Another new PM!


No organisation is perfect… This is where we digress in thought… Where a person is placed on an individual contract and told to accept reductions in pay, leave and entitlements particularly in companies that pocket the difference and don’t hire new staff we’ve got a problem here.

We’ve had a problem since the mid 1990s when John Howard set a precedent where employer could decide how much their employees are worth rather than using the existing independent tribunal. Where we’re at a point where 40% of Australians are now working in insecure work. Its not a hop skip and a jump. It only takes one more person like Tony Abbott to wreck the base of Unionism altogether.

We just need our own Ronald Reagan, or Margret Thatcher and then? It will be entirely out of control, employers will control everything and job security will be just as problematic as it is now both in the United States and the United Kingdom.

Its already happening… We’re looking at “Fair Work Australia” abolishing people’s working rights. We’re looking at a 2013 Liberal agenda to abolish the Disability Employment Services proper with the decision not to continue with the Commonwealth Rehabilitation Services, the continuing policy of under funding the NDIS and the continued push to move more people onto individual contracts brought in under John Howard.

It won’t be long now and we wont have any working rights at all and the most vulnerable as always are first effected. People have the right to feel safe in their employment without the fear of being sacked for unwarranted reasons, this can only happen collectively. The sick and the disabled particularly have extended rights to not feel discriminated against in workplace environments, this can only happen collectively through the establishment of disability support programs, and through affirmative action programs in the workplace environment and yet? The first thing that goes in the undermining of workers rights is the rights of the most disadvantaged to the ability to find secure work.

The rights of hospitality, retail and pharmaceutical workers that have been undermined by Fair Work Australia, the rights of the disabled to have their best possible oportunity to find meaningful work through the disability employment services and under the national disability insurance schemes and workplace programs that support disabled persons in work. All of these things continue to be undermined.


I was not placing staff on individual contracts, I was not asking for reductions in pay (in fact my staff were paid well above award), I was not pocketing the difference I was reinvesting to grow the company and employment (100% growth over 15 years) and I was hiring new staff with growth.

The reason I don’t talk about this much is all I’ve ever heard in response is comments like ‘no organization is perfect’ (which I agree with) but the issue isn’t about being perfect, it’s about being accountable.

There is effectively ‘no umpire’ to mediate these issues (which is one of the micro level issues I alluded to). The commission is really only an option for large business and unions, it’s not practical for small business generally because of the time frame involved.

One of the reasons that unions were formed was to counter the bullying of employees by business (and good on them for that) but when unions abuse their power in turn to bully small business (just to make a point not related to that business)… well that erodes their moral high ground.


I’m an exec of a 250 member union that seeks redress with government agencies or large corporations. The smallest type of business we deal with is still likely to be a single private school or single publication. I can’t speak for other unions, but ideally, I believe my union seeks to make businesses stronger because treating workers well means more productivity overall.

Any union that seeks to destroy the business is doing their members no favors. Indeed, the goal is the opposite, indeed, it should be the goal to seek sharing/ownership agreements for workers. That can’t happen if demands are truly outside of the power of the business structure to provide–but my own experiences in collective bargaining have tended to show me that management often seeks to use this as an untrue pretext.

Small business owners are not the enemy and shouldn’t be treated as such. Small business owners should be, and should think of themselves as, allies in the struggle. The real enemies are conglomerate mega-corporations who would see workers exploited and small business owners extinct.

Also insert rant about Dutton and the au pair affair (and my condolences to @AVC because of this blatant act of BS).


I agree with ALL of that, and our local rep agreed with me and was sympathetic to our plight.

But at the end of the day we were regarded as ‘mildly regrettable collateral damage’ in a fight against a large business in the same industry.

Anyway… more that enough about me.

As for Mr Potato Head… I can’t say I’m at all happy with ScoMo winning but at least he’s the ‘lesser of 2 weavils’ :wink: