Leung, Jenny Kwai-Sim and James, Kieran (2010) Sydney's construction union strategy and immigrant worker issues: a Roman Catholic-Marxist perspective. Spire Publishing, Toronto, Canada. ISBN 978-1-926635-40-8
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Based on fieldwork data gained through co-operation with the Sydney, Australia branch of the Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU), we document key elements of union strategy at the branch level in the year immediately after the removal of the Howard Government in 2007. A key aspect of branch level strategy was building site visits by a team of organisers designed to rebuild influence on sites and reconnect with workers. Furthermore, the CFMEU's hiring of foreign language speaking organisers and production of foreign language publications is a praiseworthy attempt to reach out to ethnic minority workers and bring them under the 'mainstream' union umbrella. Through a set of micro-cases we detail migrant worker exploitation in the industry in Sydney and document a dedicated organizational strategy of humanitarian union action towards these workers which both goes beyond the normal expectations of union membership. 'Roman Catholic social teaching' and 'Marxism' inform our discussions.
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