The Ties of Place: Contractors and Employer Strategies on the Western Canadian and Central Queensland Coalfields

Posted: 17 Aug 2010  

Bradley Bowden

Griffith University

Date Written: September 15, 2004

Abstract

This study explores the ways in which spatial configurations have shaped the use of contractors in the export coalfields of Queensland (Australia) and western Canada since the late 1960s. It is argued that the divergent employer strategies pursued after 1996 - whereby Queensland producers dramatically increased their use of contractors while their Canadian counterparts did not - reflects their different spatial placement within the global coal trade. In Canada, the main problem was locational disadvantage due to distance from deep-water. In consequence, employers responded to falling prices by concentrating production in the area of greatest locational advantage. For Queensland producers, the issue was high mine-site labour costs. In this context, using contractors was part of a strategy to transform labour relations through the Workplace Relations Act.

JEL Classification: L71, L72, M55

Suggested Citation

Bowden, Bradley, The Ties of Place: Contractors and Employer Strategies on the Western Canadian and Central Queensland Coalfields (September 15, 2004). Relations Industrielles/Industrial Relations, Vol. 59, No. 3, 2004. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1660479

Bradley Bowden (Contact Author)

Griffith University ( email )

170 Kessels Road
Nathan, QLD 4111 QLD 4111
Australia

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
321