|Issue No 87||10 March 2001|
ACTU Pushes for Reasonable Hours
Working women will be major beneficiaries if unions are successful in their bid to have reasonable working hours guidelines introduced into Australian workplace awards.
The ACTU's released details of a test case it will run seeking to prohibit employers from requiring employees to work unreasonable hours coincided with International Women's Day.
The ACTU believes that a protection unions believe will be of significant benefit to working women struggling to balance the demands of work and family.
"More and more, women are struggling to balance their paid work and family commitments," ACTU president Sharan Burrow says.
"Australia may have led the world with the eight-hour-day, but we now have the second largest group of workers working more than 49 hours a week in the OECD and our family and community lives are suffering."
Results of a nationwide survey released by the ACTU earlier this week show that almost 70% of parents with pre-school or school age children are having more trouble balancing the demands of work and family now than just five years ago.
The survey also showed that 80% of Australian women believe that workplace laws should incorporate more family-friendly clauses.
Under the test case, unions will seek to have a 'reasonable working hours' clause inserted into all federal awards. The clause would require factors such as an employee's family responsibilities, safety, workload and the total number of hours worked over an extended period considered in determining if the hours an employee is required to work are reasonable. The application will also seek to establish an entitlement to additional leave for employees required to work large amounts of overtime over an extended period.
As part of their celebration of International Women's Day unions are also calling on Australian women to nominate their top priorities in the forthcoming federal election. Unions will distribute a checklist for women voters throughout Australian workplaces seeking feedback from women workers about their key issues for government action.
Interview: Working Woman
Cheryl Kernot on women in the workplace, Labor's male culture and where Meg went wrong.
Activists: Honouring Our Heroes
Anna Stewart changed the lives of Australian working families by helping women achieve balance between the competing demands of work and family.
Women: The Future is Female
Julia Gillard outlines the campaign to increase female representation within the Australian Labor Party.
Unions: Sweatshops � Beyond 2001
FairWear convenor Debbie Carstens looks over a unique partnership between churches and unions to end exploitation in the textile industry.
Politics: The Battle for Bennelong
Many trade unionists are working to kick John Howard out of office. But only one woman has a chance of kicking him out of his own seat. Meet Nicole Campbell.
International: Border Skirmishes
Alana Kerr travelled to Thailand to observe first hand the battle to organise Burmese women workers in exile.
History: Inside the Ladies Lounge
The McDonald sisters run Trades Hall, and have for over half a century. The building can�t speak about what has gone on in that time, but Lorna and Elaine probably know it all.
Satire: Taliban to Put One Nation Last
The Parliamentary fate of Pauline Hanson�s One Nation party was further obscured today as key fellow right-wing extremists moved to distance themselves from the controversial Queensland politician and the group she founded and leads.
Review: Seven Steps to Slavation
Jenny Macklin details the seven barriers that stand between women and a better working life.
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