Management Responses to Unions in Australian Call Centres : exclude, Tolerate or Embrace?

Trish Todd, Joan Eveline, Leonie Still, Judy Skene

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper reports on a study of management's attitudes and responses to union activities in 20 call centers in Western Australia. Australian unions have identified call centers as an important sector to organize, but past research has acknowledged the importance of employer recognition of union rights to organize within the workplace as critical to the success of a union campaign. In addition, there is now substantial literature illustrating call centers as high control workplaces, and therefore difficult sites for unions to organize, although the question as to what extent these high control strategies reflect management's attitude towards union organization in call centers has been much less addressed. This article outlines management's stance towards unions within the sample of Western Australian call centers, detailing the forms their co-operation and resistance take. It explores the link between management's control strategies and their attitudes towards unions and, finally, identifies several factors influencing management's stance towards unions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)162-176
JournalAustralian Bulletin of Labour
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2003


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