Posts Tagged ‘ trade union movement ’

New York trip an escape from the house of horrors

Sep 22nd, 2008 | By David Harper | Category: Opinion

The Liberal leadership saga has overshadowed growing unrest within the Government over industrial relations, which the Prime Minister will again avoid this week. Some backbenchers fear Julia Gillard’s proposed industrial relations legislation is too similar to Work Choices. Last Tuesday, while Brendan Nelson was being dumped, New South Wales senator Steve Hutchins was telling a restive Labor caucus that the legislation was “Work Choices lite”.

State of the union

Sep 20th, 2008 | By David Harper | Category: Opinion

Labor’s substitute for WorkChoices, which it calls Forward With Fairness, is no counter-revolution. In a way, it’s more an attempt to make WorkChoices more efficient, the sort of prescription that John Howard might have gone for had he not been overwhelmed by the desire to leave behind a profound ideological mark.

Screen Actors Guild power shifts

Sep 19th, 2008 | By David Harper | Category: Entertainment

Dissidents have won control of the Screen Actors Guild’s national board in a surprise result that heightens the chances of an end to the guild’s contract stalemate with the major studios.

Union fury at Gillard’s IR changes

Sep 18th, 2008 | By David Harper | Category: Australia, Lead Stories

Coming almost 10 months after the Labor Party was swept to power on a promise to tear up the WorkChoices laws, the Workplace Relations Minister’s speech fleshing out the details of the Rudd Government’s replacement industrial relations regime was met with anger from unions, particularly over the revised unfair-dismissal rules.

Rudd agreed to union cut

Sep 16th, 2008 | By David Harper | Category: Australia

Kevin Rudd and former New South Wales premier Morris Iemma struck a secret deal last October to cut the unions down to size after the federal election. But once safely elected on November 24, the Prime Minister squibbed on the undertaking, leaving Mr Iemma fatally exposed in his battle to privatise the state’s electricity assets.

Unions back Rudd into a corner

Sep 4th, 2008 | By David Harper | Category: Opinion

Successive Labor governments have ignored the union movement’s power inside the party. The example of Simon Crean is no great encouragement to further action. But it is a problem that is not going to go away. Party members in New South Wales are emboldened by the victory they have achieved over the Iemma Government.

Blue-collar pantomime artists

Sep 3rd, 2008 | By David Harper | Category: Opinion

The Australian Building and Construction Commission has been a spectacular success. A recent by Econtech found that the establishment of the ABCC led to a dramatic improvement in industry productivity with significant benefits for the national economy. Without the ABCC, gross domestic product would have been 1.5 per cent lower and the consumer price index would have been 1.2 per cent higher. Overall, Econtech found an annual economic gain of $5.1 billion.

Unions and watchdog ABCC at war

Sep 3rd, 2008 | By David Harper | Category: Australia

Hostilities between the Australian Building and Construction Commission and the unions are set to reignite, with a unionist due to face court on charges of assaulting and threatening to kill two construction commission inspectors. Police are expected to allege that Brian George Shearer assaulted and threatened two ABCC inspectors. Mr Shearer is expected to plead not guilty to the charges, which, if proven, could land him in jail for up to 10 years.

Full marks for old-school Rudd

Sep 2nd, 2008 | By David Harper | Category: Opinion

Julia Gillard flagged Labor’s intentions in school education during an interview on the ABC in August. At the moment state and territory governments, supported by teachers’ unions, refuse to provide meaningful statistics. So it is impossible to determine which schools are achieving the best results and which are the best managed.

One home for 32 voters in union poll

Sep 2nd, 2008 | By David Harper | Category: Australia

The militant Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union - which has again come under a cloud amid claims that the building industry has returned to the bad old days of thuggery and standover tactics - will face an investigation in Western Australia over alleged irregularities on its 8000-strong membership roll.