Blue to be made unlawful with Howard's IR laws. Right to strike to be (almost) taken away/
HOWARD MAKES THE 'BLUE' UNLAWFUL
THE RIGHT TO STRIKE GOES DOWN THE WC?
'The right of workers to leave their jobs is a test of freedom. Hitler suppressed strikes. Stalin suppressed strikes. But each also suppressed freedom. There are some things worse than strikes, much worse than strikes - one of them is the loss of freedom.' US President Eisenhower.
'Eisenhower was correct in pointing out that the hallmark of the Police State is the loss of the right to strike. A worker's right to strike is surely a basic human right. The right to withdraw labour is the one thing that distinguishes a free worker from the slave. This is a fundamental freedom.' Clyde Cameron, former Labor Minister.
There are many concerns with WorkChoices, WC. I only deal with how Howard is to (almost) extinguish the limited right to strike for workers.
Howard's WC legislation will be rushed through Parliament to hide repressive changes. One change is to make legitimate union industrial action 'unlawful'. There are new penal powers and sanctions against striking workers legitimately pursuing, as a last resort, their workplace and economic interests.
'Blueing' is to be even more risky. Will the Australian 'blue' with the boss be an endangered species? Workers and their unions in dispute, those 'blueing', will be liable to be ordered back to work, fined, sued and even criminalised, with increased penalties. Employers who love power and authority will benefit.
Australia is going through a low strike era. Howard did not raise these further restrictions on the right to strike during the election. Corporate associations lobbied Minister Andrews to take away the protections necessary for the effective right to strike.
The government ads say: 'We won't take away the right to strike' but this is 'spin'. Here are 8 further limits on the right to strike. The devil will be in the detail.
1. Minister Andrews himself is to have unbelievable government power to intervene in 'essential services' to halt strikes. This is now possible only through the Industrial Commission or Courts; not the Minister! But his version of 'essential services' is not limited to the army or police, but to cover any corporation and he cites car companies, mining companies and electricity companies. Public sector employment, nurses, teachers and public servants are to be covered. No choice here.
2. New provisions severely restrict basic union rights for industrial action for industry or pattern bargaining. No choice here, as there is no right to strike outside of the single enterprise. Nowhere else in the OECD is pattern or industry or national bargaining unlawful.
3. A small amendment, with wide ramifications, allows third persons affected by industrial action (other than the employer and unions in the dispute) to halt protected legal industrial action. By definition industrial action affects third parties in some way. So other businesses affected or other persons, such as students or patients can stop legitimate union protected bargaining.
4. Unions pursue claims that encourage unionism and many employers agree. Now employers and workers are to be banned from reaching agreement on such claims. No choice here. It is to be unlawful to pursue legitimate workplace matters by industrial action.
5. The Australian Industrial Relations Commission, which will be all but gutted of its 100-year-old responsibility to prevent and settle disputes, will only have more powers to halt industrial action 'not protected'. Employers can more easily go to the courts for labour injunctions to halt industrial action. Employers retain their power to easily lock-out workers.
6. Compulsory secret ballots have to be conducted before there is lawful protected action. They are now voluntary. The new compulsory ballot requirements are so prescriptively complex that it will be most difficult to implement a valid ballot. In practice this will severely restrict protected action in enterprise bargaining. No choice here. No requirement for employers to compulsorily ballot shareholders before locking out their workforce.
7. The already limited right to protected action is narrowed. Any industrial action that is not protected will be penalisable. All industrial action is prohibited during the life of an agreement. No choice here.
8. WC repeals the requirement for the AIRC to issue a s166A certificate before employers can take common law action to recover damages for unprotected industrial action. The ancient common law tort, based on master and servant doctrine, makes all industrial action unlawful. At least the current limited protection enables 72 hours of conciliation in the Industrial Relations Commission to settle the grievances. Now there is no choice.
The Howard government has already outlawed the right to strike for building and construction unions in legislation slammed through in August and applying retrospectively to catch unions' campaigns. Little debate was allowed in the Senate.
A new building industry police force is operating to 'investigate' workers involved in so-called 'unlawful industrial action'. They have incredible powers. Building workers basic civil rights to silence and not to incriminate yourself have been removed with threat of jail! (details available).
These labour laws do not meet Australia's ILO obligations for protecting the right of workers to collectively bargaining and exercise, without penalty, the right to strike. (Evatt Foundation website http://evatt.org.au/news/336.html )
Will Howard's attempt to suppress strikes be effective? Historically unions took protest industrial action to defend the right to strike. The right to strike as a human right has been long fought for as an essential freedom of being a unionist, for collective bargaining and to defend and promote the social and economic interests of working people and their families.
