Older workers changing labour market patterns the dilemma for unions
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Older Workers & Changing Labour Market Patterns; The Dilemma for Unions. Presentation by Prof. Carla Lipsig-Mumm é. Older Workers Changing Labour Market Patterns; The Dilemma for Unions. THE CONTEXT Too Old to Work and Too Young to Die

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Older Workers & Changing Labour Market Patterns; The Dilemma for Unions

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Older workers changing labour market patterns the dilemma for unions

Older Workers & Changing Labour Market Patterns;

The Dilemma for Unions

Presentation by

Prof. Carla Lipsig-Mummé


Older workers changing labour market patterns the dilemma for unions1

Older Workers Changing Labour Market Patterns; The Dilemma for Unions

THE CONTEXT

  • Too Old to Work and Too Young to Die

  • Restructuring at every level: the TCG Sector as a Harbinger of the future?

    FROM EARLY EXIT TO PROMOTING EMPLOYMENT RETENTION


Older workers changing labour market patterns the dilemma for unions2

Older Workers Changing Labour Market Patterns; The Dilemma for Unions

THE 3 DILEMMAS:

  • Older workers (45+) have the highest union density of any age slice. Yet their situations are very diverse: one size does not fit all. How can unions refine the categorising of older workers:

    • To craft union strategy differently for those who choose to leave the labour force, those who are forced to leave and those who want to stay on?

    • How should unions strategise for older workers’ marginal and precarious re-entry into employment and unemployment, taking into consideration the great diversity of older workers’ situations?

    • Can unions integrate recognition of elder-diversity into advocacy for public policy and strategy around that advocacy?


Older workers changing labour market patterns the dilemma for unions3

Older Workers Changing Labour Market Patterns; The Dilemma for Unions

THE 3 DILEMMAS CON’T:

  • The relatively high union density rates of older workers, coupled with their longer experience in unions and in union life at the workplace, should make them an important source of energy for union renewal and recruitment. How can unions use those who ‘stay on’ or seek to return to employment, to help rebuild union strength?

  • How should unions tackle the long-held belief that ‘staying on’ for older workers disadvantages younger workers?


Older workers changing labour market patterns the dilemma for unions4

Older Workers Changing Labour Market Patterns; The Dilemma for Unions

THE AGEING OF AUSTRALIAN UNIONS

  • Who’s working?

  • International comparisons

  • Australian union membership and Canadian comparisons

    UNION RENEWAL AND THE PREMATURELY ELDERLY: the Four R’s

  • Recruitment

  • Retention

  • Representation

  • Reengagement


Older workers changing labour market patterns the dilemma for unions5

Older Workers Changing Labour Market Patterns; The Dilemma for Unions

DOES ‘STAYING ON’ BY MATURE WORKERS DISADVANTAGE YOUNGER WORKERS?

  • The classic argument

  • The new labour market realities

    THE QUESTION OF LANGUAGE

  • Older, Mature, Elderly: Who are you calling Old?


Union density in various developed countries 1980 2002

1980

1995

2002

Australia

50.0

28.0

23.1

Austria

59.6

51.6

35.0 *

Canada

31.0

31.0

30.3

Denmark

77.8

81.9

81.7 **

France

19.0

9.0

N/A

Germany

38.3

32.3

22.0 *

Great Britain

55.8

32.1

29.0 *

Italy

49.0

38.5

37.0 *

Japan

35.0

20.0

20.2 *

Korea, Republic of

21.0

13.8

12.0 *

Norway

55.0

56.0

54.0 *

Sweden

82.0

83.0

82.0 *

United States

23.0

12.0

13.2

Union Density in Various Developed Countries, 1980-2002

(Source: C.Lipsig-Mummé in Gunderson, Ponak and Taras, Union-Management Relations in Canada, 2004)

* Figures from 2000 / ** Figures from 2001

Source (European figures): Ebbinghaus, B. (2002). Trade unions’ changing roles: Membership erosion, organisational reform and social partnership in Europe. Industrial Relations Journal, 33, 465-483.

Other sources:

Australia - ABS (2002). Employee earnings, benefits and trade union membership, Cat # 6310.0.

Canada - Statistics Canada (2002). Perspectives on Labour and Income.

Japan - Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour & Welfare (2002). Basic Survey on Labour Unions.

United States - Bureau of Labor Statistics (2002). Monthly Labor Review, July.


Employment rates

Country

Men 1991

Change (men)

Women 1991

Change (women)

Australia

65.6

-20.2

33.7

+3.1

Canada

69.4

-14.2

43.0

+8.5

Finland

57.4

-16.8

55.8

-0.9

France

64.2

-17.2

41.2

-0.7

Germany

n.a.

-12.5

n.a.

-2.0

Japan

91.7

+2.4

54.5

+6.4

Netherlands

60.6

-16.2

21.9

+4.8

Norway

81.2

-5.3

63.0

+13.4

Portugal

73.9

-6.5

41.6

+5.2

Spain

68.9

-14.9

20.7

-5.3

United Kingdom

71.6

-18.1

51.9

+0.2

United States

74.4

-5.4

53.5

+7.3

Employment Rates

Employment rates of older men and women (aged 55-59) in selected OECD Countries, 1991

(Percentage point change since 1970)

Source: OECD (1995) ‘The labour market and older workers’, Paris: OECD, p. 19, reproduced in Samorodov, Alexander (1999) ‘Ageing and labour markets for older workers’, ILO Employment and Training Papers no. 33, Geneva: ILO, p. 15


Older workers changing labour market patterns the dilemma for unions

1993

2003

Employees

Unionisation rate

Employees

Unionisation rate

%

%

%

%

Agriculture, forestry and fishing

2.1

10.1

2.2

5.2

Mining

1.3

55.2

0.9

29.1

Manufacturing

15.6

43.5

12.5

25.7

Electricity, gas and water supply

1.5

71.5

1

53.7

Construction

5

35.1

6

26.5

Wholesale trade

7.1

16.5

4.9

8.5

Retail trade

13.6

22.3

15.5

17.3

Accommodation, cafes and restaurants

4.6

21.2

5.2

8.7

Transport and storage

4.4

58.6

4.5

38.2

Communication services

1.9

73.8

1.9

31.2

Finance and insurance

4.5

44.8

4

18.7

Property and business services

7.7

18.8

11.6

7

Government administration and defence

6.3

56.4

5

38.4

Education

8.8

56.3

8.3

41.8

Health and community services

10.3

38.7

10.6

29.8

Cultural and recreational services

1.9

31.7

2.3

13.3

Personal and other services

3.4

38.8

3.6

28.7

Total

100

37.6

100

23

Industry of EmployeesAustralia

Source: ABS (2002). Year Book Australia: Population, Trade Union Membership Cat #6105.0


Sector of employees

1993

2003

Employees

Unionisation rate

Employees

Unionisation rate

%

%

%

%

Public sector

27.3

64.4

18.6

46.9

Private sector

72.7

27.5

81.4

17.7

Total

100

37.6

100

23

Sector of Employees

Source: ABS (2002). Year Book Australia: Population, Trade Union Membership Cat #6105.0


Trade union membership

Trade Union Membership

Trade union membership rate by age

Source: ABS (2002). Year Book Australia: Population, Trade Union Membership Cat #6105.0


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