Strike Ballots and the Law in Comparative Perspective

Australian Journal of Labour Law, Vol. 29, No. 2, pp. 121-132, 2016

Sydney Law School Research Paper No. 17/81

16 Pages Posted: 20 Sep 2017

See all articles by Breen Creighton

Breen Creighton

RMIT University

Shae McCrystal

The University of Sydney Law School

Date Written: September 18, 2017

Abstract

This article introduces the Special Edition of the Australian Journal of Labour Law published in August 2016 titled ‘Strike Ballots and the Law in Comparative Perspective’. The article introduces the six country studies contained in the Special Edition (Australia, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa, the United Kingdom and the United States), along with an industrial relations perspective. The studies explore the implementation and practical application of strike ballot requirements in Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the United Kingdom; and the absence of mandatory requirements in South Africa and the United States.

The article discusses the principal themes arising from the jurisdictional studies, noting that a range of different rationales have been used for the introduction of strike ballot requirements, but that the common theme is a stated need to protect or to promote ‘democratic’ decision-making. It also emerges that in many instances there are significant differences between the real or underlying purpose of ballot requirements and their ostensible rationale. The second theme is that there is significant room for doubt as to whether ballot requirements achieve either their stated or unstated objectives.

Keywords: Strike, industrial action, strike ballots, democracy, secret ballots, the right to strike, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, South Africa, the United States, the United Kingdom

JEL Classification: K10, K30, K31

Suggested Citation

Creighton, Breen and McCrystal, Shae, Strike Ballots and the Law in Comparative Perspective (September 18, 2017). Australian Journal of Labour Law, Vol. 29, No. 2, pp. 121-132, 2016; Sydney Law School Research Paper No. 17/81. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3039166

Breen Creighton

RMIT University ( email )

124 La Trobe Street
Melbourne, 3000
Australia

Shae McCrystal (Contact Author)

The University of Sydney Law School ( email )

New Law Building, F10
The University of Sydney
Sydney, NSW 2006
Australia

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