The paper focuses on the background to, and provisions of the Workplace Relations Act 1996 relating to industrial action. It examines:
• the benefits of collective bargaining
• the role of a right to strike in voluntary collective bargaining systems
• recognition of the importance of a right to strike by relevant international organisations – and of the need for limitations on that right
• the development of a right to take protected industrial action in Australia
• the nature of constraints which were imposed on the right to take industrial action in 1996 and 2005
• the need for further reform of the law relating to industrial action – with particular reference to concerns expressed by the ILO and the mandatory secret ballot requirements.