IntroductionLabour market usually refers to the overall interaction of employers and employees. The labour market plays an integral role in the overall development in a nation. This explains the importance of monitoring the changes and forces that affect it either negatively or positively. Trade unions are part and parcel of the labour market. They are also referred to as the employees’ voice (Simon, 2005). Each and every market in any nation has a bargaining system therein. This paper therefore assesses the relationship between changes in the labour market and changes that are evident in the Australian bargaining system.
This paper also evaluates the relationship between changes in the labour market and changes in the level of industrial conflict. It further analyses the relationship between changes in the labour market and the changes in trade union membership density. The argument will be put forward that. the Australian labour market changes over the past years have been bad because they have led to poor employee employer relations, working conditions and remuneration packages. (Simon, 2005)The Australian labour market has gone through many changes.
These changes have been spurred by various factors both at national and international levels. The labour market in Australia in the previous years was characterised by many blue collar jobs. White collar jobs in the 1982 were very limited. (Muhl, 2001) It was however noted that majority of employees were males as compared to females. During this period, many employees had joined different trade unions. It is approximated that the number of members in trade unions were approximately three million. The primary industry in Australia consisted of a large workforce that was centralised in nature (Fox, 1974). It is also worth noting that during this time, majority of employed people were in the primary industry.
Stock or inventory in most Companies or industries was in form of products. Further analysis of the labour market during this time shows that employers would use a lot of resources to ensure that employees are well equipped (Lye and McDonald, 2004). This is in terms of money and time. In this case employers ensured that any skills that employees required were provided for in the organisation.
This resulted in a situation whereby many potential employees sought for careers in organisation. The industry also had a workforce that was quite centralised in nature (Lye and McDonald, 2004). They looked forward to having a long time serving in the organisations because of the high chances that were there of improving their skills and climbing up the ladder in terms of job levels. The supply of labour in the market was very small and this resulted in a situation where many employers offered employees attractive remuneration packages. It is quite imperative to note there was very little in terms of skilled workmanship in the Australian market as per this time (Gall, 2004). By the 20th century, various changes were already evident in the Australian labour market.
One of the major changes that the labour market started having been the increase in demand of white collar jobs as compared to blue collar ones. People in the 21st century do not want blue collar jobs anymore like in the eighties Mor, (2000) The factors that contributed to this are the fact that many people started getting necessary skills before seeking for job opportunities.
It is also worth noting that number of employees who join trade unions declined at an alarming rate. While in the 1980’s trade unions had approximately three million members, by the 21st century, they had only forty 41,000 members.