Is it really industrial relations carnage out there?

From Crikey about the Fair Work Act (FWA) and ABS’ release yesterday of data collating the number of strike days lost:

The FWA was bad for industrial disputes, we were told, because it would give unions an unprecedented right to interfere with matters that were rightly “management prerogative”. “The fair-work laws extended the right to strike because they extended the right of unions to take strike action over contracting and outsourcing disputes,” complained Peter Anderson of the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry in 2011.

…It had “unleashed an adversarial culture which has resulted in a rising number of disputes and unreasonable claims by some unions,” according to the Business Council’s Jennifer Westacott in December 2011.

…Australian Industry Group industrial relations manager Stephen Smith in March 2012 said the level of industrial disputation “hasn’t been this bad for quite a few years now, not since 2007,”…

…Then there was Australian Industry Group chief executive Innes Willox, cited in December 2012 telling The Australianthat, in the journalist’s words, “the further increase in working days lost highlighted the need for the government to change the laws to more tightly define the issues that can be the subject of bargaining claims”…


Last year was a real bloodbath, huh?

10 Responses to “ “Is it really industrial relations carnage out there?”

  1. 3d1k says:

    The quotes selected were a couple of years old! Must be a quiet day over in Crikeyland. Whilst days lost to strike action have decreased since the early 1990s some unions have exploited other measures to hamper productivity. Experts in the area being MUA and CFMEU.

    • Gunnamatta says:

      What utter Bull

      Days lost in Maritime and Construction since the introduction of the FWA? trending up or down?

      I hope you arent one of these tossers banging on about Unions who has never met one in a workplace, 3d1k…

      Sure, unions can be a pain in the ring, and often do gravitate to the squeakiest in any workplace, in fact I have had a weird moment withone in the last couple of days. But you simply sit them down and chat with them.

      Basically the push on Unions is to hold the line and hope they continue to be ringed in for as long as possible……thats behind the Torynuff desire to deindustrialize the place, and focus on services gigs anchored to the bottom of the global food chain.

      Should enable all those babyboomers (the most heavily unionised and loudest squealing section of many workplaces) to drop off the working shelf without needing to be replaced, and without costing too much in the interim.

      • 3d1k says:

        Gunna you obviously have zero experience.

      • 3d1k says:

        Gunna you obviously have zero recent experience.

      • Gunnamatta says:

        Well you arent laying much of a claim to be the walking talking IR expert. Does your astroturfing job description have some additional duties in the IR field?

        And just for the record I would get asked IR advice on almost any given day

  2. spleenblatt says:

    Just another one of the phoney battle fronts being opened up to wage the neoliberal culture wars.

  3. Mining Bogan says:

    The failure by Our Tony and his big business unions to stir the workers into some sort of outrage must be unsettling for him.

    It’s blindingly obvious that the agenda is to cause chaos so that the foot can come down hard. What was Greenspan’s quote? Something along the lines of an unsettled workforce being good for corporations?

    Confrontation doesn’t work. The sooner that is learnt the better.

  4. swizzy says:

    It’s because of lack of thought in the Fair Work Act to mediate EBA re-negotations.

    After an EBA expires, if one side is disadvantaged, the re-negotiation process becomes a stalemate.

    The way things are going with the Fair Work Act, everyone will need to join unions, to get access to the Lawyers required to obtain an equitable EBA.

    This is the overhead that “Workchoices” is creating.

    Fortunately we don’t have a shortage of Law Grad’s.