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Chinese workers are often aided by NGOs and usually receive little to no help from the main Chinese trade union. EPA/ALEX HOFFORD

China’s growing labour movement offers hope for workers globally

The growing labour movement in China, as fragmented and repressed as it is, offers hope for workers everywhere as an example of organising against incredible odds.
A still from a NSW election ad, run on television and online, which says “selling the electricity network is wrong; selling it to another country is just not on”. CFMEU Mining/YouTube

Playing the China card may win votes, but it’s bad for Australia

Labor and the unions have decided to play the China card in the NSW election. Such scare campaigns ignore the facts, including that Australia has invested almost as much in China as China has here.
In the countdown to the March 28 New South Wales election, social media is a key battleground for persuading swinging voters. @lyon_brendan/Twitter

The marketing battle for NSW hearts and minds on privatisation

Given the history on privatisation in NSW, and facing a more emotionally powerful campaign, the Baird government is actually doing pretty well to be closing in on polling day in a winning position.
Asked about what he would consider a good result at the upcoming state election, Mike Baird joked he’d be happy with a win. AAP/Dan Himbrechts

In Conversation with Mike Baird: full transcript

'I would be incredibly disappointed, I can’t tell you how disappointed I’d be, if I didn’t have the opportunity to continue beyond March ... [these are] some of the most exciting times in politics'.
The WorkChoices campaign was a rare and important success for the Australian union movement, but can it build on this success of eight years ago? Author provided

Unions: part of the solution, or part of the problem?

Unions were once integral to working life but their influence has been severely eroded. Can they regain their relevance?
The Labor Party that Bill Shorten leads is much more professionalised in its MP make-up than its earlier incarnations. AAP/Tracey Nearmy

Class warfare: would Shorten pass the test that Ed Miliband failed?

For British Labour leader Ed Miliband, defeat was yet again snatched from the jaws of victory. With the UK general election less than six months away, the recent Rochester and Strood by-election was a…
The problem confronting Labor and federal leader Bill Shorten is not so much the ties with unions as the centralisation of power in the party and a handful of affiliated unions. AAP/Lukas Coch

Labor will be making a mistake if it simply divorces the unions

Proposed reforms in the Australian Labor Party aim to give members a greater voice in party governance and policy development. This is driven by the need to reverse the party’s shrinking support base after…
Bill Shorten’s objective of an ‘inclusive’ Labor Party is hard to argue against in theory, but achieving it in practice is likely to prove fraught. AAP/Julian Smith

Shorten, the unions and the challenge of Labor Party reform

Federal Labor leader Bill Shorten has outlined his vision for a rejuvenated Labor Party. His speech earlier this week was a call to arms for the reform of federal Labor’s organisational rules. While Shorten’s…
The Australian Labor Party is constantly faced with an expectation to be true to traditional ‘Labor values’ but to then adapt them to a changing Australia. AAP/Daniel Munoz

Identity crisis: who does the Australian Labor Party represent?

In the wake of the ALP’s poor result in the recent Western Australia Senate election, The Conversation is publishing a series of articles looking at the party’s brand, organisation and future prospects…
British Labour Party leader Ed Miliband has embarked on sweeping internal reform of his party. Should his Australian counterpart Bill Shorten follow suit? EPA/Andy Rain

Whither the unions? What Shorten can learn from UK Labour

In the wake of the ALP’s poor result in the recent Western Australia Senate election, The Conversation is publishing a series of articles looking at the party’s brand, organisation and future prospects…
The only likely beneficiaries of a union-Labor split may be trade unionists. AAP

Why ending union ties would change little for Labor

In the wake of the ALP’s poor result in the recent Western Australia Senate election, The Conversation is publishing a series of articles looking at the party’s brand, organisation and future prospects…
Factional dealings saw Labor senator Louise Pratt demoted in favour of conservative union heavyweight Joe Bullock in the ALP’s WA Senate ticket. AAP/Alan Porritt

The ALP becomes its own worst enemy in WA Senate shambles

The only surprising factor in the stories regarding Joe Bullock, who held the number one position on the ALP Senate ticket at Saturday’s Western Australian Senate byelection, was that they took so long…

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