Industrial Relations

Published 21 Dec 2016

Mining industry in Australia attracts a lot of attention for it is a chief contributor to the Australian economy and also the world’s leading foreign investor. The mining industry was characterized by quarrels and bargains at the place of work. The local workers unions were considered important for implementing or enforcing the plans and arrangements of the place of work. The working place act, later provided for collective agreement without the involvement of the unions. The sartorial wage differences and working conditions was a source of dispute in the mining industry. For example coal sector workers enjoyed better and higher working conditions and pay respectively, compared to those working in the metalliferous sector.

Cost benefit analysis helps a business sort out whether a certain idea is worth implementing or not. After obtaining a business idea from whichever source, one should take it through an evaluation process to find out whether the benefits match with implementation cost. Implementation cost may either be in terms of money and time. Involvement of the management is very important since, the whole management team sits in a discussion, calculating the differences between the cost and benefits to be obtained after implementing the idea. If the cost supercedes the benefits then the whole team will unanimously agree on the unworthiness of implementing such an idea. This will make sure that the management which is the key decision maker is wholly involved for the sake of embracing order in the company. Again the involvement of management team will help ensure thorough analysis of the idea, and also shift the blame from an inpidual incase the idea fails. The industry will be saving from the risks of implementing one person’s idea which increases the industry’s risk of incurring loss.

Generally the government is responsible for formulating new industrial relations. After the formulation, it is then presented to the industry. In the mining industry the human resource Manager is responsible of interpreting and explaining it to the employees. The chief executives involvement is important since he represent the board of directors. The general managers and the managers should be involved since they are directly in touch with the employees. The external company should also be involved to represent the employees from such a company. ((Kazuo, 1994).


It was found that, the mining industry lacked standard working hours. The working place act provided for eight hours as the standard working hours per day, demanding for a pay of any overtime with a penalty. The working place act has improved the workers healthy, since it has relieved the workers of disorders like cold and flu that are affecting their performance as well. Abolition of trade unions has reduced the Quarrels between the mining sectors since there is equal representation of all sectors workers. Performance gap exists, when there is difference between the work done and the performance expectations. Otherwise the work done is below the expected standards. Some performance gaps are not easily identified.

A good example is those that are measured with emotions or feelings. For example if a customer is not satisfied, it is difficult to know. However there are secondary indications of dissatisfaction. For example the customer may not come back or recommend your goods and services to other potential customers .In the same way, it is difficult for a manager or director to know if his/her workers are satisfied or happy about the working conditions or not. But a manager can always know through the employees’ responsive behaviours like reporting late to work, working perfectly or poor interaction with the other employees.

In cases where there is break down of the negotiation between two parties, the involvement of human resource manager is of great help. When there Is breakdown on negotiating the new strategies an arbitrator should be present to bring the two parties together, that is the employer and the employees. Enough psychological preparation is needed, especially on the side of employees. Notice should be given early in advance, so that the employees prepare adequately for the discussion. Communication should be achieved by the implementation of the new strategies. Explanation should be offered on why negotiating is important than any other method.

Clearly the issues of new strategies or policies implementation should be revisited incase the differences originate from misunderstanding. In case the problem is arising from the employee’s side then, a day should be appointed on which to address the problems. Thoughout discussion should be encouraged. The arbitrator should be fair to both sides but no falling on one side. An agreement should be arrived on, but an understanding between the two parties should be achieved then a monitoring strategy should be developed after the settlement. (Kazuo, 1994)

Human resource manager has a responsibility of implementing new strategies in the industry. Management of intellectuals can only be effective if there is leveling of their human resources like skills and knwoledge. The human resource manager ensures that there are proper relations existing between the high ranked personnel’s and those in the low ranks. The other important relationship taken care by the human resource manager is the relationship between the employer and the employees. The role of human resource manager also being management of programs which are formulated to ensure using and re-using of employees knowledge, he should be able to explain new strategies to the general managers and managers who in return interpret it to the lower ranked employees. The employees’ response should be collected in the same procedure. The resource manager then forwards the employees response to the employer.

