Union Diversification and the Battle for Recognition in the Travel Agency Industry

Ian Palmer, Peter Mcgraw

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


As a strategy to halt the decline in union membership, the ACTU has targeted service industries and those dominated by women as areas of potential membership growth. The attempts by the Australian Shipping and Travel Officers’ Association (ASTOA) and the Federated Clerks’ Union (FCU) to organize the travel agency industry demonstrate the problems faced by unions in moving into such traditionally neglected areas. Despite low membership in the industry, and opposition from both the peak employer organization, the Australian Federation of Travel Agents (AFTA), and the FCU, ASTOA has recently been successful in obtaining a consent award covering a small number of companies. This paper employs a dialectical approach to analyze the unions’ campaign to organize the industry; the recruitment problems they faced; inter-union rivalries and AFTA strategies to retain control of the industry.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3-18
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Industrial Relations
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1990
Externally publishedYes


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