Essays on The Role of Trade Unions in Organizations in Australia Literature review

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The paper "The Role of Trade Unions in Organizations in Australia" is an outstanding example of a management literature review. According to Silver (2003, p. 23) trade union is an organization that is formed by a group of workers with an aim of attaining certain goals. In Australian, it is possible for trade unions to attain the legal entity status also called collective bargaining over not only working hours and wages but also employment conditions and terms (Dabscheck, 1995, p. 11). This means that the aforementioned are not unilaterally agreed upon by the management but set by all the parties involved.

Nonetheless, in most situations, trade unions lack the rights an aspect that can make workers resort to collective actions such as strikes with an aim of pressuring their respective employees to a mandate that could make them negotiate with their employers with an aim of not only improving their working conditions but also their wages. In the aforementioned situations, the trade unions have particular legal rights such as negotiating with the employers. This essay will critically examine the role of trade unions in the contemporary employment relations in Australia.

It will further examine employment relations and human resource management in Australia and challenges that have set the ground for union roles or intervention. Background for the establishment of trade unions Trade union movement flourished in Australia during the 20th century. For instance, between 1920 and 1980, the membership doubled (Griffin & Svensen, 1998). However, Teicher & Svensen (1998, p. 21) point out that the status and power were derived from arbitration and centralized conciliation system in 1901. The key challenges that resulted in the formation of trade unions included poor working conditions, poor wages and the need for employees’ recognition and the mentioned challenges have also been experienced in the 21st century (Munck, 2004, p.

250). Even though the centralized system seemed to deliver the aforementioned, union officials saw the need of establishing arbitral strategies for the purpose of realizing their goals. The next section will discuss the role of trade unions in contemporary employment relations in Australia and the role of government and other stakeholders in addressing the mentioned challenges.


Benson, J. (1998). Workplace union organization in Australia. Working Paper No.40, Labour Studies Programme, University of Melbourne.

Dabscheck, B. (1995). The struggle for Australian Trade Relations. Oxford University Press, Melbourne.

Fox, C.B, Howard, W, A & Pittard, M (1995). Industrial Relations in Australia. Sydney: Longman Australia

Griffin , G. & Svensen, S. (1998). ‘The decline of Australian union density’-a survey of the literature, Journal of Industrial Relations, 38:4, 505-547.

Hawke, A. & Wooden, M. (1998). ‘The Changing Face of Australian Industrial Relations’: a survey of economic record, 74:224, 74-88.

Lansbury, R. D (1990). Australian Approaches to Industrial Democracy’, in R.D Lansbury (ed) Democracy in the Workplace, Melbourne: Longman Cheshire.

Munck, R. 2004. Globalization, labour and the ‘polyani problem’. Labour History, 45, 3,pp 251-269.

Sappery, R.,Burgess, J., Lyons, M 7 Buultjiens, J. 2006. Industrial relations in Australia. Frenchs Forrest, NSW: Pearson Education Australia.

Silver, B (2003). Forces of Labour. Workers movement and globalization since 1870. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Teicher, J & Svensen, S. (1998). Legislative Changes in Australasian Industrial Relations, 1984-1997, Working Paper No.56, National Key Centre in Industrial Relations, Monash University.

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