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Case Study Analysis: The Might of the State - The Air Pilots' Dispute.

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Case Study Analysis: The Might of the State - The Air Pilots' Dispute The Air Pilots dispute overwhelmed Australia for many months, shutting down the airways, turning the aviation industry upside down and bringing tourism to the brink of collapse. It all started with a relatively small union of less than 2000 members (Browne 1997, p.219). They pursued salary increases that became an epic battle involving the Labor government, union, tourism industry, airlines and the employees. The process of analysing this case included examining the major stakeholders and their perspectives from a unitarist, pluralist, and radical point of view. The 5 major stakeholders include, The Australian Federation of Air Pilots (AFAP), the ALP, the airlines (employers), the pilots (employees) and the tourism industry. Balnave (2001, p.7 cited Deery 2001) says that unitarits believe that "every workplace is an integrated and harmonious entity that exists for a common purpose". Unitarists are in favour of leadership by management to achieve commitment to the job and the organisation (Balnave 2001, p.7 cited Deery et al). ...read more.


The first major stakeholder is the Australian Federation of Air Pilots (AFAP), led by Brian McCarthy. The AFAP confronted the airlines for a 30% increase in salaries for the pilots. The airlines would not negotiate of such salary increase being that "the normal maximum pay increase permissible under the federal tribunal's wage principle was 6%" (Smith 1990, p.241). The wage fixation principle was challenged by the AFAP (McDonald 1990, Vol.1, No.1). In the unitarist perspective the AFAP is seen to compete for the faithfulness and dedication of the employees. The pluralist view unions as an acceptable organisation who represent and protect the interests of the employees at work. The radicals see the union as an intruder on management. The second major stakeholder is the ALP who was enforcing common law sanctions be used against the pilots (Smith 1990, p.241). The unitarists and the pluralists have a similar point of view. Unitarists would have disagreed with the ALP because their perspective is that the government should have protected the employees and have their best interest in mind (Balnave 2001, p.8 cited Deery 2001). ...read more.


The last major stakeholder is the tourist industry. More than $560 million in spending by tourists was lost throughout this dispute. This figure was estimated by the Australian Tourism Research Institute in November 1989 (Browne 1997, p.218). Passengers were inconvenienced with cancelled flights. The Australian tourist resorts felt the effect through the occupancy rate, where it was decreased by 50% (Browne 1997, p.218). The unitarist felt that tourism keeps the aviation industry in high demand; therefore the pilots will have secure jobs. The radical perspective views tourism as a reason for business. The pluralists view the tourism industry as a means of conflict and another industry for management to dominate. Overall each approach has its weaknesses and strengths. In this case the radical approach is in favour. The radicals view the state to protect the industry which is what they did. Unions are considered as troublemakers. Pluralists viewed the employees and the employers in a way that they are working towards similar, if not same goals. Unitarists believe that one reason for conflict is poor communication between both parties. Student Name: Rebecca Hallani Student Number: 13460378 1 Student Name: Rebecca Hallani Student Number: 13460378 ...read more.

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