S.Vijay Kumar


‡ Understand the key strategic issues in industrial relations. ‡ Explain the unitary, pluralist and radical approaches to industrial relations. ‡ Appreciate the role of employers, trade unions and governments in industrial relations. ‡ Understand individual and collective bargaining, conciliation and arbitration.

the problem is in obtaining consensus. better jobs and improved job security.INTRODUCTION ‡ Continuing work environment issues are creating pressures for more industrial relations reform. ‡ While all parties agree that reform is inevitable. . ‡ Higher productivity translates into higher wages.

INTRODUCTION ‡ The way people view the challenges of reform is in large part influenced by their perspective on industrial relations. .

APPROACHES TO INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ‡ IR involves employee and their unions. . employers and their associations and governments and industrial tribunals that make regulations governing the employment relationship.

monitoring and control of human resources (not just employees) ± Securing employee commitment or organisation¶s aims & objectives (performance based rewards. employee involvement) . organisational psychology) ± Integrating planning.NATURE OF IR ‡ Focus ± Strategic & integrated managerial approach to the management of people ± HRM support for achieving business aims and objectives ‡ Mechanisms ± Individualism (human relations.

Approaches to industrial relations Unitary Authoritarian Paternalism Pluralistic Co-operation Conflict Approaches to industrial relations Marxist Evolution Revolution Input Conflict (differences) Conversion Institutions and processes Output Regulation (rules) Human resource management Labour market Systems Social action Wider approaches to industrial relations Control of the labour process Comparative .

teamwork and the sharing of common objectives. . ‡ Conflict is regarded as destructive. ‡ The underlying assumption is that it is to the benefit of all to focus on common interests and promote harmony.UNITARIST APPROACH ‡ Industrial relations is grounded in mutual cooperation. individual treatment.

PLURALIST APPROACH Regards conflict as inevitable because employers and employees have conflicting interests. . ‡ Trade unions are seen as legitimate representatives of employee interests. ‡ Sees stability in industrial relations as the product of concessions and compromises between management and unions.

ADVERSARIAL IR UNION Strike Bans Boycott Picket Industrial tribunal MANAGEMENT Lockout Injunction Strike breakers Employer associations Industrial tribunal .

‡ Sees industrial conflict as an aspect of class conflict. like the pluralists. .RADICAL OR MARXIST APPROACH ‡ Marxists. regard conflict between management and employees as inevitable. ‡ The solution to worker alienation and exploitation is the overthrow of the capitalist system.

HRM AND IR ‡ HRM presents a direct challenge to traditional IR centred on conflict inevitability. government intervention and employee representation. . ‡ Considerable opposition to HRM.

HRM AND IR HRM contributes in: ‡ theory and research on management as an initiator of change .more acceptable ‡ frameworks for understanding enterpriselevel relations ± vs centralised rewards ‡ frameworks for understanding direct and informal management vs indirect/formal ie.THEORY. Employee Relations .

top managers want fewer ‡ Unpredictable. irregular and insecure hrs: 25% of workers casual (more women) ‡ Intensification of work: harder/longer therefore: stress. QoWL down ‡ Breakdown between hrs and earnings: annualization of salaries and unpaid O¶Time . p/t workers want more hrs.Union View of HRM Apologist for unreasonable DDs & ³consultant speak´: ‡ Unemployment high while hrs of work up ‡ f/t workers 30% over 50hrs/wk. fatigue.

PARTIES IN INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS Three major parties: government. . ARBITRATION The submission of a dispute to a third party for a binding decision AWARDS Written determinations setting out the legally enforceable terms and conditions of employment. employer associations and trade unions.

‡ The AIRC is Australia¶s most important industrial tribunal. .GOVERNMENT AND INDUSTRIAL TRIBUNALS Industrial tribunal: ‡ Government tribunals charged with preventing and settling industrial disputes.

EMPLOYER ASSOCIATIONS ‡ Employer associations represent employer interests before industrial tribunals and provide a range of IR advisory services including award interpretation. . dispute handling and how to counter union activity.

throughout an industry or occupation. ‡ Some unions see enterprise bargaining as being limited to just that. ‡ Adopt an approach of strategic unionism. .TRADE UNIONS ‡ Formal organisations that represent individuals employed in an organisation. ‡ Unions seek to negotiate above-award concessions from employers.

12.The Past ± IR vs The Future .HRM ‡ Read fig.3 for more on this change in focus .

WHY EMPLOYEES JOIN UNIONS Compulsion Protection Social pressure Political beliefs Solidarity Tradition Pay and conditions Communication Health and safety .

INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS PROCESS ‡ Collective bargaining ‡ Consent awards ‡ Arbitrated awards .


CHOICE OF PROCESSES Workplace-level grievances ‡ Listen carefully ‡ Have all of the relevant facts ‡ Avoid lengthy delays ‡ The union may have to argue a case it does not genuinely support Tribunal-level grievances ‡ When the issue cannot be resolved at the workplace .

Industrial tribunals are pragmatic institutions concerned with finding workable solutions to industrial disputes.ADVOCACY ‡ Employer or union representatives who argue a case before an industrial tribunal or court ‡ Courts are concerned with justice. .

CHARACTERISTICS OF SUCCESSFUL ADVOCATES Orderly presentation Objectivity Appearance Politeness Knowledge of industrial law and industrial relations Ethical stance Good communication skills .

.THE WORKPLACE RELATIONS ACT ‡ Gives primary responsibility for industrial relations and agreement making to employers and employees ‡ Focus the role of the award system Ensure freedom of association ‡ Avoid discrimination ‡ Assist employees to have work /life balance ‡ Assist in giving effect to Australia¶s international obligations in respect of labour standards.

Better Pay) Bill 1999 . No other items can be covered in an award.ALLOWABLE MATTERS ‡ These are provisions allowed to remain in awards by the Workplace Relations Act. ‡ In 1999 the Australian Government introduced the Workplace Legislation Amendment (More Jobs.

SUMMARY ‡ The changing nature of global markets and the need to become more customerdriven have forced a critical reexamination of the way industrial relations is handled in Australia. ‡ Radical. . pluralist and unitary approaches (in one form or another) all have their supporters.

. ‡ As a consequence. the IR agenda in the years ahead appears likely to be dominated by both change and controversy.SUMMARY ‡ The traditional roles and dominance of government. employer associations and union are being challenged ± their place in the industrial relations arena is no longer guaranteed.

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