My involvement to the field of industrial relations (IRs) which has been a main pillar of my professional life in Australia is becoming the end-game as if seeming to celebrate the culmination of my stay in Australia for 30 plus years. Since I will turn seventy this August, it can be said that I have already left from its “main battle line” in terms of age. However, in the context of key interest in my working life, i.e. “lifework”, the stage finally is approaching to so-called a climax. So, I am greeting its arrival with deep emotion.
And the deep emotion is one relating to «human issues» which is not limited to Australia but all developed countries have experienced as well due to the change on their industrial structure. If geared more focus, I am witnessing the closure of an era of IRs which is the relationship between employers and employees. About thirty years ago, I come to Australia as a middle aged overseas student in order to study IRs of the world because I found that the so-called Japanese IRs were not interested enough for me. Then, after I completed to study the system which is an antithetical of that of Japan, I set up set up a consultancy in the field with my friends and began to involve in the aspect of practice.
Since 20 years, industrial world is globalized literally, the relation between Australia and Japan also deepen the closeness, and the IRs has evolved into something which does not talk without the international context. In that environment, I can be proud that my international sight on IRs I’ve been personally mastered has become also shall have the validity in line with the era. In addition, the international environment created by the work and with the fellow Aussie colleague is not only can avoid the mistake of falling into one-sided but also an, it invited us to the sprouting of the contemporary system in line with the global era.
Speaking on the change in a series of IRs in short, it has been a shift from participating in the contents of legal norms in the framework of the regulations to the direct involvement of the contents of real conditions by deregulation. And the actors of the shift has changed from the “political” heavyweights controlling the regal framework to the practical expert skilled in the actual situation of the real sites. In other words, the key being a winner or a loser of the game depends on whether one can establish any effective system being able to respond the need of real society as eligible and quickly as possible. As a result, the acting field of IRs has descended seemingly from the “highlands” being involved by regulations to the “lowlands” of our daily life. In such a change, its activities has been «commercialized».
Needless to say, by the «commercialization», labour has become a commodity farther, and the devastation of society has been expanding which should be seen as adverse effects as a result of the commodification of human.
After actually experienced these changes, what I call it the climax is the network of experienced and honest experts at sites as a result that our «business» has formed as a medium. That is the materialization of co-working relationship among foreseeable leaders who aims to truly rich development.
Here in Australia, in the expansion of declining trade unionism and liberalized labour hiring service, such a case that ex-executives of trade unions have their own labour hiring business and become its CEO is also not uncommon. In other words, originally trade union and human renting business have not so big difference, and their seeming difference is just appearance. And the real difference is whether the activity is heading to.
In this regard, fabless manufacturing companies are existing, like Apple, in the world which have not own factory and its manufacturing process is outsourced to an OEM (original equipment manufacturer). Therefore in the field of labor market, by the growth of labour hire business companies which outsource their own IRs section are increasing. In other words, as long as the liberalization of the labor market is supported, it is inevitable that the company which specializes in employment and labor and personnel management — so to speak, “human resource OEM” — emerges and expands.
On the other hand, the more emerge the professional services providing both goals of higher working conditions and hire productivity, the more individual company can be freed from the onerous task to handling human (or concentrate into extraction of more sophisticated and creative outcome) and then fully involve to seek its own business target.
Currently our company still has limited fields of application, and on the process of building such networks. Our mission can be said to provide the market-based human organization.