WorkChoices is coming, and it’s a lot more fun than even John Howard could have fantasised

CASUAL workers at a warehouse in Melbourne’s west are being required to wear – and pay for – armbands identifying them as non-permanent staff.
The armbands contain employee numbers on barcodes and must be used to obtain scanning equipment needed for their work. Permanent workers at the Sunshine warehouse do not have to wear the armbands.

Source: here

But those armbands sound like such fiddley things, they could get lost or traded, isn’t there a way the corporations could make them, somehow, more permanent, without the need for electronic gadgets.

That’s the sort of thing which was tried 70 years ago, and it dehumanises people. Is this what Abbott has in mind for his WorkChoices II? No one knows, he is keeping that very quiet from the voters.

Even though business and state leaders are asking for Tony Abbott to reveal his Industrial relations policies before the election, the countries largest employers want the Liberal party to keep his plans secret. This would suggest that it is worse than Howard’s WorkChoices.

However, if the treatment of workers under Liberal National governments in New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland are trial run, be prepared for an assault on worker’s rights the likes this country has never seen.

big business has warned the Opposition Leader against announcing any plans to reform the nation’s “intrusive” workplace laws to avoid an anti-Work Choices campaign by Labor and the unions.

Wesfarmers’ Richard Goyder, the head of Australia’s biggest private sector employer, [said] that Mr Abbott should avoid taking a strong position on IR before the election due next year to allow him to make changes later… “In fact, my preference would be that he doesn’t stake a strong position before an election so he can deal with it after an election.”


Fortescue Metals Group chief executive Nev Power said the opposition did not have the political capital to make major changes to the Fair Work laws.

But he said Mr Abbott could fine-tune the laws to improve them dramatically, including allowing individual framework agreements and changing right of entry provisions.

Source: Abbott told to keep powder dry on workplace reform

This increasing casualisation of the workplace, leads to job insecurity. If you are injured at work, or work in an unsafe work environment, you risk losing your job if you complain. You don’t even have the security of knowing if you will have a job tomorrow.

But have no fear, all these WorkChoices style laws have the IPA (Institute of Public Affairs)

But critics say the ACTU is exaggerating. John Lloyd, former head of the construction watchdog and now at the Institute of Public Affairs, said …Many business operators – about 9 per cent of the workforce – were very happy to work for themselves. “The ACTU calls them anxious workers,” Mr Lloyd said. ”Most business operators are quite happy with what they are doing, using their own skills to create their own wealth and independence and very few of them would be running around being anxious.”
Source: here

However, unskilled or lowskilled temporary workers don’t always see themselves as “business operators”, so for the IPA spokesman to say that the Unions exaggerating about the effect on workers because the employers are happy with the situation, seems like usual IPA spin and misdirection.

This ad ran along the article ‘Casual workers forced to wear barcodes’, “over 65% of nannies are willing to do your houeswork” – is this what Tony Abbott means when he says tax payers will subsidise nannies for CEO’s. Our taxes will pay for someone else to get their house cleaned? The working poor who can barely afford their own child care will have their taxes used for house-cleaners for the rich?

And the LNP talk about class warfare!

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4 Comments to “WorkChoices is coming, and it’s a lot more fun than even John Howard could have fantasised”

  1. “If you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face – forever.” ~George Orwell

  2. Bring me your poor and dowtrodden masses — and I will abuse and underpay them!

    • the ALP have a double edged sword with WorkChoices, because the campaign in 07 was so successful, it will look opportunistic if they campaign on it again, but if they do it right (ha!) there will be a lot of emotion that people might remember. This is why the LNP are talking down the economy, so they can swoop in and say “We’ll save you”… from the best economy in the world

      -99 for Turn Left

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