Ageing Australian unions and the ‘youth problem’

Peetz, David R., Price, Robin A., & Bailey, Janis (2015) Ageing Australian unions and the ‘youth problem’. In Hooder, Andy & Kretsos, Lefteris (Eds.) Young Workers and Trade Unions: A Global View. Palgrave MacMillan, Basingstoke, pp. 54-70.

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Abstract

Trade union membership, both in aggregate numbers and in density, has declined in the majority of advanced economies globally over recent decades (Blanchflower, 2007). In Australia, the decline in the 1990s was somewhat more precipitate than in most countries (Peetz, 1998). As discussed in Chapter 1, reasons for the decline are multifactorial, including a more hostile environment to unionism created by employers and the state, difficulties ·with workplace union organisation, and structural change in the economy (Bryson and Gomez, 2005; Bryson et a!., 2011; Ebbinghaus et al., 2011; Payne, 1989; Waddington and Kerr, 2002; Waddington and Whitson, 1997). Our purpose in this chapter is to look beyond aggregate Australian union density data, to examine how age relates to membership decline, and how different age groups, particularly younger workers, are located in the story of union decline. The practical implications of this research are that understanding how unions relate to workers of different age groups, and to workers of different genders amongst those age groups, may lead to improved recruitment and better union organisation.

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ID Code: 84651
Item Type: Book Chapter
Keywords: Ageing Australians, Unions, Youth
ISBN: 9781137429513
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > COMMERCE MANAGEMENT TOURISM AND SERVICES (150000) > BUSINESS AND MANAGEMENT (150300) > Industrial Relations (150306)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > QUT Business School
Current > Schools > School of Management
Deposited On: 04 Jun 2015 01:01
Last Modified: 28 Apr 2016 16:22

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