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Tony Abbott Signals Return to WorkChoices

July 12, 2012

The Tourism sector remains under intense pressure arising from the sustained strength of the Australian dollar which coupled with intense competition amongst low-cost airlines, is luring Australian tourists offshore to “cheaper” international destinations in droves.

Attending a Tourism and Transport Forum lunch yesterday, Federal Opposition Leader Tony Abbott passed up the opportunity to explain how a Coalition Government would help to revive the beleaguered sector, and instead used the event as an opportunity to explain how a Coalition government would slash workers’ rights and entitlements across the Tourism industry.

Under the proposed amendments, Mr Abbott signaled the introduction of what he euphemistically called “more individual flexible work arrangements” that would slash workers’ penalty rates on weekends, after hours and public holidays.

The commitment is at odds with his earlier declaration that WorkChoices was “dead, buried and cremated.”

“Workplace relations is very important to people in this sector, and we will move the workplace relations pendulum back to the sensible centre,” he said.

The Opposition has ruled out a return to individual statutory contracts, but said it will come up with what it calls “practical solutions” to ”workplace problems” identified by businesses.

 

 

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55 Comments leave one →
  1. el gordo permalink
    July 12, 2012 1:42 pm

    Brilliant strategy, he’s set for a landslide victory and they can slip this onto their platform when they go to the people.

    The electorate is so angry with Julia that no matter what the incumbent says she won’t be believed. LOL

    More broadly speaking, as the world slides into recession, more flexibility in the workforce will be essential. Taking pressure off wages with “practical solutions” to ”workplace problems”.

  2. TB Queensland permalink
    July 12, 2012 2:23 pm

    Name at least three LIES in this statement …

    “The one thing that the Australian workers will find is that I am their best friend,” Mr Abbott said today.

    “What I want to see is higher wages and more jobs. That’s what I was like when I was workplace relations minister and if the Coalition wins the next election the workers of Australia will find I am their best friend.”

    Workchoices II …

    … and egg, don’t ever lie about being an ex ALP voter again …

  3. el gordo permalink
    July 12, 2012 2:45 pm

    ‘… and egg, don’t ever lie about being an ex ALP voter again …’

    The world has moved on, its a different ballgame. Abbott doesn’t lie, higher wages and more jobs are not incompatible with infrastructure growth as the main driver.

    This is a very large island and with the right leadership we can achieve much if we throw off the shackles on economic restraint and increase immigration.

  4. Tom of Melbourne permalink
    July 12, 2012 2:48 pm

    The Liberals do miss the point.

    No one will vote for a party that has the objective of lowering wages, or making it easier to dismiss people from employment. Both ding the fundamental Australian value of a “fair go”.

    Hands up everyone who wants to be easier to dismiss? Or who wants their kids to be employed at 10pm on a Saturday for $10 an hour?

    I’m in favour of individual employment agreements if-
    • They’re assessed to exceed grossed up conditions of the relevant award or NES by a margin of (say) 10%.
    • They can’t be applied to juniors.
    • They have to be specifically renewed, ie they cease to operate on expiry.

    As for employment security, the Liberals would be wise just to leave that subject alone entirely.
    ———————–
    The area that is due for some rigorous reform is the open slather unions have in negotiating greenfields agreements, particularly in the resources sector. They hold up $bns of projects, they destabilise, they rort.

    Even former ACTU President, and current minister Martin Ferguson says the current settlements are unsustainable.

  5. July 12, 2012 3:00 pm

    “Abbott doesn’t lie”

    Oh how we laughed and laughed…..!

  6. el gordo permalink
    July 12, 2012 3:11 pm

    ‘Hands up everyone who wants to be easier to dismiss?’

    All of us in very small business.

  7. el gordo permalink
    July 12, 2012 3:22 pm

    I don’t believe Abbott consciously lies, sometimes he gets bad advice and sprouts it.

  8. Tom of Melbourne permalink
    July 12, 2012 3:26 pm

    El Gordo, when Howard said he wanted to give small businesses a break from the unfair dismissal laws, some (though not me) thought the idea was fair enough.

    Then the stupid bastard defined a small business as one employing up to 50 people! That’s not the local grocer, or the family plumbing business. 50 people fair sort of operation.

    It’s another example of Howard’s overreaching on IR, and that’s why the Liberals would be wise to avoid any change on employment protection.

  9. Tom of Melbourne permalink
    July 12, 2012 3:30 pm

    By the way, was it 50 or 100 employees? I’ve forgotten. Either way the unfair dismissal exemption applied at far too high a number.

  10. TB Queensland permalink
    July 12, 2012 3:50 pm

    I don’t believe Abbott consciously lies, sometimes he gets bad advice and sprouts it.

