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Employer Relation: Qantas Airways Industrial Conflict Media Analysis

2510 words - 10 pages

Chosen Issue: Employment dispute in quantas
Although it is a known fact that cases of industrial conflict has reduced in the recent past (Peetz 2007), inconsiderate management policies can undermine employer relation thus reversing the trend and resulting in serious industrial conflicts. Such was the case experienced in Qantas airways. With a management appearing to be exercises unitary perspective of employer relations, it is not surprising to observe inconsiderate management policies. Such a management will often ignore the interest of their employees. With this perspective it is a general assumption that the employees will act in best interest of the organization. To enforce this, managers will set rule and regulation to coerce employees into acting in away they deem fit. For an organization however to be successful, a cordial relationship must exist between the employer and the employee. This can only happen if the interest of each party is being addressed. Conflicts are inherent and abound to happen since these interests are competing. If they occur, the two parties should strive to resolve them failure to which invites government intervention. A serious conflict might adversely affect not only the business and its employees, but also the general economy. Therefore the government minimizes this by setting rules and regulation to guide and influence this relationship (Budd, Gomez & Meltz 2004).
Qantas Industrial Conflict
Qantas airways industrial conflict has recently been all over the mass media. Various media publications have reported on the issue, highlighting its adverse effect on this Australian company and the general economy (Gelineau 2011; National Times 2011; Peteren 2011). Industrial disputes (conflict) occur as result of deteriorating employee relation. A proper view of employee relation should consider it as inherent hence prompting management to set proper mechanism of preventing and resolving it (Ramussen 2009). Nevertheless, various factors that management have either directly or indirectly control of can still lead to its deterioration. Management policy, undesirable working conditions, unfavorable remuneration packages, and influences from social and political forces are some of these factors (Abigail & Cahn 2010). Poor management policies is what precisely pushed Qantas airways into grueling employee-employer conflict (The Hoopla 2011).
One of the factors stated perfectly by a pluralistic employee relation is that employees are not merely commodities or factors of production; they are sensitive human being (Budd, Gomez & Meltz 2004). When managers in an organization neglect this factor (possibly due to competing interests), an industrial conflict is bound to occur. As reported by various news outlets, it appear Qantas managers opted to pursue their own interest; that is increasing productivity by reducing labor cost without considering the sensitive needs of workers. The management considered adopting a restructuring...

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