Miners were fired by a sense of solidarity but also by dangerous working conditions, which produced high death and injury rates.
Miners were among the first workers to organise into trade unions from the middle of the 1700s, battling a lack of legal recognition and resistance from the mine owners.
Protesters were back on the streets demanding penalty rates be left alone when the Coalition government asked the Productivity Commission to look at workplace relations last year.
Cutting penalty rates can be a vote-changer and the looming Fair Work Commission decision is tricky for both sides of politics. So what cards do the parties hold and how might they play them?
The government argues its industrial relations bills are necessary to deal with widespread corruption uncovered by the trade union royal commission.
To what extent would the ABCC and Registered Organisations bills actually deal with union corruption or criminality if passed?
Michaelia Cash is in the fortunate position that whatever happens to the industrial legislation, she won’t look bad.
Malcolm Turnbull says bluntly that he expects the coming special Senate sitting to reject the industrial relations legislation. Labor's Penny Wong indicates the opposition won't try to delay the bills.
Was Anthony Albanese right about truck driver pay and safety?
AAP Image/Joel Carrett
Was Shadow Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Anthony Albanese, right to say that evidence shows better pay for truck drivers will improve safety?
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.
AAP Image/Dean Lewins
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said that two-thirds of all industrial disputes in Australia are in construction, and that construction industrial disputes are up since the ABCC closed. Is that right?
There was enormous growth in casual employment prior to 1998.
AAP Image/Lukas Coch
The Australian Industry Group (Ai Group) said that casual employment has not increased in Australia for the past 18 years. Is that right?
Employment Minister Michaelia Cash and the opposition’s Penny Wong appearing on Q&A with host Tony Jones.
On Q&A, an unemployed merchant seafarer said Australian seafarers could replaced by foreign seafarers working on 457 visas, working for as little as $2 an hour. We check the facts.
Are the terrible working conditions in the creative industries inevitable?
People who work in the arts often accept terrible working conditions and low (or non-existent) pay as the price of admission – and that has a real impact on mental health.
Bill Shorten has proposed higher penalties for employers who deliberately underpay workers, and stronger protections for workers from sham contracting.
A Labor government would crack down on employers who exploit workers with harsher penalties and other measures, opposition leader Bill Shorten has promised.
Franchisors like 7-Eleven cannot hide behind plausible deniability.
Employers that receive industrial relations support from their franchisor are more likely to abide by the law than other employers.
ACTU President Ged Kearney has warned the China Australia Free Trade Agreement could lock out Australian workers. Is that true?
AAP Image/Mick Tsikas
ACTU President Ged Kearney has warned the recently signed China-Australia Free Trade Agreement could lock out Australian workers. Is that true?
A thing of the past?
The threat of a strike can cause trepidation among the public - but where would we be without them?
Stopped in its tracks.
Nicholas Hair/Wikimedia Commons
The bank holiday strikes may cause transport chaos, but they'll pack a big punch for industry workers.
Loopholes in the post-apartheid labour relations framework has created an opening for the re-creation of a cheap labour regime.
Failed by the institutions meant to protect them from exploitation, South African Post Offices workers gave up on the legal system, resorting to illegal means.
Technology’s improving, but pay isn’t.
The technological transformation of China's many factories has failed to bring with it an upgrade in working conditions.
Occupy Wall Street targeted rising inequality, as many did in the Progressive Era.
Labor unions face assaults at every turn, yet growing concerns over income equality and Progressivism's rebirth may help turn the tide.
Chinese workers are often aided by NGOs and usually receive little to no help from the main Chinese trade union.
The growing labour movement in China, as fragmented and repressed as it is, offers hope for workers everywhere as an example of organising against incredible odds.
Workplace relations reform: it’s not as if we haven’t been here before.
When the federal government asked the Productivity Commission (PC) to conduct a review into certain aspects of workplace laws, it argued a “root and branch” inquiry was urgently needed. As everyone gears…
Choosing the Productivity Commission to review industrial relations could prove politically embarrassing for both Workplace Relations Minister Eric Abetz and Prime Minister Tony Abbott.
Australia’s federal government has made a major political error, possibly terminal, in asking the Productivity Commission (PC) to inquire into industrial relations. Before the 2013 election, the strategy…