The past decade has witnessed a wide range of industrial relations reforms in Australia. Employee participation and industrial democracy was espoused by the federal Labour government in 1986 as a key element in its reform programme. It was also embraced by the trade union movement and, to a lesser extent, by leading employers and their associations. Examines why the promise of industrial democracy has not been fulfilled at the enterprise level. Identifies contributing factors as the economic recession, the decline of trade union membership and a lack of “people” skills in managerial ranks. Shows that although the trend towards enterprise bargaining may herald a new impetus for employee participation, thus far it has been characterized by a narrow agenda and limited involvement by employees.
- employee involvement
- industrial relations