In countries such as Australia where the state offers reduced support for union activities and also may be openly antagonistic towards them, unions have been seeking alternative strategies to retain their relevance as industrial relations actors, especially as the ‘servicing model’ — which has been practised widely in many western countries — is no longer seen to be a viable long-term option. As a consequence, Australian unions have been seeking to move from the servicing model, which arose largely out of union dependence upon the traditional arbitral system of conciliation and arbitration for rights and relevancy, towards a model of organising that has been widely promulgated in both British and North American writing and research on union renewal strategies. Under the auspices of the Australian Council of Unions (ACTU), Australian unions have been encouraged to adopt at least some of the elements of organising. It can be argued that some Australian unions have always pursued such an approach with extensive workplace delegate structures, organisers being responsible for information sharing, communicating, and establishing ongoing contact with the members for whom they are responsible, while also practising elements of a servicing approach. This accords with Fiorito’s (2004) findings that the models of servicing and organising are not mutually exclusive.
- Union Organise
- Alliance Partner
- Community Unionism
- Neighbourhood Watch
- Community Continuum
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© 2009 Marjorie Jerrard, Sandra Cockfield and Donna Buttigieg
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Jerrard, M., Cockfield, S., Buttigieg, D. (2009). The ‘Servicing-Organising-Community Continuum’: Where Are Australian Unions Today?. In: Gall, G. (eds) The Future of Union Organising. Palgrave Macmillan, London. https://doi.org/10.1057/9780230240889_7
Publisher Name: Palgrave Macmillan, London
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