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.
I received my copy of the The Right to Strike in Australia early this morning - almost hot of the press. What a splendid book. I sat down and read it from front to back. It was engaging, comprehensive and relevant. I am very impressed. - David Holmes - Industrial Officer – LHMU
Dr Shae McCrystal has written an impressive and much-needed book on the right to strike in Australia. This she does by addressing the issue from historical, doctrinal and international perspectives, avoiding cod economics, sociology and/or politics in the process. It is legal scholarship at its very best.
The doctrinal material in Chapters 6 and 7 especially strikes terror into the comparative lawyer, not only because of the ideological drive of the Coalititon under the Work Choices legislation, but also because of the sheer complexity of the framework adapted by the new legislation. This is laid out nicely and explained well.
What comes across most powerfully in this part of the book is the sharp contrast between the legal rhetoric and the practical reality. There may be a right to strike rhetorically, but in practice Australia is a country where there is no right to strike save in exceptional circumstances. - Professor Keith Ewing, Kings College London - Journal of Industrial Relations
Table of Contents
The Right to Strike in International Law
Strike Action and the Conciliation and Arbitration Systems
The Emergence of a Right to Strike in Australia
Liability for Unlawful Industrial Action: The Common Law and Non-Industrial Statutes
Liability for Unprotected Industrial Action under Industrial Legislation
Protected Industrial Action
Payment and Industrial Action
Can Independent Contractors Take Strike Action?
International Standards in Australia: The Challenge of Compliance