Reasons for government intervention in industrial relationship

D.1 Why does state intervention occur? | Anarchist Writers

reasons for government intervention in industrial relationship

Why do government intervene in industrial relations? What is industrial relations? factors that shapes employer, government and workers relationship in. development of industrial relations in Indonesia. The existence of that principle, the government needs to intervene to protect workers .. least: a) time (day, date, and time) begins and ends lockout; and b) the reasons and causes of lockout. The state is forced to intervene in society for three reasons: 1. and the hierarchical social relations these produce against those subject to them. at a definite stage of their industrial development, pointing to the depth and.

For former, they are in favour of state aid, for the latter the benefits of economic growth is all that counts. So what to make of claims that it is precisely the state's interference with the market which causes the problems that society blames on the market?

For anarchists, such a position is illogical, for "whoever says regulation says limitation: Some of these deficiencies of the market can be attributed to its very success, which have generated more threatening externalities and created demands for things the market is not well suited to provide. It may also be true that the growth of the government further weakens the market. This does not alter the fact that powerful underlying forces -- not power hungry bureaucrats or frustrated intellectuals -- are determining the main drift.

To say otherwise is like arguing that murder is the result of passing laws against it. As Polanyi explains, the neo-liberal premise is false, because state intervention always "dealt with some problem arising out of modern industrial conditions or, at any rate, in the market method of dealing with them. This means that key to understanding state intervention, therefore, is to recognise that politics is a not matter of free will on behalf of politicians or the electorate.

Rather they are the outcome of the development of capitalism itself and result from social, economic or environmental pressures which the state has to acknowledge and act upon as they were harming the viability of the system as a whole.

reasons for government intervention in industrial relationship

Thus state intervention did not spring out of thin air, but occurred in response to pressing social and economic needs. This can be observed in the mid 19th century, which saw the closest approximation to laissez-faire in the history of capitalism. As Takis Fotopoulos argues, "the attempt to establish pure economic liberalism, in the sense of free trade, a competitive labour market and the Gold Standard, did not last more than 40 years, and by the s and s, protectionist legislation was back.

It was also significant. Paradoxically, then, the attempt to liberalise the markets led to more regulation. In light of our previous analysis, this is not surprising. Neither the owners of the country nor the politicians desired to see society destroyed, the result to which unhindered laissez-faire leads. Apologists of capitalism overlook the fact that "[a]t the beginning of the Depression, Europe had been in the heyday of free trade.

It did not cause them. Similarly, it is a fallacy to state, as Ludwig von Mises did, that "as long as unemployment benefit is paid, unemployment must exist. Even such a die-hard exponent of the minimal state as Milton Friedman recognised involuntary unemployment existed: At the very least, he need not be so desperate to find another job as his counterpart in the 's.

He can afford to be choosy and to wait until he is either recalled or a more attractive job turns up. In an attempt to show that being unemployed is not as bad as people believe Friedman "glaringly contradicts two of his main theses, 1 that the worker is free to choose and 2 that no government social programs have achieved the results promised by its proponents.

In addition, since those social programs have made it possible for the worker to be 'choosy; in seeking employment, to that extent the welfare state has increased his freedom. That governments started to pay out unemployment benefit is not surprising, given that mass unemployment can produce mass discontent.

This caused the state to start paying out a dole in order eliminate the possibility of crime as well as working class self-help, which could conceivably have undermined the status quo.

The elite was well aware of the danger in workers organising for their own benefit and tried to counter-act it. What the likes of von Mises forget is that the state has to consider the long term viability of the system rather than the ideologically correct position produced by logically deducting abstract principles.

Sadly, in pursuing of ideologically correct answers, capitalist apologists often ignore common sense. If one believes people exist for the economy and not the economy for people, one becomes willing to sacrifice people and their society today for the supposed economic benefit of future generations in reality, current profits. If one accepts the ethics of mathematics, a future increase in the size of the economy is more important than current social disruption.

This does not mean that state intervention cannot have bad effects on the economy or society. Given the state's centralised, bureaucratic nature, it would be impossible for it not to have some bad effects. State intervention can and does make bad situations worse in some cases.

reasons for government intervention in industrial relationship

It also has a tendency for self-perpetuation. As Elisee Reclus put it: It has to adapt to its bad environment, and in order to function, it must do so in a pathological way.

Whereas the creators of the institution follow only noble ideals, the employees that they appoint must consider above all their remuneration and the continuation of their employment.

