November meeting: renewal of the relationship between ALP and the unions


Celtic Club
316-320 Queen St
Melbourne, Victoria 3000
Google map and directions


November 24, 2015 at 6:30pm - 9:30pm


Join our exceptional lineup of speakers as we discuss the future of the union movement and the ALP:


Former ACTU Secretary, Bill Kelty 

Former ACTU Assistant Secretary, Tim Lyons.

Secretary of the Rail, Tram and Bus Union, Luba Grigorovitch.


The union movement is the largest social movement in Australia. With over 2 million members, it is much larger than all political parties combined. Not so long ago, it helped to take out a longstanding conservative Federal Government, and it played major roles in the election of Labor Governments in Queensland and Victoria.


Yet it feels like the union movement is under pressure from all sides – the conservatives opportunistically attack unions as corrupt and unrepresentative, while even senior Labor figures and former union leaders question whether the relationship between unions and the ALP needs to be recast to give the unions less power in party decision-making.


Can Australian unions and their leaders still be champions of progressive economic and social change? Where are the policy solutions from the union movement – and the ALP – to the rise of insecure work and skill shortages, the rise of the caring economy, and new patterns of work and career?


Many Labor supporters see the power of union leaders in the Party frustrating any hope of broadening the membership base and appealing to the next generation of progressive Australians. Do we need a new set of relationships – working together where interests align, but recognising that unions and the ALP are not always responsible to the same stakeholders?


Could the growing voice of unions from the education, health and community sectors – and the role they play in election campaigns – point to a new approach that is more aligned with community need and sentiment?



To hear more on these questions, join our exceptional line-up of speakers.  We hope you can make it!