It looks like the IR nut-jobs in the Coalition are refining their political strategy to keep working people down. Peter Reith has called for a broad-based inquiry into union behaviour and governance. The IR nut-jobs have clearly learned from the WorkChoices but it was clearly not the message that a majority of Australians were attempting to teach (you know the one about taking rights at work seriously). Instead, the idea is to use an inquiry of some description such as a Royal Commission to fundamentally weaken the independent organising capacity of the union movement. All with the added sweetener of ensuring complete corporate dominance of the hundreds of billions of dollars of workers’ capital in industry superannuation funds. Continue reading
Tag Archives: representative unionism
The #Walmartstrike on Black Friday was an historic moment for the global labour movement. It represents the public coming out of the synthesis of occupy direct action tactics and sustainable union structures to produce a direct unionism that has the capacity to overturn corporate hegemony.
Corporate USA, especially in the retail sector, had an extremely effective strategy for ensuring their underpaid staff don’t come together in a representative union structure. This anti-union induction video for Walmart competitor, Target, is a striking example of the strategy:
There has been a qualitative shift in the employment relationship over the last 30 years that has placed severe pressure on the representative Union structure. Colloquially, this is known as the disappearance of the job for life. Like most instances of remembering historical relationships the notion of the job for life, is based on a combination of mythologising the past and the real life collective experience of the Australian working class. Continue reading
The membership is the Union, and the Union is the membership. This is why membership is usually one of the goals of initial conversations between workers, delegates and organisers looking to create a new Union in a workplace or industry – membership is the existential question that sets up the realistic structures necessary to fight for a group of workers’ key issues. It is the vehicle which creates the power necessary to win the change they want to see. The union is simply the collective pronoun for a group of workers united in their economic, political, social and environmental interests. Continue reading