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'Democratic' Preconditions for Strike Action: A Comparative Study of Australian and UK Labour Legislation

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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'Democratic' Preconditions for Strike Action: A Comparative Study of Australian and UK Labour Legislation. / McCrystal, S.; Novitz, T.A.

In: International Journal of Comparative Labour Law, Vol. 28, No. 2, 2012, p. 115 - 146.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Harvard

McCrystal, S & Novitz, TA 2012, ''Democratic' Preconditions for Strike Action: A Comparative Study of Australian and UK Labour Legislation', International Journal of Comparative Labour Law, vol. 28, no. 2, pp. 115 - 146.

APA

McCrystal, S., & Novitz, T. A. (2012). 'Democratic' Preconditions for Strike Action: A Comparative Study of Australian and UK Labour Legislation. International Journal of Comparative Labour Law, 28(2), 115 - 146.

Vancouver

McCrystal S, Novitz TA. 'Democratic' Preconditions for Strike Action: A Comparative Study of Australian and UK Labour Legislation. International Journal of Comparative Labour Law. 2012;28(2):115 - 146.

Author

McCrystal, S. ; Novitz, T.A. / 'Democratic' Preconditions for Strike Action: A Comparative Study of Australian and UK Labour Legislation. In: International Journal of Comparative Labour Law. 2012 ; Vol. 28, No. 2. pp. 115 - 146.

Bibtex

@article{17c562d5bbe14ccd9348036691a2eaa6,
title = "'Democratic' Preconditions for Strike Action: A Comparative Study of Australian and UK Labour Legislation",
abstract = "In this article, we investigate legislative controls on the ability of workers and their organizations to take strike action, which raise fundamental questions relating to the application of democratic principles in a workplace setting. We trace the introduction of legislative provisions in Australia and the UK which sought to impose ‘majoritarian’ forms of democracy on trade union structures, by requiring ballots before such action could be taken.We recognize that these statutory pre-conditions are problematic both in terms of their aims and effects. Yet, what is arguably more worrying is the new institutionalization of deliberative pre-conditions for industrial action in the workplace. In Australia, this has taken the form of a requirement that a ballot applicant has ‘genuinely tried to reach agreement’, a requirement that continues to apply during any actual industrial action. In the UK context, the scope of protection from unfair dismissal (beyond a twelve-week period) will be affected by whether the union has complied with procedures established by an applicable collective or other agreement, offered or agreed to commence or resume negotiations, and has not unreasonably refused a request that conciliation or mediation services be used. In both countries, there seems to be growing pressure in policy terms for strikes to be very much a last resort, as statutory support for bargaining in good faith becomes stronger. We argue that these deliberative democratic controls of strike action are misguided.A richer understanding of deliberative democracy should, in our view, offer greater space for workers to voice their opposition in negotiations with employers. Keywords: industrial action, trade unions, democracy, balloting, UK,Australia.",
author = "S. McCrystal and T.A Novitz",
note = "Publisher: Kluwer",
year = "2012",
language = "English",
volume = "28",
pages = "115 -- 146",
journal = "International Journal of Comparative Labour Law",
issn = "0952-617X",
publisher = "Kluwer Law International",
number = "2",

}

RIS - suitable for import to EndNote

TY - JOUR

T1 - 'Democratic' Preconditions for Strike Action: A Comparative Study of Australian and UK Labour Legislation

AU - McCrystal, S.

AU - Novitz, T.A

N1 - Publisher: Kluwer

PY - 2012

Y1 - 2012

N2 - In this article, we investigate legislative controls on the ability of workers and their organizations to take strike action, which raise fundamental questions relating to the application of democratic principles in a workplace setting. We trace the introduction of legislative provisions in Australia and the UK which sought to impose ‘majoritarian’ forms of democracy on trade union structures, by requiring ballots before such action could be taken.We recognize that these statutory pre-conditions are problematic both in terms of their aims and effects. Yet, what is arguably more worrying is the new institutionalization of deliberative pre-conditions for industrial action in the workplace. In Australia, this has taken the form of a requirement that a ballot applicant has ‘genuinely tried to reach agreement’, a requirement that continues to apply during any actual industrial action. In the UK context, the scope of protection from unfair dismissal (beyond a twelve-week period) will be affected by whether the union has complied with procedures established by an applicable collective or other agreement, offered or agreed to commence or resume negotiations, and has not unreasonably refused a request that conciliation or mediation services be used. In both countries, there seems to be growing pressure in policy terms for strikes to be very much a last resort, as statutory support for bargaining in good faith becomes stronger. We argue that these deliberative democratic controls of strike action are misguided.A richer understanding of deliberative democracy should, in our view, offer greater space for workers to voice their opposition in negotiations with employers. Keywords: industrial action, trade unions, democracy, balloting, UK,Australia.

AB - In this article, we investigate legislative controls on the ability of workers and their organizations to take strike action, which raise fundamental questions relating to the application of democratic principles in a workplace setting. We trace the introduction of legislative provisions in Australia and the UK which sought to impose ‘majoritarian’ forms of democracy on trade union structures, by requiring ballots before such action could be taken.We recognize that these statutory pre-conditions are problematic both in terms of their aims and effects. Yet, what is arguably more worrying is the new institutionalization of deliberative pre-conditions for industrial action in the workplace. In Australia, this has taken the form of a requirement that a ballot applicant has ‘genuinely tried to reach agreement’, a requirement that continues to apply during any actual industrial action. In the UK context, the scope of protection from unfair dismissal (beyond a twelve-week period) will be affected by whether the union has complied with procedures established by an applicable collective or other agreement, offered or agreed to commence or resume negotiations, and has not unreasonably refused a request that conciliation or mediation services be used. In both countries, there seems to be growing pressure in policy terms for strikes to be very much a last resort, as statutory support for bargaining in good faith becomes stronger. We argue that these deliberative democratic controls of strike action are misguided.A richer understanding of deliberative democracy should, in our view, offer greater space for workers to voice their opposition in negotiations with employers. Keywords: industrial action, trade unions, democracy, balloting, UK,Australia.

M3 - Article

VL - 28

SP - 115

EP - 146

JO - International Journal of Comparative Labour Law

JF - International Journal of Comparative Labour Law

SN - 0952-617X

IS - 2

ER -