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Leader is not the union

Case studies have shown that there is sometimes a tendency for leaders who have been in place for an extended period of time, to come to regard themselves and the institution they lead as one and the same.

Where institutional arrangements allow and especially where there is no specified age for mandatory retirement, such individuals tend to resist handing over to better trained and more energetic leaders because they do not trust the leadership capability of anyone but themselves.

As a result, the decline of these institutions often parallels the decline of the leader. In effect, the leader and builder of the institution may stay around long enough to preside over its decline and even its demise.

The irony is that this scenario is more peculiar to the private sector than the public sector. Is this what is happening to the trade union movement and its long ensconced leader?

The continued vibrancy, effectiveness and capability of leadership of the trade union movement, as an institution, are too important to the future of our workers not to have sober reflection and full venting of views on this issue

— Algy Miller

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