Number 10

The Gender Gap: International and Australian Context

The Global Gender Gap Report 2009 (World Economic Forum) rated Australia 20 on an international index. behind the Scandinavian countries who came in at 1 to 4, New Zealand 5, Ireland 8 and “developing” countries Lesotho 10 and Sri Lanka 15. 

On the critical measure of labour force participation, Australia has fallen from 40 to 50, with the female-to-male ratio stagnating at 0.84.

And on the measure of wage equality for similar work, Australia ranks  only 60th in the world.

Proposed addendum to Trade Union Perspectives Resolution

The Socialist Alliance believes that the process of Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Legislation “harmonization” initiated by the ALP government is likely to lead to a substantial reduction in health and safety protections for thousands of Australian workers. The review is intended to develop a single “optimal structure and content of a model OHS act” that is capable of being adopted in all jurisdictions, thereby replacing existing state and territory OHS Acts. 

A key element of Socialist Alliance projections for the year ahead is going to be a recruitment campaign. Much as I appreciate the energy generated by campaign modes, I think it is a mistake to go forth with a lot of rah-rahing and the best of intentions and expect that will sustain us.

Introduction

At our Sixth National Conference, in December 2008, the Socialist Alliance adopted a resolution on a framework for energy policy which rejected “carbon trading and the ‘cap-and-trade’ model as they are incapable of reducing carbon emission levels adequately, socially inequitable within countries and between the First and Third Worlds, and open to massive abuses.”

It also adopted a general approach to financing the transition to energy sustainability through:

Preamble

Role of trade unions

The role of the trade unions is to defend the basic interest of the workers, such as working conditions and wages. Unions have come into being with capitalism itself as working class organisation of resistance to the exploitation workers faced by the bourgeoisie. The existence of unions also highlights a fundamental conflict of class interests inherit in the capitalist mode of production that strives forever for increasing profits at the expense of workers.

Disclaimer — signed articles represent the views of their authors, not necessarily the views of the Socialist Alliance unless otherwise stated. Responsibility for all electoral comment is taken by P. Benedek, 22 Mountain Street, Ultimo, NSW 2007. Alliance Voices submission protocols.