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What can unions do? Addressing multinational relocation in North West Tasmania
journal contributionposted on 2023-05-20, 08:42 authored by Ruth BartonRuth Barton, Peter FairbrotherPeter Fairbrother
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.
Publication titleJournal of Industrial Relations
PublisherSage Publications Ltd
Place of publicationUnited Kingdom
Rights statementCopyright Australian Labour and Employment Relations Association (ALERA) 2014