidence-based plan for renewal. He proposes an agenda which is hardheaded, practical and achievable, one based on the recent experiences of successful unions - unions where the membership numbers are going up.Crosby uses examples, analysis and interviews to map out a path for action which will restore a fairer balance of power in Australian workplaces. He is the former Federal Secretary of Actors Equity and Director of the ACTU Organising Centre, and now works for the Service Employees International Union.
 

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Contents

Introduction l
1
Making sense of our situation
9
Australian unions what is the problem?
11
What the hell happened to us?
24
Why are unions in Australia the way they are?
31
What kind of unions are we?
49
Rethinking unionism
61
LHMU South Australia
63
Organising new members the role of external or growth organisers
139
The role of the industrial officer
163
Union education
166
National offices
174
Financing change
181
Finding additional resources to win
197
Our strategy towards employers
207
Managing the employer relationship
215

Defining unionism that works
75
Organising and leadership
87
Strategic choice
99
Rebuilding organisational capacity
103
Doing the unions work differently
105
Member service centres
116
Splitting the organiser workforce
125
Organising existing members
129
The need for scale in organising
228
Doing politics differently
241
The closed shop and the future
256
Leadership
263
Women in leadership
279
Conclusion
285
Bibliography
294
Copyright

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