With the 21st century nearing the end of its first decade, it seems an appropriate moment to take stock of what labour historians are researching and writing about in 2009. Labour History in the New Century presents a collection of papers embracing a wide range of themes: anti-Labor organizations such as ASIO and the FBI; struggles by female and Indigenous workers for equal pay and conditions; conflict within the Communist Party of Australia; comparative studies, significant individuals, and papers contextualizing the labour movement in the latter 20th century
The public police consitute a paradox: police in Australia are both sworn officers and employees. Although police control overt manifestations of industrial disputation such as lockouts and pickets, they can be militant unionists themselves. Policing is one of the most highly unionised industries in Australia with some state memberships nearing a rate of 99 percent. Policing is immersed in ambiguities: police act as the state's coercive agent but poice operational independence also determines when and how to act. "From introduction"