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What Options Do Managers Have In Such Conditions When They Are Negotiating With Employees?

2094 words - 8 pages

Essay topic: Many countries are currently experiencing an economic downturn. Poor economic conditions are said to give more power to managers when they negotiate with their employees. What options do managers have in such conditions when they are negotiating with employees? Which of these options do you feel align most closely to the strategic view of how employers manage labour?The global financial crisis has resulted in deteriorating market conditions for many businesses across Australia. Some companies have taken advantage of cheaper labour overseas and closed their Australian factories: for example, on 25 February 2009 Pacific Brands Limited announced a corporate restructure that would see up to 1,850 redundancies across Australia. Such economic conditions are said to increase the power of capital over labour. This essay examines the options managers have in such conditions when they are negotiating with employees.Writing in The Australian, Malcolm Colless wroteThe deepening economic crisis has heightened fears that the proposal to guarantee a role for the unions through a new collective bargaining system will drive up wage levels and drive down employment.… The Rudd Government's industrial relations laws are bad for business, bad for the economy, and bad for democracy and freedom in the workplace. They are designed to get square with employees who dared to enter into private deals with their employers and shut out the prying eyes of the unions.In the Australian context, how do employees fare in the management stakes under the current system? Let's look at the Submission on the Fair Work Bill of Chris White, the Committee Secretary of the Senate Education, Employment and Workplace Relations Committee:"The changed circumstances of the global capitalist financial crisis (GFC) means the Fair Work Bill (FWB) requires substantial amendments by the Parliament to better defend the ... interests of workers during a recession...the FWB deliberately retains the repressive regime against industrial action... [there is a failure to] provide for the right to strike....Under WorkChoices millions of low paid workers had their wages cut, and face this again with the GFC. ... employees under capitalism are economically and legally in a subordinate position to the power of employers. The employer and employee relationship is experienced as not one of free contracting equals, notwithstanding legal mythologies. 'It is not a partnership voluntarily entered into between equals to generate wealth for themselves and all others; it is a relationship between unequals; of superiors and inferiors. In a capitalist society, normal employment relations are class relations…"Under this conception, even with legislative reform, managers will have power to drive down wages and conditions, or at the very least workers will not be able to bargain them up. If the strategy of labour relations is to employ labour productively whilst making a profit, management has the...

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