The 'Your Rights at Work' Campaign: 2005-2007

Sally McManus


Abstract

In 2007 the Howard Government was swept aside in a landslide at a Federal Election. On that day, many hundreds of Your Rights At Work activists were on polling booths around the country - frequently outnumbering the major parties - in what was the key phase of the campaign.

The previous years had seen the largest trade union campaign for industrial rights in decades. This paper looks at how that campaign was organised, and asserts that the victory of the campaign in defeating the Howard Government was not the result of a silver bullet strategy, but a mix of campaign components in a specific context. While certain strategies were new, in many ways the Your Rights At Work campaign was a back to basic initiative that had its success on the back of local organising across the nation.

Keywords

social movements, social change, trade unions, Australian politics

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