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Rights at Work

Defend Your Rights at Work

John Howard's introduction of the misnamed 'Work Choices' legislation in 2005 in the wake of an unprecented $55 million taxpayer-funded saturation propaganda advertising campaign must rank as one of the most breathtakingly fraudulent and despicable acts perpetrated by a Government of any modern democracy against its own people.

Yet another media beat-up over sick leave entitlements

Today's Australia Talks features an employer representative and an occupational psychologist, with the goal, no doubt, is to ensure that anyone not dead or terminally ill reports dutifully to work each day. Of course, the real scandal is that, instead of having achieved increased leisure time promised to all of us over a generation ago, Australians are now working vastly longer hours for less. Even what used to be the workers' own time has now been encroached upon by all sorts of additional requirements and complexities that did not previously exist.

What you can do: Phone Australia Talks tonight after the 6PM news (5PM news in Queensland) on 1300 22 55 76 and give the would-be witch-hunters, who are to feature on the program, a piece of your mind, or leave your comments in the guest book.

What will disaffiliation from the Labor Party achieve for the ETU?

The Electrical Trade Union's threat to disaffiliate from the Labor Party in protest at its treatment by the Queensland and Federal Labor Government begs the question of how trade unions can ever hope to be adequately represented in Parliament.

See also: QLD Labor stung by protests, poll in the Brisbane Times of 21 June 08.

WorkChoices "Fairness Test" backlog beyond belief: another Howard legacy

Workplace Authority Director Barbara Bennett promises to clear the backlog of 121,324 of Australian Workplace Agreements (AWAs) in five-to-six months.

Doug Cameron in the cross-hair of the Murdoch press

Labor Senator-elect Doug Cameron is the only Federal politician, so far, to have summoned up the courage to raise a critical voice against the Government's recently announced plans to raise the annual immigration level to 300,000. For this, he has earned the wrath of The Australian newspaper.

See also Doug Cameron: guest workers threaten Australian wages and conditions of 20 May 08, Is it reactionary to oppose Immigration? of 16 Dec 07 (also on Web Diary), Another global village Idiot of 20 May 08 and comment

Doug Cameron: guest workers threaten Australian wages and conditions

Radio Australia has reported NSW Senator-elect Doug Cameron as warning that experiences overseas show that guest workers push down wages and conditions for all workers. He said Australia should not have a two-tiered immigration system

See also: The Australian proposes apartheid 'solution' to Australia's labour shortage 'crisis' of 15 May 08

Is it reactionary to oppose Immigration?

Andy Kerr, former president of Alternatives to Growth Oregon, posed these questions, "To those who support generous immigration, I ask you this: ... How can you support a policy that helps ensure that our existing poor will never be adequately valued for their labor."

This article has also been published on Web Diary

Joe Hockey's "Work Choices" back flip: too little, too late

November 2005, WorkChoices legislation was rammed through Parliament. Barely a week in the House; just three weeks for Senate review.

Now, suddenly, former Work Place Relations Minister Hockey proclaims
that WorkChoices "went too deep; it was a mistake," even though it was introduced with "the best intentions."

Greens shred WorkChoices on building site

Greens lead Senate candidate Larissa Waters joined building workers on a Brisbane building site this morning and pledged to abolish all of the government's WorkChoices laws and the controversial Australian Building and Construction Commission.

Howard's Economic Hallucinations

John Howard's promise that no-one will "be in any way adversely affected by" changes Industrial Relations legislation if he is re-elected, already made once before and broken once before, is scrutinised.

Mark Latham's political gift to John Howard

In his article "Latham: Beware the Polls and The Swinging Voter" in the AFR of 17 November former Labor leader Mark Latham praises John Howard's economic management, in general finds surprisingly little fault with his government and labels the union movement's "Rights at Work" campaign a "scare campaign"

Confirmed: AWAs are UNfair!

Mark Wooden, leading Australian economist, clarified the role of AWAs beyond any shadow of a doubt. Wooden affirmed that employers enthusiastically embraced AWAs "because they could legally reduce pay and conditions." [Fairness test killing AWAs, PM warned,The Australian, 12 November]

Nothing fair about this "fairness test"

AWAs arrive faster than they're processed, and increasingly, they fail the fairness test. 6 September, there was a backlog of 110,000 AWAs awaiting vetting; 9 November - the backlog was 142,000.

American Unions and their about-face on Immigration

In his deposition to the Subcommittee on Immigration of the U.S. House of Representatives, delivered on May 24, 2007, Vernon Briggs demonstrated that for more than a century, until the late 1980s, organized labour either directly initiated or strongly supported every legislative effort to restrict immigration or "enforce its policy provisions."

AWAs and non-core promises

As of 6 September, merely 10% of AWAs lodged were vetted for fairness (about 12,700 of 123,000). After four months and (supposedly) 600 additional inspectors, there's a backlog of about 110,000 AWAs to vet, with about new 30,000 AWAs submitted monthly. Some assert it will take 10 months to work-off this backlog.

Australia's Nursing Crisis and "WorkChoices"

Across Australia and indeed, the World, the nursing system is in crisis. Around the Globe, there remains a chronic shortage of nurses. This shortage is caused by many factors including cost cutting measures, lack of educational opportunities in universities and collages, diminished opportunity for advancement and the low pay rates of nurses compared to other professions.

On top of the above, the Australian nursing workforce is currently experiencing an attack of unprecedented proportions from the Federal Government in the form of "Workchoices". ...

'$120 million and counting' spent on 'Work Choices' propaganda

In his speech Faulkner gave the hard facts and numbers behind the Howard Government's use of taxpayers' money to promote itself and its Industrial Relations legislation - legislation, which has changed the very fabric of our society, but which had not even put to electors during the 2004 elections.

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