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The Nature and Consequences of Labour Market Deregulation in Australasia

By Julian Teicher and Stuart Svensen


Abstract: Australia and New Zealand have recently experienced the most sweeping changes to their industrial relations systems since the first decade of the century. Each country has moved from a highly regulated, centralised system towards one in which emphasis is placed on deregulation, decentralisation, and lowering minimum standards and protections. These changes are designed to produce, by the freeing up of the market, labour forces which are more flexible and internationally competitive in an increasingly globalised economy. This paper examines relevant changes in the industrial relations structures and processes in New Zealand, Victoria and the Australian federal system, and explores their consequences. The ideological dimension of the changes is discussed, and it is concluded that while neo-liberal, New Right theories have been influential in motivating the changes, significant elements of continuity with the past have so far been retained

Year: 2011
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