This is unsurprising, for while the state bureaucracy can never eliminate poverty, it can and does reduce it -- if only to keep the bureaucrats secure in employment by showing some results. Moreover, as Malatesta notes, "the practical evidence [is] that whatever governments do is always motivated by the desire to dominate, and is always geared to defending, extending and perpetuating its privileges and those of the class of which it is both the representative and defender.

However, to criticise those negative effects while ignoring or downplaying the far worse social problems which produced the intervention in the first place is both staggeringly illogical and deeply hypocritical. As we discuss later, in section D. Social and economic intervention by the modern state began long before universal suffrage became widespread. While this intervention was usually in the interests of the capitalist class, it was sometimes done explicitly in the name of the general welfare and the public interest.

Needless to say, while the former usually goes unmentioned by defenders of capitalism, the latter is denounced and attacked as violations of the natural order often in terms of the sinister sounding "collectivist" measures. That democracy is not the root cause for the state's interference in the market is easily seen from the fact that non-democratic capitalist states presided over by defenders of "free market" capitalism have done so.

For example, in Britain, acts of state intervention were introduced when property and sexual restrictions on voting rights still existed. More recently, taking Pinochet's neo-liberal dictatorship in Chile, we find that the state, as would be expected, "often intervened on behalf of private and foreign business interests. However, the state also practised social intervention at times, partly to diffuse popular disaffection with the economic realities the system generated disaffection that state oppression could not control and partly to counter-act the negative effects of its own dogmas.

As such, "[f]ree-market ideologues are reluctant to acknowledge that even the Pinochet government intervened in many cases in the market-place in last-minute attempts to offset the havoc wrecked by its free-market policies low-income housing, air quality, public health, etc.

A Second Look, p. The centralist and hierarchical nature of "representative" democracy means that the population at large has little real control over politicians, who are far more influenced by big business, business lobby groups, and the state bureaucracy. This means that truly popular and democratic pressures are limited within the capitalist state and the interests of elites are far more decisive in explaining state actions. Obviously anarchists are well aware that the state does say it intervenes to protect the interests of the general public, not the elite.

While much of this is often rhetoric to hide policies which in reality benefit corporate interests far more than the general public, it cannot be denied that such intervention does exist, to some degree. However, even here the evidence supports the anarchist claim that the state is an instrument of class rule, not a representative of the general interest.

This is because such reforms have, in general, been few and far between compared to those laws which benefit the few. Moreover, historically when politicians have made legal changes favouring the general public rather than the elite they have done so only after intense social pressure from below.

ARPA: Why the states matter in industrial relations

For examples, the state only passed pro-union laws only when the alternative was disruptive industrial conflict. In the US, the federal government, at best, ignored or, at worse, actively suppressed labour unions during the 19th century.

It was only when mineworkers were able to shut down the anthracite coal fields for months inthreatening disruption of heating supplies around the country, that Teddy Roosevelt supported union demands for binding arbitration to raise wages.

He was the first President in American history to intervene in a strike in a positive manner on behalf of workers. This can be seen from the "New Deal" and related measures of limited state intervention to stimulate economic recovery during the Great Depression. These were motivated by more material reasons than democracy. Thus Takis Fotopoulos argues that "[t]he fact. In fact, it was only when -- and as long as -- state interventionism had the approval of those actually controlling production that it was successful.

The political state saved itself, and all that was essential to capitalism, doing what 'private enterprise' could not do. Concessions were made to the workers, the farmers, the middle-class, while the private capitalists were deprived of some of their power.

These reforms were rarely the result of generous politicians but rather the product of social pressures from below and the needs of the system as a whole. For example, the extensive reforms made by the Labour Government in the UK was the direct result of ruling class fear, not socialism. As Quentin Hogg, a Conservative M. Needless to say, when the ruling class considered a specific reform to be against its interests, it will be abolished or restricted. The Act was passed due to the upsurge in wildcat strikes, factory occupations and successful union organising drives which were spreading throughout the country.

Its purpose was specifically to calm this struggle in order to preserve "labour peace. In addition, this concession was a form of appeasement whose effect was to make those involved in union actions less likely to start questioning the fundamental bases of the capitalist system.

Once the fear of a militant labour movement had passed, the Wagner Act was undermined and made powerless by new laws, laws which made illegal the tactics which forced the politicians to pass the law in the first place and increased the powers of bosses over workers. The same can be said of other countries. The pattern is clear. It is always the case that things need to change on the ground first and then the law acknowledges the changes.

