Unions and Collective Bargaining in 2011

TitleUnions and Collective Bargaining in 2011
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsBrigden, Cathy
JournalJournal of Industrial Relations
Pagination361 - 376
KeywordsAustralia, collective bargaining, Fair Work Act, industrial disputes, Qantas, trade unions

In 2011, Australian unions successfully extended collective bargaining in some quarters while, in others, they engaged in lengthy industrial campaigns. At the heart of a number of these campaigns lay the issue of job security and controls over staffing. The challenge to managerial prerogative prompted some unforeseen actions, including lockouts, by employers, the most dramatic example being seen at Qantas. Unexpectedly, this also included an employer preference for arbitration not previously seen under the Fair Work Act 2009. Union activity to increase union density remained a challenge, with the Australian Council of Trade Unions shifting to a campaigning focus in an attempt to identify salient issues confronting members. Relations with the federal government were overall fairly positive, in particular, with some advances made in the area of occupational health and safety. This was in contrast to relations with a number of state governments as a result of their bargaining tactics and strategies.

Short TitleJournal of Industrial Relations