Saturday 14th May Carpark under Westpac Bank, 89-91 Boundary Street, West End.
Our lives are dominated by working – whether there is too much of it or too little. Yet despite this there is little space in society to talk about work beyond politicians telling us that this or that policy, mine or property development will create ‘jobs’ and thus is excellent and how working is good for us (even if most of us want a holiday).
More people in Australia are working more than ever before. Yet wages are growing at historically low rates and large sections of the population are employed in precarious conditions. The jobs we are doing are changing too – with more of us working in services, health and education. The news has been full of stories of large and substantial corporate chains systematically paying workers without citizenship far below minimal awards and the Federal government has been carrying out an on going campaign to break the construction unions. However union membership and industrial action are at an all time low.
And does work just mean wage-labour? What about the unpaid work in the home, the labour of studying, the expansion of internships or beta-testing computer games? How does the work we get paid for and the work we do for free all fit together?
Historically work has also been central to struggles to improve our conditions and transform our lives, a site of social confrontation and change – does it still play that role?
Join us for a discussion on where work is at, how we are experiencing it and what kinds of strategies we can develop to advance our collective interests.
Speakers and format to be confirmed!
And we would like it if you could think about the following questions to help with discussion:
If you are in paid work
1) What is your work-day like?
2) How does paid work impact on other area of your life – housework, time and relations with family, ability to participate in a community etc/
3) Do you work unpaid overtime never/occasionally/sometimes/frequently?
4) What range of times? Do you have to/feel you have to/want to?
5) What kinds of conflicts exist in your work-place?
6) How does management work to ensure discipline in your work-place
7) What are you relations with other work-mates like? How do you help each other?
8) Is there a union presence in your work-place? What is the nature of this presence?
If you are not in paid work
1) How does the absence of a wage impact your life?
2) Do you think ‘work’ is an appropriate term to describe parts of your life?
3) What kinds of conflicts and struggles do you experience?
4) Where do you meet other people in a similar situation – how do you help each other and cooperate?