Any state intervention on behalf of the general public or workers have all followed people and workers organising and fighting for their rights. If labour or social "peace" exists because of too little organising and protesting or because of lack of strength in the workplace by unions, politicians will feel no real pressure to change the law and, consequently, refuse to. As Malatesta put it, the "only limit to the oppression of government is that power with which the people show themselves capable of opposing it.

When the people meekly submit to the law, or their protests are feeble and confined to words, the government studies its own interests and ignores the needs of the people; when the protests are lively, insistent, threatening, the government. His Life and Ideas, p. The notion that by limiting the franchise the rich will make laws which benefit all says more about the classical liberals' touching faith in the altruism of the rich than it does about their understanding of human nature, the realities of both state and capitalism and their grasp of history.

The fact that they can join with John Locke and claim with a straight face that all must abide by the rules that only the elite make says a lot about their concept of "freedom. This is no solution, however, as it only gets rid of the statist response to real and pressing social problems caused by capitalism without supplying anything better in its place. This is a form of paternalism, as the elite determines what is, and is not, intervention and what the masses should, and should not, be able to do in their interests, of course.

Then there is the obvious conclusion that any such regime would have to exclude change. After all, if people can change the regime they are under they may change it in ways that the right does not support. The provision for ending economic and other reforms would effectively ban most opposition parties as, by definition, they could do nothing once in power.

How this differs from a dictatorship would be hard to say -- after all, most dictatorships have parliamentary bodies which have no power but which can talk a lot. Needless to say, the right often justify this position by appealing to the likes of Adam Smith but this, needless to say, fails to appreciate the changing political and economic situation since those days. As market socialist Allan Engler argues: Less than 10 per cent of British men -- and no women at all -- had the right to vote.

When Smith opposed government interference in the economy, he was opposing the imposition of wealth owners' interests on everybody else. Today, when neoconservatives oppose state interference, their aim to the opposite: Whether Smith would have been happy to see his name appropriated to defend corporate power is, obviously, a moot point.

However, he had no illusions that the state of his time interfered to bolster the elite, not the many for example: As such, it is doubtful he would have agreed with those who involve his name to defend corporate power and trusts while advocating the restriction of trade unions as is the case with modern day neo-liberalism: When the regulation, therefore, is in favour of the workmen, it is always just and equitable.

When masters combine together in order to reduce the wages of their workmen, they commonly enter into a private bond or agreement. Were the workmen to enter into a contrary combination of the same kind.

The proposal of any new law or regulation of commerce which comes from this order ought always to be listened to with great precaution, and ought never to be adopted till after having been long and carefully examined, not only with the most scrupulous, but with the most suspicious attention. It comes from an order of men whose interest is never exactly the same with that of the public, who have generally an interest to deceive and even to oppress the public, and who accordingly have, upon many occasions, both deceived and oppressed it.

To view the state intervention as simply implementing the wishes of the majority is to assume that classes and other social hierarchies do not exist, that one class does not oppress and exploit another and that they share common interests. It means ignoring the realities of the current political system as well as economic, for political parties will need to seek funds to campaign and that means private cash.

Unsurprisingly, they will do what their backers demands and this dependence the wealthy changes the laws all obey. This means that any government will tend to favour business and the wealthy as the parties are funded by them and so they get some say over what is done. Only those parties which internalise the values and interests of their donors will prosper and so the wealthy acquire an unspoken veto power over government policy. In other words, parties need to beg the rich for election funds.

Some parties do, of course, have trade union funding, but this is easily counteracted by pressure from big business i. This explains why the unions in, say, Britain spend a large part of their time under Labour governments trying to influence it by means of strikes and lobbying. The defenders of "free market" capitalism appear oblivious as to the reasons why the state has approved regulations and nationalisations as well as why trade unions, libertarian and statist socialist and populist movements came about in the first place.

The truth is much more simple and lies at the heart of the current system. The reasons why various "anti-capitalist" social movements and state interventions arise with such regular periodicity is because of the effects of an economic system which is inherently unstable and exploitative.

For example, social movements arose in the 19th century because workers, artisans and farmers were suffering the effects of a state busy creating the necessary conditions for capitalism. They were losing their independence and had become, or were being turned, into wage slaves and, naturally, hated it. They saw the negative effects of capitalism on their lives and communities and tried to stop it. In terms of social regulation, the fact is that they were often the result of pressing needs.

