Sydney's Construction Union Strategy and Immigrant Workers

Kieran James, Jenny Kwai-Sim Leung

Research output: Book/ReportBook

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This book studies the Sydney (Lidcombe) branch of Australia’s CFMEU
in an attempt to document and critique its branch level strategy in the
year immediately after the removal of the Howard-Costello Government,
i.e. November 2007 to November 2008. This ‘transitional time’, prior to
the Rudd-Gillard Government releasing its own plans for workplace
relations, was a time of excitement and anticipation in union offices and
building sites across the country as people perceived that the balance of
power between labour and capital had changed. However, industry
participants remained unsure of exactly how far the new government
would go in dismantling the repressive workplace laws of its predecessor.
CFMEU strategy at the Sydney branch level during this transitional time
revolved around a program of ‘rebuilding influence’ on the building sites.
We also document CFMEU strategy in relation to immigrant worker
issues, as revealed through several micro-cases, and offer some
observations as to how effective the CFMEU’s actions were in each case.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationPaisley, Scotland
PublisherKieran James (via
Number of pages162
ISBN (Print)978-0-244-04574-6, 978-0-244-63931-0, 978-0-244-64295-2
Publication statusPublished - 13 Nov 2017


  • BLF
  • Construction Unions
  • Immigrant Workers
  • Industrial Relations
  • Marxism
  • Roman Catholicism
  • Social History
  • Sydney
  • Sydney History
  • Trade Unions
  • Union Strategy
  • Western Sydney


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