Vol. 28 No. 3 2002
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ItemThe cleaner, the waiter, the computer operator: Job change, 1986-2001(National Institute of Labour Studies, 2002) Cully, MN/A
ItemThe decline and fall of the tally system in the meat processing industry(National Institute of Labour Studies, 2002) Stewart, GAs a major export industry with a tradition of adversarial industrial relations, the meat processing industry in Australia has attracted the attention of parties interested in reforming its working practices and arrangements. First amongst these working practices and arrangements are the tally systems. These incentive-based payment schemes were identified by certain employers and public policy makers as a significant impediment to the improvement of workplace productivity within the industry. The industrial and legal struggle to remove and alter such systems has been difficult, prolonged and expensive for the parties involved, but it has been successful. This paper will provide an outline of a history of the tally systems, emphasising particularly the circumstances that precipitated its decline in significance in the 1990s. The paper will discuss the significance of such systems in the industrial relations history of the industry, particularly in the beef-exporting sector of Queensland.
ItemThe equity effects of labour market programs(National Institute of Labour Studies, 2002) Webster, E ; Johnson, DLabour market programs aim to enhance both total employment and equality of job opportunities. The existing literature implies that any assistance to a disadvantaged group will promote equity. This study attempts to present comparative information on the types of people who benefit and lose from the provision of labour market programs. It is found that, compared with an alternative of higher levels of health and education expenditure, expenditure on labour market programs, as they were constructed under Working Nation, favours people with more disadvantaged work histories and lower household incomes However, only 5, or at best 12, per cent of people achieve continuing employment as a result of program participation. Most of the benefits, therefore, are received during the program period.
ItemMinimum wages: Employment and welfare effects, or why Card and Krueger were wrong(National Institute of Labour Studies, 2002) Moore, DMany qualified analysts are unconvinced by the case advanced by US economists Card and Krueger (C and K) that, within limits, the employment effects of raising the minimum wage will be zero or positive. Indeed, examinations of C and K arguments and studies by such analysts reveal many flaws and generally support the conventional view that minimum wages reduce employment. Using the minimum wage to assist low wage earners is also an inefficient and ineffective welfare measure as higher income groups benefit from it more than others. Eliminating the AIRC’s role in determining the minimum wage and moving to a market-determined wage could be made more politically acceptable if accompanied by some form of additional social security assistance linked to and encouraging work for low wage earners in low-income households, and protecting their living standard. To avoid any additional budgetary cost, such assistance could be financed by reducing the large social welfare benefits currently provided to higher income groups.