The history of industrial relations in Australia First published:
Overview[ edit ] Industrial relations examines various employment situations, not just ones with a unionized workforce. However, according to Bruce E. Kaufman, "To a large degree, most scholars regard trade unionismcollective bargaining and labour— management relations, and the national labour policy and labour law within which they are embedded, as the core subjects of the field.
However, it is generally regarded as a separate field of study only in English-speaking countries, having no direct equivalent in continental Europe.
Industrial relations has three faces: In this vein, industrial relations scholarship intersects with scholarship in labour economicsindustrial sociologylabour and social historyhuman resource managementpolitical sciencelawand other areas.
Industrial relations scholarship assumes that labour markets are not perfectly competitive and thus, in contrast to mainstream economic theoryemployers typically have greater bargaining power than employees. Industrial relations scholarship also assumes that there are at least some inherent conflicts of interest between employers and employees for example, higher wages versus higher profits and thus, in contrast to scholarship in human resource management and organizational behaviourconflict is seen as a natural part of the employment relationship.
Industrial relations scholars therefore frequently study the diverse institutional arrangements that characterize and shape the employment relationship—from norms and power structures on the shop floor, to employee voice mechanisms in the workplace, to collective bargaining arrangements at company, regional, or national level, to various levels of public policy and labour law regimes,[ citation needed ] to varieties of capitalism  such as corporatismsocial democracyand neoliberalism.
When labour markets are seen as imperfect, and when the employment relationship includes conflicts of interest, then one cannot rely on markets or managers to always serve workers' interests, and in extreme cases to prevent worker exploitation.
Industrial relations scholars and practitioners, therefore, support institutional interventions to improve the workings of the employment relationship and to protect workers' rights.
The nature of these institutional interventions, however, differ between two camps within industrial relations.
In the workplace, pluralists, therefore, champion grievance procedures, employee voice mechanisms such as works councils and trade unionscollective bargaining, and labour—management partnerships. In the policy arena, pluralists advocate for minimum wage laws, occupational health and safety standards, international labour standardsand other employment and labour laws and public policies.
From this perspective, the pursuit of a balanced employment relationship gives too much weight to employers' interests, and instead deep-seated structural reforms are needed to change the sharply antagonistic employment relationship that is inherent within capitalism.
Militant trade unions are thus frequently supported.
History[ edit ] Industrial relations has its roots in the industrial revolution which created the modern employment relationship by spawning free labour markets and large-scale industrial organizations with thousands of wage workers.
Low wages, long working hours, monotonous and dangerous work, and abusive supervisory practices led to high employee turnover, violent strikesand the threat of social instability.
Intellectually, industrial relations was formed at the end of the 19th century as a middle ground between classical economics and Marxism ,[ citation needed ] with Sidney Webb and Beatrice Webb 's Industrial Democracy being a key intellectual work.
Institutionally, industrial relations was founded by John R. Commons when he created the first academic industrial relations program at the University of Wisconsin in Wight Bakkewhich began in Chamberlain at Yale and Columbia universities.
Industrial relations was formed with a strong problem-solving orientation  that rejected both the classical economists' laissez-faire solutions to labour problems and the Marxist solution of class revolution. By the early 21st century, the academic field of industrial relations was often described as being in crisis.
In policy-making circles, the industrial relations emphasis on institutional intervention is trumped by a neoliberal emphasis on the laissez-faire promotion of free markets. In practice, trade unions are declining and fewer companies have industrial relations functions.
The challenge for industrial relations is to re-establish these connections with the broader academic, policy, and business worlds.The annual reviews edition of the Journal of Industrial Relations provides an important opportunity to analyse recent developments in Australian industrial relations and to identify indicators of likely trends in the immediate future.
Australia's industrial awards system grew to encompass not only minimum rates of pay for all jobs, but also a steady reduction in the number of hours in the working week, the provision of overtime, penalty rates and so on. THE IMPACT OF INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS PRACTICES ON EMPLOYMENT AND UNEMPLOYMENT David Marsden 1.
Introduction Concern about the effects of industrial relations practices on employment and.
Oct 03, · The arrival of Amazon in Australia may signal a change in how we navigate industrial relations and workers rights. The Australian cricketers’ refusal to work is a potent form of player power.
The national workplace relations system – established by the Fair Work Act and other laws. Paid Parental Leave – offers eligible working parents 18 weeks of government funded Parental Leave Pay at the rate of the National Minimum Wage. Go to the Workplace Relations landing page.
Go to the Australia's National Workplace Relations System landing page. Browse Resources for Australia's National Workplace Relations System; Browse News for Australia's National Workplace Relations System; Go to the Fair Work Act Review details page.