Wednesday: Foenander Lecture: Sharan Burrow

Wednesday night at Melbourne Uni and ACTU chief comrade Sharan Burrow delived the Foenander Lecture, an annual industrial relations lecture. Burrow played a predictably stright bat given that the event was three days out from an election campaign. My attempt during a question to invite her to comment/criticise the ALP for their 'anti-worker' policy in protecting old growth forests in Tasmania went straight through to Gilchirst behind the stumps, with barely a shot offered.

Burrow seems to be a a progressive, enlightened union leader who could potentially oversee a revitalisation of organised labour. Rather than trying to refight old battles, Burrow has a forward thinking and innovative agenda for the ACTU. At the lecture she outlined an agenda, in which the ACTU is keen to fight the movement toward casualisation of labour, push for flexibility of hours and stand up for maternity leave. Less of a priority is the workers revolution, and the destruction of capitalist pigs. Good to see.

Comments

Anonymous said…
"...in which the ACTU is keen to fight the movement toward casualisation of labour, push for flexibility of hours."

Would've thought these two things weren't a million miles apart.

Still, until such time as unemployment is properly counted, as in this with less work than they want, casualisation will never be taken seriously. By this I mean that there is precious little information, besides polemic anecdotes, to tell us whether this mass of casuals are happy with their lot. Personally I've known a number in either camp.

Is casualisation a useful tool for more flexible hours? Perhaps if the security of tenure can be addressed then maybe more would be happy with their casual positions.

PB

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