Human Resources International Employment Relations Essay

Length: 8 pages Sources: 2 Subject: Careers Type: Essay Paper: #2590512 Related Topics: Automotive, Human Relations, Automotive Industry, Employment
Excerpt from Essay :

5. How have the trade unions in the industry responded to the changes in employment relations in the industry?

Since 1991, both Labor and Liberal-National governments have encouraged enterprise bargaining, marking a major shift away from a more centralized approach to employment relations. On the other hand, there is still an aspect of external regulation in the automotive sector and more generally, across the industrial relations system. The AIRC, a tribunal established by the Commonwealth Government at the turn of the twentieth century continues to have the power to settle disputes through conciliation and arbitration, to certify enterprise agreements and to establish minimum standards across the workforce. The ongoing role of the AIRC has meant that the legacy of external directive continues to have an influence in the automotive assembly division, as do other third parties such as trade unions (Lansbury, Wright and Bairdi, 2006).

Over the last two decades, there has been a significant decline in the proportion of workers in Australia that are members of trade unions, falling from 49 per cent in 1982 to 23 per cent in 2002. In spite of this decline, unions in the automotive sector have upheld high levels of membership, which has intended that they continue to wield substantial power in automotive employment relations. Among the vehicle producers and large part suppliers there is almost 100 per cent union coverage below the managerial levels of the personnel. The trade union that covers most employers in the automotive industry is the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union (AMWU), which was augmented in 1995 through an amalgamation of several manufacturing-based unions. While there are several other unions covering clerical workers and electrical tradespersons, the AMWU represents about 90 per cent of unionized employees, with its Vehicle Division covering around 70 per cent of waged employees in the sector. The opinion among employees interviewed for this study was that there is widespread support for the AMWU, although some members articulated the view that their union should have pressed companies harder in order to raise skill levels and increase career opportunities for the workforce. There also lingers a difference between the Vehicle and Metal divisions of the AMWU over the issue of permitting production workers to move into maintenance and trades areas of work. Disputes in the industry have been increasing since the late 1990's as employers seek to achieve greater labor flexibility and productivity improvements through enterprise bargaining. Despite this, according to management and union officials in the industry, relations between the parties are generally amicable (Lansbury, Wright and Bairdi, 2006).

6. Are there further changes in employment relations that the industry is required to make into the future to ensure the industry remains viable? If so, what are they? What role will government, institutions and trade unions have in these future changes?

For the automotive complex to perform well there is a need for improved partnerships between the users and the producers; the transfer of knowledge between the users, producers and the public sector research organizations; and a clear role for government in supporting industry,...


The automotive industry in Australia has become more competitive and more export-oriented over the last decade. The industry has evolved into a clever, multi-skilled business able to compete against imports on quality and reliability. It has achieved profit margins on low production runs that few of the high production manufacturers would consider viable. Nonetheless, the assemblers increasingly need to find new competencies in all realms, ranging from electronics, intelligent transport systems to finance and purchasing. Therefore they are looking for global partners who can design and supply the same part or module on a worldwide basis (Riemen and Marceau, n.d.).

The role of regulating authorities is fundamental in a well functioning complex.

In particular, the government has responsibility for the provision of standards, in stimulating firms to increase their export efforts, and in supporting the education and training system.

Overall, Australia adopts world standards but is ahead for example in stipulating the use of seatbelts. In response, Autoliv and Holden collaborate with MUARC on safety technology to stay ahead of their competitors. Expertise and training in safety technology is relatively recent in Australia thus both companies need to rely on training providers overseas. Thus there is a certain weakness in the complex. While government is setting a high standard which producers and users, in cooperation with the public sector research organizations, are aiming to comply with, they are in need for basic research and training to sustain future progress. Government has not adequately addressed the response to this knowledge shortage. The Australian government could also set higher standards in areas such as fuel consumption and recyclable materials to encourage further product development. Governments play an important role in the international trade arena. Australia does not benefit from any trade agreement while at the same time it has substantially lowered its tariffs. The assemblers are applying pressure on the Commonwealth government to keep the import tariffs for passenger motor vehicles at 15 per cent beyond 2005. Furthermore they are lobbying the government to put legislation in place that will lower the average age of cars and to provide them with a forecast on industry policy after ACIS ends in 2005 (Riemen and Marceau, n.d.).


