Enterprise Industrial Relations Essay

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Todd (2012) has interviewed employer association representatives and examined their public statements and submissions. From her research, she questions whether the changes to the industrial relations system that employer associations advocate would enhance productivity. With regard to issues such as penalty rates and job security, there is evidence that these relate to cost cutting and enhanced managerial prerogative rather than productivity. Discuss

During 2011 employer associations in Australia conducted an active lobbying campaign to introduce legislative changes with respect to industrial relations. Predominantly they were seeking to diminish the power of collective bargaining and increase managerial control under the
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Ultimately employers indicate that unless businesses can become more flexible then in the long-term there will be no work available at all (Pye, 2012).
Statistical research by Eslake (2011) has established that for the last decade Australia has been experiencing a decline in overall productivity. This supports the main thrust of the lobbyists, who argue that rigid organisational pay and working conditions create an inflexible organisation which is not able to compete in the international environment. They argue that there is a direct correlation between increased organisational flexibility and productivity, and a number of large organisations in Australia have suggested that barriers to productivity include a lack of flexibility, increasing penalty rates, and restrictions on the use of contractors (Todd, 2012:350). They believe that these inhibitors should be addressed in amendments to the FWA in order to secure a productive future for Australia and the workforce in general.

Todd (2012) questions the validity of these sweeping arguments made by employers seeking to challenge the FWA. She draws upon wider research which demonstrates that generalisations linking flexibility and organisational productivity should be treated with caution as the specifics of this within organisations are also correlated to aspects of leadership and organisational culture (Abernathy, 2011). In essence, small flexible
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