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Laying the Foundations of Industrial Justice

In 2002 the Industrial Relations Commission of NSW celebrated its centenary. Its earliest predecessor, the NSW Court of Industrial Arbitration, held its first meeting on 16 May 1902. While there is great deal of interest in the federal arbitration system, the NSW system covered more workers in the state and led the federal tribunal in a number of areas. The lengthy periods of Labor Party Government in NSW provided a favourable environment for progressive industrial legislation. State legislation led the way in Australia on the 40-hour week, long service leave, equal pay for women and job security. The state tribunal also led the federal tribunal on concepts such as the living wage and more recently issues such as family care leave for same sex couples and equal remuneration irrespective of gender. Currently, the NSW Commission covers a broader range of issues than the federal tribunal and in recent decisions has highlighted issues such as human rights at work and comparable worth.
This book focuses on the first nine presidents of the Industrial Relations Commission and its predecessors, commencing with Henry Emanuel Cohen in 1902 and concluding with Judge Bill Fisher, who retired in 1998. These Presidents include Albert Piddington, George Beeby and Charles Heydon. Many of the Presidents had careers that impacted far beyond the Commission as well. They steered the Commission through a changing political, industrial and economic climate. These individuals' experiences reveal that industrial regulators are not simply the creatures of capital, labour or government but can shape their own agendas.
The book includes an overview chapter that comprehensively covers the history of NSW industrial arbitration. Greg Patmore edited the book and there are Please click here to ask a question
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