Organising strategies and women's representation: the legacy of separate organising in the interwar years

Brigden, C 2007, 'Organising strategies and women's representation: the legacy of separate organising in the interwar years', in E. Rasmussen (ed.) Proceedings of the 21st Conference of the Association of Industrial Relations Academics of Australia and New Zealand: Diverging Employment Relations Patterns in Australia and New Zealand, Auckland, New Zealand, 7-9 February 2007, pp. 1-10.


Document type: Conference Paper
Collection: Conference Papers

Title Organising strategies and women's representation: the legacy of separate organising in the interwar years
Author(s) Brigden, C
Year 2007
Conference name 21st Conference of the Association of Industrial Relations Academics of Australia and New Zealand
Conference location Auckland, New Zealand
Conference dates 7-9 February 2007
Proceedings title Proceedings of the 21st Conference of the Association of Industrial Relations Academics of Australia and New Zealand: Diverging Employment Relations Patterns in Australia and New Zealand
Editor(s) E. Rasmussen
Publisher Association of Industrial Relations Academics of Australia and New Zealand
Place of publication Auckland, New Zealand
Start page 1
End page 10
Total pages 10
Abstract Recent research has begun to illuminate the gendered nature of peak union councils, in particular studies of the Victorian Trades Hall Council (THC). While a picture has been constructed of their early activism and voice, little is known about the profile of women THC delegates in the interwar years. During the 1910s, there had been a substantial increase in women's representation, which had, in large part, resulted from the women's use of the strategy of separate organising as they formed occupationally-based women-only unions. This flowering of women-only unions was short-lived, however, coinciding as it did with debates about a preferred model of industrial unionism and 'one union in an industry'. Consequently, most of the women's unions had, in the latter 1910s and early 1920s, amalgamated with the male unions in their industry, with an immediate impact of a reduction in women's THC representation. While this suggests limits to the impact of separate organising, there has been no examination of whether there were longer-term influences, and the legacy of separate organising in shaping women's activism in the THC during the interwar years. Adding to our understanding of the form and effect of separate organising for women's representation, this paper investigates how the legacy of separate organising in the 1910s outlasted the separate lives of the women's unions and endured amalgamations through the creation of an activist base, which, together with the only surviving women's union, the Female Confectioners Union, became the backbone of women's THC representation in the interwar years.
Subjects Gender Specific Studies
Keyword(s) women
separate organising
trade unions
Copyright notice © AIRAANZ 2007
Versions
Version Filter Type
Access Statistics: 102 Abstract Views  -  Detailed Statistics
Created: Mon, 25 Jan 2010, 08:16:48 EST by Catalyst Administrator
© 2014 RMIT Research Repository • Powered by Fez SoftwareContact us