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Work in Aust. - An Overview Aim: To discuss some sociological perspectives on work To trace the history of Australian work from the family wage to competition.

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Presentation on theme: "Work in Aust. - An Overview Aim: To discuss some sociological perspectives on work To trace the history of Australian work from the family wage to competition."— Presentation transcript:

1 Work in Aust. - An Overview Aim: To discuss some sociological perspectives on work To trace the history of Australian work from the family wage to competition on a level playing field

2 Adam Smith - The Free Market Price determined by supply and demand Multiplicity of market players who buy and sell products, including labour Perfect market = freedom of choice information, perfect competition, perfect information

3 John Stuart Mill - Segmented Labour Market Noted that the poor often do the worst jobs Market is divided into more and less desirable segments which are filled on the basis of education, class, ethnicity, sex Primary and secondary labour markets internationally and in organisations

4 Marx - Labour Theory of Value All value is created through work Profit (surplus value) is capitalist’s expropriation of the value created by workers Class struggle (workers vs capitalists) is the motor of human history and drives the development of technology

5 Weber - Occupational Closure Apprenticeship; professional organisation Occupational groups seek to enhance their industrial bargaining position through achieving control over the price of their service; entry to their occupation; entry to their training and control over training content)

6 Taylor - Time and Motion Study The increasing division of labour Separation of manual and mental work Increasingly repetitive, boring, specialised work (the assembly line) Subjugation of worker to the machine Workers alienation arises from loss of control over the undertaking of work Technology may deskill or upskill work depending on the area

7 Elton-Mayo - The Human Relations School The ‘Hawthorn’ Effect (People are motivated by the interest and approval of others) Workers also maintain their own norms and interests as members of informal groups Recent management emphasis on work teams, flatter structures, individual accountability, and working from home made possible by technological advance

8 The New International Economy Based on Project Management 30/40/30 Society: 30% ‘symbolic analysts’ 40% have less economic certainty in their employment tenure and earning capacity 30% threat of exclusion from work through age, unemployment, disability Govt. policy directed towards this group (training wage; disability support)

9 Internationalisation of the Economy promotes Requirement for increasing and changing education and for life long learning Greater use of part-time; casual work Break-down of traditional male/female roles Women continue to be overrepresented in part-time work because of primary family responsibilities

10 Australian Labour Force Participation Persons aged 15-24 (declining) Persons aged 45-54 (increasing) Persons aged 54-64 (increasing) Female participation rates 52% in 1993 (increasing) Male participation rate 74% in 1993 (declining)

11 Unemployment in Aust. Economic development cyclical Unemployment 9.9% in 1983 5.7% in 1989 10.7% in 1993 8.8% in 1997 Currently under 7%

12 Historical Changes Affecting Working Conditions in Australia Conditions of work primarily in awards and agreements ratified by Commonwealth or State industrial commissions Legislation (Commonwealth and state) Enterprise agreements (collective or individual)

13 History of Work in Aust. 1776 - Minimum wages established 1860 - trade unions (females excluded) 1890 - state based arbitration and awards (not free bargaining) 1904 - Commonwealth Arbitration and Conciliation 1905 - White Australia policy

14 History of Work (cont.) 1906 - Excise Tariff Act provided protection for employers paying ‘family wage’ 1907 - Harvester Judgment (male wage is the family wage) 1919 - Female wage 54% of male wage(Centralised wage system based on basic wage plus margin for skill)

15 History of Work (Cont.) 1945- Rapid expansion of service sector (female) employment 1972 National wage and equal pay cases 1973 Tariffs cut by 25% 1985 Move towards decentralised wage fixation(Industry based superannuation instead of wage increase) 1987 End of comparative wage justice ($10% across the board plus 4% at the enterprise level through workplace bargaining)

16 History of Work (Cont.) 1989 Industry based unions (140 federally registered unions dropped to 54 by 1994) 1991 The national wage case introduced the enterprise bargaining principle: wage increases to be achieved by employees through workplace bargaining should be justified and commensurate with their contributions to efficiency & productivity

17 Enterprise Agreements and Individual Contracts Productivity improvements in agreements may cover: work organisation, conditions, of employment, training, the use of technology, the working environment, etc. Awards simplified and stripped back to core conditions Tendency for decentralised decision making to increase inequality

18 National to International Economic Transition From the male wage as family wage, taxpayer protected industries, and centralised wage fixation to: Equal competition between men and women in the labour market, business competition on ‘a level playing field’ and the development of national and international standards to protect health and environment

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