Carson, v. ). St Article Review

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Kidd, R. (2012). Bowen Basin coal mines face seven-day stopwork. The Telegraph. April 5, 2012. Retrieved online: http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/business/bma-coal-mines-face-seven-day-stopwork/story-fn7ki9fd-1226319378103

A dispute between labor unions and management in the coal mining sector is threatening the economy, Kidd (2012) points out. Miners in the Bowen Basin, all members of the Construction Forestry Mining Energy Union (CFMEU), have been striking against the BMA (BHP Billiton-Mitsubishi Alliance). Seven mines are affected. The situation reveals the need for effective human resources management throughout diversified corporations. The labor rights battle has been ongoing for more than a year, showing how stubborn clinging to outmoded styles of human resource management can present financial constraints on companies in any sector. Shares in the BMA company have dropped, likely as a result of the ongoing labor disputes (Kidd, 2012). When management-employee relations are not managed effectively, the results can be devastating.

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The CFMEU has filed official complaint with the Fair Work Australia, claiming "BMA had breached the Good Faith Bargaining Provision in the Fair Work Act by proposing an employee ballot without union involvement," (Kidd, 2012). The Fair Work Act is designed to protect all Australian employees from infractions perpetrated by management, while helping management to negotiate and broker deals between the company and the union. Achieving a balance between the needs of the company and the need for employee satisfaction is not easy work. However, any study of employment relations reveals the prime need of cultivating employee relations based on trust and mutual respect. The recent strikes among the coal miners show that the BMA company has not fully grasped the importance of effective management-employee relations or the changing context of employee relations with regards to Australian law.

"Unions Vote for Ban on Asbestos Site." The Telegraph. Mar 30, 2012. Retrieved online: http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/business/unions-vote-for-ban-on-asbestos-site/story-fn7ki9fd-1226314210935

TOPIC: Article Review on Carson, v. (2012). St. George Assignment

Australian law protects workers against conditions that are unsafe or unsound. The "Unions Vote for Ban on Asbestos Site" story is one example in which Fair Work and Best Practice Guidelines have practical application. Unions in several different sectors have voted to "ban work" at the former James Hardie factory site in Sydney," ("Unions Vote for Ban on Asbestos Site"). The site is "said to be riddled with asbestos," ("Unions Vote for Ban on Asbestos Site"). The strike is related to workplace health and safety concerns, as well as broader social and environmental justice issues. A German firm Remondis has proposed the construction of a waste treatment plant on the site, and the construction would require extensive excavation and unearthing of the potentially dangerous asbestos. The site has been called "contaminated," and the workers are invoking their rights to protest a job based on clear health and safety concerns ("Unions Vote for Ban on Asbestos Site").

This article shows the importance of managing employee relations based on current law and ethical sensibility. The law protects employees against working in conditions that are unsafe or unsound. Moreover, companies that wish to retain their employees and cultivate a workplace environment conducive to business growth and development need to rethink their approaches to management. Employment relations in the industrial sector are changing, as are the theoretical frameworks that guide them. A pluralist perspective still prevails, in which antagonism between management and unions is expected. A Marxist or radical perspective pulls in the opposite direction but is equally as relevant in the modern business and legal climate. The sound middle ground is offered by the unitarist perspective on employment relations: in which the company understands the value of its human resources and a healthy organizational culture. [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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