Trade Unions

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Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Attorney-General George Brandis announce the findings of the trade union royal commission in December 2015. AAP/Mick Tsikas

Sorting the gems from the dung in the royal commission on union corruption

Unions may well feel justifiably aggrieved by the findings – and impact – of the trade union royal commission, but there are nonetheless lessons to be learnt from them.
ACTU president Ged Kearney is one of the 38.5% of Australian union secretaries who is female. AAP

Why wooing women is the way forward for trade unions

Female workers are now more highly unionised than their male colleagues, but unions still have a long way to go to reflect that shift.
Regardless of the channels through which it is done, most employees want to have a say in how their workplaces are run. Shutterstock

They’re the voice: how workers can be heard when unions are on the wane

Even though union membership has dropped to just 15%, unions still have an important role to play in ensuring that workers have meaningful input into how their workplaces are run.
The government argues its industrial relations bills are necessary to deal with widespread corruption uncovered by the trade union royal commission. AAP/Joel Carrett

Explainer: what are the ABCC and Registered Organisations bills?

To what extent would the ABCC and Registered Organisations bills actually deal with union corruption or criminality if passed?
Bill Shorten will on Monday announce a number of proposals aimed at stamping out union corruption. Tracey Nearmy/AAP

Shorten pledges to mobilise ASIC against union corruption

Tougher penalties and a central role for the Australian Securities and Investments Commission are key parts of Labor's policy to crack down on union corruption.
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?

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