find the latest legal job
Senior Associate - Litigation & Dispute Resolution
Category: Litigation and Dispute Resolution | Location: Melbourne CBD & Inner Suburbs Melbourne VIC
· Come work for a firm ranked in Lawyers Weekly Top 25 Attraction Firms
View details
Associate - Workplace Relations & Safety
Category: Industrial Relations and Employment Law | Location: Brisbane CBD & Inner Suburbs Brisbane QLD
· Employer of choice · Strong team culture
View details
Freelance Lawyers
Category: Banking and Finance Law | Location: All Perth WA
· Freelance opportunities through Vario from Pinsent Masons
View details
Freelance Lawyers
Category: Other | Location: All Adelaide SA
· • Qualified lawyer with a strong academic background
View details
Freelance Lawyers
Category: Other | Location: All Melbourne VIC
· • Qualified lawyer with a strong academic background
View details
Lawyer weighs in on union debate

Lawyer weighs in on union debate


Threats to unions and freedom of association will feature at this year’s Ron McCallum Debate.

The upcoming debate, which will take place on 6 October in Sydney, features Michael Harmer, the founding partner Harmers Workplace Lawyers, and industrial relations academic Professor Ron McCallum.

Organised by the Australian Institute of Employment Rights (AIER), this year's debate will examine the potential impact of the Trade Union Royal Commission on the union movement.

“Unions and employer organisations have important roles to play in Australia’s workplace relations system, our society and politics,” said AIER’s executive director, Clare Ozich (pictured).

“However, freedom of association is under increasing threat; in the workplace and more broadly.”

Ms Ozich said the last few decades of industrial relations reform have moved the system further away from workers acting in their collective interests towards a more individualised system.

“Coupled with the decline in union membership along with the union movement’s recent scandals, our industrial relations system risks becoming increasingly unbalanced,” she continued.

 “The trend towards insecure and fragmented work is a further barrier to the exercise of freedom of association rights for many workers. There are significant social and economic consequences of reducing the ability of workers to act collectively,” concluded Ms Ozich.

“Both the OECD and the IMF have acknowledged the decline in unionism is related to growing inequality.”

The debate will investigate the decline of unions and collectivism, and discuss whether Australian society still values freedom of association.

Questions up for debate include: ‘Is collectivism still a core principle for our modern industrial society?’; ‘To what extent does the union movement itself and the decline in unionism pose a threat to freedom of association?’; and ‘What are the potential implications from the current inquiries into various aspects of the workplace relations system for freedom of association?’

Other speakers at the debate are: Michele O’Neil, secretary of Textile, Clothing and Footwear Union of Australia; Stephen Smith, national IR director, Ai Group; and Keelia Fitzpatrick from the Young Workers Centre.

Like this story? Subscribe to our free newsletter and receive Lawyers Weekly every day straight to your inbox.

Like this story? Read more:

QLS condemns actions of disgraced lawyer as ‘stain on the profession’

NSW proposes big justice reforms to target risk of reoffending

The legal budget breakdown 2017

Lawyer weighs in on union debate
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
Oct 20 2017
Podcast: One of law’s most infamous alumni – in conversation with Julian Morrow
In this episode of The Lawyers Weekly Show, Melissa Coade is joined by The Chaser’s Julian Morrow....
Oct 20 2017
High Court overturns ‘excessive’ anti-protest legislation
Bob Brown’s recent victory in the High Court over the Tasmanian government was a win for fundament...
Oct 20 2017
Changes to Australian citizenship laws blocked
Attempts to beef up the requirements to obtain Australian citizenship were thwarted this week, after...
Allens managing partner Richard Spurio, image courtesy Allens' website
Jun 21 2017
Promo season at Allens
A group of lawyers at Allens have received promotions across its PNG and Australian offices. ...
May 11 2017
Partner exits for in-house role
A Victorian lawyer has left the partnership of a national firm to start a new gig with state governm...
Esteban Gomez
May 11 2017
National firm recruits ‘major asset’
A national law firm has announced it has appointed a new corporate partner who brings over 15 years'...
Nicole Rich
May 16 2017
Access to justice for young transgender Australians
Reform is looming for the process that young transgender Australians and their families must current...
Geoff Roberson
May 11 2017
The lighter side of the law: when law and comedy collide
On the face of it, there doesn’t seem to be much that is amusing about the law, writes Geoff Rober...
May 10 2017
Advocate’s immunity – without fear or without favour but not both
On 29 March 2017, the High Court handed down its decision in David Kendirjian v Eugene Lepore & ...