Out Now: Labour History, no. 112 – May 2017

Australian labour historians have generally overlooked the relationship between unions, mutuals and co-operatives. The May issue goes some way towards rectifying this situation with a thematic section, guest-edited by Greg Patmore and Mark Westcott, that focuses on mutualism and co-operatives in relation to the labour movement. Also in this issue are several papers demonstrating the more varied aspects of Australian labour history. These include the long-term connections between the ALP and the margarine industry; the lives of Chinese furniture factory workers in the late nineteenth century; the activities of the Victorian State Services Federation during World War I; the participation of employees in company welfare schemes; and the interconnected histories of labour and homelessness in Australia. Click here, for more information.

The History of the Australian Minimum Wage

Written by Reg Hamilton, this work brings together, probably for the first time, the  Australian Basic Wage, National Wage and Safety Net decisions of the last 100 years, together with each of the movements in the Australian minimum wage. Click here to download it. The decisions and orders that established and varied the Australian minimum wage are now available online and can be accessed here from the Fair Work Commission website.


Why History?

The Association of Academic Historians in Australian and New Zealand Business Schools (AAHANZBS) will hold its 9th Annual Conference, 9–10 November 2017, at the University of Sydney, Australia. The highlights will include a plenary address from Professor Chris Howell and sessions that cover a range of issues including work and employment history, co-operatives and mutuals, and business history and architecture. Click here for more information or to register.


Greg Patmore, Worker Voice: Employee Representation in the Workplace in Australia, Canada, Germany, the UK and the US 1914–1939

This book informs debates about worker participation in the workplace by analysing comparative historical data relating to these ideas during the inter-war period in Australia, Canada, Germany, the UK and the US. The issue is topical because of the contemporary shift to a workplace focus in many countries without a corresponding development of infrastructure at the workplace level, and because of the growing “representation gap” as union membership declines. Click here for more information.