Vol. 27 No. 3 2001
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ItemThe changing frontier of control in coal: Evidence from a decade of Enterprise Bargaining in the Australian black coal mining industry(National Institute of Labour Studies, 2001)Recent research on the Australian coal industry has highlighted the difficulties the industry faces arising from reduced world coal prices, escalating production costs and overall declining levels of profitability, despite strong demand for coal – a situation that has been described as one of ‘profitless prosperity’. In response to these difficulties, management in the industry have sought, via enterprise bargaining, to increase labour flexibility and productivity and weaken union control at the mine site level. This paper seeks to empirically investigate these changes at the mine site level by examining the contents of certified agreements struck in the coal mining districts of NSW and Queensland since 1995. The analysis focuses on bargaining outcomes with respect to changing work organisation, external labour arrangements, union security and retrenchment provisions and other relevant industrial relations issues which, collectively, illustrate the extent of industrial relations change in the coal industry. We argue that the frontier of control at the mine site level has shifted considerably in favour of management during the 1990s, although not to the extent expected.
ItemNew apprenticeships: An unheralded Labour Market Program(National Institute of Labour Studies, 2001)N/A
ItemCosts and benefits of new apprenticeships(National Institute of Labour Studies, 2001)The introduction of New Apprenticeships in January of 1998 marked an important initiative in Australia’s efforts to develop a more encompassing system of employ-ment based vocational education and training. This paper draws on evidence from case studies of 60 employers to assess the impact of these reforms on training outcomes and practices. The provisions most enthusiastically embraced by employers include competency-based assessment and flexibility in time spent in training. However, these positive indicators of the reform process have not translated into an improved cost/benefit outcome for employers. Comparison with previous findings suggests that the net cost of employing trainees has not really changed while the net cost of apprentices is estimated to be higher than it was in 1996.
ItemIndustrial arbitration(National Institute of Labour Studies, 2001)N/A
ItemThe changing Australian labour market: Developments during the last decade(National Institute of Labour Studies, 2001)N/A