"In this election year there is only one central issue: whether we complete our transition to the new economy or we allow Labor to kill off that opportunity."
It probably comes as a surprise to learn that it is the Coalition that has been killing the economy for the last forty years; bit by bit industry after industry.
Industrial reform is a central battleground for the Coalition. Federal Parliament was recalled to debate the re-establishment of the Australian Building and Construction Commission, and ended with a double dissolution election on July 2 as the senate fails to pass the ABCC bill. The ABCC bill hasn’t been heard about since.
It’s all about Plan, Plan. I have a plan. A trickle down economic plan that has bent totally discredited all over the world.
Also, the sad reality is there is no new economy. There was a manufacturing economy but because of their hatred of unions they oversaw the destruction of all the industries that were unionised. The car manufacturing industry, the steel industry, the shipbuilding industry, the clothing industry and so many more were all undermined until they collapsed.
Slowly but surely they were all destroyed. It took a lifetime to do it but they succeeded. They are trying to kill what is left with archaic laws that would not be countenanced elsewhere.
They want to have these industries replaced by Uber type businesses which cannot be unionised although Uber, which has always been illegal, is already losing its shine for operators as they do the math. What isn’t being told is that most of the other so called ‘new economy’ startups depends on income from advertising online. However, that pool is finite as online newspapers are quickly discovering. All he money is going to Google and Facebook.
Government unions are no threat because they are easily controlled. Banks are easy to control too because there is only a handful in personnel in each location and they have no power.
Through gritted teeth, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has this week issued a ‘staff discussion note’ which contains a bit of a bombshell. The ballooning inequality that results from rampaging top people’s pay is not, as previously thought, an unfortunate by-product of technological process or increasing world trade. At least forty percent of the increase in bosses’ pay is down to the decline in union influence. And a further increase in inequality results from reductions in the level of minimum wages. Who could have guessed it?
According to their results the decline of union density explains on average 40 percent of the increase of the top 10 percent income share over the period under consideration (broadly, 1980-2010.) And it’s worth remembering that the IMF considers such inequality to be a pretty bad thing.
There are two key ways in which lower union density has allowed top people’s remuneration to leap ahead of the rest of the workforce. Firstly, and obviously to anyone but an economist, if unions are less able to secure wage rises for the mass of the workforce, there is more left over for the people at the top. Wage restraint for one group of stakeholders in a company means a blowout for the people at the top – again, who’d have thunk it?
Secondly, although much more difficult to quantify, the researchers accept that weaker unions mean that the political pressure for more redistributive action – such as progressive taxation, stronger public services, higher benefits for the unemployed and disabled and so on – is reduced. Rich people get to keep more of their income because unions are less able to press governments to take it and use it for measures which benefit the mass of the people.
Earlier this year, the Liberal Party produced a three and a half minute anti-Labor TV ad accusing Opposition leader Bill Shorten of corruption. The ad used documents and footage generated by the Trade Union Royal Commission (TURC), which this month cleared Shorten. The ad, however, is still online.
The unions have always been the mortal enemies of the Conservative Governments and because unions have been so successful in the past at getting the average employee such improved living standards that people have forgotten that not so long ago our grandparents were living in a time of exploitation of workers, when there was no minimum wage, no sick pay, no unemployment benefits, no annual leave, and no legislative protection of any kind for employees.
In Australia non Union members get the benefits that the union negotiates on behalf of its members. Therefore some workers feel they can save money by not belonging to a union. Here is a recent example of the perseverance of a Union against the state government in Victoria where the vast majority of Victoria's 50,000 teachers are forced by the Department of Education to lease laptops for use in the classroom, with the money coming directly out of their pay. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-11-07/teachers-may-be-repaid-millions-over-department-laptop-scheme/6921128
Let's get one thing straight...
Employers and Corporations did not feel generous and decide to give you two days off every week to have a social/personal life. (We now call them weekends). Corporations did not just feel like being nice one day and give their employees paid vacations. CEOs didn't get together in a board room and say "Let's give our employees more rights at work" or "Maybe there should be laws to limit our power over an employee".
Virtually ALL the benefits you have at work, whether you work in the public or private sector, all of the benefits and rights you enjoy every day are there because unions fought hard and long for them against big business who did everything they could to prevent giving you your rights. Many union leaders and members even lost their lives for things we take for granted today.
The right-wing attack on unions is nothing more than ignorance, lack of education, and propaganda.