This is a report on a highly complex and controversial subject. At the time of writing, some six months after the event, it is clear that the Ford Strike of 1973 is widely viewed as one of the major industrial relations events in Australia in recent years. It is also certain that the popular preoccupation with the strike will soon be reflected in the academic world: already there is appearing substantial literature devoting at least partial attention to the subject from a variety of view points.
It would require a considerable volume to deal comprehensively with the subject, much less this literature; no doubt a tome will eventually appear but in the meantime, partly as a requirement of the M.B.A. degree, but mainly as a result of my interest and participation in postgraduate courses and seminars in industrial relations at the University of Melbourne, my treatment is deliberately selective. I have made little attempt, for example, to explore the perspectives of the psychologist, economist, or historian. I have not attempted to provide complex statistical analyses of the various dimensions of the strike, nor have I more than touched on the vexing problems of assessing the consequences of the stoppage. My focus has been rather on the cause of the dispute and the meanings for those involved. In this respect my treatment is, regrettably, rather parochial and arbitrary. Nevertheless, I hope that the reader will find my approach enlightening and stimulating. (From Preface)