Research Profiles

Founders and Co-Convenors

The founders and joint-convenors of Union Strategy are Associate Professor Bradon Ellem and Dr Rae Cooper. Between them they have published five books and over seventy refereed articles and chapters, along with numerous reports, submissions, conference proceedings and media commentary on all aspects of unionism and industrial relations. They have undertaken consultancies and prepared reports for peak bodies, including the Australian Council of Trade Unions and Unions NSW, and major unions such as the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union, the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union, the Finance Sector Union, the NSW Nurses Association and the Textile, Clothing and Footwear Union, along with union research organisations such as the newly-established Working NSW.

Associate Professor Bradon Ellem

Associate Professor Bradon Ellem has published on many aspects of unionism, including studies of garment workers, peak unions, the cold war, and mining. He is now writing a history of industrial relations in the Australian iron ore industry which allows him to draw on his interests in labour history, human geography and union strategy. Bradon is a co-editor of the Journal of Industrial Relations, an Associate Editor of Labour History, and a member of the Women Work Research Group in the Faculty of Economics and Business.

Dr Rae Cooper

Dr Rae Cooper is a researcher in employment relations, unions, collective bargaining and gender and work. She is currently working on a major project on union recognition in Australia. Rae has for many years been a specialist in union organising strategies both in Australia and internationally. She is also a member of the Women♀Work Research Group, and in 2007 undertook a major project on the implications of national regulatory change for low paid women. Rae is Review Editor for the Journal of Industrial Relations. She is an Editorial Board Member of the Journal of Industrial Relations as well as the journal Labour History and is an Executive member of the Association of Industrial Relations Academics of Australia and New Zealand (AIRAANZ).


Associate Professor Marian Baird

Associate Professor Marian Baird is a researcher in the fields of women, work, family and industrial relations. Marian's specific research focus is maternity leave. She has undertaken a number of major projects including a comprehensive study of the availability, incidence and duration of maternity, paternity and parental leave in Australia (with Associate Professor Gillian Whitehouse) and a project researching gender equity and business effectiveness in Australian organisations. She is currently working on an international study of union bargaining agendas and union impact with regard to workplace flexibility and parental leave policies.

Dr Cathy Brigden

Cathy Brigden is a senior lecturer in industrial relations in the School of Management at RMIT University, Victoria, Australia. She is coordinator of the Women + Work research cluster in the Centre for Sustainable Organisations and Work, RMIT University. Cathy's research interests include: trade union women's history; the role of peak labour councils, labour history; and trade union theory and practice. She is also engaged in a research project on inter-union collaboration in Australia in the 21st Century (with Dr Sarah Kaine, University of Technology, Sydney).

Dr Chris Briggs

Dr Chris Briggs is a Senior Research Fellow at the Workplace Research Centre, University of Sydney. His research interests include union recognition systems, lockouts, non-union bargaining, wage bargaining, industrial relations reform, labour markets and climate change. He is currently on secondment at the NSW Department of Environment and Climate Change.

Professor Emeritus of History David Brody

Professor Emeritus of History David Brody, University of California at Davis is one of the most eminent labour historians in the USA. He is the author of Steelworkers in America, In Labor's Cause: Main Themes on the History of the American Worker, other books and articles, and, most recently, Labor Embattled: History, Power, Rights. He is also the co-author, over many editions, of a major textbook, America's History. He has taught in the UK, in the former USSR, and, for a semester in 1982, at the University of Sydney. He is regarded, along with Herbert Gutman and David Montgomery, as one of the founders of the "new labour history" in America. His current research include the labour history of the Great Depression and labour law history, the latter work orientated toward the current campaign for reforming American law.

Dr Tony Dundon

Dr Tony Dundon lectures in employment relations at the School of Business and Economics, National University of Ireland, Galway. He has published on systems of employee representation, trade union renewal and non-union industrial relations. He is joint editor of the Human Resource Management Journal and author of Employment Relations in Non-Union Firms (Routledge, 2004) and Understanding Employment Relations (McGraw Hill, 2007). He was a former elected union official with the Communication Workers Union (CWU) in the UK prior to entering academia.

Justine Evesson

Justine Evesson is a Senior Research Analyst at the Workplace Research Centre, University of Sydney.She is currently working on a three year program of research for the National Centre for Vocational Education and Training, studying the interdependence of workers, employers and vocational education and training. Recently she led a major study of agreement making under WorkChoices in the retail and hospitality sectors. Her main research interests include: enforceable rights for vulnerable workers, union strategy, labour markets and skill eco-systems.

