Foster's General Manager Yatala, Noel Jago, said that, "The LHMU, AMWU and ETU were deliberately misleading the public by suggesting that the vast majority of the company's workforce would walk off the job" (Foster's, 2007). The company has now started looking at the union membership strength involved in this action and claims that less than half of the total worker's strength, are the members of these unions. Therefore the company is telling the world that the Yatala Brewery will keep producing despite this threat. Looking at all the reports appearing in the media, it is quite apparent that so far no side is ready to relent on the issue and both sides are on the offensive. The Unions have not yet communicated any date for the action, but they are soliciting support from all available quarters, including from international unions.
The bone of contention in this industrial dispute is the Foster's attempt to used Howard government's industrial relations laws at Yatala brewery, which empowers the employers to negotiate with individual employees instead of their representative unions. Though the company does not bar the employees from becoming members of unions, but such negotiations will certainly discourage the employees from becoming union members, thus weakening the unions and their bargaining strength. Companies and organizations are made for people and by the people, and obviously their effectiveness depends on the behavior and performance of the people running these companies. The true importance of the human resource of any enterprise lies in its ability to respond favorably and willingly to performance objectives and opportunities and in these efforts gain satisfaction from both accomplishing the work and being in the work environment. Core areas of HRM include the individual, the organization and the social context of work and how all of these factors shape relations at work and result in organizational performance. LHMU, the Liquor, Hospitality and Miscellaneous Union contends that worker's are also peeved after the recent announcement of a hefty hike of 12.5% in the Brisbane brewery CEO's salary, whereas the workers are denied their basic rights (LHMU, 2007).
To get the optimum from a satisfied and participative individual is considered to be the ultimate objective of HRM policies. Unions and their outlook have undergone a sea change over the years. Whereas, earlier unions and their leaders were considered as hindrances in implementing newer policies, but now with the concept of marketing and globalization, the union leaders too have become aware about the competitive strength of their company. Earlier unions and their memberships used to be limited to the blue collared employees of a factory or a company, but now most of the union members and leaders come from the IT era, who are well aware about the utility of being net savvy, IT experts and using IT as a powerful tool to reach the outside world and gain support from all corners. Setting up of union websites, using online campaigns etc. are some important methods being used by the unions now. In fact it goes to the credit of the company if it maintains cordial relations with the employees as well as with the unions. Therefore the decision of Foster's to talk to the employees only by totally sideling the unions appears to be little flawed. Foster's