29 January 2010

Premier of WA says strikers are 'un-Australian'

YAWN. Is this the best you can come up with Barnett? I mean really, this is pathetic. Only people with no argument, wanting to score cheap political points use the tired 'unAustralian' line.

20 January 2010

the new awards

Having had to deal with the new award system all I can say is that it's a nightmare at the moment. I always knew there'd be teething problems but the fact allowances don't transition under the new system but "shift allowances/penalties" do is very problematic. There isn't a clear distinction between the two. It's the bane of my existence right now. I cannot think of anything else!

17 January 2010

Ross, stick to talking about areas you actually know

Ross Fitzgerald says that unions are gaining the upper hand in Australian workplaces. And since this is The Australian he has a big problem with that.

My favourite line is this
The reality is the Rudd government is squandering the legacy of flexible deregulated workplaces by turning back the clock on industrial relations. Its full agenda, still to unfold, may prove to be the most extensive legislative re-regulation of workplaces this country has seen.
Conservatives always like to conflate "not moving backwards" with deregulation. And anyone who doesn't like their version of deregulation automatically is "turning back the clock". Of course they cannot show any examples in the laws passed to prove this - because there are none. The Rudd Government's laws place primacy on collective bargaining and have streamlined the award system and brought in a truly national system (except for WA and that's their fault). And conservatives love to warn of the supposed evils yet to come, citing no evidence for them.

And Ross shows his true conservative colours by saying Howard was the one who introduced flexible industrial relations laws. Ummm...no, it was actually the Keating reforms of 1993 which ushered in the beginning of "flexible" industrial relations laws.

Fitzgerald is a professor in history and politics but the article is written as if he's an expert in industrial relations and economics. He's not. So saying that Howard's IR laws were the reason for low unemployment is overly simplistic nonsense.

And once again The Australian shows itself as the champion of the employers.

12 January 2010

When you think you live in a somewhat rational society...

I saw this story on Channel 7 news. I couldn't believe that so much time was spent on such utter crap. Yes, it's amazing someone survives cancer that bad. Many people pray and die of cancer. Which saint do we blame for all of those deaths?!Odds are someone will survive sooner or later. This 'miracle' is one of the two being used to make Mary MacKillop a saint.

How about just a little bit of critical thinking when reporting on this please? Apparently that's too much to ask.

03 January 2010

All the capitalists seem to very quiet about this one

I read an article today which says that Colorado's minimum wage will drop 3c/hour to the US Federal minimum wage, which is currently $7.25/hour. The US unemployment rate is just below 10% currently (Nov 2009).

Meanwhile in Australia we have the award safety net in many industries. But even if you're not covered by an award, you're at least paid the minimum wage, which is currently $14.31/hour, nearly double the US rate (since our dollar is creeping up to parity with the greenback). The Australian unemployment rate is 5.7% (Nov 2009), nearly half the US rate.

Every year the employer's bleat about how raising the minimum wage will put people out of work. It's a capitalist mantra that a low minimum wage means more jobs. Yet the US has ridiculously high unemployment with its very low minimum wage. And Australia has a relatively low rate of unemployment with a good minimum wage.

Makes me think, the rich end of town is full of shit isn't it?