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Analysis and Comment (16)

David Cameron: taking a hard line on trade union action. David Cameron: taking a hard line on trade union action. Andrew Winning/PA Wire

Cameron’s new strike laws are more radical than Margaret Thatcher’s

The Tory manifesto pledge to change the law on strike ballots are more radical than any of those introduced by Margaret Thatcher. If the government is re-elected and the proposals become law, industrial…
The unions may be delaying the inevitable. The unions may be delaying the inevitable. EPA

Unions are angry over East Coast rail – but are they right?

The east coast main line is to be reprivatised, and the unions aren’t happy. The three rail unions, RMT, Aslef and the TSSA have asked for a judicial review into the process, and have also questioned the…
Members were among ‘few working class people who have still got well paid jobs’. Members were among ‘few working class people who have still got well paid jobs’. Lewis Whyld/PA

‘A fighter and a man of character’: Bob Crow dead at 52

Bob Crow, the pugnacious General Secretary of the Rail Maritime and Transport Workers Union (RMT), has died at the age of 52 after suffering an aneurysm and a massive heart attack. His passing has brought…
Outsourced workers take things into their own hands. Outsourced workers take things into their own hands. 3Cosas

3Cosas campaign shows migrant workers how to get organised

Trade unions are having to adapt to a new world. The spread of “subcontracted capitalism” across both the private and public sectors has made it increasingly hard to organise workers and win union recognition…
TUC conference is key moment for Ed Miliband. TUC conference is key moment for Ed Miliband. Sean Dempsey/PA

Miliband sweats in the autumn of Labour’s discontent

This September will be one that Ed Miliband will probably want to forget. He must be dreading the inevitable mauling he will get from the union delegates at the Labour Party Conference in Brighton at the…
Sparks will fly between government and the unions if Royal Mail is sold off. Sparks will fly between government and the unions if Royal Mail is sold off. Andrew Milligan/PA

Unions prepare for battle over Royal Mail’s future

Union opposition to the Royal Mail sell-off comes as no surprise to any of us. Postmen and women are well known within the public sector for their militancy. But their response must be careful; both the…
Hard words: is Ed Miliband biting the hand that feeds the Labour Party? Hard words: is Ed Miliband biting the hand that feeds the Labour Party? PA Wire

Miliband and Labour must reconnect with working class

Ed Miliband’s plan to reform Labour relationship with the union movement has its origins much deeper than the recent Falkirk debacle. Of course, Unite in Falkirk West and 40 other constituency Labour parties…
Someone bring me Tom Watson’s head … Someone bring me Tom Watson’s head … PA

Falkirk saga carries serious threat to Miliband leadership

It appears the spectre of Falkirk will not go away for Ed Miliband. Despite claiming he has acted decisively by suspending the selection process, Miliband has failed to publish the Labour report about…
In the aftermath of the Bangladesh factory disaster, questions have been raised about the accountability of governments and retailers in protecting workers' rights. In the aftermath of the Bangladesh factory disaster, questions have been raised about the accountability of governments and retailers in protecting workers' rights. AAP

Global laws needed to safeguard rights of factory workers

It’s been almost a month since the collapse of the Rana Plaza garment factory in Bangladesh, resulting in the deaths of 1100 garment workers. Some significant responses from business and governments have…
Foxconn will hold its first-ever democratic labour union election but freedom of association in China remains limited. Foxconn will hold its first-ever democratic labour union election but freedom of association in China remains limited. AAP Pictures

Foxconn’s labour union elections put Chinese workers' rights under the spotlight

Apple’s China-based contractor, Foxconn, is following a trend of increasing unionisation at transnational corporations in China by holding its first-ever democratic labour union elections. As reported…
This election year, taxation, industrial relations and red tape will feature prominently on the business community’s agenda. This election year, taxation, industrial relations and red tape will feature prominently on the business community’s agenda. AAP

This election year, business will push for a triumph of policy over paralysis

The business community was effectively sidelined at the last federal election, and they felt somewhat miffed about it. Business associations were caught flat-footed at the suddenness of Julia Gillard’s…
Former Premier Geoff Gallop helped reform the Western Australian Labor Party. But can it be done federally? Former Premier Geoff Gallop helped reform the Western Australian Labor Party. But can it be done federally? AAP/Alan Porritt

Gallop: ALP reform is a must for social democracy

There are always two challenges that face a political party operating in a democratic system such as ours – public trust and public policy. When I was elected leader of the Western Australian Parliamentary…
Prime Minister Julia Gillard answered questions about the AWU affair at a press conference yesterday. Prime Minister Julia Gillard answered questions about the AWU affair at a press conference yesterday. AAP/Alan Porrit

What went wrong with the AWU?

The recent drama about Julia Gillard’s activities on behalf of one faction of the Australian Workers’ Union back in the early 1990s is another chapter in the long story of money in Australian unions. Parliament…