Class, ideology and Australian industrial relations

Andrew Mack

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The Coalition Government led by John Howard has seized a historically unique political opportunity to turn Australia's century-old industrial relations system on its head. Government control of both Houses of Parliament allows it to proceed with its plans to reconstruct the way wages and conditions are set in this country. This article shows that the changes point to a much more significant shift in political and economic power than the achievement of a parliamentary majority. It is argued that the Howard government's industrial relations program represents awatershed change in the relative class power of capital over labour.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)155-171
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Australian Political Economy
Issue number56
Publication statusPublished - 2005


  • Hawke government
  • Keating government
  • Howard government
  • Australia
  • Workplace Relations Amendment (Work Choices) Bill 2005
  • Australian Industrial Relations Commission
  • unfair dismissal
  • job creation


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