Industrial Relations:


* Can be the cause of success or failure of business
* IR is effected by the marco environment
* The government and unions play a vital role in IR negociations,
  from these negotiatons laws sometimes are altered.
* Governments have control through legislation to enforce things such
  as working conditions and pay. They generally rely on independant
  tribunals to settle the matters of industrial conflict.
* IRC (Industrial Relations Commission) is responsible for the
  majority of the conciliation and arbitration in this country
* Unions effectiveness depends largely on the number of workers
  in registered unions Vs's the amount which are independant
* Employers like employees don't all have the one union but have
  ones specialised for their particular area
* Different types of trade unions have different policies and practices,
  power and influence
* Larger firms (with generally larger number of employees) have quite
  a lot of people involved with the IR of the business

* Six Parties in Australian IR:

  - State & Federal Government         - Industrial Tribunals
  - Employers                          - Employers associations
  - Trade Unions                       - Employees

* Business Union Structure:

  - Shop Steward - Acts as a union representitive between the union
                   and it's members
  - Industrial Officers / Union Organisers - Travel between worksites
                                             settling local disputes
  - State Executive - Take care of serious disputes and taks reports
                      by industrial officers
  - State Council - Determines long term policies for their state
                    in which unions must obey
  - Federal Council / Conference - This is where state unions are
                                   joined at a federal level who
                                   then delegates a Federal Exec.
  - Federal Executive - Decides on national policies of the union

Graph of Heirarchy of the IR Process:

                                 Australian IRC
         Federally registered ----------------------- Federal Employers
         branch of union                                 Association
            |                                                 |
            |                                                 |
          Union                                         Company board
         Executive                                       of directors
            |                                                 |
            |                                                 |
           Union                                        Human resource
         Organiser                                        Management
            |                                                 |
            |                                                 |
           Shop                                           Supervisor
         Steward                                              |
            |                                                 |
            |                                                 |
         Individual ------------- Grievance ------------- Foreperson
          Workers                 (Dispute)

* In small businesses discussions may only go on between the boss
  and the employee(s)

* Types of unions:

  - Craft - Based on trade/craft, regardless of industry
  - Occupational - Based on specific occupational classification
                   eg.print related
  - Industry - Covers specific industry
  - General - Covers everyone (eg.ACTU)

* Types of employer associations come in two types:

  - Single Industry          - Multi Industry

* Role of the government in IR is to:

  - Establish the Conciliation and Arbitration Act
  - In the Conciliation stage bring parties together
  - In the Arbitration stage enforce decisions to be made

* Role of Federal Industrial Court:

  - Industrial Devision of Federal Court of Australia (1956)
  - Interpretation/Enforcement of awards
  - Offences concerning membership of organisations
  - Secret Ballots and Union elections
  - Breaches of Union rules
  - Recovery of wages when employers have not been paying
    award rates

  - Established 1976

* Forms of non-strike industrial reactions:

  - Work Bans (See Terminology)
  - Pickets   ("             ")
  - Boycotts  ("             ")
  - Rules (Setting rules of return)

* Methods in which the IRC (Established 1988) can vary awards:

  - 'Ban claus' - Insert into an award to make a strike illegal
                  and stopping the person from getting paid if
                  they strike
  - Stand down claus - Gives the employer the right to suspend
                       employees, without pay, who have been
                       left idle due to others strikes
  - Cancelling awards
  - Deregistering a union - Leaving a union powerless eg.BLF
                            (Builders, Labourers Federation)

History of Industrial Relations:

* Did not originate in Australia but in Middle Ages
* Australian IR is a DUAL system, Federal and state
* Before the Industrial Revolution production was basically subsistence,
  with any surplus being used for exchange in the local markets
* The Industrial Revolution changed the way production was organised.
  It was broken down so instead of people being multi-skilled and
  finishing a project single handed they were now assigned more simple,
  repetitive tasks
* As the division of labour and mechanisation of production developed
  large sums of money were needed, this money was called Capital.
* The individual craftsman could no longer afford to setup production
* As the economy developed the individual worker became a commodity
  and therefore could be manipulated as well, this did not only occur
  with factory workers but also occured with the 'working class'
* It became harder for the worker to deprive a employer of his services
* Section 51 of the Australian Constitution limits the power of the
  Government to be involved with IR

Development of unions in Australia: - Time Line

1829   - Government brought in 'Masters and Servants Act'
         (Setting out wages and conditions)
1840's - Development of craft unions
1880's - Unskilled and semi-skilled unions formed
1890   - South Australian Government passes the first
         Arbitration Bill
1890's - A.L.P. (Australian Labor Party) formed
1904   - Conciliation And Arbitration Act passed
1907   - Harvester case (Sets basic wage)

Recent 20th Century developments:

- Increase in trade unions
- Trade union membership decreases from 55% in the 1980's to less
  than 42% now
- 1980's bring a drop in private sector membership and an
  increase in part time and casual employees
- 1990's introduce Enterprise Bargining into the workplace

Recent IR Issues:

- Wharfies dispute involving the Maritime Union of Australia. It
  involved the retrenchment of 55 employees (2/3rd's union reps)
  for failure to agree to an enterprise agreement. The federal
  government took over mediation of this dispute. Employees
  believe it wasn't a 'just cause' for the sackings.
  New enterprise agreements were drawn up, and with much mediation,
  this problem has now been solved, and workers across the country
  have returned to their jobs

- Customs officers strike in April 1994 is another example.
  Australian Customs Service and the Federal Government were the
  two parties involved in the dispute. Went to Federal level to
  try and solve dispute. The Australian Customs Service managed
  through their Trade Union, to gain many of their demands (9/10)
  within the 24 hours the officers striked for. A solution was
  reached to continue talks to discuss factor 10, which was the
  lay off's announced

- Introduction of the recent Industrial Relations Reform Act,
  and recent laws providing greater equality for women in the
  workforce. The recent IR Reform act takes away most of unions
  legal powers, but keeps some of the old systems as a 'safety

Reasion for decline in Trade Union membership:

Since the 1980's Trade Union membership has declined for four main

* Decline in manafacturing and public sectors, which is a traditional
  union area
* Employment growth in Small Business, traditionally less-unionised
* Growth in part-time and casual jobs, traditionally less-unionised
* Increased participation of women, traditionally less-unionised

Methods for determining wages:

Centralized System:

- Not worked out between management and employees, but on a national
- IRC determines national wage case of, (A) Base wage
                                        (B) Wage increases
- Wage increases based (I) Productivity
                      (II) Effeciency of particular industry

Decentralized System:

- Wage increases - Negociated between employees and management
                 - Effects particular company only
- Wages must be at award rate or higher eg. SPC Cannery

Study Tips:
- Know how the Industrial Relations System was established.
- Who/What are the major parties?
- Know how problems/grievances are solved!
- Know if something is a Federal or State award!

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Converted on 22 Jul 1996 with RexxDoesAmigaGuide2HTML by Michael Ranner.