The term industrial relation refers to a relationship that exists between the management and the association of labor as a result of day to day working. However when taken in a broader perspective it includes the relationship between and an employer and an employee in the event of operating an industry and it may include other spheres which may translate to marketing, disposition of profits, quality control and price fixation.
This paper is going to analyze the reasons as to why the kinds of IR rules that the Common Wealth Government might introduce via legislation or regulations are so crucial in influencing the nature of industrial relations process occurring within an organization, the paper will also explain some factors that a government need to consider for its legislative framework to be accepted as fair by each parties and by the Australian community as a whole.
The paper will conclude by proposing some measures that should be taken for any industrial relation rule to be efficient and effective. Reasons as to why the kinds of industrial relation rules that Commonwealth Government might introduce via legislation are so crucial in influencing the nature of industrial relations process occurring within an organization
One of the major reasons as to why the industrial relation rules is so crucial in influencing the nature of Industrial relation process is that they help in identifying an important development that none of the existing theories of Industrial relation systems can specifically address the apparent internal contradictions and inconsistencies in practices and strategies that occur at different levels of IR within an organization.
Organizations that actively engage in promoting labor management cooperation at their level of workplace or worksites that are not unionized are usually engaged in sophisticated strategies at their highest level so as to ensure that new location stays without having a workers union. The development of this situation (union free) and its implication to industrial relations is a puzzle that can only be answered by the industrial relations laws (Anne et al 2000 pp.
30-33). The employment relationship (employee and employer) is perceived to be a relationship with a mixed motive. (The two stake holders are separated by conflicting interest and bided by a common interest). Therefore scholars and management have agreed that conflict is a phenomenon that naturally occurs. This phenomenon can either have negative or positive consequences to all the stake holders involved.
The mixed motive nature of organizations shows that all the stake holders (employers and employees) have several interests which are common to both of them. These common interests can effectively be improved by solving the problem. The objective of the Industrial relations rules is to foster conflict resolution and effective negotiation that allows an orderly accommodation of the different interest and a join gain solution or integrative pursuit.
Thus, industrial relation rules is crucial in influencing the nature of the industrial relation process occurring in the organization by fostering conflict resolution and promoting effective negotiations between the employees and employers(Anne et al 2000 pp. 34 -36). The kind of industrial relation rule is also crucial in influencing the nature of industrial relation process that occurs within an organization this is because at times it brings with it a problem that is unique in nature. For example in the case of Australia, the industrial relation laws have caused a lot of problems.
The law gave the commonwealth parliament the power to legislate for arbitration and conciliation for settlement and prevention of any industrial disputes which are interstate and created an industrial court to deal with the same. Technically the law gave the state the power of retaining residual powers of dealing with any dispute, while the federal tribunal deals with interstate cases. The problem with this system is that it has caused inequities and inefficiency with the whole system (Anne et al 2000 pp. 38-40).
While majority of industrial relation laws are not at par with a fully developed theory of industrial relations, they are have remained crucial in influencing the nature of industrial relations process occurring in an organization due to the following advantages: first, they recognize the relationship exists among operations at different levels of the system and helps in explaining the origin of any inconsistencies and internal contradictions that prevails among the three levels of the frame works. Second, these laws take into account the impacts that various decisions exerts on the actors.
Lastly, they facilitate the analysis of the impacts of increase in work place, participation by groups and individuals on the labor movements (George 1995). The type of Industrial relation rule is also crucial in influencing the nature of industrial relation process occurring within an organization because it has the ability of transforming the whole system According to Nitta et al, initially most of the industrial relation laws were formulated with an aim of curbing down industrial conflicts that existed between employees and the employers.
Some of these rules have ended up stabilizing the whole system. The term stability is used here to refer to actions that seek to eliminate causes of strike and conflicts (Kuruvilla et al 1998 pp. 26 -28). Factors that the government should consider for its legislative framework to be accepted as fair by each parties and by the Australian community as a whole Whenever the government is coming up with new Industrial Relations rules it should ensure that they include workers union and the country’s federation of employers in formulation of new laws.
This is because both unions will be able to air their view concerning the proposed laws. The union will also ensure that their member’s welfare is taken into consideration. Lastly, inclusion of both the union and the federation of employers, will place them in a position that they (union and the country’s federation of employers) will be able to explain and convince their member to accept the new Industrial relation laws (Saroc1996 pp. 650-653).
Secondly, the government should ensure that any new industrial relations laws are consistent with the principles of equity. The laws should aim at protecting the rights of employees including their collective rights while maintaining a system that is balanced for employers to work within. The law should create a system that avoids the lowest common denominator approach. A good example of this is a minimum legislated safety net of rights supported by tribunals like the one that was in operation at Victoria (Saroc1996 pp. 653-654).
Thirdly, the law should promote a system that contains checks and balances against any power abuse and radical change in policies through excessive concentration of power in the hands of particular people. The law should not promote efficiency by doing away with checks and balances that have been put in place by the law makers Fourth, the government should ensure that any new legislation imposes fewer costs on all the stakeholders. It should be able to clarify the obligations and the rights of unions, employees and employers.
In the event that employers or workers union feels that the law is going to be to their disadvantage they will reject it. The law has to create and promote certainty. Fifth, for a legislation to be acceptable, the government must ensure that the law is practically and politically achievable. Even if it is to be decided on using a single system to which all the stake holders and policy makers should aspire. Because of the issues covered by the industrial relations and the bigger number of legislation, the law should not increase the sheer numbers of regulations (Eddie 1997 pp 20-32).
Sixth, for the law to be accepted the government should ensure that, the law creates a system that have an appropriate balance between responsiveness and stability. On the other side, it is not desirable for the new law to promote a frequent and a radical shift in policy; this promotes disquiet and uncertainty amongst employees and their employers. It also brings with it inefficiency because of the significant cost of transition for the parties (employers and employees) as they try to adapt to the new system that has been brought about by the new law.
On the other hand, the Government must ensure that the new laws promote a system that capable of responding to any emergent need that might arise. For example, the law should be able to change or regulate the regulation of quasi employment or any new form of employment so as to prevent the existing system from disintegrating (Eddie 1997 pp 33-36). Lastly, the government should ensure that the law is practical and achievable. In some cases where the government has tried to enforce industrial relations laws that are not achievable they are always faced with resistance from the stake holders.
Most stakeholders will not enforce laws which they perceive to be impractical. For example a law calling for replacement of the entire operational system is impractical due to the cost of doing so. Conclusion The major reasons as to why the industrial relation rules are so crucial in influencing the nature of Industrial relation process is that they help in identifying an important development that none of the existing theories of Industrial relation systems can specifically address.
While establishing new laws the government should: include the workers union and the country’s federation of employers, ensure that the laws that they want to enforce are practical and achievable, they should also ensure that the law creates a system that have an appropriate balance between responsiveness and stability, and lastly the laws should be cheaper to enforce.
The writer of this paper is of the opinion that more still needs to be done on the industrial relation system. Its time to adopt a central system of industrial relation, this is because the current systems promotes inequities and inefficiency with the whole industrial relation system. Reference: Anne H, Wooden M, & William R (2000) the transformation of Australian industrial relations Federation Publisher
Eddie W (1997) democracy at work the future of the labor union Cornell University press pp18 -36 Saroch K (1996) the relationship between Econ development strategies & IR, Industrial & labor review 44 Number 5 pp. 650-654 George S (1995) is the new deal system collapsing, what might be able to replace journal of industrial relations Volume 30 Number 4 pp 212 -989 Kuruvilla S & Erickson C (1998) transformation of industrial relations system Dian publisher pp 25 – 29
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