CPA Policies

On trade unions

CPA members are active members of their trade unions and seek to play an active role in their union in the workplace and at all levels of the union.

The CPA aims to strengthen and support the emergence of a class-conscious trade union movement that rejects class collaboration and actively struggles to defend and extend the rights and interests of workers.

Our members work to build the trade union movement by supporting the increase in union coverage of workers, and by supporting campaigns for workers’ rights, pay and conditions and in opposition to ideological and legislative attacks on unions and their members.

We support developing the united action of workers in their class interests.

Party members in their unions work to raise class consciousness and develop political consciousness of the most advanced sections of workers.  They actively promote CPA positions and policies and work to win support for them from workers. They contribute to the development of Party policies that respond to the concerns and struggles of workers.

CPA members understand that the industrial and economic struggles of workers through their unions ultimately are connected to the question of political power in society. The CPA advocates for working class political power and the building of socialism as the only way to end exploitation and realise the comprehensive needs of the majority of Australians.

The CPA believes trade union leaderships must aim to build and develop the organisational capacity of the rank and file at workplace level. Workplace committees empowered with the responsibility of dealing with day-to-day issues are vital. The structures of the unions must include a robust and vibrant delegate structure which is united with the leaderships of unions. Top-down leadership domination and unbridled rank and file control must both be rejected for a properly integrated unity between all levels of the union.

The CPA rejects the domination of the ALP over trade union policy in Australia and points out this has had an overall negative impact on working people. It has encouraged decades of class collaborationist ideology in the union movement. The result has been a decrease in union membership and class consciousness of workers. This domination must end.

The integration of trade union work and union members’ industrial interests should also extend into all areas of interest for the working class and the broader community. CPA members and organisations work to build working class and community action in support of Party’s policies in housing, health, education etc, as well as winning support for trade union struggles around industrial and economic issues.

Trade unions are schools of class struggle for workers and must be fighting organisations which take into account the interests and development of not only their members but of the entire working class. CPA aims for class conscious trade union work but also understands this needs to be connected to the wider political struggle of the working class to end exploitation and win socialism.

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