Eisenhower defended the right to strike because the abolition of such a right is the loss of a freedom. Freedom for industrial action without penalties.
Australia started as a penal colony with penal powers against workers acting in unions. Now in the 21st century penal powers return. This time in a globalised corporate world and a government on the extreme right wing ready to suppress strikes.
Australians do not want to go to the penal days of masters and servants, or slaves, with forced labour.
No choice, no fair go. Will the long tradition of the Australian 'blue' be suppressed? Or will the 'blue' survive?
By Chris posted 3 November 05
Chris White 29/10/2005 Flinders University is researching The Right to Strike in Australia? Contact 0418830297 firstname.lastname@example.org References available.
Unfair Industrial Laws: It's up to you!
When the WorkChoices legislation was before Parliament, GetUp members sent emails to Senators Barnaby Joyce and Steven Fielding asking them to stay strong and independent. This was followed up with a national telephone campaign.
Australia: Caught in a poverty trap
ONE of the delights of watching a superhero movie, be it of the bat or spider variety, is when the grotesque machinery developed and demonstrated by the hero's foes is turned back on them with typically devastating results.
Costello's anti-Job Network weapons discovered?
THE Federal Government had cut $500 million in funding to private sector employment agencies to ensure taxpayers received value for money, Treasurer Peter Costello said?
Pity Labor Couldn't be United over Social Services Cuts?
HoWARd/Costello (funny fellow) Big Mac and Small Fries. And Beazely's Kentucky Fried Two Piece Snack Box for those on minimum wages who should be enjoying - better Medicare Rebates, Public Housing, Hospitals, Education and Transport Infrastructure but instead get just $6.00.
Happy mothers day: Single mums forced to work!
AUSTRALIA can no longer sustain its warfare system, but can sustain the social dollar and that depends on where your priorities are? USA/Iraq or Australia?
HoWARd Gov't could be slued, community warns
Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) members will join a rally in Victoria Square today, protesting against the anticipated changes to workplace relations.
Work for the dole and prison industry slavery
Work for the dole certainly offers a lot of variety. The impression given by the government is that most unemployed do creative and helpful work assisting the community.
'Social Services cheats' may face election next time around
The Federal fascist HoWARd Government is attacking the poor and underprivileged again (on all fronts - now including social services, disabled, single mothers, Medicare rebate and IVF treatment.
Single parents deserve a living wage and not persecution
Being a single parent is hard work. It means a lot of responsibility. But you are not paid properly to do this work. You are paid way below what is recognised as the poverty line. StandUp! Believes that looking after a child is a job and should be paid for like any other job.
Labor sees problems in welfare proposals
The Federal Opposition says proposed changes to Australia's welfare system are a cost-cutting measure and will leave disability and sole parent pensioners worse off.
Dismantle the war machine, slash taxes, privatisation and keep social services The Centre for Independent Studies report says the flat-rate income tax of 10 per cent would ensure most Australians could afford to pay for essential services such as health and education, instead of relying on welfare [social service] payments.
Costello to force single mums to look for work?
SINGLE mothers would be forced to look for work once their children reached school age, under a draconian welfare package outlined last night by fascist Pastor Peter Costello to bolster funds to spend on military hardware and the ongoing illegal and degrading war in Iraq.
The HoWARd Government is simply robbing the disabled blind
KERRY O'BRIEN: Federal cabinet adjourned today still undecided about the final formula for what has become politically one of the toughest reform challenges the Government will face this term. For the past two decades, the disability support pension has been one of the fastest growing welfare payments [social security payments.]
Encouragement is the key to social-services-to-work programs
Corporate Welfare! I think we should start with Ingeus Company. Telling us what we already know for $$$$!
Peter Saunders shake-up is long overdue: Welfare Not Warfare
Peter Saunders: Many DSP claimants are older men with limited skills who have had difficulty finding work?
Welfare Reform for Warfare Expenditure?
John Howard: "Self-evidently we would have liked the major combat to have gone differently ... [but] coalition withdrawal or defeat is unimaginable."
Govt plots post-July strategy?
Fascist Prime Minister insists he is not on a mission to punish welfare recipients [social services.]
HoWARd 'determined' to make the disabled woRK?
The Federal Government is considering a system of "coercion" and incentive to force the disabled to work. But what happened to 6 billion-budget surpluses? Why do they need to force disabled people to work? Do they need more money and less disabled people? Or do would they rather spend the money on WAR?
Opposition pension claims valid
The Federal Governments secret agenda to cut pensions, including the disability and single parent payments while spending billions on military hardware is just too much for most disabled people to accept.
