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Kickbacks allegation: What does it mean for unions’ future?

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HC Online | 03 Sep 2014, 11:41 AM Agree 0
The royal commission into union corruption has heard that a union was allegedly given $2,500 a week by labour-hire companies linked to a crime figure.
  • Stephen Barton | 03 Sep 2014, 12:25 PM Agree 0
    These allegations no more spell the death of unions than similar allegations against business heads signal the end of big business or corrupt politicians mean the end of government. The challenge is to deal with these corrupt officials but in the meantime focus on the positives unions have achieved
  • Catherine Cahill | 03 Sep 2014, 01:01 PM Agree 0
    I have worked with good unions and bad unions - and everything in between.

    The good unions work with HR and management to come up with solutions that work for everyone. The bad unions treat us like the enemy and still think that bullying is an acceptable "negotiation" tactic.

    But good or bad, there is a huge gap in the market for providing assistance to individual employees, as Individuals. Gen X, Y & Z do not want to be treated as a "Collective" - they want to be seen and treated as individuals. As Unions refuse to even contemplate a future of individual contracts and negotiations, a huge proportion of the workforce is left with no representation.

    I do understand that treating employees as individuals completely goes against the Union movement's ethos; but if they remain steadfast on this philosophy they will continue to lose relevance.
  • Amanda Rochford | 03 Sep 2014, 02:38 PM Agree 0
    What union has the time, money or resources to engage in bargaining for individuals one person at a time! If an individual wants to negotiate an individual agreement they can engage the services of a negotiator. Most likely that will cost them more than the benefits they will gain. For those people in the bottom 90% of the work chain, collective bargaining is the best value for money in terms of benefits gained.

    It is true, that unions have lost relevance in recent times but they have never been, are not, and will never be, irrelevant. And in my opinion they are about to become increasingly more relevant to staff in the near future as times get tougher and tougher for workers and more and more profitable for big business.

    Gen X, Y & Z will be the workers who need to pay off their huge student debt, will not be able to afford to buy a home, will be working casual and part-time hours, will not have any security of tenure, will not have unemployment benefits to rely on, and will be expected to work until age 70 (and that may go even higher) etc etc etc. My guess is that in upcoming years, the unions will become highly relevant and the general understanding of the power that comes from collective bargaining will become more and more apparent (and necessary).
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