Labour History: A Journal of Labour and Social History

The State, Labour Management and Union Marginalisation at Electrolytic Zinc, Tasmania, 1920-48

Labour History: A Journal of Labour and Social History (2011), 101, (1), 53–70.

Abstract

While there has been considerable debate about arbitration’s role in framing union strategy and tactics, its impact on managerial strategy and subordinating labour has been less explored. Electrolytic Zinc had a strategy of using the industrial regulation system, particularly the Tasmanian wages boards, and participative structures to marginalise trade unions for 15 years. However, these measures failed to completely suppress unionism and encouraged the emergence of company based-unionism. Whilst an initial attempt to form a new companybased union failed, the second was successful and its emergence and form emerged from the interplay between the arbitral system and Electrolytic Zinc’s participative structures.

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Endnotes

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Author details

Barton, Ruth