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  Issue No 17 Official Organ of LaborNet 11 June 1999  

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Labour Review

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View the latest issue of Labour Review, a summary of industrial news for trade unions.

LABOUR REVIEW, NO. 19

14 June 1999

  • Income Distribution Report
  • Worker Retrenchment: Preventive Measures and Remedial Measures.
  • AIRC Re-affirms Intervention Power
  • Mobile Phone Irradiation
  • The Great Labour Movement Split in NSW

Income Distribution Report

NATSEM (National Centre for Social and Economic Modelling) reports on the changes in the living standards of children in Australia since 1982. There has been a significant levelling of the living standards of children in that period, despite the increase in two income families, which would have been expected to increase inequalities. The social security system has been significant factor, with it being the cause of a rise in the income of sole parents. The proportion of sole parent mothers entering the workforce was a significant factor in this trend.

Probably the biggest losers were single income two parent families whose average income fell in this period. Also the figures don't account for the cost of housing which other research by NATSEM indicates would have a harsher effect on single income and sole parent families. (NATSEM; Income Distribution Report, issue 10, May 1999)

Worker Retrenchment: Preventive Measures and Remedial Measures.

A review by Christine Evans-Klock, Peggy Kelly, Peter Richards and Corinne Vargha of the range of responses in selected industrialised countries to retrenchments. These responses either seek to reduce layoffs and dismissals or to facilitate worker adjustment to new employment opportunities. European measures place more responsibility on employers to absorb more of the social costs of retrenchment, through legislative, regulative or collective bargaining procedures. Also, because of social partnerships, various approaches such as working time reduction, work flexibility, increased part time work, partial and early retirement , have been implemented.

Re-employment ideas are another side of the coin. Supply side measures here include retraining, often through public sector initiatives, job search assistance schemes, and targeted approaches for specific groups of workers. Job creation schemes such as community businesses and local and regional development schemes are a potentially crucial factor on the demand side.

Relevant ILO standards are included with this article. (International Labour Review; vol. 138, no. 1, 1999)

The Transformation of Work and the Future of Labour Law in Europe: a Multidisciplinary Perspective.

Alain Supiot discusses the future of current labour law models as we reach the end of the so-called Fordist era. "Labor law, whether national or international, is rooted in an industrial model that is currently being undermined by technological and economic changes. This article is part of a European Union discussion on the future of labour law in Europe. Supiot looks for a new concept of occupational status which in reality has been a fact of life for many workers but which hasn't been recognised by labour law or trade unions. Also the working time debate is involved, with worker time and working time the opposing concepts. Social citizenship for the twenty first century is the broad term he uses. (International Labour Review; vol. 138, no. 1, 1999)

AIRC Re-affirms Intervention Power

The quashing by the Australian Industrial relations Commission of an Appeal by Rio Tinto has re-affimed the Commission's right to intervene in long running industrial disputes. This came from the Huinter Valley No. 1 dispute where the CFMEU has been involved ina long battle for its members. Denial of such access to arbitration is part of the Reith plann for second wave industrial legislation. (Employee Relations Update; vol. 6, no. 123, May 31 1999)

Mobile Phone Irradiation

A new research project on mobile phone irradiation has been undertaken by Royal Adelaide Hospital and the Institute of Medical and Veterinary Science. This follows pilot studies conducted between 1992 and 1995 which sparked some controversy. Don't hold your breath for results as completion date is November 2001. (Work Alert; no. 8, 21 May 1999)

The Great Labour Movement Split in NSW

The 1954 split was not simply one or two climactic moments. Every element of the labour movement was part of the action before and after the actual event. In 1994, on the fortieth anniversary of the Split, unionists and politicians remembered and discussed its meaning. Some of those stories and insights are presented here. Some of those involved were Barbara Curthoys, Laurie Short, Jim Macken, Bob Gould, Clyde Cameron and Ed Campion.

(The great Labour Movement Split in NSW: Inside Stories/ edited by Bradon Ellem. Published by the Sydney branch of the Australian Society for the Study of Labour History, 1998)


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*   Issue 17 contents

In this issue
Features
*  Interview: Class Consciousness
Long-time ALP member Michael Thomson has thrown a few grenades with a new book arguing that middle class trendies have taken over the ALP.
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*  Legal: Reith¹s AWAs Dealt a Blow
ASU v Electrix rules that AWAs can't be a take it or leave it proposition.
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*  Unions: Survey Misses the Point
Last week's attempt by the Australian newspaper to rank trade unions contained some fundamental flaws.
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*  History: The Light on the Hill
Fifty years after his seminal address, Ben Chifley's words still ring true -- and still challenges Labor.
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*  International: Child Labour: Kerala’s Recipe
Of India’s 55 million slave children, not one is to be found in the state of Kerala, in the south of the sub-continent.
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*  Review: Bazza Mckenzie Holds His Own
Tony Moore on perhaps the greatest Australian movie ever made.
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*  Women: Equal Pay - We've Come A Long Way
Thirty years have passed since women around Australia raised their fists in victory at the Commonwealth Conciliation and Arbitration Commission's historic equal pay for equal work decision.
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*  Activists: Throwing Off the Chains
Thirty years ago, Zelda D'Aprano was so incensed by the lack of progress in achieving pay parity that she twice chained herself to public buildings in Melbourne.
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*  Labour Review: What's New at the Information Centre
View the latest issue of Labour Review, a summary of industrial news for trade unions.
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News
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»  Shoot the Messenger: New Surveillance Fears
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»  Surfs Up! Second Wave on Horizon
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»  Local Music on Radio - Make it the Law!
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»  Doctors Out of Patience With Long Hours
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»  GST Creeps Dud Battling Workers
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»  Wanted: Someone to Fight the Uglies
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Columns
»  Guest Report
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»  Sport
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»  Guest Report
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»  Piers Watch
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Letters to the editor
»  US Fan Mail
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»  Chippo Politics Tunes In
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»  GST Rally june 21
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»  Employment Conference for Newcastle
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