The Place of Trade Unions

An interesting article via Eureka Street today examining the place of trade unions in contemporary Australian society, particularly in light of the recent raids on the offices of the Australian Workers Union orchestrated, so it would appear, for more than just the operations of the Registered Organisations Commission.

Written by John Warhurst, Emeritus Professor of Political Science at Australian National University, the article contrasts the attitude of those in political power towards unions with their attitude towards other organisations that are also worthy of regulatory attention. As Warhurst notes:

We read daily of apparently criminal behaviour by organisations like banks and other large corporations, the RSL in NSW and the Catholic Church, but none of them are treated to a visit by a squad from the AFP. Only suspected terrorist cells are treated this way. The other matters of misuse of scarce police resources and tip offs to the media by ministerial staff are ultimately of secondary importance.

The Coalition’s special disrespect for unions

The raid on the offices of the Australian Workers Union by the Australian Federal Police demonstrates a disrespect for trade unions contrary to the Catholic tradition. The political theatre indulged in by the Employment Minister Michaelia Cash and the Registered Organisations Commission is especially worrying for the deeper attitudes it reveals.

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Article by Andrew Doohan

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