Multi-Employer Cohesion in Australian Construction Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • In response to an increase in industrial conflict and an escalation of wages in the 1960s and early 1970s, construction employers in Australia and Canada took steps to achieve more centralized and stable labour-management relations. With the assistance of new legislation, Canadian employers were able to establish more cohesive associations and centralized bargaining structures, but the severity of strike activity increased and wage settlements did not subside. In contrast, the centralization of negotiations in Australia was accompanied by an improvement in bargaining outcomes, even though employer fragmentation persisted. The study suggests that legal underpinnings are necessary to promote employer cohesion and to improve the process of multi-employer bargaining. At the same time, bargaining outcomes are more likely to be influenced by the economic climate and the industrial relations system than by changes in either the law or bargaining structures.

publication date

  • December 1987