This book examines whether there is a right to strike in Australia through a detailed study of the laws which impact on the capacity of workers to take industrial action.
Beginning with an exposition of the obligation to respect the right to strike in international law, the book traces Australian strike law from the conciliation and arbitration systems, through to the present regime for enterprise bargaining.
The study considers the current legal regime for industrial action, both at common law and under the Trade Practices Act 1974 and the Fair Work Act 2009. In particular, the concept of ‘protected industrial action’ is explored in depth, providing a comprehensive and up-to-date analysis.
The book assesses the extent to which the protected industrial action regime under the Fair Work Act complies with Australia’s international obligation to protect the right to strike. The book concludes that compliance with international obligations concerning the right to strike cannot be achieved while successive federal governments refuse to concede to industrial actors the degree of autonomy necessary for recognition of that right.