Category Archives: 2001 Conference

2001 ASSLH conference – Challenging equality masculinism: Edna Ryan’s struggles for equal pay 1958-1973

Professor Lyndall Ryan
Head: School of Humanities, Faculty of the Central Coast, University of Newcastle


When labour activist Edna Ryan was widowed at the age of 53 in 1958, she became the family breadwinner. She quickly found that while pay and conditions for all workers were negotiated on a triennial basis between unions and management, whereby men had access to a career path and regular pay increases, no such provisions existed for women. Continue reading

2001 ASSLH conference – Union birth, growth and death: The Lithgow ironworks 1900-14

Greg Patmore
University of Sydney


Australian trade union membership grew dramatically in the period from 1900 to 1914. While there is recognition that compulsory arbitration may have played an important role, there are a range of explanatory factors that may explain the growth. Studies of union growth also neglect the workplace. Through an analysis of the Lithgow Ironworks this paper hopes to broaden the debate about union growth. Continue reading

2001 ASSLH conference – The formation and role of an independent trades and labor council in Western Australia: A case study

Bobbie Oliver
Teaching and Research Fellow, Research Institute for Cultural Heritage, Curtin University


This paper argues that adopting the Australian Labor Federation model, with the political and industrial wings in one organisation, made the labour movement in Western Australia significantly different from its counterparts in the eastern states of Australia. Continue reading

2001 ASSLH conference – Becoming ‘unionate’? From staff association to national union: The ‘industrialisation’ of university staff 1983–1993

John O’Brien
School of Industrial Relations and Organisational Behaviour, University of New South Wales


This paper traces the history of the major unions covering Australian academic staff from the registration of the Federation of Australian University Staff and the Union of Australian College Academics in the federal industrial jurisdiction in the mid-1980s to the formation of the National Tertiary Education Union as an “industry” union incorporating general staff in 1983. Continue reading

2001 ASSLH conference – No quick response: Who is responsible for clothing outwork reform?

Alastair Greig
School of Social Sciences, Australian National University


The Australian clothing industry is often regarded as a relic of a previous industrial age ill-suited to the demands of a more “knowledge-intensive” nation. However, the modern Australian clothing industry combines elements of the so-called “new economy” with elements of highly exploitative work practices associated with outwork. Continue reading

2001 ASSLH conference – ‘A dangerous trend towards authoritarianism’: Dr James, the Menzies government and cold war Australia

Phillip Deery
Victoria University, Melbourne  



In May 1950, during the debate on the Communist Party Dissolution Bill, a young doctor with a promising career was sacked. No reasons for his dismissal were given and no right of appeal was permitted. Outside his working hours Paul James was politically active in the emerging peace movement in Melbourne and the subject, therefore, of an adverse security file. Continue reading

2001 ASSLH conference – The Socceroos strike a deal


Braham Dabscheck
School of Industrial Relations, University of New South Wales


In the period September 1996 to January 1998 the Australian Soccer Players’ Association and Soccer Australia were locked in a dispute over payments to, and a collective agreement for, Australia’s international players—the Socceroos. Continue reading

2001 ASSLH conference – The ‘freeing’ of unfree labour: Aborigines in the Northern Territory cattle industry, 1948–1978

Rob Castle and Jim Hagan
University of Wollongong

The freeing of unfree labour has received less attention in the unfree labour debate than other issues such as the conditions under which unfree labour worked. This paper focuses on the phasing out of unfree labour in the Northern Territory cattle industry and comparing this process with the Assamese tea industry. Continue reading