Trade Unions

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Bill Shorten’s strong ties to the union movement are problematic for his credibility as alternative prime minister. AAP/Lukas Coch

Bill Shorten needs to demonstrate independence from the unions

Bill Shorten can heave a sigh of relief at the statement from the royal commission into union corruption that he didn’t do anything illegal in the activities it examined in his Australian Workers' Union…
South Africa is far from being the non-racial, classless society envisaged by 1970s activists. Reuters/Alessandro Bianchi

How the failed ideals of 1970s activists haunt post-apartheid South Africa

The egalitarian society envisioned by political activists and thinkers Rick Turner and Steve Biko has not been realised. But, they continue to inspire critiques of post-apartheid South Africa.
The Global South is engineering new anti-poverty strategies, leaving traditional left analysts in a quandry. Reuters/Nacho Doce

The study of inequality has been mainstreamed – what now for the left?

Could the surge of worker and popular resistance worldwide provide the global trade union movement with an opportunity to take the lead in developing a broad coalition of social forces?
Dockworkers in Australia, pictured here alongside other trade union members in a march through central Melbourne, acted in solidarity with South African workers in the 1980s. Reuters

Lessons that can be learnt from dockworkers who helped bring apartheid to its knees

The Anti-Apartheid Movement reminds us that ordinary people can make a difference in the fight for workers’ rights, even halfway across the planet.
The South African government should consider other options to raise revenue instead of the proposed increase in VAT. shutterstock

OECD survey strengthens case against VAT increase in South Africa

South Africa's left wing trade unions may have found an unlikely ally in their objection to the proposed VAT hike. The OECD says there are other options South Africa could consider to raise revenue.
Labor has long had leaders, such as former prime minister Paul Keating, capable of speaking the language of Anzac. AAP/Alan Porritt

A legend with class: labour and Anzac

There is a complicated story involving the Anzac legend and the left between the 1920s and the 1960s which historians have barely begun to untangle.
Groups like Stonewall have become big players in the workplace. Linzi

How activist groups became a force in workplace relations

A key event in the British employment calendar is the publication of the Workplace Equality Index each January. It is a ranking of the top-100 “gay-friendly” employers by Stonewall, the UK’s main campaigning…

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