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Work Changes

Submitted by Anthony Nolan on March 15, 2009 - 12:51pm.
Rudd, neoliberalism, and the poverty of thought
Kevin Rudd has certainly nailed his colours to the masthead with his article The Global Financial Crisis published in the February 2009 edition of The Monthly. As a plain language account of the dominance of neo-liberalism in Western political economy over the last thirty or so years it is exemplary.
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Submitted by Guest Contributor on October 17, 2008 - 4:13pm.
Who will be the next Prime Minister of Australia? A woman, and it will be sooner than you think!
This week’s Rudd Government stimulus package is a good start, but more is needed now. It is imperative for the Federal and State Governments to stimulate business with tax cuts otherwise both unemployed and "underemployed" will jump ... . In addition the Reserve Bank must cut interest rates another 1% at each of its next two or three monthly meetings. (Gary Morgan)
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Submitted by Michael Park on July 14, 2008 - 3:02pm.
2008 National Wage Case: An extra $21.66 per week. ACCI shocked
The Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry is, as I write, undergoing its annual tearing out of the hair and rending asunder of its opulent board room curtaining. Yes, you guessed it: the Australian Fair Pay Commission has ruled on the latest National Wage case.
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Submitted by Marilyn Shepherd on December 8, 2007 - 9:00am.
Rudd's Eulogy for Bernie Banton
Bernie was an ordinary bloke who decided to become something extraordinary and through that became an extraordinary hero in our age, an age where we feared we would no longer have heroes anymore. (Kevin Rudd)
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Submitted by Margo Kingston on December 7, 2007 - 7:47am.
Post election thoughts from Carlos, and a speech by Bernie Banton
"As for Rudd I hope he is no dud, indeed! The only highlight of his speech was the mention of Bernie Banton and indirectly through him the role of the unions and the importance of a fair go as a key value for Australians. Unfortunately no mention of the YR@W campaign, or the importance of Greens preferences." Carlos
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Submitted by Margo Kingston on November 14, 2007 - 3:50pm.
PM elect Rudd strips John naked
"Monday’s feeding frenzy of expenditure would actually make inflationary pressures worse. Mr Howard spent nearly $10 billion on Monday.  Trying to buy his way out of political trouble.  And he did so little more than an hour after the Reserve Bank of Australia issued its monetary policy statement warning of rising inflationary pressures. Today I am saying loud and clear that this sort of reckless spending must stop. The commitments I announce today will cost less than one quarter of those Mr Howard announced on Monday. Furthermore, the commitments I am making today are exclusively directed at tackling the skills shortage, tackling infrastructure bottlenecks and acting on Australia’s environmental and economic challenges." Kevin Rudd, PM elect
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Submitted by Margo Kingston on September 16, 2007 - 3:14pm.
Family First gets in first on kids' costs
Hello. Family First is on the ball, and today leads the pack on new policies to ease the costs of bearing and raising children. If only FF would come to its senses and preference other minor parties before either of the majors, there would exciting times ahead in the Senate election. It's a no brainer, in my opinion - getting another minor over the line if their candidate doesn't get up in a State means minor parties - including Family First's Senator Steve Fielding, who is not up for re-election this time, is dealt into play. through jointly holding the balance of power.
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Submitted by John Miner on August 16, 2007 - 8:19pm.
IR power to the feds - will the Australian people still say no?
Mortgages and families don’t have three or four-year terms. What Australians have said four times already is that, when it comes to workplace relations, we want the real system of checks and balances comprised of State and Commonwealth powers.
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Submitted by Margo Kingston on July 17, 2007 - 2:12pm.
Australians STILL want paid maternity leave - any takers?
A July Newspoll survey reveals there is widespread support by Australians for paid maternity leave (76%) for working women, with an overwhelming 78% of those in support of paid maternity leave in favour of the financial responsibility being shared jointly by employers, workers and the Federal Government. 71% supported a scheme funded by employers and employees only. “These results clearly show this is a critical issue for many Australian families with young children, struggling to meet their work and social responsibilities,” said Ms Marie Coleman, spokesperson for the National Foundation for Australian Women (NFAW).
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Submitted by Ian MacDougall on April 28, 2007 - 9:14am.
Pay, Perks and Power Laws
The big end of town looks after the big end of town, under AWAs or otherwise. If you are from town’s other end, Mr Howard would have you believe that your tailor-made AWA will look after you, too. Then again, if you believe that, he might like to hear from you personally. There is a fantastic bridge near his Sydney residence.
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Submitted by drmarkhayes on February 4, 2007 - 3:11am.
Workplace Bullying and Psychopaths
There's been some recent discussion of workplace psychopaths, turning around the release of Dr John Clarke's second book on the issue, The Pocket Psycho, a sequel to his Working with Monsters.
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Submitted by Guest Contributor on November 7, 2006 - 10:12pm.
Work Choices - The Debate

