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Union membership and the legal and institutional environment: Labour market policy in Australia and the United Kingdom

Kenyon, P. and Lewis, P.E.T. (1993) Union membership and the legal and institutional environment: Labour market policy in Australia and the United Kingdom. The Australian Economic Review, 26 (2). pp. 48-60.

Link to Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-8462.1993.tb00783...
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Abstract

This article examines how the political and institutional environment impinges upon unionisation. Changes in policy towards trade unions in two countries are contrasted: the United Kingdom under the Conservative government where the industrial relations legal environment shifted in a direction antithetical to unionism, and Australia under the Labor administration where the union movement was incorporated into the labour policy process through a corporatist, centralised wage‐fixing system—the Accord. How these changes in the legal and institutional environment in the two countries affect the propensity to unionise is examined. It is found that in both the United Kingdom and Australia union density has declined from what it otherwise would have been in the absence of these radically different policies. It is argued that the extremes of corporatist centralisation and laissez‐faire decentralisation, perhaps paradoxically, make it difficult for unions to increase their membership.

Publication Type: Journal Article
Publisher: Blackwell Publishing Asia Pty Ltd.
Copyright: © 1993, Wiley Blackwell.
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/34690
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