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WORK

From the beginning of the industrial age, issues surrounding work relations and the ‘worker question’ have been seen by the Catholic Church as the key to a just society.

Swift injustice in modest penalty rates proposal
The Fair Work Commission decision on penalty rates removes any doubt that young people might have still have about their place in the economic order. The four-yearly review of awards in hospitality, fast food, retail and pharmacy found that Sunday penalty rates 'do not achieve the modern awards objective, as they do not provide a fair and relevant minimum safety net'. But whose safety net? Unfair to whom? These industries are already notorious for exploiting young workers, writes Fatima Measham for Eureka Street.

Without justice there will not be peace
3 Dec 1854: Eureka Stockade. 27 people died, resisting government oppression. Under today’s law, the Eureka Stockade would be defined as an act of terror, says Julian Burnside AO QC.

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Bangladesh’s fatal Rana Plaza collapse one year on
It’s been a year since the Rana Plaza textile complex collapsed, killing 1,135 workers and injuring more than 2,500, making it the worst industrial disaster in Bangladesh history. 

Midlothian Council to adopt ‘living wage’
More than 650 workers could see wages rise following a decision – in principle – by the Scottish Midlothian Council to adopt what is known as the “living wage”, reports the Midlothian Advertiser.
The “living wage” has been set across Scotland as £7.20 ($AUD10.90) an hour, with the current minimum wage being £6.08 ($AUD9.20) an hour.  

“While work, in all its many senses, is an obligation, that is to say a duty, it is also a source of rights on the part of the worker … The human rights that flow from work are part of the broader context of those fundamental rights of the person.”
Pope John Paul II, Laborem Exercens, n 16.

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