The international economic instability since the 1970s has led to major restructuring of industrial relations processes and structures in most Western capitalist countries, as governments and employers have sought to confront new competitive pressures in the face of declining profit rates. A major response to the economic pressure in some countries has been a retreat from Keynesian‐type economic policies of the post‐war years and a new commitment to varieties of neo‐classical economics, evident in the popularity of such actions as deregulating markets and privatisation of government functions. In this circumstance trade unions have frequently found themselves in a far more reactive situation than they had previously experienced. Matters open to union intervention declined and the employment relationship increasingly came under formal control of employers and management. Areas previously under some informal employee control, (the now infamous ‘work practices’) have also become areas of joint formal processes, if not unilateral management control.
Kelly, D. (1991), "Give 'em enough rope… The changing role of the state under the Labour government in Australia, 1983 to 1991", Management Research News, Vol. 14 No. 10, pp. 21-22. https://doi.org/10.1108/eb028176
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