From Queensland’s inception as a self-governing colony in December 1859 the issue of labour relations has preoccupied governments and shaped the experiences of its working men and women. However, despite the often turbulent nature of labour relations in Queensland there has, prior to this book, been no attempt to provide an overview of the system as a whole.
This important addition to Queensland’s sesquicentenary celebrations redresses this failure, looking at the diverse range of experiences that, together, made up a unique system of labour relations – including those of employers, women workers, indigenous workers, unions, the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission, labour law, industrial disputation, the workings of health and safety system and life in regional areas.
It is argued that, overall, Queensland’s system of industrial regulation was central to its economic and social development. Despite past emphasis on the large-scale strikes that periodically raked the state this book finds that consensus normally prevailed.