Strike Ballots and the Law in Australia

Australian Journal of Labour Law, Vol. 29, No. 2, pp. 154-170, 2016

Sydney Law School Research Paper No. 17/82

19 Pages Posted: 20 Sep 2017

See all articles by Breen Creighton

Breen Creighton

RMIT University

Catrina Denvir

Monash University - Department of Business Law & Taxation

Shae McCrystal

The University of Sydney Law School

Date Written: September 18, 2017

Abstract

The mandatory provision of strike ballots was first introduced in Australia in 2006. Since that time the ballot requirement has become an accepted part of the framework of workplace regulation, although there is continuing debate about the form which the requirements ought to take. Whilst the ballot provisions generally operate fairly smoothly, they have enabled employers to delay the taking of industrial action in some instances. As in other jurisdictions, the ballot provisions were ostensibly intended to promote democratic decision-making in relation to industrial action. They are, however, based on false premises, and far from promoting respect for democratic principles, they are in many respects antithetical to them.

Keywords: Strike, industrial action, strike ballots, democracy, secret ballots, the right to strike, Australia, Fair Work Act, protected industrial action

JEL Classification: K10, K30, K31

Suggested Citation

Creighton, Breen and Denvir, Catrina and McCrystal, Shae, Strike Ballots and the Law in Australia (September 18, 2017). Australian Journal of Labour Law, Vol. 29, No. 2, pp. 154-170, 2016; Sydney Law School Research Paper No. 17/82. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3039170

Breen Creighton

RMIT University ( email )

124 La Trobe Street
Melbourne, 3000
Australia

Catrina Denvir

Monash University - Department of Business Law & Taxation ( email )

Caulfield Campus
Sir John Monash Drive
Caulfield East, Victoria 3084
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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