Introduced by Hon. Bob Hawke, Mediated by Jana Wendt: What has been the impact of Work Choices - and what should be the future direction of workplace relations reform in Australia?: Tuesday, 14 November 2006, 6pm, City Recital Hall Angel Place, Sydney

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Submitted by Solomon Wakeling on July 22, 2006 - 11:20am.
Ayn Rand: the dogma of selfishness and the new Industrial Relations laws

"Ayn Rand's The Fountainhead is one heck of a right-wing propaganda piece. Next to Dostoyevsky's The Possessed it is possibly the best right-wing novel ever produced. It should be read as a companion piece and de-tox from The Communist Manifesto . It should also be read with caution. I came away from reading it with an unwell feeling. I had something like the moral horror Camus intended for the reader to feel in reading The Outsider . The book is alien and unnerving at times, bordering on the surreal. I read it when I was 17 and I wish I hadn't. Propaganda does harm to supple young minds." Solomon Wakeling

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Submitted by Tony Phillips on June 29, 2006 - 4:20pm.
Workchoices under fire


"The biggest rally in Melbourne since last November, against the attacks on working conditions and pay rates in John Howard's 'Workchoices' legislation, took place yesterday morning. While the turnout was short of the mammoth 170,000 plus that turned up last time, a fair estimate would put the crowd well within the 100,000 range.": Tony Phillips

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Submitted by Craig Rowley on May 30, 2006 - 11:21am.
WorkChoices under the spotlight: employment generation or exploitation?

"We've chosen WorkChoices as a title because there will be far greater choice under this system," said John Howard last year. Now that his system has been in place for a couple of months let's put the choices made by employers under the spotlight and see what choices workers have (if any). Craig Rowley

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Submitted by Project Syndicate on April 27, 2006 - 8:57am.
Subsidies that save

"Some people still think of wage subsidies as a welfare hand-out. But these subsidies are very different from social assistance and social insurance programs. Although such programs have been substantial in Europe and the US, the working poor remain as marginalised as ever. Indeed, social spending has worsened the problem, because it reduces work incentives and thus creates a culture of dependency and alienation from the commercial economy, undermining labor force participation, employability, and employee loyalty. What is needed is higher employment and pay through higher demand for the least productive workers." Edmund S Phelps

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Submitted by Andrew Bartlett on April 6, 2006 - 8:54am.
Cowra meatworks sackings show inadequacy of the law

"It seems likely this trend will get worse as the new workplace relations laws work their way into operation. Lower wages, less job security, much higher housing costs and higher levels of private debt are a worrying combination which is hitting more people, particularly the younger ones who are less likely to have equity in housing as some protection." Senator Andrew Bartlett

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Submitted by Gus Leonisky on April 5, 2006 - 11:30am.
IR abbatoirs
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Submitted by Gus Leonisky on March 8, 2006 - 2:46pm.
Coup de grace
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Submitted by Margo Kingston on December 6, 2005 - 10:45am.
Judi Moylan says no on welfare to work

UPDATE Dec 5 by Margo: The Government has just announced a crunched, derisory Senate debate on the Welfare to Work package. Speeches will be allowed from 8.30pm to 11.30pm tonight. Amendments must be debated, questions asked and votes taken between 7.30pm and 11pm tomorrow. You can hear and/or watch the debate here

UPDATE Dec 1 by Margo: Western Australian Liberal MP Judi Moylan tells Webdiary why she abstained on the House of Reps vote today on the Welfare to Work package.

November 30, Judi's speech to the House of Reps: "In my view, we have lost a golden opportunity to reform welfare in a meaningful way and put in place a package of measures that would strongly support not just the incentives for employers but true and real incentives for employees with additional caring responsibilities and disabilities to be supported in their efforts to access the workplace. I find this cut in income support really very disturbing the eve of the delivery of tax cuts for families earning more than $1,200 a week. We will all be the poorer if this legislation goes through. In my view, that part of the legislation which cuts income support and imposes disincentives and high effective or marginal rates of tax on some of the most vulnerable groups in our community does not deserve the support of this parliament." Judi Moylan, MP

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Submitted by Irfan Yusuf on December 6, 2005 - 2:02am.
Show me the money!

