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The APPM dispute: The dinosaur and turtles vs the ACTU

Thompson, H. (1992) The APPM dispute: The dinosaur and turtles vs the ACTU. The Economic and Labour Relations Review, 3 (2). pp. 148-164.

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This article examines the Australian Pulp and Paper Mills Ltd. (APPM) dispute which took place in Burnie, Tasmania between March 3 and June 10, 1992. The dispute is placed within the context of major changes in Australian industrial relations, which have been in process since 1986. Management and unions throughout Australia are still experimenting with a variety of industrial weapons to achieve their aims and goals within the parameters of the “Structural Efficiency Principle” and “enterprise bargaining”, constructed in Accords III through VI, from 1986 to the present. It is argued that the crucial change during the past six years has been the ability of companies to re-establish managerial prerogative through litigation. This has provided management with the power to confront secondary issues and agents of change such as the Accord, the Australian Industrial Relations Commission, Structural Efficiency, Enterprise Bargaining and Restructuring with a new vigour, toughness and effectuality. Increasingly docile, debilitated and legally disabled union officials and workers seem to be coming to the view that a union victory occurs if the company agrees to abide by the law while directing its workforce, and recognises the workers' right to be represented by a “third party”.

Item Type: Journal Article
Copyright: © 1992, University of New South Wales
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