Ministerial Dictate in Labour Law
G Orr, 'Ministerial Dictate in Labour Law' (2012) 20 (1 (Nov)) Australian Journal of Administrative Law 6-10
6 Pages Posted: 2 Apr 2014
Date Written: 2012
With the Qantas airline dispute and lock-out of late 2011, collective labour relations became headline news in a way not seen since the 1998 docks’ dispute. It is not that labour law ever went away. Rather, attention shifted to legislative gambits like WorkChoices and regulating individual rights and relationships. Interest in the daily and collective operations of the field was sublimated. When, one Saturday afternoon, Qantas shut-down its world-wide operations, announcing an imminent lock-out of its employees, the Commonwealth Minister for Workplace Relations immediately applied to Fair Work Australia to terminate industrial action on all sides. The commission granted the Minister’s application at 2 am on the Monday morning. The dispute has since processed through compulsory arbitration.
Keywords: labor law, administrative law, industrial disputes, executive power in labor relations
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