The future of work

10 April 2017


 

  • AUSTRALIA

    The misuse of migrant labour in our backyard

    • Sayomi Ariyawansa
    • 23 March 2017
    5 Comments

    In 2015, Four Corners exposed the misuse of migrant labour in Australian horticulture. It found evidence that the labour hire providers routinely underpaid these workers. Once working on-site, some of these workers were required to work excessive hours and endure unsafe conditions. There is great potential for a licensing scheme to bring a degree of regulation. But there are complex reasons behind the prevalence of migrant worker exploitation in the industry, and a licensing scheme is no cure-all.

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  • ECONOMICS

    Hollowed out labour market stymies equal opportunity

    • Veronica Sheen
    • 12 December 2016
    5 Comments

    Over the last two decades we have seen a process of job polarisation. There has been growth in high end jobs, but mostly in low end jobs, the outcome of which has been the hollowing out of middle level jobs. This hollowing out of the middle also relates to greater wealth polarisation, as French economist Thomas Piketty has brought to light. The labour market is under a lot of pressure from many angles, so what does this mean for the project of women's equal opportunity in employment?

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  • AUSTRALIA

    How class shapes art in 21st century Australia

    • Ellena Savage
    • 08 December 2016
    4 Comments

    To be in the running for a scholarship, a student must have had their abilities or potential acknowledged and rewarded within an ideological education system. Where the money comes from - and whom it is given to - informs what kinds of artwork thrives. As Didier Eribon says, 'art, culture and education are part of the mechanisms of differentiation between social classes'. And the institutional frameworks underpinning the production of artwork can lead to pernicious political outcomes.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Aboriginal workers still slipping through the gaps

    • Celeste Liddle
    • 01 December 2016
    8 Comments

    Indigenous workers of previous generations struggled and undertook strike actions so that their descendants would not be exploited and abused in the same way that they had been. While we may have many more Aboriginal people achieving and attracting higher waged work than we did in the years gone by, the exploitation of the most vulnerable in our community continues. The years may have ticked over, but the government's attitude to the value of Indigenous workers has not.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The unique labour conditions of millennials

    • Sonia Nair
    • 27 November 2016
    11 Comments

    Belonging to a generation where I was constantly told I could do anything I set my mind to, I was carted off to every class imaginable as a young child - art class, violin class, music theory class, English literature tutoring and so forth. But the advent of unparalleled choices that was constantly peddled to me did not coincide with an increase in the spaces that are available for young people to excel, or much less be employed, in the fields of their choice.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Rethinking care work key to closing gender pay gap

    • Kate Galloway
    • 24 November 2016
    2 Comments

    Civil society requires care work. All of us, at various stages of our lives, will be dependent on others for our daily needs. Most of us will likewise care for others at some point. The challenge is how to allocate caring responsibilities throughout society, while allowing also for the paid work that secures economic independence. At the moment the tacit expectation that women will do unpaid care work - and that men (theoretically) are unburdened by care work - contributes to economic inequality.

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  • ECONOMICS

    Wage inequality is a bigger threat to workers than robots

    • David James
    • 20 November 2016
    9 Comments

    The idea that machines will replace humans, transforming the work force, is far from new. As technology develops at an accelerating pace, there is growing concern that new social divisions are emerging. While there are signs of deepening social divisions between the rich and the rest of the working population, previous predictions of a collapse in employment have proven to be wrong. This is largely because a confusion arises from conflating production and transactions. They are not the same thing.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Pathways to real jobs in a changing work landscape

    • Kasy Chambers
    • 17 November 2016
    5 Comments

    Corey has received housing through a St Vincent de Paul's refuge in Canberra and food assistance through Anglicare. Corey did not complete year ten, and has had a number of odd jobs since leaving school. Corey is passionate about gaming, and will often spend hours on the computer, filling in time after losing his job recently. He says he would love to do some training in gaming, but that his Job Network provider didn't have the money to support him in such training.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Solidarity and self-interest in the future of unionism

    • Tim Lyons
    • 13 November 2016
    7 Comments

    Just as the 'wealth management' industry is based on the lie that anyone can be wealthy if they are prepared to take enough individual risk, the modern lie about work is that your place depends on vicious competition with those around you. This sort of sociopathic individualism denies the collective project, where even the team resembles more a gangster faction than a collective. Success is said to be a function of your own efforts, rendering solidarity not just foreign but inimical to your interests.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Innovating for a jobless society

    • Rick Measham
    • 06 November 2016
    28 Comments

    Growing up in Geelong, many friends worked at Ford, or Alcoa, Pilkington or any of the other allied suppliers. As each of these stopped manufacturing in Victoria's second city, employers and governments promised retraining. But where are the jobs? Factories are quickly moving to a 'lights out' operation, with no lights, no air conditioning — and no humans. Modelling suggests nearly 5000 Geelong residents will lose their jobs to the decline in manufacturing before the end of 2017, and 200,000 nationwide. Can we find new-economy jobs for every one of them?

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  • AUSTRALIA

    How the working class became white

    • Evan Smith
    • 26 October 2016
    19 Comments

    While the White Australia Policy attempted to prevent non-white workers from living and working in Australia, people from across the globe continued to do both, although often at the margins of white Australian society. The Australian Labor Party and the trade unions were complicit in maintaining this racial divide. In Australia today, a new wave of migrants is working in convenience stores, driving taxis or cleaning buildings. They are part of the Australian working class, but are often not considered such.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Balance and boundaries in 21st century work

    • Megan Graham
    • 19 October 2016
    11 Comments

    While once it was honourable to put your work first, it's now seen as a fool's errand. Not to say staff should discount their employer's interests, but put them in their proper place - important, yes, but not more important than health, for example, or family. Unions have built memberships on these kinds of ideas for decades. But the current movement is not so much about grouping together as it is about individuating: 'My particular needs are important, too.'

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