Industrial Relations

The dirty secret of opponents of penalty rates

With thanks to Rob Corr Recently, there has been a rush of business lobby groups from the retail and hospitality sectors talking about the terrible evils of weekend penalty rates. Not, let’s be clear, the penalty rates received by paramedics, nurses or fire fighters. No, the dastardly culprit is penalty rates received by the lowest …

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Criminal charge unprecedented attack on workplace safety

The trade union royal commission, in just three weeks, has attempted to unwind over a decade of work to improve the culture of safety at construction sites. Three years ago, the ACT Government released the Getting Home Safely report. The report was in the wake of three deaths on construction sites and a high number …

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Bangladeshi workers are particularly vulnerable to climate change

Global labour’s challenge to climate change

I originally published this on The Guardian and am republishing it here. At the end November 2013, Philip Jennings, the general secretary for the global union federation UNI Global Union spoke at a climate conference in Toronto. His message was simple: “there is nothing more important facing humanity than the dangers of a warming planet. We …

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Who are the real competition for unions?

Conservative crank Gerard Henderson wrote last year that unions “have nothing to fear from external competition”. Apart from demonstrating that he knows relatively little about the new Fair Work Act, which allows for inter-union disputes over membership coverage, the sentiment he expressed, that unions do not face “traditional”, market based competition, is one I’ve heard expressed …

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