The metal trades industry association, bargaining structures and the accord

Louise Thornthwaite*, Peter Sheldon

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


As part of his more general argument about employer reactivity in Australia, David Plowman has asserted that the disunity of Australian employer associations has inhibited their success in initiating policy debates or strategically reshaping bargaining structures. However, this paper, in examining the industrial relations strategies and policies of the Metal Trades Industry Association under the Accord, argues that the association seized substantial initiative in policy debates relating to bargaining structures and in influencing the pace and direction of change regarding the progressive implementation of enterprise bargaining in Australia. This had nothing to do with unity or disunity among employer groups, but related to factors internal to the association, its industry-and, in particular, the association's evolving relationship with the industry's unions-and to circumstances regarding the public policy-making process.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)171-195
Number of pages25
JournalJournal of Industrial Relations
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1996
Externally publishedYes


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