Posts Tagged ‘ workchoices ’

Liberals take battle to PM Kevin Rudd’s turf

Sep 23rd, 2008 | By David Harper | Category: Australia

The new Opposition Leader named sustainable development, in all areas including cities, as his key personal policy interest, signalling a dramatic departure from the direction of the Howard government, which saw no role for the commonwealth in urban affairs. But as Mr Turnbull trumpeted his forward-looking approach, Labor’s Julia Gillard said his team was stacked with climate-change sceptics and cheerleaders for Mr. Howard’s Work Choices industrial relations laws.

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.

Gillard’s fair go is Work Choices lite

Sep 18th, 2008 | By David Harper | Category: Opinion

The Workplace Relations Minister will not readily admit it, but a fair slab of the Howard Government’s Work Choices regime will remain: things such as restrictions on the content of union bargaining claims, no industry-wide strikes and no arbitration of union wage claims except in exceptional circumstances.

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.

Workers can be sacked after ‘one strike’ under new unfair dismissal regime

Sep 17th, 2008 | By David Harper | Category: Australia, Lead Stories

In a speech today titled ‘Introducing Australia’s New Workplace Relations System’, Julia Gillard threw down the gauntlet to the Coalition, arguing the Rudd Government had a mandate to introduce the next wave of legislation to end the previous Work Choices regime.

Canadian solution to cap political patronage

Sep 15th, 2008 | By David Harper | Category: Opinion

If both parties can come to agreement it raises the prospect of a bipartisan report that for the first time in the country’s history recommends the introduction of legislatively mandated caps on campaign spending. The model that has committee members most interested is the “cap and gap” system used in Canada.

Western Australia votes for political balance

Sep 8th, 2008 | By David Harper | Category: Opinion

There is now a dual message that is more lethal than the Labor Party anticipated, and which offers fresh hope for the Liberal Party. It is caused by the combination of ineffective state ALP governments, the absence of any Liberal incumbent on which to cast blame, and the disposition of the Australian voter for political balance.

Unions use warchest to attack Labor Party

Aug 26th, 2008 | By David Harper | Category: Australia

Union leaders have unveiled plans for a three-week advertising blitz highlighting the fact that the Australian Building and Construction Commission is empowered to fine individual workers up to $22,000 for stopping work, or jail them for six months for simply refusing to answer questions about union activities.

Looking a bit soft

Aug 16th, 2008 | By David Harper | Category: Opinion

It’s all very well to talk up co-operative industrial relations but if one party, in this case Telstra, a very big and powerful employer with a massive amount of market share, does not want to co-operate, you won’t get where you want to go. It takes more than good intentions, gently delivered.