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Re-placing the Pilbara's mining unions

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This paper examines the attempt by mining management in Western Australia's Pilbara to replace mining unions--quite literally--by removing them from the processes of representation and bargaining. It analyses the way in which those unions have tried to re-place themselves, in the senses of transforming themselves in those spaces in which they were already operating and reviving themselves where they were not. Where unionists have succeeded in these engagements, it has been by working at a range of geographical scales, using the 'power of place' in the Pilbara and reshaping traditional geographies of union organisation. It is suggested here that many of these emergent outcomes are the result of the embeddedness of geographically specific historical structures along with new intersections of nationally and locally scaled labour politics.
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Keywords: Pilbara; Scale;; community;; industrial relations;; iron ore;; place;; unions;

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of Sydney, Australia

Publication date: November 1, 2003

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