In cases where the employees in non-contract work force want to negotiate a better working conditions, they would sit down discuss what kind of conditions they prefer among themselves, then they would call for a meeting with the managers and air their grievances to him, then the manager presents their grievances to the general managers after which it is presented to the human resource manager who later discusses it with the board of directors, and then the feedback is taken back to the non-contract employees through the same procedures. In both cases the human resource manager is very useful in building up good relationship between the employees and employers which is very important for creation of conducive working environment, necessary for high performance. (Enright, 2001)

Being a responsibility of the human resource manager to evaluate workability of the organizations industrial relation plans, there are several techniques he would employ. He would carry out a research among the workers, each and every worker to fill in a questionnaire about how she/he feels about the industrial relations in their working place. A research can also be carried from the external parties who include the customers and on lookers. Then the human resource manager should compare both answers from the feelings of the workers and those of the onlookers then draw a conclusion. He can also have a round table discussion with the workers to find out from then. Lastly the human resource manager can evaluate from the workers attitude, measured from their responsible behaviours like reporting late or early to work or having a low standard performance.

As a CEO in my organization I would convince alienated workers within the heavily unionized sector to cooperate to improve productivity for the sake of the company and other workers though several ways; to start with I will have a meeting with them to discuss the benefits to cooperating and working hard. I will show them how working hard would increase the company productivity and how they can a salary rise if the companies productivity goes high. I would also introduce a pay based on inpidual performance and increase motivations. I would also introduce a collective agreement policy which will jeopardize the importance of the unions.

Enforcement of implementing of issues or plans through unions was found to cause pisions amongst the sectors, and also causing latency among some workers not found in the unions. In order in acquired friend and equal working environment only one working union should exist in the whole industry. All workers are also encouraged to join the union for equal representation and uniformity in the working place.

Workers’ health has been affected by overworking long working hours has cause deterioration of the workers health. It has weakened their bodies making them vulnerable to other small disorders like he headaches and cold. This has been noted to affect the workers performance. Workers are also not secure or safe since they work till late night and also mining industry is very risky. The surrounding or the environment is also not friendly for it is full of dangerous and toxic objects and particles. The working hours are standardized and overtime should be paid to any overtime. Protective devices should be issued to the workers and a health insurance cover should be offered to all workers.

All communications should flow from the highest ranked to the lowest ranked employees. It is the role of the senior management to communicate effectively through meetings. Holding meetings with all employees should be conducted in case the management has something to communicate to the employees. It has been found that there is poor information flow or delivery when a long procedure is used, there might be poor interpretation and presentation of information by the middle men. Periodic meetings between the employees and senior management will facilitate communication and break the communication barriers. Disputes among employees are addressed by the top senior management. (Karen, 2003).

Promotion is based on performance, not on years of service as it is the case with other many industries. This will encourage workers to strive for the highest performance inorder to obtain promotion. Motivation in form of pay increase depends on how well an employee performs. Employees will end up fighting for the salary rise. In case employees want to present their grievances to their employer, may it be poor working conditions or salary raise, they are required to sit with their inpidual manager, discuss their grievances, if it is found meaningful to be addressed, it is then forwarded to the general managers and then to the directing board for further discussion. The issues or grievances should be further discussed by the directors’ board, then the feedback should be discussed collectively by the CEO with the workers.

During the discussion, the CEO will respond to the workers grievances, what they can do and what they are unable and how. The workers can at the same time respond by asking questions to the CEO. What they agree then will be passed and documented. After negotiating and agreeing on an issue it should be put into records and stamped for future and continuous references. Follow up actions should be based to what the agreement says. Strikes should not be part of the follow up methods, but meetings to refresh and re-define their agreements. Once something has been agreed on then both parties should adhere to it without failure.

Policies are important in an industrial setting to ensure harmony and conducive working conditions since every issue touching either the employer or employee is defined on how to be approached. These policies are written down, interpreted by human resource manager and other senior management personnel to the other employees. Each and every worker should posses a copy of the relation policies.

In conclusion relation policies are important for ensure that all the issues in relation with working conditions are formally addressed which is very crucial for the industry’s smooth running. It also ensures performance of all the employees and as return high productivity.


  • Enright, J., Roberts, H., Australian Journal of Management. 2001.
  • Karen, A., Recent Germany Research on Japanese Labour and Economic Institution”. Social Science Japan Journal. Vol 6 No. 1. 97 – 100. 2003
  • Kazuo, S., “Unions as Social Institutions in Democratic Market Economies”. International Labour Review. Vol 133 No 4: 511 – 522. 1994.
  • Ying Zhu, International Labour Law Review vol. 134, 1995.
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