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History of Unions and Their Relevance in Today"s Society
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Following the lead of Britain from where many of the original settlers came, workers in various occupations banded together to form unions. Ship writers, boat builders, tailors, bakers and carpenters were among the first craft unions form in Australia before 1848. By forming an association workers could obtain better wages and working conditions. However the employers wanted the highest profit margins so wished to keep wages low and spend little money on the working environment. The law of supply and demand in the labour market often determined which group was dominant. A third factor in the balance in Australia was...
and efficiency in waterfront operations remain one of the major reform challenges facing Australia."

The conflict between the MUA and NFF may be long and bitter with many casualties, Patrick among the first, but with the present federal and state governments prepared to become involved. Changes will take place soon.

Changes is fundamental to our life and unions have evolved over the last two centuries and will continue to change as global and reform issues rise and ware. Their significance will be determined by their ability to adapt to the needs of workers and society as the workplace changes.

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