Families come last in industrial revolution

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Ben W, Oct 16, 2005.

  1. Ben W

    Ben W
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    An interesting article printed in our State paper - The Advertiser, from Steve Fielding from the Family First party, similar in some ways to the constitution party in the U.S.

    - Steve Fielding: Families come last in industrial revolution
    14oct05

    WHEN was the last time your boss invited you in for a cup of coffee and the two of you negotiated your wages and conditions? The Government wants us to think this could happen all the time.

    But their propaganda tells a different story. It talks about an unemployed person who has to give up public holidays, rest breaks, bonuses, annual leave loadings, allowances, penalty rates and shift/overtime rates to get a job.

    Apparently that is all right because the unemployed person needs a job. But is it OK?

    People who are unemployed should have a job, but that does not mean it is all right to force second-class conditions on them.

    Then again, who says only unemployed people will be forced to give up these conditions? The Government says that what it is doing is not new, and that people already trade their public holidays' entitlements.

    But Parliaments do not meet on Anzac Day, Christmas Day, Boxing Day or Australia Day. Lawyers and accountants' offices, doctors' surgeries and council offices are not open.

    Firefighters, ambulance drivers, nurses and police officers work on public holidays. But they get paid penalty rates. Journalists and shop assistants might have traded away their penalty rates, but how many others have?

    And, more importantly, what should workers do if their contract says they will not get paid if they do not work on a public holiday? Knock back the job? John Howard thinks it is as simple as that.

    The Government wants us to believe it is not changing anything. But if that's the case, why did Mr Howard go on radio and "absolutely guarantee" that Anzac Day, Christmas Day and meal breaks would not be for negotiation?

    The Government also tells us families want more flexible working arrangements. What families want is certainty. They want to know they will make their mortgage payments and pay the school fees on time. They are also worried that their kids will not be able to get permanent jobs and may not be able to get a bank loan to buy a house as a result.

    The Government wants us to believe that the playing field is level. It should listen to what the employers say. The managing partner of a national legal firm has instructed his staff that: "You don't say 'Sorry I can't do it, I'm playing cricket on the weekend'. You don't have a right to any free time." Fancy trying to negotiate a family-friendly agreement with him. A chief executive of the Australian Industry Group says many companies use family-friendly provisions as "inducements to employees because they want to keep their best workers". We must remember why public holidays were created in the first place. They were not introduced as the result of some enterprise-bargaining negotiation, and they should not be reduced to just another form of pay now.

    Public holidays were created to benefit family and community life and should not be traded. The Government says state governments create public holidays. But what state governments do not do is guarantee payment to those people who do not work on public holidays. It is the awards that have provided that guarantee. And up until now, employment contracts – collective or individual – have been linked to awards. But Mr Howard is intending to break that link.

    Australian families know there is more to life than making money, but are on a treadmill and feel they cannot do anything about it. The Howard Government's proposals will only make matters worse.

    http://snipurl.com/ik7q
     
  2. billwald

    billwald
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    The unions could negotiate for less pay and more time off.
     
  3. Ben W

    Ben W
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    People already have jobs that pay less than the dole, so how much less do you go?
     

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