Trade unions and industrial regeneration in North West Tasmania: moving beyond lock-in?
journal contributionposted on 2023-05-20, 18:02 authored by Ruth BartonRuth Barton
As the North West coast of Tasmania, Australia, has deindustrialised, the region’s unions have lost membership, power and relevance. This process of deindustrialisation opens up possibilities for the unions to become involved in regeneration as regional development actors and, by moving outside the workplace and engaging with the community, renew and revitalise themselves. But many unions have found it difficult to move beyond their traditional forms of action and relationships. This article uses the concept of lock-in, and draws on semi-structured interviews, two forums and a workshop, to detail the way the North West coast unions attempted to break from the confines of the workplace and out into the community. Their attempts to do this were uneven and contested. They were, to varying degrees, locked-in and constrained by their traditional relationships with politicians and their own members. At another level they were locked-out from participating in regeneration decisions by long standing relationships between governments and business and their antagonism towards the unions. Although the unions attempted to reimagine themselves, there remained a pattern of regional lock-in where long-standing relationships continued and limited and hindered the unions’ ability to participate in regeneration debates and activities.
Publication titleEnvironment and Planning A
Place of publication207 Brondesbury Park, London, England, Nw2 5Jn
Rights statementCopyright 2020 the authors