26 March 2007

The Prime Minister will not budge on WorkChoices despite the latest opinion poll which said that 60 per cent oppose the industrial relations laws. “The policy in its substance and its intent and its principal components is not going to change,” he said.

His firm stance on the workplace reforms Howard asserted was not an ideological or personal thing. The reforms were put into place to sustain a flexible labour market economy, he said.

According to Howard, Workchoices has created over 260,000 jobs since it was introduced. People will come around to accepting the reforms as a part of our future economy as they did with the GST, he said.

Howard has likened suggestions that he roll back the Workplace laws to Labor's ditched proposal to rollback the GST some years ago. People would be "aghast" if you did something like that that now, he said.


Centophobia said...

People won't 'come around' to WorkChoices, and comparing it to the GST is ridiculous.

The GST was a simple, fair tax which took the place of a myriad of taxes that were complex and distorted the market.

On the other hand, WorkChoices is unfair to workers. It may make employment more flexible, but it also undermines the ability for workers to look after their family and take time off.

Howard's changes to IR laws have had little impact on people so far in my opinion. At the moment the economy is strong and business is expanding, but when the economy starts to decline and businesses start to cut costs - by asking staff to forfeit penalty rates and cash in holidays - people will be worse off.

So I think WorkChoices will become an even more contentious issue in the future rather than one we will all simply 'come around' to.

Anonymous said...

I am a true believer of fairness in the workplace. There will always be the competing interests for the needs of a business to remain competitively viable and the social/family and economic needs of the population for which the employees are drawn upon. The balance of these interests shape the type of society we live in.

In the USA the minumum wage (or what the Howard Government may prefer in time to call a safety net) has reduced low skilled workers wages to a level where it is plausauble that they will remain around the poverty level for the rest of their lives whilst working full time.

This environment has enable the USA to support a powerful economy, but one that does not benefit fairly all sections of society. We should ask ourselves what kind of society we want in our country in the future.

We all exist with varying abilities and I ask you this, What happens to the person who works hard but has the ability only to be a cleaner (to prove a point only, not to be condescending)? He, like any member of our society should have the ability through hard work to be able to raise and support a family without raising children in a poverty environment. If through hard work there is still no prospect for a respectable future then we are probably just breeding the next generation of desperate people who like anyone desperate will resort to whatever means they see necessary to survive in our society.

Again I ask what kind of society do we want in the future?

I believe the Howard Government when it says 'Workchoices' will benifit the economy. If you can reduce wages/conditions then of cause a business will become more competive. But if all Australian businesses utilised 'workchoices' in the end it will only benifit those businesses competing in the globel market. Will we ever compete against those countries who's employees live 'in grass huts'? Is that the new standard Aussies workers must compete against?

'Workchoices' tips the balance infavour of the employer and reduces the ability of the individual to negotiate in a fair environment. Just try it yourself. Surely if your a rocket scientist or someone with a spoecial ability you may be immune to these laws. But the majority of employees will simply have imposed upon them a set set of conditions for which they are already in a compromised position before negotiating.

If you are still guessing the future just look at the USA which have gone down a similar path 20years ago or so. You do not need a crystal ball.

I want a country where all who work hard will be able to have a future---not hopelessness----