This difference had a major impact on the way hiring of employees and workers would happen, and hence the wages and the subsequent contribution and productivity. Workplace relations then underwent a change in culminating into the formation of work choices which were more threatening to the continuation of the Howard government (Phillips and Quince, 2015). This was further changed to a more liberal legislation which handed more powers to the courts than to the authorities. For example, in the case of Coles, which was negotiating a wage agreement with its workers, one single employee refrained from accepting the offer, who was also represented by a union affected the wages of all other workers.
Coles offered a wage increase of 3% every year, which was more than the average 2.5% increase in the retail sector (Durkan, 2016). This remained unachieved because of the IR rules where one worker represented by an unrelated union, rejected the offer and made all other workers reject the lucrative offer, too. For retail organisations to flourish and grow as per their expectations, IR seems to be an obstacle, which when removed, could pave the way for better employer employee engagement and relationship. Such conditions and rules of the IR where union’s power overshadow the willingness of organisations to provide more is a drawback for the IR framework in Australia, and it needs a lot of attention and appropriate treatment.
Australia is still facing a struggle of identifying the issues of handling employee concerns and demands in times of financial crisis and distress, not having defined a lucrative policy to award employees and workers their rights and entitlements. The repetitive nature of financial crisis across the globe and of Australia’s internal poor management has led the IR to become weaker in their appeal and authority. It must reframe its objective of protecting employees and employment continuation, and must do so with the help of relevant stakeholders, especially the employees and the unions.