Sunday, August 30, 2015

Re: member

Looking at the breakdown of members of the ACTU, in turn made up of members of different organisations with different responsibilities. Mount a full on attack on unions and you also strike at workers doing their job.

I was thinking about which labours I could subscribe and it all starts with woolclassers. My skill  as rusty as the shearing shed I plied my trade in at the tender age of nine.

Farmers Union newspaper I remember for its politically incorrect jokes in the Cocky Chaff column and its amateurish music reviews

Community and Public Sector Union looked after the area I first entered under my own steam, with a range of roles in the Commonwealth public service.

I've been a worker all my life and it will be strange not to be

Media, entertainment and arts are areas I'm heading and a Writer is what I am. I don't think the few party bands I've fronted have ever needed a union.

 I think I can see which union would have been pressuring me when I was a gas meter reader but I've left all that behind.

I'm a professional by experience more than formal education; the studies I did being tangential at best but that's what the tertiary sector allows for administrative roles anyway


The point isn't worklife memoirs, I just think it is important to note the extent that unions are intrinsic to our society, whether we are active members or have brushed against their campaigns. The most antagonistic I've seen anyone at a rally was Wilson 'Iron Bar' Tuckey who opened his address to an angry gathering by challenging them "You lot have got children haven't you, you've got grandchildren?" to be greeted by a loud chorus of boos.

While I worked for a union for fifteen months, it was a paid position and involved no core business ( was - to nobody's surprise - a records officer). I have been a union member for fewer working months of my life than not. Certainly it was interesting to get an inside view of how a union works just as it was to see how the Commonwealth health service or education department work.

I don't believe we should be wasting taxpaper money in launching rolling royal commissions into their activity. They have done quite a lot of good over the years and genuinely helped the members and industries they represent. Not only are various working conditions like shorter hours and paid leave provisions the result of union action, they are responsible for wider social gains such as the preservation of The Rocks area of Sydney.

It is clear, too, that unions don't just represent the PAYE workers at the coalface; there are club managers and police, financial advisors and bankers represented along with the dock workers and electricians.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015


Australasian Meat Industry Employees Union
Australian Education Union
Australian Institute of Marine and Power Engineers
Australian and International Pilots Association
Australian Licenced Aircraft Engineers Association
Australian Manufacturing Workers Union
Australian Maritime Officers Union
Australian Nursing Federation
Australian Professional Footballers' Association
Australian Rail Tram and Bus Industry Union
Australian Salaried Medical Officers Federation
Australian Services Union
Australian Workers Union
Australian Writers' Guild
Blind Workers Union of Victoria
Breweries &Bottleyards Employees Industrial Union of Workers WA
Civil Air Operations Officers Association of Australia
Club Managers Association Australia
Communications, Electrical and Plumbing Union of Australia
Community and Public Sector Union
Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union
Electrical Trades Union of Australia
Finance Sector Union
Flight Attendants' Association of Australia
Funeral and Allied Industries Union of NSW
Health Services Union
Independent Education Union of Australia
Maritime Union of Australia
Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance
National Tertiary Education Union
National Union of Workers
Police Federation of Australia
Professionals Australia
Rugby League Professionals Association
Salaried Pharmacists Association of WA Union of Workers
Shop, Distributive and Allied Employees Association
Textile, Clothing and Footwear Union of Australia
Transport Workers Union of Australia
Union of Christmas Island Workers
United Firefighters Union of Australia
United Voice
Western Australian Prison Officers Union of Workers
Woolclassers Association of Australia

Sunday, August 09, 2015

ACTU can't miss

Charlie Crofts (1927-43)
Albert Monk (1943-49)
Reg Broadby (1949-56)
Harold Souter (1956-77)
Peter Nolan (1977-83)
Bill Kelty (1983-2000)
Greg Combet (2000-07)
Jeff Lawrence (2007-12)
Dave Oliver (2012-)

ACTU consummated

Billy Duggan (1927-34)
Albert Monk (1934-43; 1949-69)
Percy Clarey (1943-49)
Bob Hawke (1969-80)
Cliff Dolan (1980-85)
Simon Crean (1985-90)
Martin Ferguson (1990-96)
Jennie George (1996-2000)
Sharan Burrow (2000-10)
Ged Kearney (2010-)

Monday, August 03, 2015

Up the workers

I was going to list out all the unions but there are too many of them. I'm sure there are CEOs and plutocrats who would agree.

In any case, let's shift focus to something we can observe, like the earliest union or the oldest union. The largest union. Give unions the same treatment we give everything else.