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 15th Biennial Labour History Conference

The conference will be held 23–25 September 2017 at Emmanuel College, University of Queensland. Academics and labour activists are invited to present papers around the conference theme, “Workers of the World,” and the broader agenda of labour history. Today, the Australian working class are workers of the world: in the sense that we are a predominantly immigrant working class (or the descendants of relatively recent immigrants); and in the sense that workers from so many of the world’s nations, languages and cultures have made their homes here. The year 2017 also marks the centenary of the Russian Revolution, which had such a profound impact on the labour movement in every country, not least as a result of its internationalism. Click here for more information.

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.

Celebrating (or not) the Centenary of the Russian Revolution

A free lecture by Professor Sheila Fitzpatrick to be held 6.00–7.30pm, Thursday 7 September 2017 at the UQ Art Museum, University of Queensland, St Lucia. This year marks the 100th anniversary of the Russian Revolution. How should it be remembered today? Interpretation of the Russian Revolution has always been politically contentious, in the West as in the Soviet Union and its successor states. But the centenary, coming only a few decades after the collapse of Communist regimes in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, finds Western scholars at a loss – and in Putin’s Russia is an outright embarrassment. In her talk, Professor Sheila Fitzpatrick will survey past and present interpretative controversies about the Russian Revolution. This event is hosted by the History Discipline, School of Historical and Philosophical Inquiry, University of Queensland. Click here for more information and to register, or email Patrick Jory (UQ),

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.