+1 Recommend
1 collections

      If you have found this article useful and you think it is important that researchers across the world have access, please consider donating, to ensure that this valuable collection remains Open Access.

      Work Organisation, Labour & Globalisation is published by Pluto Journals, an Open Access publisher. This means that everyone has free and unlimited access to the full-text of all articles from our international collection of social science journals, and the authors don’t pay an author processing charge (APC’s).

      • Record: found
      • Abstract: found
      • Article: found
      Is Open Access

      The politics of union-government relations: Public transport in two Australian states

      Work Organisation, Labour and Globalisation
      Pluto Journals


            Successive governments, particularly in the Anglo-American world, have sought to redefine the state by redrawing the boundaries between the public and private sectors, with marked implications for trade unions. One consequence of this process is that relations between unions and governments are reforged. In Australia, governments have initiated comprehensive processes of corporatisation and privatisation. One result is that previously close and often informal partnership arrangements (in the case of Labor governments) have changed. This type of institutional reorganisation prompts a reassessment of union-government relations as well as a complex working out of new modes of governance. This article explores these themes in relation to public transport in two Australian states: New South Wales and Victoria.


            Author and article information

            Work Organisation, Labour and Globalisation
            Pluto Journals
            Autumn 2008
            : 2
            : 2
            : 56-71
            © Ruth Barton and Peter Fairbrother, 2008

            All content is freely available without charge to users or their institutions. Users are allowed to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of the articles in this journal without asking prior permission of the publisher or the author. Articles published in the journal are distributed under a http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.

            Sociology,Labor law,Political science,Labor & Demographic economics,Political economics


            1. ABC (2005) ‘Rail Safety Report Warns of Deficiencies’. Accessed on September 19, 2008 from http://www.abc.net.au/pm/content.

            2. AIRC (2008) ARTBIU Annual Returns, Australian Industrial Registry - Organisations AR2007/397. Accessed on September 19, 2008 from http://www.e-airc.gov.au/files/139v/139var2006340pt2.pdf. Australian Rail Track Corporation Ltd (ARTC). Accessed on September 11, 2008 from http://www.artc.com.au/Content.aspx?p=14.

            3. & (2007) “‘We're Here to Make Money. We're Here to Do Business”: Privatisation and Questions for Trade Unions’, Competition and Change , Vol 11, No 3:241–259

            4. & (2005) ‘The Domestic Origins of Depoliticisation in the Area of British Economic Policy’, British Journal of Politics and International Relations , Vol 7, No 4: 526–543

            5. (1999) ‘The Recomposition of National States in the Global Economy: From Politicized to Depoliticized Forms of Labour Regulation’ in & (eds) The Global Economy, National States and the Regulation of Labour , London: Mansell, London

            6. (2001) ‘New Labour and the Politics of Depoliticisation’, British Journal of Politics and International Relations , Vol 3, No 2:127–149

            7. (2006a) ‘Restructuring State-Economy Relations: Britain under the Major and Blair Governments’ in & (eds) Globalisation, State and Labour , London: Routledge:12–28

            8. (2006b) ‘Depoliticisation: A Comment on Buller and Flinders’, British Journal of Politics and International Relations , Vol 8 No 2:303–306

            9. & (2000) ‘Multi-National Ownership versus State Ownership: Labour - Management Relations in the Victorian and New South Wales Electricity Industries, Australia’, Journal of Industrial Relations , Vol 42, No 2:314–333

            10. , & (eds) (2002) Privatisation, Globalisation and Labour: Studies from Australia , Annandale, NSW: The Federation Press

            11. & (2006) ‘Depoliticisation: Principles, Tactics and Tools’, British Politics , Vol 1, No 3:293–318

            12. & (2008) ‘La Restructuration des Services Publics et les Relations de Travail Dans L'adminstration Publique Québécoise’, Management International/International Management/Gestión Internacional , Vol 12 (Numéro spécial):32–38

            13. (2008) ‘Postal Privatization and the Transformation of the Global Logistics Industry’, Management International/International Management/Gestión Internacional , Vol 12 (Numéro spécial):9–49

            14. (2001) Understanding European Trade Unionism: Between Market, Class and Society , London: Sage Publications

            15. ITF (2003) ‘Face to Face over Public Transport’, Transport International , Vol 1, No 3:19–20

            16. & (2002) ‘Preparing for the National Electricity Market: the NSW Electricity Industry’, in , & (eds), Privatisation, Globalisation and Labour: Studies from Australia , Annandale, NSW: The Federation Press:78–101

            17. (2006) ‘Changing Public Sector Industrial Relations in the Australian Commonwealth’ in & (eds) Globalisation, State and Labour , London, Routledge:97–118

            18. (1999) ‘Labour, Privatisation and Restructuring in the Asia Pacific’, in (ed) Public Sector Industrial Relations: Australian and International Perspectives , National Key Centre in Industrial Relations, Monash University, Melbourne:387–422

            19. (2006) Brave New Workplace: How Individual Contracts are Changing Jobs , Crows Nest, NSW: Allen & Unwin

            20. & (2004) Public Management Reform: A Comparative Analysis , 2nd ed; Oxford: Oxford University Press

            21. Productive Edge Consulting Group (1998) Back on Track: Managing Rail Maintenance in the New South Wales Rail Network , Sydney: PTU

            22. RailCorp (2008) Accessed on September 11, 2008 from http://www.railcorp.info/about_railcorp/organisation_structure.

            23. (2003) ‘National Express Withdraws from Australian Showpiece of Privatised Transport’. Accessed on August 17, 2004 from http://www.wsws.org/articles/2003/feb2003/tran-27_prn.shtm.

            24. RTBU (nd) Waterfall – Never Again , Sydney: RTBU NSW Branch

            25. RTBU (2004) RTBU 'Bigger and Stronger!’, Union Express , Vol 1, No 10, 18 June

            26. (2003) ‘Transport Deal Edges Closer’, The Sunday Age , 2 November

            27. & (2001) ‘The Whispering Shadow: Collectivism and Individualism at Ikeda-Hoover and Nissan UK’, Sociological Research Online , Vol 6, No 3:1–15

            28. (2006) ‘Globalization and the Logic of Participation: Unions and the Politics of Coalition Building’, Journal of Industrial Relations , Vol 48, No 1:83–97

            29. (2002) Liberation vs Market Driven Management in Victorian Local Government , Victoria University School of Management, Working Paper series, No 11.

            30. (2000) Issues in Rail Reform , Department of the Parliamentary Library – Parliament of Australia, Research Paper 14:1999–2000, March

            31. (2001) Public Services or Corporate Welfare: Rethinking the Nation State in the Global Economy , London: Pluto Press

            32. (1997a) ‘Transport Faces Turmoil’, The Sunday Herald Sun , 20 April

            33. (1997b) ‘Bill to Clear Way for Sale’, The Sunday Herald Sun , 3 August


            Comment on this article