workers

The deadly consequences of private neglect

Summer/Autumn 1999

Australians have experienced a number of infrastructure breakdowns in the last few years. The country has vast supplies of energy, but the infrastructure to distribute it is at the point of collapse. This is life in late capitalist Australia.

TAFE Workers Fight Breaks in Contracts

Summer/Autumn 1998

Western Melbourne Institute of TAFE (WMIT) has an appalling track record in the way it treats workers employed on fixed-term contracts. A favoured management tactic to prevent workers from being eligible to certain entitlements is to place breaks between the end of one contract and the start of the next. Members of both the Australian… Read more »

Nation Feminist Conference Backs TAFE Union Struggle

Summer/Autumn 1998

The 6th Women and Labour Conference (held at Deakin University in Geelong, 28 – 30 November) featured a workshop, “Resist Casualisation and Union Busting in TAFE: Frontline Fighters Speak Out!,” which was jointly sponsored by Radical Women and the NMIT Unionists Campaign Committee. Strong women unionists from the Australian Education Union (AEU) and National Tertiary… Read more »

Organising the Unorganised

Summer/Autumn 1998

Australia has one of the highest rates of part-time and casual work in the world, and three-quarters of part-time and casual workers are women. Casualisation is growing sharply. Two years ago, one in five workers was part-time or casual. Now it is one in four.

The Co-option Game: Enterprise Bargaining to Extend Bosses’ Plunder

Summer/Autumn 1994

The Federal ALP introduced enterprise bargaining in 1991 to replace the pre-existing centralised “wage fixing” system. No longer do workers get regular wage adjustments. Instead, the only way of getting so-called wage “increases” is by “bargaining” with the boss. With the deck stacked against us.

Government Guts Equal Opportunity Law

Summer/Autumn 1994

Moira Rayner, Commissioner for Equal Opportunity in Victoria, thought her job was to let oppressed groups know about the Commission and encourage them to make complaints when they face discrimination. She had obviously been doing it well. But it seems the biggest perpetrator of discrimination is the state government. The slash-and-burn policies of the Kennett… Read more »

“My work life became unbearable!”

Summer/Autumn 1994

In 1982 Karen Sellenger began teaching humanities in a technical school. She taught full-time in Melbourne’s northern suburbs until she took a “voluntary” redundancy package (VDP) in April 1993. I spoke to Karen, who is now unemployed, about how voluntary this was. “The school went through a ‘reorganisation.’ After the amalgamation, the new school was… Read more »

“You have to be very assertive to get assistance!”

Summer/Autumn 1994

Nasrin Aidvandi, who was born in Iran, is studying Computing Information Technology at the Monash University, Caulfield Campus. “Although I intend to study full-time this year, I may find that, as a parent of a young child, I’m forced to drop some subjects. Tutorial times are allocated on a first-in basis. The most popular time… Read more »