Epidemics, for example, do not respect property rights and the periodic deep recessions that marked 19th century capitalism made the desire to avoid them an understandable one on the part of the ruling elite.

Unlike their ideological followers in the latter part of the century and onwards, the political economists of the first half of the nineteenth century were too intelligent and too well informed to advocate out-and-out laissez-faire. They grasped the realities of the economic system in which they worked and thought and, as a result, were aware of clash between the logic of pure abstract theory and the demands of social life and morality.

While they stressed the pure theory, the usually did so in order to justify the need for state intervention in some particular aspect of social or economic life. John Stuart Mill's famous chapter on "the grounds and limits of the laissez-faire and non-interference principle" in his Principles of Political Economy is, perhaps, the most obvious example of this dichotomy unsurprisingly, von Mises dismissed Mill as a "socialist" -- recognising the problems which capitalism itself generates will make you ideologically suspect to the true believer.

To abolish these reforms without first abolishing capitalism is to return to the social conditions which produced the social movements in the first place. In other words, to return to the horrors of the 19th century. We can see this in the USA today, where this process of turning back the clock is most advanced: However, this should not blind us to the limitations of these movements and reforms which, while coming about as a means to overcome the negative effects of corporate capitalism upon the population, preserved that system.

In terms of successful popular reform movements, the policies they lead to were usually the minimum standard agreed upon by the capitalists themselves to offset social unrest. Unsurprisingly, most opponents of state intervention are equally opposed to popular movements and the pressures they subject the state to. However trying to weaken or even get rid of the social movements which have helped reform capitalism ironically helps bolster the power and centralisation of the state.

This is because to get rid of working class organisations means eliminating a key counter-balance to the might of the state.

Why the states matter in industrial relations

Atomised individuals not only cannot fight capitalist exploitation and oppression, they also cannot fight and restrict the might of the state nor attempt to influence it even a fraction of what the wealthy elite can via the stock market and management investment decisions. As such, von Hayek's assertion that "it is inexcusable to pretend that. While trade union and other forms of popular action are more visible than elite pressures, it does not mean that the form does not exist or less influential.

The latter may be more noticeable, true, but is only because it has to be in order to be effective and because the former is so prevalent.

The reality of the situation can be seen from looking at the US, a political system where union influence is minimal while business influence and lobbying is large scale and has been since the s. A poll of popular attitudes about the US budget "revealed that popular attitudes are virtually the inverse of policy. Unsurprisingly, the general population "do not feel that the government is responsive to the public will. In summary, governments implement policies which benefit "the short-term interests of narrow sectors of power and wealth.

It takes wilful blindness not to see how these commitments guide. Von Hayek showed his grasp of reality by stating that the real problem is "not the selfish action of individual firms but the selfishness of organised groups" and so "the real exploiters in our present society are not egotistic capitalists.

Ignoring the factual issues of the power and influence of wealth and business, the logical problem with this opinion is clear. Companies are, of course, "organised groups" and based around "collective action". The difference is that the actions and groups are dictated by the few individuals at the top. As would be expected, the application of his ideas by the Thatcher government not only bolstered capitalist power and resulted in increased inequality and exploitation see section J.

One aspect of this the introduction of government regulation of unions as well as new legislation which increase police powers to restrict the right to strike and protest both of which were, in part, due opposition to free market policies by the population. Anarchists may agree that the state, due to its centralisation and bureaucracy, crushes the spontaneous nature of society and is a handicap to social progress and evolution.

However, leaving the market alone to work its course fallaciously assumes that people will happily sit back and let market forces rip apart their communities and environment. Getting rid of state intervention without getting rid of capitalism and creating a free society would mean that the need for social self-protection would still exist but that there would be even less means of achieving it than now.

The results of such a policy, as history shows, would be a catastrophe for the working class and the environment, we must add and beneficial only for the elite as intended, of course. Ultimately, the implication of the false premise that democracy leads to state intervention is that the state exists for the benefit of the majority, which uses the state to exploit the elite!

Amazingly, many capitalist apologists accept this as a valid inference from their premise, even though it's obviously a reductio ad absurdum of that premise as well as going against the facts of history. That the ruling elite is sometimes forced to accept state intervention outside its preferred area of aid for itself simply means that, firstly, capitalism is an unstable system which undermines its own social and ecological basis and, secondly, that they recognise that reform is preferable to revolution unlike their cheerleaders.

