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Management---IR - Essay Example

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‘Labor’s reforms are about restoring the rights of workers, not the power of unions.’ Introduction: Australia has seen a series of labour reform laws aimed at uplifting the Australian economy. The previous law Work Choices Act almost crippled a major section of the economy largely affecting the labour unions but caused irreparable damage to the workers…
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Download file to see previous pages It offered them the right to negotiate with the employers, the right to collective bargaining, and allowed for paid parental leaves. Furthermore as a part of reforms, the Rudd government abolished various laws which were detrimental for the workers, such as the Australian Workplace Agreements, which was introduced to restore the workers rights by protecting them against their unfair dismissal by the employers, introduced a new system of awards, ensured its compliance through setting up of appropriate bodies, and appointed an independent workplace monitor, with the responsibility of ensuring fair workplace practices. Furthermore, it also allowed the workers the right to join unions. Thus, the phrase “Labor’s reforms are about restoring the rights of workers, not the power unions”. Labor’s reforms: The various laws pertaining to federal employment and labour reforms in Australia have been subject to a series of hot debates and controversies, over the last decade. Historically, laws relating to labour reforms and aimed at protection and safeguarding of labour rights have formed a strong basis for fostering political success and have been a major contributor to the emergence of grass root activism movements within Australia. Similar laws aimed at fuelling wide spread labour reforms were enacted and implement in Australia by the Labor party under the Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard government, during the 2007 election. These laws were aimed at developing and enhancing industrial relations through the Forward with Fairness policy. This new policy was developed in response to the sharp criticism received by the previous act i.e. the Work Choices legislation which was received with fierce opposition mostly from the unions, as well as from the workers, who were greatly disadvantaged on account of certain terms and conditions included therein (Work Choices Act, 2005). The new policy / laws were proposed in order to counter the existing law (i.e. the Work Choices) and the purpose of this new proposed set of laws as announced by the Labour government was to overcome the drawbacks of the previous law, which would be completely dropped and modified (Stewart, 2009: 33-40). While developing the Fair Work Act, 2009 the Rudd- Gillard Labor government endorsed this new legislation as a marked departure from the previous law, which was aimed at ensuring workers’ rights and was described as a relatively more accountable and balanced law, developed taking into consideration the interests of both the employees as well as employers. It was further claimed that the act is likely to bring about the much desired economic development through increased productivity and further the national objectives (Spoehr, 2009: 311-313). The Fair Work Bill was first introduced in the year 2008 and presented in the House of Representatives in November 2008. After a thorough inspection and deliberation over the same, it was finally passed in the senate with a couple of amendments and was then approved by the Governor General in the following months, in April 2009. The new bill (i.e. the Fair Work Bill) was viewed as a major milestone in the history of labour reforms, as it targeted the workers’ rights, more than the rights of the unions, and it sought to bring about major changes which were never witnessed ever before in the entire Australian history. It was seen as a welcome change as compared to the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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