Decline in union membership in Australia
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1500 word essay
Harvard or APA referencing
union membership has declined in Australia over recent years. Some attribute the decline mainly to local factors such as legislative change while others point to global factors such as technological change, the shift from manufacturing to services, and changes to work arrangements, including increased contracting out and short term and casualised work arrangements. What factors do you believe have caused the decline in union membership in Australia? What strategies should trade unions adopt to halt the decline and boost membership? Respond to the question using reasoned arguments with supporting evidence.
The aim of this assessment task is to get you to think and argue critically and analytically about the question of whether local or global factors or both are responsible for the decline in union membership and what trade unions can do to address the decline.
You are required to use 5 academic references to support your answer.
In conducting this task, you should aim to :
Demonstrate your understanding of global and local factors influencing Australian trade union membership
Using evidence from the literature, analyze the factors you consider have caused the decline in membership
Based on your analysis of causative factors, describe what trade unions can do to halt the decline
Show evidence of academic research skills
Present a critical, coherent and persuasive argument/stance on the question.
Elements you might consider in answering the question
These suggestions are neither comprehensive nor are intended to limit your approach to the question. You need to consider these and other factors, which we will have covered by the time the plan is due, in considering employees' interests and trends in unionism in your answer:
The organization of work: employee bargaining power; employee representation; employee involvement; why employees might need or want a voice in the workplace and the effects on workers of the shift from traditional long term employment to more market-based and casualized contracts, involving more frequent changes of employer.
Trade unions: theories of the labour movement and their explanations – do they help us understand how employees' rights and interests might be protected? Are unions in a position to combat the local and global influences causing union membership to decline?
The state: how does the state preserve, protect, or undermine employees' interests and rights? How does the state impact on the balance of power between workers and employees?
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