Tony Abbott has barely got his feet under the desk, yet once again we are in for another round of pro-employer and anti-union legislative attacks.
Recent announcements include:
- Repealing right of entry changes, which was introduced by a Labor Government, allowing the right of Union officials to access lunch rooms. Senator Abetz says this will be amongst the first round of legislation to be introduced in 2014;
- Contemplating setting up a new Industrial Appeals tribunal from decisions of the Fair Work Commission. No doubt this new Appeals tribunal will be stacked with the most hard line pro-employer hacks they can find;
- Making it easier for employers to put in place sub-standard greenfields agreements.
In other words, it’s back to WorkChoices – same dog different leg action!
Whilst these changes are unlikely to get past the Senate as it is currently constituted, the real test will be when the newly elected Senators take their seats in July 2014. It will include two (and possibly three) Senators from the Palmer United Party (PUP). The AMIEU sees challenging times ahead for the union movement.
As for Campbell Newman and the LNP State government, we have all seen their form:
- Union Payroll deductions stopped for all government workers;
- 14,000 public servants sacked;
- New laws designed to do nothing more than to stop Unions from publicly criticising his government; and
- Injured workers having their right to fair and reasonable compensation and/or common law damages stripped.
The important lesson to be learnt in all this is that the worst Labor government is still better for working class people than a conservative LNP government. As working class people we must never lose sight of this again.