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Do Unions Have Any Kind of Future In Australia - Essay Example

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During the first week of April, a four member trade union delegation from Australia attended the ECOSOC meeting in New York to fix the agenda for the high-level segment meeting of ECOSOC to be held from the 3rd to the 5th of July this year. Both these meetings will revolve around the theme "Creating an environment at the national and international levels conducive to generating full and productive employment and decent work for all, and its impact on sustainable development"…
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Do Unions Have Any Kind of Future In Australia
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Download file to see previous pages This will be the time to forge a global partnership between developing global partnership between developed and developing countries to ensure that employment growth policies are put in place to put an end to the scourge of our times - increasing unemployment, poverty and inequality' - said ICFTU President Sharan Burrow.
The major corporations of the world are hopping around the world seeking the lowest cost worker. The ITES has meant that the developed world will lose more employment opportunities to developing countries where wages are cheap and working conditions can be stringent. The west and the rest of the developed world already troubled with rising unemployment will see a worse future. The 'global workforce' if at all one arises will require more such meetings and negotiations to make things happen - for a better tomorrow.
The Unions around the world have emphasised on the need for collective bargaining. They are primarily composed of skilled and semi-skilled workers. But membership figures vary widely with the industry in question. The problem has particularly plagued Australia in sectors such as health because a large number of health workers from the commonwealth countries are present in these sectors. But what do unions do
Changes in the structure and nature of work
The Unions seek changes in the structure of work so that the work is less monotonous and comfortable to the worker. Further the unions make sure that the working conditions are also ideal.
Unions form and people flock to join them for many reasons. They feel that their grievances will be redressed by the collective bargaining power of the unions. Some members also enrol for ideological issues such as the socialist cause and the anti-capitalism campaign. The Webbs defines that unions arose when the great bulk of workers had ceased to be independent producers, themselves controlling the processes, and owning the materials and the product of their labour, and had passed into the condition of life-long wage-earners, possessing neither the instruments of production nor the commodity in its finished state (Webbs, 1920: 25).
In the 1920's Perlman stated thatTrade unionism, which is essentially pragmatic, struggles constantly, not only against the employers for an enlarged opportunity measured in income, security, and liberty in the shop and industry, but struggles also, whether consciously or unconsciously, actively or merely passively, against the intellectual who would frame its programs and shape its policies (1928: 5).
Allan Flander says of Unions that 'The first and over-riding responsibility of all trade unions is to the welfare of their own members. That is their primary commitment; not to a firm, not to an industry, not to the nation. A union collects its members' contributions and demands their loyalty specifically for the purpose of protecting their interests as they see them, not their alleged 'true' or 'best' interests as ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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