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What can unions do? Addressing multinational relocation in North West Tasmania


Barton, RT and Fairbrother, P, What can unions do? Addressing multinational relocation in North West Tasmania, Journal of Industrial Relations, 56, (5) pp. 691-708. ISSN 0022-1856 (2014) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright Australian Labour and Employment Relations Association (ALERA) 2014

DOI: doi:10.1177/0022185614533693


Trade unions often face complex and uncertain relations with multinational employers, particularly in old industrial regions. Such corporations have long histories in such regions, often attracted by a range of incentives such as financial support, cheap energy and a skilled workforce. However, the plants themselves often experience changes in ownership and face economic uncertainty. This constitutes the terrain within which recognised unions seek to organise, exercise their capacities and realise their purposes. Workers and their unions organise and operate in these plants, usually developing established routines and practices in relation to the terms and conditions of employment and advocacy of worker concerns. However, they also face difficult choices in relation to corporate decisions to restructure and/or close regional plants. In order for unions to respond to the shifting terrain of the employment landscape they must be able to mobilise around political and economic factors that impact on employment. These themes are addressed with specific reference to union struggles in North West Tasmania, a region that is undergoing a process of de-industrialisation.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:unions, union capacities, union purpose, multinational corporations, Tasmania
Research Division:Commerce, Management, Tourism and Services
Research Group:Human resources and industrial relations
Research Field:Industrial and employee relations
Objective Division:Law, Politics and Community Services
Objective Group:Work and labour market
Objective Field:Employment patterns and change
UTAS Author:Barton, RT (Dr Ruth Barton)
UTAS Author:Fairbrother, P (Professor Peter Fairbrother)
ID Code:136156
Year Published:2014
Web of Science® Times Cited:7
Deposited By:Management
Deposited On:2019-12-03
Last Modified:2021-07-06

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