Libertarian socialism is about self-liberation and self-management of one's activities. Getting the state to act for us is the opposite of these ideals. In addition, the question implies that socialism is connected with its nemesis, statism, and that socialism means even more bureaucratic control and centralisation "socialism is the contrary of governmentalism. The identification of socialism with the state is something that social democrats, Stalinists and capitalist apologists all agree upon.

However, as we'll see in section H. Little wonder that most sane people join with anarchists in rejecting it. Who wants to work under a system in which, if one does not like the boss i. The theory that state intervention is "creeping socialism" takes the laissez-faire ideology of capitalism at its face value, not realising that it is ideology rather than reality.

Capitalism is a dynamic system and evolves over time, but this does not mean that by moving away from its theoretical starting point it is negating its essential nature and becoming socialistic. Capitalism was born from state intervention, and except for a very short period of laissez-faire which ended in depression has always depended on state intervention for its existence.

As such, while there "may be a residual sense to the notion that the state serves as an equaliser, in that without its intervention the destructive powers of capitalism would demolish social existence and the physical environment, a fact that has been well understood by the masters of the private economy who have regularly called upon the state to restrain and organise these forces.

But the common idea that the government acts as a social equaliser can hardly be put forth as a general principle. Government subsidies to arms companies and agribusiness, its subsidy of research and development work undertaken by government-supported universities, its spending to ensure a favourable international climate for business operations, its defence of intellectual property rights, its tort reform i.

The reality is that conservatives have been quite actively using the power of the government to shape market outcomes in ways that redistribute income upward. However, conservatives have been clever enough to not own up to their role in this process, pretending all along that everything is just the natural working of the market.

And, progressives have been foolish enough to go along with this view. The difference between them is the goal of government intervention, and the fact that conservatives are smart enough to conceal their dependence on the government.

They support the establishment of rules and structures that have this effect. They are happy to have the government intervene into the inner workings of the economy to make sure that money flows in the direction they like -- upward. It is accurate to say that conservatives don't like big government social programs, but not because they don't like big government. The problem with big government social programs is that they tend to distribute money downward, or provide benefits to large numbers of people.

Conservatives do their best to portray the forms of government intervention that they favour, for example, patent and copyright protection, as simply part of the natural order of things. As we explained in section B. As such, it strains belief that state intervention would be socialist in nature.

After all, if the state is an agent of a self-interesting ruling class, then its laws are inevitably biased in its favour. The ultimate purpose of the state and its laws are the protection of private property and so the form of law is a class weapon while its content is the protection of class interests.

So the state and its institutions can "challenge the use of authority by other institutions, such as cruel parents, greedy landlords, brutal bosses, violent criminals" as well as "promot[ing] desirable social activities, such as public works, disaster relief, communications and transport systems, poor relief, education and broadcasting. Real socialism equalises power by redistributing it to the people, but, as Noam Chomsky points out, "[i]n a highly inegalitarian society, it is most unlikely that government programs will be equalisers.

Rather, it is to be expected that they will be designed and manipulated by private power for their own benefits; and to a significant degree the expectation is fulfilled.

It is not very likely that matters could be otherwise in the absence of mass popular organisations that are prepared to struggle for their rights and interests. As Colin Ward notes, "when socialists have achieved power" they have produced nothing more than "[m]onopoly capitalism with a veneer of social welfare as a substitute for social justice.

These were the most unprofitable sections of the economy but, at the time, essential for the economy as a whole. By taking it into state ownership, these sections could be rationalised and developed at public expense. Rather than nationalisation being feared as "socialism," the capitalist class had no real issue with it. As anarchists at the time noted, "the real opinions of capitalists can be seen from Stock Exchange conditions and statements of industrialists [rather] than the Tory Front bench.

Nationalisation meant replacing the capitalist bureaucrat with a state one, with little real improvement for those subjected to the "new" regime.

At the height of the British Labour Party's post-war nationalisations, anarchists were pointing out its anti-socialist nature. Nationalisation was "really consolidating the old individual capitalist class into a new and efficient class of managers to run. As Kropotkin stressed, "no reasonable man [or woman] will expect that Municipal Socialism, any more than Co-operation, could solve to any extent the Social problem.

They may favour municipal [or state] enterprise for a time; but the moment they see that it really begins to reduce the number of paupers. While state intervention is hardly socialistic, what can be said is that "the positive feature of welfare legislation is that, contrary to the capitalist ethic, it is a testament to human solidarity.

The negative feature is precisely that it is an arm of the state. But it is only through a Social Revolution, made by the workers themselves, that the present exploitation of Labour by Capital can be altered.