Lansbury, Russell D., Wright, Chris F. And Bairdi, Marian. (2006). Decentralized Bargaining

in a Globalizing Industry The Automotive Assembly Industry in Australia. Industrial Relations, 61(1), 70-92.

Riemen, Wendy and Marceau, Jane. (n.d.). Running on Empty? Innovation in the Australian

Automotive Industry. Retrieved September 2, 2010, from Web site:…

Sources Used in Documents:


Lansbury, Russell D., Wright, Chris F. And Bairdi, Marian. (2006). Decentralized Bargaining

in a Globalizing Industry The Automotive Assembly Industry in Australia. Industrial Relations, 61(1), 70-92.

Riemen, Wendy and Marceau, Jane. (n.d.). Running on Empty? Innovation in the Australian

Automotive Industry. Retrieved September 2, 2010, from Web site:

Cite this Document:

"Human Resources International Employment Relations" (2010, September 03) Retrieved May 25, 2022, from

"Human Resources International Employment Relations" 03 September 2010. Web.25 May. 2022. <>

"Human Resources International Employment Relations", 03 September 2010, Accessed.25 May. 2022,

Related Documents
International Employment Relations Globalization Is
Words: 2780 Length: 9 Pages Topic: Careers Paper #: 46935853

At the same time, this strategy undermined the ability of workers to gain collective power. All these factors resulted in increased insecurity in terms of the job market and in terms of the relationship between employers and employees. Auer (2005: 6) addresses Kalleberg's point in this regard with an assertion that the common assumption is that the twin factors of globalization and technological advance would fundamentally change the employment relationship

Human Resources International Human Resource Management International...
Words: 3525 Length: 12 Pages Topic: Business Paper #: 60424343

Human Resources International Human Resource Management International Business HR: Vital and Pivotal During the 20th century, the human resources (HR) function has become quite skilled at managing human capital which is frequently defined as the skills, knowledge and experience of individual workers within a company. Human resources management has never been more vital to organizations than it is today as more and more businesses are going global. For globalizing companies, experienced, informed and

Human Resources Manager Career Analysis HR Manager
Words: 1426 Length: 5 Pages Topic: Careers Paper #: 92124371

Human Resources Manager Career Analysis HR Manager Career Analysis The field of human resources continues to grow to ensure personnel who understand the complexities employment law and the realm of employment benefits. In fact, the Occupational Outlook "Handbook" maintains that "Much faster than average growth is expected during the projection period" for human resources, trainers, and labor relations managers and specialists ("Handbook," 2011). Human resources managers come from a wide variety of

International Perspective on Human Resources and Industrial Relations...
Words: 2136 Length: 7 Pages Topic: Careers Paper #: 89281736

Employment Relations Factors affecting 'Fairness' in the Determination of Salaries Perhaps the first point to discuss is: What is 'fairness'? While historical roots of the word 'fair' mean 'beautiful' in German and Old English, with respect to salaries, the definition 'treating people in a way that does not favor some over others' (Merriam- Webster 2010) would be more consistent with the mental definition of fairness that most of us have. Further

Human Resource in Aviation Industry
Words: 1821 Length: 6 Pages Topic: Careers Paper #: 79098128

Human Resource in Aviation Industry Human resources are a set of individuals who make the workforce of an economy. Human capital is a term related to human resources, but to a narrow scope, the term relates to knowledge and skills of a worker. Human resource represents people, Labor, Manpower or talent. Companies view employees as assets, whose actions and skills add value to the organizations. Firms need to practice effective human

Employment Relations
Words: 1480 Length: 5 Pages Topic: Careers Paper #: 8674875

Employment Relations CIPD Employment relations Survey Report 2011 It has been noticed that the relationship between the unions and the management is usually positive. According to a survey approximately 55%of the respondents said that they have a positive relationship, there were 30% who described the relationship as neither negative nor positive and 15% said that they had negative relationship with the unions. However, it has been noticed that since the last Employment Relation