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"...public opinion deserves to be respected as well as despised" G.W.F. Hegel, 'Philosophy of Right'

no doubts, its back « Previous | |Next »
February 7, 2014

It is pretty clear that the Abbott Government is under intense pressure from its Big Business constituency to regain the industrial relations territory it had to surrender with the defeat of Workchoices and the Howard Government. Big Business and its neo-liberal allies want that territory retaken quick smart. This is their path of economic change and reform.

MorirAWorkchoicesreturn.jpg Alan Moir

So how does the Abbott Government do what's required of them when Workchoices is still electoral poison? Talk about a a wages explosion of the pre-Accord era when unsustainable wage growth simply pushed thousands of Australians out of work".Talk about workers' conditions negotiated collectively with employers that cost jobs.The inference is that the "fat cat"union movement is irresponsible on economic policy.

Abbott chose low-paid factory workers as a target of a wider campaign to persuade companies to cut labour costs when he squeezed Shepparton's troubled SPC Ardmona factory into this IR narrative, even though it makes little sense.

It indicates that Paul Howes' call for a business-union-government “grand compact” to deliver more harmonious industrial relations, isn't going to cut it. It's fanciful.

Bill Harley argues that the Workchoices style of reform of the industrial relations legislation:

is unlikely to generate productivity gains and greater prosperity for Australia. There is little evidence, for instance, that either WorkChoices or the Fair Work Act had any significant impact on any economic outcomes. In my view, a shift away from IR reform as the proposed driver of economic performance is long overdue.A greater focus on encouraging workplace innovation through training, research and development, investment and so on is much more likely to deliver performance gains. Precisely how this would be achieved is open to debate, but there are plenty of useful examples, from around the world, of government policies which have encouraged workplace innovation and delivered performance gains.

It is fantasy to see this happening under an Abbott Government committed to the politics of austerityand blaming most things on greedy workers and unions.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 9:08 AM | | Comments (7)


For the neo-liberals the award system, which sets out minimum wages, penalty rates and working conditions at different rates and skill-sets for different industries, should be abolished.

Moirs' cartoon expresses Labor position re the spectre of WorkChoices. Labor claims that Workchoices is not dead, buried and cremated, but rather just sedated before being brought back to life.

The neo-liberal position gives all the power to employers--ie., businesses ought to be able to set wages and working conditions that they can afford and that are relevant to their workplace.

Nice cartoon, but I reckon it would be more realistic and accurate if the ghost of workNOchoices was shown peeking around the headstone stepping into the open and shouting 'I'm Backkkk!! I've just been hiding here, I never really went away".

Or something like that.

Yes, the context for understanding the attack on workers has been denied; this thread starter is very astute.

Abbott made a big misjudgement attacking the workers. He was somewhat right with his comments regarding the parent companies responsibility to use its profit to rationalise spc Ardmona but became wrong in suggesting it was the workers fault. It was a dumb move of incredible proportion.
Paul Howe's comments are nearly as dumb and would think he will be encouraged to stand for a safe seat somewhere at the earliest opportunity as far away from Canberra as possible.

Agree with Les.

Do you only get to high office in this country if you are a servile, rootless, shiftless pin head?