"Industrial lawyers will be smiling from ear to ear now that the IR laws have passed through. I know I am. I can't wait to cash in on all those small businesses out there who could face a raft of negotiations and claims for "unlawful termination".Sydney is full of industrial lawyers who used to be personal injury lawyers. Personal injury and workers compensation used to be a bit of a club. Then Bob Carr, that great defender of the rights of poor struggling insurance executives, decided that workers and people injured in car accidents should get next to nothing. So a whole bunch of personal injury lawyers suddenly had little or no work to do. Well, not now. John Howard is handing out fists full of dollars at $4,000 a piece. That will give many workers at least 10 hours (and if they come to me, 20 hours) of lawyer's time to cause havoc to all those employers with less than 100 punters on the books." Irfan Yusuf

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Submitted by Guest Contributor on December 2, 2005 - 11:06am.
We work to live, not live to work: Steve Fielding

"I am not one of those who think the world is perfect or we cannot improve the way we do things. Equally, I do not think change for the sake of change is necessarily good. If we are going to elevate a proposed change to the status of a reform we need criteria for doing so. I know I ruffled some feathers when I said 'the major parties struggle to reconcile their professed family values with their free-market mantra". To those politicians, I say this legislation is a test because it reflects the tension between the market and families. If people think I am wrong when I say that what are sold as family friendly policies are really market friendly policies, this legislation gives them an opportunity to prove it." Senator Steve Fielding

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Submitted by Margo Kingston on November 17, 2005 - 1:41am.
IR Bill: links update #5

|| Labor and Liberal, workers united || Laws don't protect workers: Andrews || Blog views || More photos - keep sending them in! ||

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Submitted by Margo Kingston on November 16, 2005 - 4:19am.
IR Bill: links update #4

|| Thousands protest around the country || Workers sacked for attending rally || Union to take legal action over Govt. rally leave advice || Webdiarists were there - photos and reports. Send in yours! ||

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Submitted by Margo Kingston on November 12, 2005 - 8:05am.
IR Bill: links update #3

|| National community day of protest - Tuesday 15 November 2005 || 'US Style' working poor || Labor would scrap IR laws || Do unions still matter? ||

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Submitted by Margo Kingston on November 9, 2005 - 8:21am.
Welfare to Work update

National Party backbenchers are taking credit for today's changes to the Employment and Workplace Relations Legislation Amendment (Welfare to Work and other Measures) Bill 2005. Others are claiming the  backdown on welfare 'doesn't go far enough'.

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Submitted by Margo Kingston on November 5, 2005 - 7:49am.
Welfare to work: creating the economically disabled?

"The NATSEM modelling demonstrates that without significant change to aspects of Newstart, such as to the income test, or to taxation treatment of additional earned income or to the activity test, individuals with a disability and women and men supporting children who attempt to improve their circumstances by entering the workforce face shocking Government imposed income losses. They'll not be able to pay the rent, put food on the table, and if they are on a part-allowance, they'll lose up to 75 cents in each dollar earned." Marie Coleman

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Submitted by Margo Kingston on November 5, 2005 - 3:49am.
IR Bill: links update #2

|| Unions plan industrial action || Lawyers say new IR laws a 'dog's breakfast' || Eighteen MPs ejected from Parliament over two days || Joyce raises doubts over support for new IR legislation || more... ||

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Submitted by Margo Kingston on November 4, 2005 - 9:05pm.
IR Bill: links update #1

Begining today, resource and links updates on the new IR legislation. This first collection comes from the Parliament of Australia Parliamentary Library.

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Submitted by Guest Contributor on November 4, 2005 - 9:54am.
Andrews v Beazley: first strikes in Parliamentary IR debate

Andrews: That is what Work Choices is all about – securing the future prosperity of Australian individuals and families. ... Work Choices does this by accommodating the greater demand for choice and flexibility in our workplaces. It continues a process of evolution, begun over a decade ago, towards a system that trusts Australian men and women to make their own decisions in the workplace and to do so in a way that best suits them.

Beazley: It is the product of an extreme, outdated ideology. An ideology that has nothing to do with the challenges Australia faces in the first quarter of the 21st century - nothing to do with the nation's economic needs. ... It's the most savage attack on the values of Australian society and the security of working families that I've seen in 25 years in this Parliament.

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