Friday, July 25, 2008


Red News Readers,

No wonder union membership is falling when you have self serving bureaucracies sitting contentedly in their air conditioned offices with cozy relationships with Labor governments helping to deliver whatever gains are made. Union officials need to get off their bums and redevelop a close relationship with their members and their members concerns. That may mean getting rid of the ACTU's Organising Model which seems to mean that union delegates in the workplace do all the hack work and organisers swan around holding high level meetings that the members hear nothing about. The Workchoices period was diffiicult for unions, but we are getting past that now, and a new approach is called for. Unless we adopt this new approach I predict union membership will fall even lower.

Jenny Haines

Union membership rates halved in two decades: ABS

24 July 2008 Content provided to you by AAP.

CANBERRA, July 23 AAP - The number of trade union members in Australia has almost halved in the past two decades, new statistics reveal.

The figures, from Australian Social Trends 2008 released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics today, show 46 per cent of employees (2.6 million) belonged to a trade union in 1986.

By 2007, the rate of membership had fallen to 19 per cent (1.7 million).Older age groups were more unionised, the figures show.Union membership among employees aged 15-24 saw the biggest decrease from about one in three (36 per cent) to one in 10 (10 per cent).

During the same two-decade period the rate among employees aged 25-34 dropped from 48 per cent to 15 per cent.

Similar trends were recorded for the baby boomer generation born in the 1950s.

The report also shows that the number of industrial disputes declined markedly over the past two decades.In 1987, there were 1,519 industrial disputes.By 2005, the number of disputes fluctuated between about 520 and 770, before falling to 135 in 2007.