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Union satisfaction in the Pacific Rim a comparison of union-member relations and satisfaction with unions in Australia and South Korea

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posted on 05.06.2017, 03:23 by Hanley, Glennis
The purpose of this paper is to explore whether there are distinguishing characteristics accounting for unionmember relationships and satisfaction with unions in Australia and South Korea. Over the past two decades, some research attention has been directed toward explaining overall, or global union satisfaction. Rather surprisingly however, there has been little systematic research effort expended into identifying discrete determinants of member-union satisfaction. What has emerged from the few extant studies [which employed U.S., Swedish, and South Korean data sets] is that explanations of member-union satisfaction can be distilled into two principal groupings: most importantly, members' satisfaction with the level of union democracy (or what can be described as member-union relationship issues) -and, important but less so, the traditional bread and butter or economic issues. The unionists utilised in this paper have endured dramatic workplace change: economic recessions, restructures, downsizing, whole-sale sell-offs of public utilities, and hostile political environments - all of which have reformed not only their working environments, but also the very fabric of trade unionism in Australia and South Korea. The findings of this paper suggests that despite contextual differences, that there are remarkable similarities between Australian and South Korean unionists in their reported levels of satisfaction with union representation. Indeed, like their U.S. and Swedish counterparts, it appears that a union's somewhat intangible resources of attention, time and patience, or in other words, relationship issues are foremost in accounting for their satisfaction with overall union representation.

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Year of first publication

2001

Series

Working paper series (Monash University. Department of Management).

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