19 May 2009

ABCC prosecuting union members

A rank and file member of the CFMEU in South Australia is being prosecuted by the Australian Building and Construction Commission for refusing to attend an interview. That's right - he wanted to exercise his democratic right to silence and is now being prosecuted for exercising a fundamental right in western democracies.

Whilst it is the Liberal and National parties that took away basic rights in the construction industry, it is the Labor Party that continues these draconian and despicable attacks on human rights.

As CFMEU Construction state secretary Martin O'Malley said, the member was "just an ordinary bloke on the tools who doesn't see why he should dob in his mates and go along with laws that are absolutely wrong".

"A guy like that, he doesn't see much sense in why he was out there trying to change the government a couple of years ago and now he's up in court from a John Howard law under a Labor Government," said O'Malley. Couldn't have put it better myself O'Malley.

If convicted the CFMEU member faces up to six months in jail. What a joke. For more information on these bullshit laws check out Rights on Site

10 May 2009

18 weeks paid maternity leave

The Federal Government has announced plans for 18 weeks paid maternity leave. It is to kick off from 1 January 2011. This 18 weeks will be paid at the Federal Minimum Wage. It is a good start, however I question why it will take so long to implement. It is good to see a government that is actually listening to the Productivity Commission. The ACTU looks rather stupid for only pushing for 14 weeks paid leave. Those unions that pushed for more have been vindicated in their positions.

06 May 2009

May Day

So another May Day has come and gone with the typical celebrations around the world. And whilst Kevin Rudd is throwing away money at everyone, workers still have to worry about whether they will be able to provide for their families should they have a child.

This is because paid parental leave still hasn't been guaranteed by the Federal Government in the upcoming budget. Australia and the USA are the only countries in the OECD to not have some form of government sponsored paid parental leave.

It's really a no-brainer and the ACTU and unions with large female memberships have taken up the fight. It's a shame that other unions haven't taken up the fight more, although it's not that surprising. The Productivity Commission has supported it so let's hope a government actually reads a report it commissions, for once, and takes up the opportunity to support workers who want to take time off to have a family.

The only question is what sort of scheme. There are heaps of models out there with their pros and cons.