Labour-management relations and technological change: some international comparisons between Australia and Britain

Greg J. Bamber, R.D. Lansbury

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The article compares labor-management relations and technological change between Australia and Great Britain. Technological change means, any change in the methods or context of work that is connected with the use of new machinery. At present, the growing use of microelectronics is an important basis of fundamental changes. The introduction of new technology has probably exaggerated the reductions in employment in manufacturing sectors in the developed economies, while there has been a relative growth in the services. To a greater extent than in the U.S., the economic and social impact of the new technology has recently been the subject of much debate in most other industrialized countries, including Australia and Britain. The labor movements of both countries are concerned about the methods used to introduce new technology and the degree to which it may be used to deskill and displace existing jobs. Both Australia and Britain have adversarial traditions of industrial relations, with some similarities to the American traditions. This is partly a reflection of the greater extent of white-collar unionism in these two countries, neither of which has been experiencing a decline in overall union density, unlike the American labor movement.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)510-523
Number of pages14
JournalLabor Law Journal
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 1983
Externally publishedYes


  • labour relations
  • technological change
  • Australia
  • Britain

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