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Inside the Unions

A Comparative Analysis of Policy-Making in Australian and British Printing and Telecommunication Trade Unions


Ed Blisset

This book consists of a comparative analysis of policy-making in Australian and British telecommunications and printing trade unions. It tests the validity of different theoretical models of union policy-making and behaviour, whilst also assessing the strength of the book’s hypothesis, that informal micro-political influences inside unions – such as personal friendships, enmities and loyalties – affect union policy-making to a greater extent than has been previously acknowledged in the literature.
Two central questions lie at the heart of this book: How, and why, do unions adopt specific policies? What factors explain the different behaviour of similar unions, when faced with comparable policy choices?
As a former senior union officer the author realised that trade unions are often wary of publically disclosing those factors which informed their policy choices. For this reason an interview-rich methodology was adopted, which involved a seventeen-year longitudinal study, in which over 220 officers and staff of all the relevant unions, were interviewed in depth. The result is a book which throws new light on the rich and complex process of union policy-making.


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AAOCS Amalgamated Association of Operative Cotton Spinners ACAS Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service ACIAA Australian Commercial and Industrial Artists Association ACOS Administrative and Clerical Of ficers Association ACP Association of Correctors of the Press ACTU Australian Congress of Trade Unions ADSTE Association of Drafting Supervisory & Technical Employees AEA Actors Equity of Australia AESA Amalgamated Engineering and Stores Association AFMEU Australian Food Manufacturing and Engineering Union AJA Australian Journalists Association ALHMU Australian Liquor Hospitality and Miscellaneous Workers Union ALP Australian Labor Party AMEU Automotive Metals & Engineering Union AMFSU Amalgamated Metals Foundry and Shipwrights Union AMWU Australian Manufacturing Workers Union AMWU Australian Metal Workers Union APEU Australian Postal Electricians Union APTEU Amalgamated Printing Trades Employee’s Union APTU Australian Postal and Telecommunications Union APWU Australian Postal Workers Union ASLP Amalgamated Society of Lithographic Printers and Auxiliaries of Great Britain and Ireland xii Abbreviations ATEA Australian Telecommunication Engineering Association ATPOA Australian Telephone and Phonegram Of ficers Association ATTCMU Australian Telegraph, Telephone, Construction and Maintenance Union AUEW Amalgamated Union of Engineering Workers BIFU Banking Insurance and Finance Union BL Broad Left BWIU Building Workers Industrial Union CCPSO Council of Commonwealth Public Service Organisations CEPU (P&T) Communication, Electrical and Plumbing Union, Postal and Telecommunication Section CEPU (T&S) Communication, Electrical and Plumbing Union, Telecomm - unications and Services Section CEPU Communications, Electrical and Plumbing Union CFMEU Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union CPGB Communist Party of Great Britain CPSA (P&T) Civil and Public Services Union, Postal and Telecommunications Group CPSA Civil and Public Services...

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