Ask an Australian trade union leader what they think about the labour scene in Asia and, more likely than not, you will hear a story of a nascent movement under the thumb of authoritarian regimes.
The defeat of Tom Donahue as President of the AFL-CIO last week by John Joseph Sweeney is a tragedy. Far from heralding a new era for aggressive and innovative unionism under the new leadership, Mr Donahue’s defeat may be another milestone marking the slow decline of American organised labour.
The ascension of Governor Clinton to President Clinton on 20 January 1993 raised a gulp of excited apprehension in progressive circles in Australia. President Clinton’s idealism and rhetoric about Americans working with each other was a familiar social democratic call.
In the welter of claim and counter-claim the industrial dispute involving CRA has been characterised by a high degree of confusion. It appears that over several years CRA has been extremely clever and successful in pursuing a strategy to undermine trade unions at its sites.