The expected surge of employer militancy did not eventuate on the legislative or industrial fronts. Employers appeared largely satisfied with the federal regulatory framework and continued to experiment with the choices it offers. In an election year and facing an unwilling Senate, they pulled back from their legislative crusade. Industrially and in the courts, large, adversarial employers have been losing as often as winning. Paradoxically, the main employer associations have more successfully navigated the challenges of a decentralised system. They played leading roles in a number of test cases and in defending employer interests in the face of legislative activism from Labor state governments.