Contradictory Rights and Unintended Consequences: The Early Impact of the Employment Relations Act on the New Zealand Waterfront

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Title Contradictory Rights and Unintended Consequences: The Early Impact of the Employment Relations Act on the New Zealand Waterfront
Author Barry, Michael John; Reveley, James
Journal Name Journal of Industrial Relations
Editor Ron Callus and Russell Lansbury
Year Published 2002
Place of publication Victoria, Australia
Publisher Blackwell Publishing Asia
Abstract New Zealand's Employment Contracts Act 1991 consigned to history almost 100 years of pervasive state regulation of collective employment relations. Many unions experienced a sharp decline in influence after the introduction of this piece of legislation. The traditional wharfies' union, the Waterfront Workers' Union, is a case in point. Following a decade of neo–liberal industrial relations deregulation, a centre–left Labour/Alliance Coalition repealed the Employment Contracts Act by introducing an Employment Relations Act 2000 designed to redress an 'inherent inequality' in power though the promotion of unionisation and collective bargaining. This article assesses whether this piece of nominally 'union friendly' legislation might forestall attenuation of union influence and casualisation of waterfront employment at New Zealand's ports. We argue that the new legislation contains contradictory union rights that have produced unintended consequences, with the emergence of new forms of employee representation designed specifically to further erode the power of the waterfront industry's established unions.
Peer Reviewed Yes
Published Yes
Publisher URI http://www.blackwell-synergy.com/doi/abs/10.1111/1472-9296.00062
Alternative URI http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1472-9296.00062
Copyright Statement Copyright 2002 Blackwell Publishing. The definitive version is available at [www.blackwell-synergy.com.]
Volume 44
Issue Number 4
Edition December
Page from 508
Page to 524
ISSN 0022-1856
Date Accessioned 2003-04-14
Date Available 2009-01-12T06:24:17Z
Language en_AU
Subject Industrial Relations
URI http://hdl.handle.net/10072/7062
Publication Type Journal Articles (Refereed Article)
Publication Type Code c1

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