Unions and collective bargaining in Australia in 2012
In 2012, the big issues for unions were working hours, insecurity, supply chain intervention, collective rights, public sector employment and, of course, organisation and membership. Membership and density were fairly stable. Disputation rose but was well below the levels of the Workplace Relations Act era. Disputes became longer and retained their focus on bargaining under the Fair Work Act. Unions continued to attempt to widen sources of collective power that had been severely constricted during the Howard years. They developed new policies and a slightly broader range of tactics, and undertook some internal restructuring at the Australian Council of Trade Unions. The unions' relationship with the federal government was relatively stable. In contrast, in state public sectors there was increasing unrest, with unions using a variety of tactics to counter attacks on job security and long-standing conditions. Unions also faced challenges from restructuring and redundancies in industries such as airlines and coal.
Journal of Industrial Relations
Innovation and Technology Management