Strike Ballots and the Law in Comparative Perspective
Australian Journal of Labour Law, Vol. 29, No. 2, pp. 121-132, 2016
16 Pages Posted: 20 Sep 2017
Date Written: September 18, 2017
This article introduces the Special Edition of the Australian Journal of Labour Law published in August 2016 titled ‘Strike Ballots and the Law in Comparative Perspective’. The article introduces the six country studies contained in the Special Edition (Australia, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa, the United Kingdom and the United States), along with an industrial relations perspective. The studies explore the implementation and practical application of strike ballot requirements in Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the United Kingdom; and the absence of mandatory requirements in South Africa and the United States.
The article discusses the principal themes arising from the jurisdictional studies, noting that a range of different rationales have been used for the introduction of strike ballot requirements, but that the common theme is a stated need to protect or to promote ‘democratic’ decision-making. It also emerges that in many instances there are significant differences between the real or underlying purpose of ballot requirements and their ostensible rationale. The second theme is that there is significant room for doubt as to whether ballot requirements achieve either their stated or unstated objectives.
Keywords: Strike, industrial action, strike ballots, democracy, secret ballots, the right to strike, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, South Africa, the United States, the United Kingdom
JEL Classification: K10, K30, K31
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation