Industrial Relations Case Studies. Call Centres and Black Coal Mining

Only available on StudyMode
  • Download(s) : 401
  • Published : January 2, 2013
Open Document
Text Preview
|

|
|
|
|
Individual Project|
Case studiesBlack Coal Mine IndustryCall Centres|
|
|
|

Introduction
Black coal mining is a substantial contributor to the financial wealth of Australia; it is a well-established industry that boasts a history of collect bargaining, strong unions and memberships to establish the rules of work. Whilst the industry is at the mercy of product markets, supply and demands, it normally progresses through strong cycles which have had a large impact on the employment of workers (Barry & Waring , 2006). Call centres, on the other hand are a relatively new industry and is growing at a rapid rate. Todd and Burgess (2006) state “It emerged during the 1990s and was built upon developments in information technology and communications, which enabled organisations in many different industries to rationalise customer service, marketing and other operations for which the service operations into new delivery processes”. Due to call centres emerging during a time where a regulatory change to a decentralised collective bargaining approach was occurring, call centres were able to pick and choose regulatory instruments that would correspond with management style and the organisational needs for the industry, not for the benefits of employees (Todd & Burgess, 2006). The aim of this paper is to analyse the black coal mining and the call centre industries in accordance to industrial relations. This will be achieved through comparing and contrasting the two industries, identifying relevant conflicts, and finally addressing the impact, if any, of the move from collectivism to individualism. Comparisons and contrasts of the black coal industry and Call Centres Black coal mining is a well-established industry that dates back as far as the 1800’s. Which once was used for mainly domestic uses, coal is now one of the highest exported commodities from Australia to the globe. The high demand for coal has caused major fluctuations and changes to industrial relations for both employers and employees. Previously, the industry has been known for traditional employment, having strong unions, high union membership, using awards and collective bargaining to determine work regulations and job security (Barry & Waring , 2006). The black coal mining industry had a high rate of permanent full time employees that worked directly for the mining companies, and there were agreements in place that restricted the use of contractors on mine sites. However, with the introduction of the Workplace Relations Act in 1996, mergers and acquisitions, and a change in the product market saw major changes for the black coal mining industry. Call centres contrast the black coal mining industry in many ways. The call centre industry is a relatively new industry that emerged in the early 1990’s and therefore did not have any previous patterns of industry regulations. It presents an innovative and different way to deliver services through technology and communication (Todd & Burgess, 2006). Call centres are linked to many different organisations, which means agreement making can replicate that of the specific industry or may take on greenfield conditions. Either way, this impacts the union’s ability to gain membership and bargain for better working conditions. With the absence of collective agreements and traditional labour regulations, the employer is able to set their own terms of employment on the employee. Whilst there are many unions in Australia that call centre employees could join, the diversity with organisations makes gaining memberships a challenge. Since the beginning call centres have experienced a high level of casualisation. Majority of employees are females, who require the work hours to fit in around family and other commitments (Holman, 2003). Technology is the foundation in which call centres not only deliver services to the public, but is also used to monitor and control employee...
tracking img