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1301.0 - Year Book Australia, 2003  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 24/01/2003   
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Contents >> Manufacturing >> Trade union membership in the manufacturing industry

Trade union membership in the manufacturing industry has been falling reasonably steadily for some years. Despite a small increase in the number of trade union members in 2000, the proportion of employees with trade union membership has decreased from a little over 50% in the mid 1980s to a little over 30% in 2001. This represents a fall in union membership of around 230,000 manufacturing employees over that period.

From 2000 to 2001 the numbers of manufacturing employees with union membership declined by 6%. The proportion of manufacturing employees with union membership also fell, from 31.1% to 30.4% (table 19.15). The manufacturing industry continues to have a higher rate of union membership than the average for all industries. In percentage terms, union membership in all industries has followed a downward trend similar to that in manufacturing.


19.15 EMPLOYEES WITH TRADE UNION MEMBERSHIP - August

Manufacturing
All industries


Trade union members
Proportion of total employment
Trade union members
Proportion of total employment
’000
%
’000
%

1992
450.0
44.5
2,508.8
39.6
1993
428.9
43.5
2,376.9
37.6
1994
421.6
40.8
2,283.4
35.0
1995
412.0
39.4
2,251.8
32.7
1996
410.1
38.7
2,194.3
31.1
1997
378.2
36.6
2,110.3
30.3
1998
354.4
34.5
2,037.5
28.1
1999
325.8
32.8
1,878.2
25.7
2000
330.8
31.1
1,901.8
24.7
2001
310.8
30.4
1,902.7
24.5

Source: Employee Earnings, Benefits and Trade Union Membership, Australia (6310.0).


Table 19.16 shows that, while 34% of permanent manufacturing employees belonged to a trade union in 2001, only 11% of casual manufacturing employees were union members. Membership rates for permanent female employees (24%) remained significantly lower than for corresponding male employees although the membership rate for casual females increased to equal the male rate (at 11%), up from 7% in 2000.


19.16 TRADE UNION MEMBERS - August 2001

Manufacturing
All industries
Employees
%
%

MALES

Permanent
36.4
31.1
Casual(a)
10.9
9.6
All employees
33.8
26.0

FEMALES

Permanent
24.1
28.8
Casual(a)
11.0
9.3
All employees
20.9
22.7

PERSONS

Permanent
33.6
30.1
Casual(a)
11.0
9.4
All employees
30.4
24.5

(a) Employees without leave entitlements.

Source: Employee Earnings, Benefits and Trade Union Membership, Australia, August 2001 (6310.0).


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