The national-flag fleets of most traditional maritime nations have, mostly, been in decline in the 1980s and 1990s, despite the continued growth of ocean shipping. Numbers of vessels and numbers of sea-going jobs are decreasing, although not necessarily in terms of cargo carried. However, a number of those nations are changing successfully along with technological and competitive conditions by attempting to adjust crewing and work practices on vessels at sea. Neither the United States (U.S.) nor Australia has been in the forefront of such change. However, considerably more progress has been made in modernizing crewing practices and work rules in the Australia fleet than in the U.S. fleet. There are a variety of reasons for this, including government policy. However, a principal reason the U.S. lags behind Australia in the adoption of modern crewing practices and work rules is the much greater degree of union rivalry in the U.S. shipping industry. In fact, while the degree of fragmentation and rivalry among unions in the Australian fleet has declined dramatically since 1980, their U.S. counterparts have continued or expanded their fratricidal behavior. This article discusses some of the technological and competitive imperatives that are driving human resource management practices in shipping and the crewing and industrial relations adjustments that are being made around the world to adjust to them. Findings are presented on how Australian and U.S. fleets have responded to these challenges. Also, a discussion of unionism in the Australian and U.S. maritime industries is presented as it has developed in the last two decades of the twentieth century. Also, conclusions are drawn about the impact of different patterns of unionization.

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  • Corporate Authors:

    Taylor & Francis

    4 Park Square, Milton Park
    Abingdon,   United Kingdom  OX14 4RN
  • Authors:
    • Donn, C B
    • Morris, R
    • Isom, C S
    • Phelan, G
  • Publication Date: 1996-1


  • English

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Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00724393
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Aug 6 1996 12:00AM