Essays on Role of Unions in the Australian System of Employee Relations Coursework

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The paper "Role of Unions in the Australian System of Employee Relations" is a great example of management coursework.   The aim of this essay is to assess the role of trade unions in the Australian system of Employment relations. Trade unions according to the Australian federal system are created for the purposes of protecting or furthering the interests of its members and should be free of improper influence or control by the employer. The union should have more than 50 members who are employees. The unions occupy a space in the industrial relations system and are a crucial entity in collective labor relations (Clegg, 2006).

Newer forms of employee participation and representation have brought additional dimensions to the picture of labor relations. Many countries have separate legislation governing private and public sector employers with rights and protection of employees varying significantly. It is undeniable that trade unions in Australian labor relations systems have created the much needed revolutionary transformation to protect and represent the rights of workers. The presence of trade unions has also driven the federal government to shift the locus of power to the national scale and develop more power as vested in the Australian constitution (Bell, 2001).

The state has been able to undertake a range of legislation relating to the governance of corporations or firms, strengthening the scope and depth of control issues on industrial relations and employment practices. It also assisted in rescaling the practices of regulation to the workplace, enterprise, and individual workers. Australian labor relations History of Australian labor relations and Trade Unions Trade unions in Australia emerged from the major strikes of the 1890s due to bitter struggles between organized labor and capital causing distress and widespread dislocation.

The colonial society became disenchanted in its economic and social fabric to a point that a requirement was made for unions and employers to submit competing claims for an independent third party to undertake arbitration. The first decade in the 20th century saw all the Australian states establish industrial tribunals. The Conciliation and Arbitration Act of 1904 allowed for the registration of organizations of employers and employee unions (Briggs, 2004). The legislation contained explicit references to basic wage and its provisions, the intervention of Commonwealth Attorney-General on hours and basic wage, and provision for Conciliation commissioners to aid in reaching agreements.

In 1973, the Act was amended to provide for the Commonwealth Conciliation and Arbitration Commission to handle arbitration and conciliation issues while the Commonwealth Industrial Court exercised judicial power (Commonwealth of Australia 1985). In 1988, the Industrial Relations Act was passed to establish the Australian Industrial Relations Commission, Australian Industrial Registry, Provision for dual appointments, Designated Presidential Member, and provisions for demarcation disputes and agreements. Major policy thrusts followed when the Industrial Relations Reform Act 1993 and the Workplace Relations Act 1996 came into form. The Australian parliament later passed the Work Choices Act 2005 by amending that of 1996 to accommodate the simplicity and flexibility of the national industrial relations system.

According to Creighton (2000), dispute resolution remained a core function but the role of the commission was changed. There are more than 46 trade unions in Australia today under the umbrella of the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU). The national body undertakes major test cases, award modernization process, and national wage cases.

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