Professor Peter Fairbrother

Professor Peter Fairbrother is Co-Director of the Centre for Global Labour Research, Cardiff University and a Research Professor in the School of Social Sciences. His research and teaching interests cover: global political economy; global trade unionism; politics and trade unionism; restructuring and decomposition; workplace and union learning and training. With Professor Tony Elger, Peter is series editor of Routledge Studies in "Employment and Work Relations in Context". He is an International Advisory Board Member of the following: Labor Studies Journal; Global Labour; and Economic and Labour Relations Review.

Dr Ian Greer

Dr Ian Greer is a Senior Research Fellow in Comparative Employment Relations at Leeds University's Centre for Employment Relations, Innovation and Change. His research interests include trade union strategy and welfare to work, both within a line of questioning about the social and institutional effects of marketization. He received his PhD from Cornell's School for Industrial and Labor Relations in 2005 and has been at Leeds since early 2006. His articles have appeared in Industrial Relations, British Journal of Industrial Relations, European Journal of Industrial Relations, Politics and Society, New Technology Work and Employment, Capital and Class, and WSI-Mitteilungen.

Professor Edmund Heery

Edmund Heery is Professor of Employment Relations at Cardiff Business School and joint director of the Centre for Global Research. He has written widely on trade unions and industrial relations and has served as an adviser to the TUC on union organizing. He is editor of Sage Handbook of Industrial Relations (2008) year and is currently engaged in research on the role of single issue and campaigning organizations in supporting people at work.

Dr Sarah Kaine

Dr Sarah Kaine lectures in HRM and IR in the School of Management at UTS. Her research interests include employment relations in the residential aged care and the role of regulatory constraints in shaping the management of labour in that sector. In particular, Sarah is interested in how the gendered nature of the aged care workforce impacts on the determination of pay and conditions and the expression of employee voice within the sector. Additionally, Sarah is engaged in research into emerging forms of union collaboration in Australia and the implementation and instruments of individual flexibility under the Fair Work Act 2009.

Professor Russell Lansbury

Russell Lansbury is Professor of Work and Organisational Studies. His major research contributions have been in the areas of international and comparative aspects of industrial relations, particularly in the automobile and airline industries. His current research includes studies of the effects of management strategies in multinational enterprises on employment relations and labour practices in a variety of countries under different political and economic systems. He has recently been a Visiting Research Fellow at the International Institute for Labour Studies at the ILO in Geneva. He is joint editor of The Journal of Industrial Relations (with Bradon Ellem) and is currently President of the International Industrial Relations Association.

Dr John Logan

Dr John Logan has written extensively on labor law and employer opposition to unionization in the United States, Canada and United Kingdom. His research has been published in the British Journal of Industrial Relations, Advances in Industrial and Labor Relations, Journal of Labor Research, Perspectives on Work, Relations Industrielles, Industrial Relations Journal and New Labor Forum, among other journals and publications. Dr. Logan is currently completing a manuscript for a book entitled "Union Free": Public Policy, Employer Opposition, and the Fate of Private-Sector Unionism in the United States. He received his Ph.D. at University of California in 2000, and also conducted post-doctoral research at UCLA. From 1999-2008, he was an assistant and associate professor in employment relations at the London School of Economics and Political Science and was recently appointed Director of Research at the UC Berkeley Center for Labor Research and Education. Dr. Logan's research has been cited extensively in Congressional hearings on labor law reform, and he has provided background research to (among many others) American Rights at Work and the office of Representative George Miller, Chairman of the House Education and Labor Committee. In December 2007, he testified before the U.S. Congress on the crisis in union recognition and collective bargaining in the United States.

Dr Susan McGrath-Champ

Dr Susan McGrath-Champ is Senior Lecturer in Work and Organisational Studies with research interests which include the spatial aspects of industrial relations, employment relations in the coal and construction industries, training and performance of international assignees, and alternative explanations of the "glass ceiling". She was recently the lead researcher on a joint ARC-industry funded project concerning skills, training and migrant workers in the construction industry. Susan has previously worked in industry, consulting and research in Australia and Canada. She has published widely in employment relations and social science journals, and is guest editor of a special edition of Economic and Industrial Democracy (August 2005) and Labour and Industry (December 2002, with B. Ellem).

