Australian Left Review

Article Title

The Trade Unions and the Media


Allan Ashbolt


We are living at a time when the Fraser government has virtually declared war on the unions — class war of a peculiarly vindictive kind. And in this war, the government is using every propaganda weapon, every propaganda outlet it can find. If it succeeds in taming or terrorising the union movement, then the boundaries of political democracy will shrink to negligible proportions. For the union movement, despite its backslidings, mistakes and intra-mural wrangling, remains the spearhead of democratic action in this country and the measure by which democratic progress must be judged. Only the union movement, with its mass base and participatory processes, can contain and combat the pervasive power of capital. For us, as unionists, the problem always starts with capital and specifically with ownership and control of the means of production.