IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/bla/brjirl/v47y2009i4p623-652.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

An Analysis of Workplace Representatives, Union Power and Democracy in Australia

Author

Listed:
  • David Peetz
  • Barbara Pocock

Abstract

The purpose of this article is to illuminate the views and experiences of workplace representatives in Australia in the context of falling union density, and to analyse factors that are most strongly associated with subjective union power at the workplace level, as perceived by delegates. The analysis relies on a large random survey of workplace delegates in eight significant Australian unions. The article describes the situation broadly facing delegates as shown by the survey and analyses a set of factors associated with the power of workers as perceived by delegates. We find that higher levels of reported activism among delegates are strongly associated with greater subjective union power. We also find that self-reported delegate confidence is also strongly associated with perceptions of higher union power, as is delegate's clarity about their roles. The data also show a strong association between perceptions of democracy within the union and union power. Support for delegates from the union office and organizers is also associated with higher levels of union power at the local level. The analysis provides some support for union renewal strategies associated with the 'organizing model' as applied in Australia and some other Anglo-Saxon countries that aim to increase the activism of workplace delegates through education, the provision of support for workplace delegates and more democratic union structures. Copyright (c) Blackwell Publishing Ltd/London School of Economics 2009.

Suggested Citation

  • David Peetz & Barbara Pocock, 2009. "An Analysis of Workplace Representatives, Union Power and Democracy in Australia," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 47(4), pages 623-652, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:brjirl:v:47:y:2009:i:4:p:623-652
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.blackwell-synergy.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1467-8543.2009.00736.x
    File Function: link to full text
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. René Böheim & Mark P. Taylor, 2004. "Actual and Preferred Working Hours," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 42(1), pages 149-166, March.
    2. Nicole Watson & Mark Wooden, 2004. "The HILDA Survey Four Years On," Australian Economic Review, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, vol. 37(3), pages 343-349, September.
    3. Merz, Joachim, 2002. "Time and Economic Well-Being--A Panel Analysis of Desired versus Actual Working Hours," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 48(3), pages 317-346, September.
    4. Bowles, Samuel, 1985. "The Production Process in a Competitive Economy: Walrasian, Neo-Hobbesian, and Marxian Models," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(1), pages 16-36, March.
    5. Yi-Ping Tseng & Mark Wooden, 2005. "Preferred vs Actual Working Hours in Couple Households," Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series wp2005n07, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne.
    6. S. M. Shafaeddin, 2005. "Forum 2005," Development and Change, International Institute of Social Studies, vol. 36(6), pages 1143-1162, November.
    7. Linda Bell, 1998. "Differences in Work Hours and Hours Preferences by Race in the U.S," Review of Social Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 56(4), pages 481-500.
    8. Landers, Renee M & Rebitzer, James B & Taylor, Lowell J, 1996. "Rat Race Redux: Adverse Selection in the Determination of Work Hours in Law Firms," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(3), pages 329-348, June.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bla:brjirl:v:47:y:2009:i:4:p:623-652. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Wiley-Blackwell Digital Licensing) or (Christopher F. Baum). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/lsepsuk.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.