25 December 2010

Thought I'd share this video I uploaded...brings back memories!

2010: A year in (a condensed) review

I must admit I haven't blogged as much as I would have liked. A combination of apathy and being kept amused by other projects (including work) seem to have dissuaded me from the semi-regular blogging I once did.

In terms of worker rights in Australia, 2010 hasn't seen much of a change. Sure, we did see Ark Tribe acquitted of the heinous crime of exercising his right to silence. This was a welcome relief but sadly the insidious institution that is the Australian Building and Construction Commission remains. We also saw the former IR Minister Julia Gillard become Prime Minister.

However, all in all, it appears that the Fair Work Act 2009 is settling in to become an all right piece of legislation, by and large. Sure, there is room for improvement and my comrades and I will continue to press for a more worker friendly agenda. But no one in the labour movement can deny, realistically, that we haven't got something a darn sight better than the piece of shit that was WorkChoices. Workers now have a democratic right to push for enterprise bargaining. A range of topics that were previously 'unlawful' are now legal in enterprise agreements. Bosses don't have all the power any more.

Sure, we have seen some bleating from the mining sector, despite the fact it continues to make billions of dollars. I am always amused at how the Australian Mines and Metals Association (AMMA) is still the biggest cry baby about the new laws. Most employers, arguably affected far more by the changes, have gotten on with it. Yet the AMMA continues harping on about how the laws are so bad, despite the continuing growth in the mining sector.

The reality is that some members of the AMMA now actually have to deal with workers representatives, the unions. They don't like this. That's fine - I don't expect anything less from their ilk. But it'd be a refreshing change if they stopped the bullshit and stopped playing the victim. It's pathetic (and sad that so many people buy into their shit e.g. the mining tax protests earlier this year).

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all.