    As I said earlier don’t lie about being an ex-ALP voter again … just tell the truth … you are/have been/always will be a Liberal supporter … no different to, James … mmmmmm … 🙄

  11. TB Queensland permalink
    July 12, 2012 3:52 pm

    This could be an interesting election … would Turnbull, propose a Workchoices II …?

    … and would Rudd … challenge mightily …?

  12. July 12, 2012 4:05 pm

    Abbott is being too smart by half, for all of the reasons outlined by Tom above…who seems to have forgotten that he’s actually Abbott’s biggest supporter & journeyman rightwing troll.

  13. July 12, 2012 4:14 pm

    Possibly the only way the Coalition can throw an unlosable election, if King Charming goes in too hard on IR.
    Personally I don’t think he/they are that stupid. They won’t show their cards until well after Labor is eviscerated at the election & they get control of both Houses.

    Verbalising such things would be a god send for the ALP, serving to remind the community of where the Coalition’s true loyalties & ideological motivations lie.

    It could be taken as a massive show of hubris that Abbott believes that he is such a certainty that he needn’t even guard his intent anymore. I suspect he’ll pour cold water on this promptly if he is as canny as I suspect him to be.

  14. July 12, 2012 4:15 pm

    I think it was 100 employees. It was certainly far more than what should be considered a ‘small’ business.

  15. July 12, 2012 4:27 pm

    Abbott’s paying for the Howard Government overreaching on this issue, but may get away with it due to, at least in part, the ALP’s over correction on the issue. Both Governments were guilty of ideology as regards workplace reform and Abbott’s test will be to find a palatable middle ground that:

    1. does not result in union dominated workplaces and

    2. does not allow for employers to beat the daylights out of workers.

    Unfortunately, to an extent, both will exist to some degree and both sides will be able to cite examples of both poor union behaviour as well as poor employer behaviour whether it’s Workchoices or the Fair Work Act.

    TB, you have absolutely no idea how I vote. I can tell you I have never placed either of the main parties 1st on my ballott paper. I have never been a member of any political party. Beyond that, such pigeon holing, particularly when I’m not even in the debate (before now) is entirely unhelpful. Take Gordo at face value or don’t. It’s nought to do with me.

    I will say, however, that there seems to be a fuckload of ex ALP voters about the place these days. And rightly so. Their Government has been a disgrace.

  16. Tom of Melbourne permalink
    July 12, 2012 4:31 pm

    Yes, it was 100 employees!!! That’s a f**king decent sized business, not a small one. Not a plumber and his son, or the milk bar and a few people. There are businesses around with 100 employees that will have turnover of $50mill – $100mill.

    A small business is one as currently defined – about 15 people, and that’s probably stretching it.

  17. JAWS permalink
    July 12, 2012 4:33 pm

    100 gets the bacon

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WorkChoices

  18. JAWS permalink
    July 12, 2012 4:34 pm

    “2. does not allow for employers to beat the daylights out of workers.”

    Well how am I supposed to control the Kenyan maid now?

  19. July 12, 2012 4:35 pm

    It was a wet dream of the HR Minchinite Society.

    I double dare them to try it again!

  20. JAWS permalink
    July 12, 2012 4:36 pm

    “……..I will say, however, that there seems to be a fuckload of ex ALP voters about the place these days. And rightly so. Their Government has been a disgrace……..”

    OK……………….so 2007 was a mistake………………….Just dont rub it in OK ?

  21. July 12, 2012 4:37 pm

    Some advice for Abbott: Don’t get cocky!

  22. Splatterbottom permalink
    July 12, 2012 4:41 pm

    That’s the trouble with politicians – they turn into wankers when they start feeling cocky.

  23. July 12, 2012 4:46 pm

    But it’s such a nice feeling……..

  24. July 12, 2012 4:47 pm

    OK……………….so 2007 was a mistake………………….Just dont rub it in OK ?

    Was actually referring to the polls, although they are reflected here I guess.

  25. el gordo permalink
    July 12, 2012 5:25 pm

    Abbott is not Howard and James is probably correct in thinking ‘Abbott’s test will be to find a palatable middle ground.’

    He isn’t going to do anything to jeopardise winning the next election.

    ———-

    ‘…just tell the truth … you are/have been/always will be a Liberal supporter…’

    Sorry to disappoint you young fella, I’ve always been a supporter of Labor’s left.

  26. July 12, 2012 5:34 pm

    He is supremely stupid & politically deranged if he doesn’t shut up about IR as quick as his mouth can be sewn shut.

    Minchin was foolish enough to get caught out with a few quotable quotes to the Society before the Howard demise, apologising for not going far enough & suchlike.

