Current Industrial Relation Trends in Australia
Since 1970, union density has declined in Australia. The decrease in unions is the result of the shifting paradigm of the relationships between organizations and unions. Enterprise bargaining and legislations such as the Australia Workplace Agreements (AWA) have caste out the need for third party interference when it comes to negotiating workplace arrangements such as wages and conditions.
AWAs were perceived by employers and employees to achieve flexibilities in the workplace not otherwise reachable under collective bargaining. However, most of the benefits achieved through the introduction of AWAs seemed one-sided, with employers achieving wages and hours flexibility at the expense of employee entitlements.
Empirical studies refutes arguments that the increased prominence of enterprise bargaining has contributed to balancing work and family life, improvements in distribution of income and addressing specific workplace needs. …
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