In November 2008 Work and Organisational Studies and workSite magazine organised a conference to consider the issues confronting the trade union movement today. The conference featured papers on a range of issues, including organising strategies; union structures and values; non-union forms of employee representation; the impact of federal Labor workplace relations policy and a special session on ‘Women and Unions after WorkChoices'.

Union Leaders
A key panel discussion addressed the question of ‘Rebuilding Union Strength', led by union leaders Mark Lennon (Secretary Unions NSW), Louise Tarrant (National Secretary, Liquor, Hospitality and Miscellanous Union), and Paul Howes (National Secretary, Australian Workers Union).

Book Launch
The conference also featured the launch of Tom Bramble's major new history Trade Unionism in Australia, published by Cambridge University Press 2008.

Conference program:
(Download a pdf copy of the program here)

9.00-9.30: Registration

Session One: Union Responses to Neo-Liberalism
9.30-9.40: Welcome and Introduction from Dr. Harry Knowles, Work and Organisational Studies, University of Sydney and co-editor of Worksite.

9.40-10.00: 'A New Politics? Unions NSW and the Your Rights at Work
Campaign, 2004-2007', Bradon Ellem, Work and Organisational Studies.

10.00-10.20: 'From Penal Powers to WorkChoices: Union Strategies to
Defeat Anti-Union Laws', Tom Bramble, School of Business, University of
Queensland & Diane Fieldes, School of Organisation & Management,
University of NSW.

10.20–10.40: ‘The Struggle for Existence: Trade Union Organisation in an Enterprise Culture', Mark Hearn, Department of Modern History, Macquarie University.

10.40-11.00: discussion

11.00-11.30: Morning Tea

Session Two: Rebuilding Union Strength
11.30-12.30: Panel Discussion chaired by Professor Russell Lansbury, Work and Organisational Studies, and including contributions from Mark Lennon (A/g Secretary, Unions NSW), Louise Tarrant (National Secretary, Liquor, Hospitality and Miscellanous Union), and Paul Howes (National Secretary, Australian Workers Union).

12.30-1.30: Lunch and Book Launch, Tom Bramble, Trade Unionism in Australia, Cambridge University Press, launched by Professor Russell Lansbury, Work and Organisational Studies.

Session Three: Women and Unions after WorkChoices
1.30-1.50: ‘Women and Work after Work Choices: What Now?', Marian Baird, Work and Organisational Studies.

1.50-2.10: 'Union leadership after WorkChoices: Women and men 'working for the union', Rae Cooper, Work and Organisational Studies.

2.10-2.30: discussion

Session Four: New Representations of Unionism
2.30–2.50: ‘Daggy Shirts, Daggy Slogans? Union Orientations Towards Young People', Janis Bailey, Department of Employment Relations, Griffith University, & Lin Esders & Robin Price, School of Management, Queensland University of Technology.

2.50–3.10: ‘Where's the purple cow? A marketing perspective on union membership decline', Trevor Cook, Department of Government, University of Sydney.

3.10 – 3.30: discussion

3.30-4: Afternoon Tea

Session Five: New forms of Union Structure and Organisation
4-4.20: ‘The impact of Australian Statutory Labour Law on trade union structure: Retrospect and Prospect' Kerrie Saville, School of Management and Marketing, Deakin University.

4.20–4.40: ‘Non-union Collective Bargaining – Lessons from the North American Experience, 1915-1945', Greg Patmore, Work and Organisational Studies.

4.40–5: ‘Organising in a era of perpetual restructuring', Mark Westcott, Work and Organisational Studies.

5–5.30: discussion and close.

Conference Convenors:
Mark Hearn Macquarie University
Harry Knowles University of Sydney

Published 29 September 2008

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