BFU presents: Working Hard or Hardly Working? Theories and practices of work


Working hard, or hardly working?

When? 2pm on Saturday 14th May

Where? Carpark under Westpac Bank, 89-91 Boundary Street

What? Discussion and workshop

Our lives are dominated by working – whether there is too much of it or too little. Yet despite this there is little space in society to talk about work beyond politicians telling us that this or that policy, mine or property development will create ‘jobs’ and thus is excellent and how working is good for us (even if most of us want a holiday).

BFU therefore presents the first in a series of talks investigating theories and practices of work; our experiences and expectations, our hopes for the future, and the identities and ideologies that emerge around our workplaces.


More people in Australia are working more than ever before. Yet wages are growing at historically low rates and large sections of the population are employed in precarious conditions. The jobs we are doing are changing too – with more of us working in services, health and education. The news has been full of stories of large and substantial corporate chains systematically paying workers without citizenship far below minimal awards and the Federal government has been carrying out an on going campaign to break the construction unions. However union membership and industrial action are at an all time low.

And does work just mean wage-labour? What about the unpaid work in the home, the labour of studying, the expansion of internships or beta-testing computer games? How does the work we get paid for and the work we do for free all fit together?

Historically work has also been central to struggles to improve our conditions and transform our lives, a site of social confrontation and change – does it still play that role?

Join us for a discussion on where work is at, how we are experiencing it and what kinds of strategies we can develop to advance our collective interests.

Some framing questions to chew over before Saturday (if you have time…):

1)      What is your work-day like?

2)      How does paid work impact on other area of your life – housework, time and            relations with family, ability to participate in a community etc/

3)      What kinds of conflicts exist in your work-place?

4)      How does management work to ensure discipline in your work-place

5)      What are you relations with other work-mates like? How do you help each                 other?

6)      Is there a union presence in your work-place? What is the nature of this                    presence?

7)      Do you work unpaid overtime never/occasionally/sometimes/frequently?                  What range of times?  Do you have to/feel you have to/want to?


PS: From 10am on Saturday in West End there’s a community rally for housing affordability that many of us will be attending.  

The details are here:


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