|Issue No 119||16 November 2001|
Neale Towart's Labour Review
After his unsuccessful bid for office as an advocate for victims of shonky hair transplants, our man with the Big Wig hits back with an all-out assault on the world of IR.
Paid work and parenting: charting a new course for Australian families by John Buchanan and Louise Thornthwaite
To date, work and family policies and praise have focused on a few adhoc initiatives based on a 'best practice' model of workplace reform. These have been larger workplaces and others are urged to follow suit. The authors argue that a more systemic approach is needed as more and more people are expressing their dissatisfaction with the work family cycle, and for many the situation is deteriorating (note the increase in working hours in Australia). Key findings of the report include:
· a comprehensive system of maternity and paternity leave paid for by government, but funded, at least in part, by employers
· a comprehensive, quality child care system with quality and access the keys, not the profit motive
· employee choice rostering arrangements, buttressed by awards, and, if necessary, legislative specifications and obligations enabling individuals greater capacity to fit work around family lives
· a new deal for part time workers to improve quality of jobs and to ensure access to part time work for parents who need it
· experimenting with new support structures at neighbourhood level
· developing new support arrangements for employers
(Report for the Chifley Research Foundation; published by ACIRRT as Working Paper no 70, August 2001) http://www.econ.usyd.edu.au/acirrt/
Help Put Health Before Wealth - Sign Oxfam's Petition
World Trade Organisation rules are threatening to put medicines completely beyond the reach of the poor - a terrible prospect when treatable diseases already kill 37,000 people every day. Go to http://www.oxfam.org.uk/health and help change these rules by signing Oxfam's online petition and joining a movement to put the health of the poorest before the wealth of rich multinational corporations.
New TUC Globalisation Website Goes Live
The TUC launched a new section to its website to mark the first ever Global Unions' Day of Action on Friday 9 November 2001. The day, on the theme of Making Globalisation Work for People has been called by the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU).
In addition to the website, the TUC will be involved in a series of activities in the week leading up to the Day of Action to raise awareness of the negative effects that globalisation is having on workers around the world.
TUC Deputy General Secretary Brendan Barber said: 'Unions round the world are calling for globalisation underpinned by solidarity and justice, rather than globalisation where trade undermines the values and living conditions of workers.'
The website will host information and materials surrounding globalisation issues and highlighting key campaigns from eliminating child labour to balancing the power of multinationals.
This site will provide an online learning resource for union members and non-members alike. In addition TUC Education will be running a series of activities in all of its courses during the week running up to November 9.
TUC Deputy General Secretary, Brendan Barber, led a delegation to meet Hilary Benn, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for International Development, on 8th November to highlight trade union concerns on this issue.
Don't Look Now by David Braue
Electronic monitoring of the workplace is becoming more pervasive. Kim Parker from Maurice Blackburn Cashman says that there are not "sufficient protections for employees in terms of electronic monitoring". Just because you agree to work for an employer doesn't mean you give up your rights to privacy.
(The Bulletin; 9 October 2001)
Breaking the Bullying Cycle
Grant Michelson, a lecturer with the University of Sydney's Work and Organisational Studies unit, told a group gathered at a briefing co-sponsored by WorkplaceInfo's partner ACIRRT that bullying was more than violent, obvious harassment.
Tactics like malicious rumours, professional slurs, setting workers up to fail or 'cold shouldering' were far more insidious, and organisations that allowed these types of covert bullying to operate would pay the consequences.
Michelson outlined strategies to deal with bullying, and Therese MacDermott from law firm Cutler Hughes Harris supported Michelson and pointed out that anti-bullying policies were needed regardless of size.
Trade Union Congress (TUC) Learning Services
TUC Learning Services provides the strategic framework to support the union role in learning and skills.
The TUC and unions can make a unique contribution to the lifelong learning agenda because of:
· the unique relationship with the workforce and direct access to them
· the ability to persuade people who have not participated in learning since leaving school and who have lost confidence to try again
· the direct link with employers which can lead to a shared practical purpose and joint activity
· the first hand knowledge of the learning and skills needs of the workforce, employers, geographical areas and sectors
The TUC works with partners nationally, regionally and locally to:
· increase business/service competitiveness;
· enhance the employability of the workforce
· build a partnership approach with employers
· add value to the union card
Fitness for Duty in the Australian Mining Industry: emerging legal and industrial issues by Chris Briggs, Jim Nolan and Kathryn Heiler
Fitness for duty is clearly an issue that is gathering momentum in the mining industry. This paper explores emerging legal and industrial practices in relation to fitness for duty and the implications for employment rights, managerial practices and OHS.
Recent allegations of fraud in the NSW construction industry have sparked an inquiry by the NSW government. This article takes a preliminary look at how widespread fraud is, what is being done, and the implications this may have for other compensation schemes throughout Australia.
(CCH Compensation Week; 23 October 2001)
The 'New Apprenticeships' program introduced in 1998 was a significant initiative in developing a more encompassing system in employment based vocational education and training. After the Howard government abolished Working Nation, it stands as about the only real labour market program if this government. Here A.M. Dockery, R. Kelly, K. Norris and T. Stromback draw on evidence from case studies of 60 employers. They look at changes in costs of apprenticeships and trainees. In another article, Mark Cully and Richard Curtain, look at the skill formation issues and the school to work transition aspects of the 'New Apprenticeships' scheme.
(Australian Bulletin of Labour; vol. 27, no. 3, September 2001)
Interview: Out of the Rubble
Michael Costa argues that Saturday's election result could have been much, much worse.
Unions: Sixty-Forty Are Good Odds!
John Robertson argues that while there may be many problems with the ALP, union power is not one of them.
Politics: Wrong Way, Go Back
Labor's failure in the federal election is the result of more than bad luck. It is the result of a shift to populism that has left the Party bereft of core principles.
Campaign Diary: Week Five: All Washed Up
If you can stand it, relive the fatefull final week of a most remarkable election campaign.
International: Trade Piracy Unmasked
As the trade barons met in Qatar to chart out their agenda, George Monbiot looks at the machinations behind the scenes.
Factions: The Party's Over
Chris Christodoulou renews his call for a breakdown of the factional system to bring new life into the ALP
History: The Fall-Out
Neale Towart looks back to Labor's reaction to its loss in the 1954 'Petrov election' and finds warnings for today's post mortem.
Media: Elite Defeat
Rowan Cahill looks at the intellectual paucity in the PM's ongoing attacks on 'elite opinion'.
Satire: Crean 'Listens To Australian People': Will Sink Refugee Boats
Simon Crean, the most likely candidate to replace Kim Beazley as Labor's leader, says he will take heed of the message sent to the ALP by Australian voters at the Federal Election.
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