The Impact of Union Amalgamation on Membership: An Australian Case Study
MetadataShow full item record
This open access article is distributed under the Creative Commons license http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/
In 1980s and 1990s, Australian trade unions tried to combat declining influence and membership numbers by amalgamating with other unions in the same or related industries. Much has been written on union mergers, but little on how these affect the membership. This article aims to contribute to the literature of the impact of mergers and amalgamations on members but studying just one union, The West Australian Locomotive Engine Drivers, Firemen’s and Cleaners Union (LEDU; 1898-1999). In 1993, the three federal railway unions—the Australian Railways Union (ARU), the Australian Federated Union of Locomotive Employees (AFULE), and the National Union of Railworkers (NUR), and one bus and tram union, the Australian Tramway & Motor Omnibus Employees Association (ATM)—amalgamated to become the Australian Rail Tram and Bus Industry Union (RTBU). The LEDU reluctantly joined the RTBU in 1999. This article examines rank and file reaction to the initial proposals and ultimately to becoming part of a larger union, covering workers with many different interests. The article concludes that, irrespective of whether or not amalgamation was inevitable, given the circumstances in Western Australia at the time, its impact upon the rank and file membership was devastating.
Showing items related by title, author, creator and subject.
Oliver, Bobbie (2014)Falling membership numbers and declining union density are issues of concern for many Australian unions. Australian Bureau of Statistics figures show that between 2005 and 2008, trade union membership declined from 22.4% ...
The locomotive enginemen: a history of the West Australian Locomotive Engine Drivers', Firemen's and Cleaners' UnionOliver, Bobbie (2016)This book explores the social phenomenon of the rise and decline of trade unionism in 20th century Australia through the history of one particular union, Western Australia’s longest running industrial union (1898–1999), ...
Travaglione, A.; Scott-Ladd, Brenda; Hancock, Justin; Chang, Joshua (2017)This study investigates how Australian employees perceive managerial support and the influence of union membership on their perception of managerial support using data from 4124 employed persons in Australia across a range ...