The travails of the future

The Trepalium TV series*  produced by Arte France creates a confronting view of a future society based on a huge divide between the 20% employed, the insiders, and the 80% unemployed, the outsiders, who live impoverished lives as outcasts on the other side of the wall in the Zone. The outsiders also include anyone with some kind of incapacity…

Inequality and workforce casualisation – a Piketty perspective

Over the last 2 weeks, I have twice been asked for commentary on workforce casualisation.  The first time for the ABC’s Canberra morning program (20 June) and Tuesday night (5 July) between 10 and 11pm, for the ABC’s Nightlife program broadcast nationally. This extended session was undertaken with Melbourne University’s Professor Mark Wooden and included talkback from listeners. The podcast…

Discrimination report misses the mark on workforce change

A version of the following post is published in the Right Now journal of human rights.  The recently released report of the Inquiry into Employment Discrimination Against Older Australians and Australians with Disability helps to keep the issues of discrimination in the spotlight. This report does well in documenting the extent and experience of discrimination. It…

Standing up for rights

11 May update – a version of the following post incorporating the 3 May Budget changes is published on the Power to Persuade social policy website. The original 27 April post is here: In April, I attended the conference Solving Our Employment Crisis  organised by the Australian Unemployed Workers’ Union (AUWU).  The conference consisted of speakers in leadership roles from various organisations…

Social protection the first priority for economic policy

This post was republished on the Power to Persuade social policy website. With the Australian federal budget due to be delivered in May by the Turnbull government, there is the usual round of pre-budget lobbying in the months leading up to it. I have done many budget submissions in former policy roles in NGOs so…

Le chômage – France’s long, hard road

France is the world’s most popular tourist destination and sees around 83 million foreign tourists a year. From time to time I am one of them as for a couple of weeks over June and July 2015. While the visit consisted of the usual melange of touristy activities, I was struck by the large numbers of…

Secure work part of the equation

The shocking stories and statistics on the levels of violence against women in Australia revealed over recent days has been a wake up call for concerted action at many levels. The Australian situation is consistent with broader international patterns as reported by the United Nations. My research in recent years on women in low paid…