  27. July 12, 2012 5:36 pm

    Abbott is Howardlite…but potentially much worse. Howard, at least, wasn’t as openly beholden to imaginary celestial entities.

  28. el gordo permalink
    July 12, 2012 5:51 pm

    ‘..imaginary celestial entities.’

    😉

  29. July 12, 2012 6:04 pm

    CO2 is god’s way of punishing teh gays & trophy wives.

    That’s why Abbott is too smarmy & chickenshit to come out & openly denounce AGW & abandon his ‘alternative’ policy for tackling the godly scourge of the unclean.

    Much to the disgust of a real sceptic like Anus Bolthole…

    http://blogs.news.com.au/heraldsun/andrewbolt/index.php/heraldsun/comments/column_abbotts_plan_is_just_as_useless/

    You get his gist from the preamble. Only an arsehat would subscribe to The Herald Sun so that they could read the full diatribe. The important thing is, to his credit, he’s called Abbott out; thereby establishing his credentials as genuine loon rather than just a political opportunist. 😆

    So where do the Abbotteers stand?

  30. July 12, 2012 6:09 pm

    I think weekend penalty rates should stay.

    Let’s face it, people who get weekend penalty rates are typically low income earners in retail and hospitality like in Colesworth and Pizza Rooster.

    During the weekends those businesses are typically busier than they are during the week, so why shouldn’t the people on the frontline who are giving up their weekends share in the increased revenue…?

  31. July 12, 2012 6:14 pm

    Weekends & shiftwork should be sacrosanct.

    Only a cunt who has never had to do it would want to placate business by taking penalty rates for antisocial hours away. It just makes it too easy to exploit individuals.

    There is no ‘happy medium’, btw.

  32. TB Queensland permalink
    July 12, 2012 6:18 pm

    sreb, I haven’t been to my local “tavern” for a meal for five years now … since they charged a 10% surcharge because of a public holiday … Labor Day ironically … I asked staff serving behind the bar, serving food and in the kitchen (when ordering), if they were getting the 10% … not one … I know knew the owner and his wife and asked him, when he walked through the dining room, were staff being paid the 10% surcharge … he avoided the question … “enjoy your meal, T” … and just walked past me (usually had a chat – about business) …

  33. July 12, 2012 6:18 pm

    But Yabbott’s currently struggling to get by on $300K a year..

    He knows what it’s like to be a shift worker. Why only last night I saw him packing bananas at some supermarket, but then that might’ve just been a photo op.. (not sure).

  34. July 12, 2012 6:21 pm

    * guffaw! 😆

  35. TB Queensland permalink
    July 12, 2012 6:26 pm

    I think I posted here a few months ago about my 18 yo g/son working a six hour shift without any breaks at an IGA franchise … he did recieve an apology from management … but his immediate manager “played” with his roster (he’s a uni student) … she lost her job and he was offered a job by two other department managers … he still works there … he took over the responsibility of locking up for a month while the manager was on leave …

    Problem is his Mum challenged the business over treatment of her son and took the risk of him losing his job … others can’t or don’t know how to protect their children or themselves … unions are a product of greedy and expoloitative managers and owners …

    … and finally, not too manmy folk are capable or have the “power” to negotiate a one on one contract … a company has too much control/power …

  36. TB Queensland permalink
    July 12, 2012 6:26 pm

    LOL! sreb, platinum! 😆

  37. July 12, 2012 6:34 pm

    “… and finally, not too manmy folk are capable or have the “power” to negotiate a one on one contract … a company has too much control/power …”

    BINGO!

  38. el gordo permalink
    July 12, 2012 6:41 pm

    ‘Abbott is too smarmy & chickenshit to come out & openly denounce AGW & abandon his ‘alternative’ policy for tackling the godly scourge of the unclean.’

    Agree, he’s a complete airhead on CO2, but until Barnaby gets a lower house seat we’ll have to put up with this ignorant monk.

  39. TB Queensland permalink
    July 12, 2012 6:52 pm

    … unions are a product of greedy and expoloitative managers and owners …

    Unions don’t bother the good ones BTW … and there are “good” unions and “bad” unions just as there are “good/bad” management teams (because they do work as teams) NOT as individual workers as the Liberals want and why Howard and now Abbott wanted to “eliminate” unions … ToM may have some “limited” ammunition (ie HSU) at the moment but don’t for one minute think that its about “corrupt” unions its politics at its worst to gain control over the factory fodder … and its been going on for a couple of centuries now … Robber Barons at play … the reason they want to control are taking control of all our governments …

    Its all about power and control to make more money … hey, ToM?

  40. TB Queensland permalink
    July 12, 2012 6:57 pm

    … but until Barnaby gets a lower house seat we’ll have to put up with this ignorant monk.

