Workers, Corporations and Community: Facing Choices for a Sustainable Future

Workers, Corporations and Community: Facing Choices for a Sustainable Future

25 Jan 2008

From 6-8 February 2008, La Trobe Universitys Faculty of Law and Management in Melbourne is hosting one of the years most important conferences on industrial relations.

The Association of Industrial Relations Academics Australia and New Zealand (AIRAANZ) brings together leading international and Australian academics, policy makers and practitioners to explore and debate industrial relations issues that have been ignored over the past decade.

This will be the 22nd AIRAANZ Conference and Dr Pauline Stanton Conference Convenor says more than 120 papers have been submitted covering research in 15 countries.

Speakers will include international experts on corporate governance and labour, trade union organising, restructured working arrangements and gender and equity. Papers also focus on the recent experience of Work Choices and changing bargaining arrangements in Australia.

Professor Sanford Jacoby from the University of California, Los Angeles, in the United States, Professor Andrew Pendleton from the University of York, United Kingdom, Professor Peter Turnbull from Cardiff University, UK, and Associate Professor Leah Vosko from York University, Canada, will present keynote addresses.

Speakers will be available for comment to the media over the course of the conference.

Professor Malcolm Rimmer, Head of La Trobes School of Business said the recent Federal election had proved industrial relations is a pressing concern for the Australian community.

"The 2008 AIRAANZ conference is the first gathering of academics and practitioners in Australia since the change of government and it will highlight questions surrounding the real impact of the changing nature of work as well as the more complex global industrial landscape on workers and communities," he said.

"The conference theme was chosen because of the changing nature of work. There are heightened expectations about the role of the business sector in corporate governance and the recognition of employees as stakeholders. In addition, the increasing diversity of the workforce and more fluid organisational boundaries make it timely to explore the impact of these changes not only in Australia but also across the globe", he said.

As emerging issues such as Corporate Social Responsibility gain traction in the world of business, trade unions and workers' associations also have choices to make in determining their policies and activities and their interactions with communities. The focus of sustainability and corporate governance on financial and environmental concerns must not mean that its impact on workers lives is forgotten.

Research papers will be presented by eminent Australian and international industrial relations scholars including Dr John Buchanan, Dr David Peetz, Professor Barbara Pocock, Professor Russell Lansbury and Professor Judy Fudge.

The conference also includes an evening seminar open to non-conference delegates titled Shaping the Future: Women, Work and Life chaired by Dr Marian Baird from the University of Sydney. Guest Speakers include Dr Leah Vosko, Cath Bowtell from the ACTU, and Hilary Crowe from the National Australia Bank. One of the major sponsors, Industrial Relations Victoria, is also holding a special seminar within the conference titled Interesting Times: Managing State Industrial Relations in a Federal System.

Furthur information
Mark Pearce
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La Trobe University
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