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The evolution of freedom of association in Australia's federal industrial relations law: from trade union security to workplace rights

Lambropoulos, Victoria 2013, The evolution of freedom of association in Australia's federal industrial relations law: from trade union security to workplace rights, Labor history, vol. 54, no. 4, pp. 1-24, doi: 10.1080/0023656X.2013.804277.

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Title The evolution of freedom of association in Australia's federal industrial relations law: from trade union security to workplace rights
Author(s) Lambropoulos, VictoriaORCID iD for Lambropoulos, Victoria orcid.org/0000-0002-1818-777X
Journal name Labor history
Volume number 54
Issue number 4
Start page 1
End page 24
Total pages 24
Publisher Routledge
Place of publication Abingdon, Eng.
Publication date 2013
ISSN 0023-656X
1469-9702
Keyword(s) trade union
workplace rights
federal industrial relations law
Summary The early provisions protecting freedom of association in Australian federal industrial relations law supported trade union security. The interests of individuals were seen as adequately protected by collective groups. This principle dominated the industrial relations laws from 1904 to the mid-1970s. However, from the late 1970s, the laws were incrementally altered to promote freedom of choice and the rights of individuals not to be part of trade unions. The reframing of the laws also reflected changes in the wider Australian community, manifested particularly in the decline of union density rates. These changes were also part of an international trend, favouring the ideology of neoliberalism which contributed to an unsympathetic environment for trade unions. The current Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) has signalled a return to collectivism, although freedom of choice is at the heart of the laws rather than the promotion of collective groups. In the absence of legislative support promoting the viability of collective groups, this freedom to choose is threatened, leaving many workers with little choice but to disassociate.
Language eng
DOI 10.1080/0023656X.2013.804277
Field of Research 180118 Labour Law
180119 Law and Society
210303 Australian History (excl Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander History)
Socio Economic Objective 910401 Industrial Relations
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2013, Taylor & Francis
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30053071

Document type: Journal Article
Collections: Law
Higher Education Research Group
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