April 3, 2006

‘Ruthless’ Employers Are Sacking People

Posted in Uncategorized at 11:27 am by thelawthoughts

I don’t often swear, especially in this public forum, but The Hon. John Winston Howard gives me the shits.

Apparently, “new industrial relations laws are being misused by ruthless bosses as an opportunity to sack people”. The cases quoted in the Herald Sun report are an abattoir sacking workers and placing others on 24 hour contracts, and another which sacked its entire workforce, subsequently reinstating them with a $180 a week pay cut.

The reason this gets me is that the Government knew this is exactly what would happen. They feed people a whole pile of crap about the wonderful things that are going to come from this legislation, but then when the Bill becomes Act and then Law, they worry about a few unforeseen ‘rouges’, who are just buggering up this fair new system for everybody.

Nothing is worse than when you are fed bald faced crap from politicians and you know they know it is crap.

If there are ‘good reports’ to come, Mr. Howard and Mr. Andrews, and the positive aspects of the legislation will become obvious soon, better get your skates on boys. People won’t accept this rubbish much longer.

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2 Comments »

  1. An economics lecturer once said to me that there is no new government policy which is a pareto improvement. That means that there is no policy the government can bring in to make one person better off without making someone else worse off. It just comes down to social welfare preferences, which is really the key distinction between our political parties regarding economics.

    But your right it is a bit rich. Just like all the freedom of association crap that you get fed.

    I mean imagine that. There are people who don’t want to join a union but a excluded from jobs.

    I think we get fed lies from both buffets of IR.

  2. I agree completely. Governments have a right to implement policies for which they are elected to implement. The two problems with this in the case of IR, in my view are (1) they lied to the aspirational voters who are in the kinds of jobs that are going, but thought they would be better off because ‘the economy is going well and (2) the social welfare balance has tilted too far in favour of employers.

    I wrote a while ago that we had been down a road which showed a similar balance when kids were down coal mines and eating cotton wool for dinner. It just doesn’t work. That is why we have labour rights etc and human rights treaty obligations. Legally, the problem is that these rights are purely aspirational, allowing governments to set the balance where they like, without legal smackdown.

    If we had more legally enforceable rights (where Constitutional or not) the balance would operate on a narrower spectrum than it can in this more free for all system.


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