Journal of Work and Ideas
Volume – 2024
From the editors
In these first two articles for 2024 of the Journal of Work and Ideas, Ron McCallum and Liam O’Brien reflect on the themes of voice and inclusion, expanding upon their thought-provoking speeches at the 2023 Ron McCallum Debate on Voices and Work.
Abstract: Despite increased education, technology, and legal protections, the labour force participation rate for people with disabilities in Australia remains much lower than the general rate and has been stagnant for many years. Ron McCallum reflects on why this is so, his own disability, the sheltered workshops of the past, and the impact of technological and legal changes on the employment of people with disabilities. He discusses the National Disability Insurance Scheme and the Royal Commission’s recommendations for bridging the persistent employment gap.
Workers' Voice – a Matter of Life and Death
By Liam O’Brien
Article 2024/02 AI generated image
Abstract: Only collective worker voice can ensure fair wages and safe workplaces and also protect dignity and diversity at work. The decline in real wages and collective bargaining in recent years is the result not only of inflation but the collapse of collective bargaining and an unfair industrial relations system that allows the suppression of wages through loopholes, as highlighted by Qantas’ use of labour hire. Loopholes in the system also create unsafe and even deadly workplaces as shown by the ongoing issues with silicosis caused by handling engineered stone.
Volume – 2023
Abstract: Media attention to serious accidents affecting on-demand food delivery workers has prompted debate about whether (and if so how) such workers should be provided with insurance coverage for work-related injury. This article reviews current workers’ compensation laws in the Australian states, and interrogates the historical rationale for the introduction of special provisions deeming certain kinds of workers as ‘employees’ for the purpose of coverage notwithstanding that they were not engaged under employment contracts. We discover that arguments which convinced parliaments in the 1900s, 1920s and 1950s to include the likes of ‘tributers’ and ‘pick up’ workers in the past, are equally persuasive today.
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Disclaimer: The Journal of Work and Ideas is a forum for debate and dialogue between a range of views on industrial relations, human resources, economics, political economy, labour law and related issues. The views expressed in the Journal of Work and Ideas are those of the authors only. They do not represent the views of the journal, its editors, nor the AIER.