Thousands march for disability protest
"We are not prepared to go back to the dark ages. This has to be reversed," Mr Preston said. "We are hoping that the community sees that we shouldn't be taking money from people with disabilities. These people have had it tough all their lives (and) there is already more unmet need than we can cope with."
Howard's Job Network Bailout
Up to 670,000 people on disability support pensions will be encouraged to sign up to the Job Network under a radical new plan to get disabled people off welfare and into work.
THE HILLSONG'S ARE ALIVE WITH THE SOUND OF ' NEO-LIBERALISM' Only a bent mind would envisage the possibility or think of the concept that a '2nd Neo-Liberal 'front' promoted by the right and posing as a Church would enter politics under the flag of "Family First Party".
Costello, Howard's Disciple
JOHN HOWARD AND PETER Costello lost their vision for Australia from the time they were elected and embarked on a vision for the neo-Liberals.
Heaven Must Be Missing An Angel?
Well praise the Lord the light is Hell bent here on Peter Costello, treasurer of the Howard Government who now has his own "flock" of onward Christian Soldiers.
Corporate welfare or how to steal social services?
Ever wondered why there are so many homeless, why we need a 10 pc GST, lack of services for mental disability, still paying off the Olympics, poor public transport planning etc etc etc?
Work for the dole is legal slavery
Work for the dole was originally sold to us by Howard as a warm and fuzzy light work project. We would be working for nothing but we would be enjoying giving back something to the community, so it was reckoned.
Peter Costello commended this result in his budget speech. Even if we were to believe this figure it still means more than half a million living at a level much lower than that is recognised as poverty.
Mark Latham's, token gestures for older unemployed
StandUp appreciates the fact that Mark Latham is concerned about older unemployed people. His specialist job network proposal aimed at older people might provide a bit of assistance.
Work for the dole failure for two thirds
THE Un-Australian: " MORE than a third of the people who completed the Howard Government's work-for-the-dole programs last year were in jobs or studying within three months of finishing.
Work for the dole? $10.00?
StandUp! Wishes to draw your attention to a serious attack on all of us--work for the dole. We were assured that unemployed would not be forced to work in areas where employed workers would normally be employed. This has shown to be a lie! Under work for the dole, unemployed have been forced to carry out; concreting, tiling, landscaping, repairs, renovation, painting, gardening, nurses and teachers aid work.
'WORK FOR THE DOLE' REDUCES JOB PROSPECTS
A major independent study commissioned by the Government and released today under Freedom of Information by The Australian newspaper indicates that the 'Work for the Dole' program actually reduces the job prospects of unemployed people.
Youth welfare system unfair: ACOSS
The Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS) is warning urgent action is needed to fix youth poverty and disincentives for the unemployed to improve their job prospects.
Bringing up children Can we afford it?
Peter Costello expects us to carry out our patriotic duty by going home and having more children. But for most people it is a struggle to bring up one child let alone two or three.
Federal Budget: Tax cuts for the rich!
For the Howard government, unemployed people are not even worth thinking about.
Private job network agency blues
Can you trust a private job network agency? No you can't! A friend of ours is registered at MTC Marrickville.
Indigenous Social Justice Association Djadi Dugarang
INDIGENOUS EMPLOYMENT. Part 1
Centrelink puts the screws on prison debt
A 1999 study by the Brisbane Prisoners Legal Service revealed that on leaving prisoners had an average debt of $14,031. Almost one in five had a debt to Centrelink while in prison. This debt arose as a result inability to cancel things such as leases, Social Security payments, utilities and telephones.
Democrats approve tougher welfare penalties: But how does that pan out?
There used to be an old saying in Australia" if your hungry steal a sheep and leave the pelt on the fence.
Six weeks, six months, six years: inmates have little chance of making fresh start Even prisoners who serve short sentences are likely to suffer long-term consequences, including increased rates of homelessness and unemployment.
Howard: We as a nation have got to invest heavily in defence?
Fascist Prime Minister John HoWARd has indicated the Government will make major changes to work place laws, cut disability support forcing the disabled to work and increase his defence commitment.
Hill primed for war!
Australian Caretaker Defence Minister Robert Hill has announced a multi-million dollar upgrade of the Pearce Air Force base in Western Australia. Hill says $87 million would be spent on a major upgrade of the base, which is Australia's main flying training facility.
Troop deployment not a deepening of effort: Hill
Deploying an extra 30 troops to Iraq was not a deepening of Australia's involvement because they were being sent to protect those already there, Defence Minister Robert Hill said yesterday.
Auditor Generals damning defence report
The Defence Department computer system upgrade has cost Australia tens of millions of dollars in a gigantic bungle, according to the Federal Opposition. The Commonwealth auditor-general has issued a damning report into the project.
Govt, police 'let off the hook' Haneef inquiry
8 years ago