Professor Ruth Milkman

Ruth Milkman is Professor of Sociology and Director of the Institute for Research on Labor and Employment at UCLA. Her research and writing has ranged over a variety of issues surrounding work and labor organization in the U.S. She has written many articles and four books, most recently, L.A. Story: Immigrant Workers and The Future of the U.S. Labor Movement (2006). She is currently at work on two projects, one on labor law violations affecting low-wage workers and the other on California's paid family leave program.

Dr Sarah Oxenbridge

Dr Sarah Oxenbridge is a Senior Research Analyst at the Workplace Research Centre, University of Sydney. She is currently working on research for Fair Work Australia investigating the impact of minimum wage decisions on employees and employers in four industry sectors, and on a project for WorkCover and the Liquor, Hospitality and Miscellaneous Workers Union which examines strategies for preventing injuries among luxury hotel housekeepers. Sarah has worked in the UK as a researcher at the University of Cambridge and the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service, where she conducted research examining trade union-management partnerships and the impact of legislative change on employers and trade unions. Prior to this she conducted doctoral research examining trade union organising strategies in the low wage service sector, focusing on the spread of "organising model" strategies throughout union movements

Professor Al Rainnie

Professor Al Rainnie is Chair, Research and Development, in the Curtin Graduate School of Business. He has researched and written widely in the fields of small business, globalisation, work, employment, regional development and trade union organisation. He has carried out research with and for trade unions in the UK, Poland and Latin America, as well as Australia. He has published books on work and industrial relations in small firms, regional and employment restructuring in Central Europe, public sector restructuring, and community unionism. His latest book, 'Working Space', co-edited with colleagues from the US and Australia, was published in 2010. Current research interests include work, space and place, regional restructuring, social movement unionism as well as trade unionism and community engagement.

Professor Mark Stuart

Professor Mark Stuart is based at the University of Leeds, where he holds a Chair in Human Resource Management and Employment Relations and is Director of the Centre for Employment Relations Innovation and Change. He has researched and published widely on trade union strategy and modernisation, notably in terms of partnership, organising and learning. Recent funded projects include evaluations of the UK government's Union Modernisation Fund and the impact of TUC unionlearn. He is the current Chair of the International Section of the Labor and Employment Relations Association and is an Editorial Board member of Labour and Industry.

Professor Lowell Turner

Lowell Turner is Professor of International and Comparative Labor at Cornell University, in the School of Industrial and Labor Relations. His most recent book, co-edited with Daniel Cornfield, is Labor in the New Urban Battlegrounds: Local Solidarity in a Global Economy (Cornell University Press/ILR Press, Ithaca, 2007). Prior to entering academia, he was shop steward, chief steward and branch editor for the National Association of Letter Carriers in San Francisco.

Dr Brigid van Wanrooy

Brigid holds an ARC postdoctoral fellowship at the Workplace Research Centre at The University of Sydney. She is the lead researcher for the Australia at Work study that is tracking 8,341 workers over five years to examine changes in working life. The study is funded through the ARC Linkage grant scheme in partnership with Unions NSW. Brigid has a first class honours degree in Social Research Methods and Social Policy from the University of New South Wales and a doctorate from the Australian National University.

Professor David Weil

David Weil is Professor of Economics and Everett W. Lord Distinguished Faculty Scholar at Boston University School of Management. He is also co-Director of the Transparency Policy Project at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. His research spans regulatory and labor market policy, industrial and labor relations, occupational safety and health, labor union strategy, and transparency policy. He is widely published in academic and popular journals and co-authored three books, including the recently released Full Disclosure: The Perils and Promise of Transparency (Cambridge University Press, 2007). Weil has been a core faculty member of the Harvard Law School Labor and Work Life Program and the Harvard Trade Union Program since 1988, where he teaches a course on strategy for labor union leaders. He is an international expert on strategic planning and strategy for labor unions and has worked with the leadership of major labor unions in the U.S., United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and other countries. He has published numerous articles and case studies in this area as well as the book Turning the Tide: Strategic Planning for Labor Unions. In addition to his research, he has served as an advisor to the U.S. Department of Labor and other government agencies. He also serves as the Chairman of the Dunlop Commission on Agricultural Labor as well a mediator in a variety of labor / management settings in the U.S. and abroad.