This does not make such reforms socialistic. The much more substantial state intervention for the elite and business are simply part of the natural order and go unmentioned. That this amounts to a welfare state for the wealthy or socialism for the rich is, of course, one of the great unspeakable truths of capitalism. The underlying assumption in the neo-liberal and conservative attacks against state intervention is the assumption that their minimal state is without it.

The reality of the situation is, of course, different. Even the minimal state of the ideologues dreams intervenes on behalf of the ruling class in order to defend capitalist power and the property and property rights this flows from. This means that the laissez-faire position is a form of state intervention as well. State "neutrality" considered as simply enforcing property rights the "minimal state" instantly raises the question of whose conception of property rights, popular ones or capitalist ones?

Economies, power, and politics are state-specific. The Tasmanian framework was also altered after the election of a state Labor Government inagain in opposition to national trends. Inthe legislation was amended to restore some right of entry to unions and to ensure that awards and union industrial agreements were central to the regime.


It became the site of intense struggle again after the conservatives lost office in The Labor Government soon introduced the Labour Relations Reform Act, through which it endeavoured to re-introduce a more collective approach to industrial relations and replaced Western Australian Workplace Agreements with Employer-Employee Agreements These individual contracts were made more employee-friendly and could not be made if an industrial agreement was already in place covering the relevant employee, thus limiting the extent of individualisation.

Following the election of a Labor Government inSouth Australia reviewed its industrial relations legislation. This legislation specified that the Industrial Relations Commission establish a minimum wage and review it annually.

This is perhaps an obvious point, but it is important for understanding the policy developments we have just summarised. Differences in industrial relations policy can be explained in terms of the mobilisation of power at the intersection of economy and state, and so attention should be directed to the effectiveness of particular institutions and lobby groups in the states.

Institutions act in ways which vary from one state to another, and the relative power of these institutions can have considerable influence over government policy. This argument may not be revolutionary, however the effects of institutional power are insufficiently analysed at the state scale. The legislation enacted in these states was very different in the s and early s.

They also have very different economies: There are good institutional reasons to think that unions will have less impact at the national scale, given that affiliation to the party is at the state scale. However, unions in New South Wales certainly exert more influence than their colleagues in Western Australia do over Labor governments there, and arguably hold more sway than state labour movements anywhere else in Australia.

Turning to employers, it could well be the case that in New South Wales, employer power, reflecting the complex structure of a diverse economy, is more fragmented than either union power or employer power in Western Australia. There are good reasons to think that unions will have less impact at the national scale. In Western Australia, some powerful forces are very obviously involved in policy-making. Employers, most notably the mining companies and their employer association, seem to have more power within Western Australia than they do in states with more diverse economies.

When Labor introduced change inthe mining companies simply found ways around it. Industrial relations institutions unions, employers, employer associations, and governments themselves therefore have state-specific power, and how they mobilise this power affects industrial relations policy. In other words, industrial relations institutions act in ways which vary from one state to another, and the relative power of these institutions will have different levels and forms of influence over policy-making.

This means that close attention should be directed to the effectiveness not only of governments, but also non-state institutions and lobby groups within the states. This is an important area for further research. It is important to try to explain many variations: Legislation has varied greatly between the states and there are quite significant differences between the policies produced by the same political party in different states.

The significance of the states is underscored by the fact that no Commonwealth government, be it Labor or the Coalition, can claim to be the author of the most comprehensive legislative changes of the recent past. Thus far, this distinction must go to Labor in New South Wales and to the conservatives in Victoria and Western Australia It appears that the state Labor governments are now providing the checks and balances in a federal system, which is curious, because this has been so central to the liberal tradition and was once so antithetical to labourism.

This brings us back to where we began: Bell, Oxford University Press, Melbourne, pp. Lansbury, The Federation Press, Annandale, forthcoming. Nolan, The Federation Press, Annandale. Individualisation and Union Exclusion, eds S.

Mitchell, The Federation Press, Annandale. Park, special issue of Bulletin of Labour Relations, vol. She has studied industrial relations for many years and her current research focus is women and work. She is currently undertaking a major study of parental leave and gender equity in Australian organisations. His major area of work examines changing geographies of industrial relations. His most recent books are Hard Ground: Unions in the Pilbara and the jointly edited Peak Unions in Australia: Origins, Purpose, Power, Agency.

Wright is a research assistant and senior tutor in the School of Business at The University of Sydney. He is particularly interested in the role of the state in industrial relations.