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The mythology of 'staff' employment : a weapon of mass construction

conference contribution
posted on 2004-01-01, 00:00 authored by Bruce Hearn Mackinnon
This paper explores the use of symbols and myths by management of Rio Tinto as important components of their weaponry for implementing a de-unionisation program throughout their Australian operations. The special use of language, categorisations and generalisations, have been crucial to the company’s successful implementation of “staff” employment. The ability of management to challenge and undermine traditional mythologies and develop new ones has been an essential ingredient in the company’s recipe for success in its efforts to deunionise its workforce. In particular, the paper explores management’s skill in promoting either the equalisation or differentiation aspects of “staff” employment. The paper concludes that one of the distinguishing features of “staff” employment has been it’s ability to promote the appearance of equalisation while actually leading to an enhanced differentiation of power between workers and managers.

History

Title of proceedings

AIRAANZ 2004 : Proceedings of the 18th Association of Industrial Relations Academics of Australia and New Zealand Conference : new economies: new industrial relations

Event

Association of Industrial Relations Academics of Australia and New Zealand. Conference (18th : 2004 : Noosa, Qld)

Pagination

246 - 253

Publisher

Association of Industrial Relations Academics of Australia and New Zealand

Location

Noosa, Queensland

Place of publication

Waikato, NZ

Start date

2004-02-03

End date

2004-02-06

ISBN-10

090929190X

Language

eng

Notes

Reproduced with the specific permission of the copyright owner.

Publication classification

E1 Full written paper - refereed

Editor/Contributor(s)

M Barry, P Brosnan

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