Essays on Industrial Conflict in Australia Essay

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The paper “ Industrial Conflict in Australia” is an actual example of an essay on human resources. In a general context, a conflict refers to a disagreement or difference over a certain issue among the involved parties. Industrial conflict, therefore, refers to a disagreement that arises between employees or workers and their employers on any ground. This kind of conflict may result in strikes, absenteeism, and lockouts of employees in their workplaces until their issues are solved. According to the industrial Act, the dispute arising must be based on the terms and conditions of the employment contract.

Since industrial conflicts are settled through the Industrial Act, a dispute must have a number of principles in order to be considered an industrial conflict. First, a dispute must be affecting the majority of the employees by undermining their rights and interests in the workplace. Second, the interest that causes disputes should develop gradually from one employee to a general complaint. Third, there must be a connection between the complaints and the unions. Lastly, industry dispute concerns the termination, dismissal or retrenchment of an employee from their workplace (Kornhauser 2011). Turkington (2009) writes that industrial conflicts are expressed and manifested in various ways.

The most common form of industrial conflict is a strike. It is a situation where employees withdraw their services in the workplace. There are different reasons where employees may choose to withdraw their services in the workplace. The most common causes of the withdrawal include low salaries, poor working conditions, and mistreatment by the seniors in an organization. All or a group of employees engage in an organized protest to challenge their current industrial relations.

Strikes can be classified into either primary or secondary strikes depending on the intended purposes (Turkington 2009). The second form in which industrial conflicts take is lock-out: This refers to a sudden and temporal closure of the workplace or the “ suspension of work” . This is the tool available for the employer to counter the strikes by the employees. The employer will require their workers to resume work only when they have agreed to adhere to their terms and conditions (Kornhauser 2011). The last common form of conflict in which industrial conflicts take is gherao.

This refers to the protest by workers in an organization where they prevent any entries and exits in the organization premises. This form is mostly directed to the managers and directors. They are confined in their offices until they agree on the demands given by the workers (Turkington 2009). Australia has for far too long been faced with extreme severity of industrial conflicts compared to western countries. According to a recent survey, Australia records a total of 1174 working hour’ s loss per day among 10000 workers due to industrial conflicts Gall 2013).

This indicates a lack of effective measures to cope with the problems arising in industrial relations in the country, which is a major challenge to Australian people (Quinlan 2013). In the early 1940s, the number of cases reported on industrial conflicts was much higher than in the decades that followed. From 1970- 1984, the number of industrial conflicts experienced annually reduced gradually over the years. There has been a steady downward trend in the cases of industrial disputes due to the institutional and legal reforms.

In 1994 the number of industrial conflicts registered was 560 which was the lowest number that Australia has experienced since 1940 (Quinlan 2013).



Gall, G., 2013, New forms and expressions of conflict at work. Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan

Kornhauser, A., 2011, Industrial conflict. New York: McGraw-Hill.

Leonardi, R, 2012, Work-related stress, quitting intentions and absenteeism. Bonn: IZA.

Quinlan, M., 2013, A divided working class: Ethnic segmentation and industrial conflict in Australia. London.

Rainnie, A.,2010, Absenteeism from the frontline: Explaining employee stress and withdrawal in a call centre. Clayton.

Turkington, D., 2009, The forms of industrial conflict. Victoria: Victoria University of Wellington, Industrial Relations Centre.

Vertonghen, G., 2010, Managing workplace conflict: Alternative dispute resolution in Australia.Annandale, N.S. W: Federation Press.

Waters, M., 2012, Strikes in Australia: A sociological analysis of industrial conflict. Sydney.

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