    Say’what?

    jqf gbqjlfql4gwig n;ogi hjb … does that come across as gibberish? (I hope) 🙄

    Barnaby?

    Which Barnaby were you referring to, egg?

    Duh! I’m so slow sometimes … I thought you were being serious! 😆

  41. July 12, 2012 6:58 pm

    I doubt that YomM would disagree with much of that, TB.

    People make the mistake of not recognising the specifics of his ongoing campaign. 😉

  42. el gordo permalink
    July 12, 2012 7:08 pm

    ‘Which Barnaby were you referring to, egg?’

    Mock if you will, but on CC there is no equivocation from Joyce…its a scam. Admittedly, he’s Tabit’s mate and another believer in celestial entities, but I have faith in him to tell people the scientific truth.

  43. July 12, 2012 7:16 pm

    I have more respect for forthright loons than shifty, calculated weathervanes who twist & turn as necessity dictates.

    The loons mean what they say. Their slippery bedfellows say what they think sizable chunks of constituency want to hear.

    At least you can take the loon’s word to the bank & choose to endorse/disendorse them accordingly.

    The others are just magesterial wankers of the highest order, fishing for useful idiots.

  44. TB Queensland permalink
    July 12, 2012 8:24 pm

    … fishing for useful idiots …

    Heavy, bro! 😯

  45. Tom of Melbourne permalink
    July 12, 2012 11:00 pm

    ” I doubt that YomM would disagree with much of that, TB.

    Thank you. I don’t.

    It’s a matter of focus and experience, and obviously TB has had a run in with some “rubber barren” types ie condom manufacturers.

  46. TB Queensland permalink
    July 13, 2012 10:41 am

    … obviously TB has had a run in with some “rubber barren” types ie condom manufacturers.

    ToM, just personal experience being a union rep/member, manager and consultant dealing with both sides of the coin … some obnoxious managers and senior union personnel but mostly very professional managers and union people …

    As for your attempt at humour … once again personal “history” and an interest in military/political history (both deeply intertwined) have led me to believe that there has been and still is a group of greedy, cold hearted, wealthy people who seek personal wealth and power over ordinary people – at the expense of ordinary people – offering nothing in return, neither sharing nor caring about the cannon and factory fodder they “use” on a daily basis …

    … Robber Barons ..

    Bill Gates and some of his billionaire colleagues may have “seen the light” … grandiose plans indeed to rid the world of malaria …

  47. Tom of Melbourne permalink
    July 13, 2012 3:04 pm

    Tom’s IR plan-

    • Don’t do anything about job protection/unfair dismissal. Leave it entirely alone.
    • Legislate to ensure unions meet the governance required of companies, including disqualification for criminal record.
    • Reinstate employee collective agreements
    • Don’t allow protected industrial action unless there have been meaningful/substantive negotiations as determined by FWA
    • Provide a FWA mechanism for Greenfield employment contracts without union agreement. Criteria to be that the proposed terms and conditions meet current standards applicable in industry agreements
    • Allow statutory individual agreements provided they exceed the grossed up award terms and conditions by 10%, don’t apply to juniors and expire unless specifically agreed and renewed.

    Now who could possibly disagree with any of that?

  48. July 13, 2012 3:40 pm

    Minchin & the Abbotteers?

  49. JAWS permalink
    July 13, 2012 4:00 pm

    “………….there has been and still is a group of greedy, cold hearted, wealthy people who seek personal wealth and power over ordinary people – at the expense of ordinary people – offering nothing in return, neither sharing nor caring about the cannon and factory fodder they “use” on a daily basis …”

    That’s an Inner City Greenie

  50. JAWS permalink
    July 13, 2012 4:04 pm

    Probably a Carbon Permit trader at a Bank

  51. TB Queensland permalink
    July 13, 2012 4:54 pm

    Now who could possibly disagree with any of that?

    Tony Abbott for one … and John Howard two – just because he’s not a politician don’t think for one moment he’s not one of the Liberal “faceless” men …

  52. July 13, 2012 4:56 pm

    Yeah, TB, I reckon he still has one faustfick up Abbott making his mouth move.

    Pell has control of him around the front.

  53. el gordo permalink
    July 13, 2012 9:25 pm

    Abbott is disliked by everyone because he’s a complete dill… who can forget his deplorable comments on Bernie Banton, but there is more where that came from. It seems so unfair that he is going to become PM of this ‘great nation’ simply by floating to the top at the right time.

    With all the leaders on the nose with the electorate (and I include Milne) surely its time for the Republican Movement to become reinvigorated with a popularly elected leader we can be proud of.

  54. el gordo permalink
    July 13, 2012 9:28 pm

    Our present batch of politicians give democracy a bad name.

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