Immediate Past President of AIRAANZ, Professor Andrew Stewart, delivered the Presidential Address to the 2021 AIRAANZ Conference on 3 February 2021.
An edited version of the Address has recently been published in a Special Issue of Labour and Industry on the 2021 AIRAANZ Conference, titled 'COVID-19 and the Future of Labour Research, Policy and Regulation'.
Professor Stewart's article delivers a timely analysis of the impact of COVID-19 on labour research, global and local labour markets, and labour policy and regulation in Australia. The abstract of the article is below.
This article reflects on the profound impact of COVID-19 on labour research and those who undertake it, on both global and local labour markets, and on labour policy and regulation in Australia. It briefly discusses the many existing challenges the pandemic has highlighted for the supply, organisation and compensation of labour in one particular sector, aged care, before going on to examine the state of the Australian system of labour regulation and policy-making prior to the current crisis. It then discusses how that system has responded to the pandemic, and critically analyses the Morrison Government’s embrace and then abandonment of the idea of consultation and cooperation with the union movement, as it seeks to set an agenda for Australia’s recovery. There seems little chance that the government’s package of changes to the Fair Work Act 2009 will do anything to address deep-seated problems such as wage stagnation, insecurity, inequality and adversarialism. Indeed it may exacerbate them.
The link to the full paper is accessible here: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/10301763.2021.1894634