Modia Minotaur

Trawling the airwaves to spare you the agony!

Sunday, October 09, 2005

StillWaiting for WorkChoices

Still no word on WorkChoices, the SexyName with InterCaps chosen to sell the industrial relations changes to the AussieWorker, but the basic details have been outlined in most weekend papers. The major point of difference so far appears to be the idea of holidays and other privileges being able to be sold off - I imagine they'll market it as basically a free market system for workers rights. Don't want holidays? Sell 'em to the highest bidder! The punters will love this. It should be pointed out that they are including better provisions for work and family balance in this as if they thought about this, when it was unions who fought hard to get these sorts of provisions into awards and certified agreements in the first place ...

I admit I was off the mark when I predicted the PM would roll them out on the morning current affairs shows today - the Opposition must have been under the same misapprehension, as Kim Beazley grabbed the plum slot on Channel 9's Sunday, rightly sinking the boot into John Howard for letting business leaders into his little deal before us poor hapless workers. So much for an even playing field between employers and employees, sit down with your boss and work things through, etc etc, so on and so forth ...

Like so many things, It's All About Choice. Tell that to the friend of mine, a public servant in Department X, with whom I recently shared celebratory drinks after she received a promotion. While she was thrilled by the new position, as she loves her work and is finally gaining a foothold, she now faces a career's worth of six month contracts. Whereas once she would have been given the time to build her skills and develop into a worthwhile lifelong employee of the government, today, her job will be re-advertised every six months - externally as well as internally. She will have to re-apply each time, competing against people with greater experience and qualifications, not only to hold on to her own job, but, in a ridiculous paradox, to gain enough experience to hold on to her own job. Some celebration. Some `employee's market'. And a whole lot of `choice'.


At 3:44 pm, Blogger leftvegdrunk said...

WorkChoices is a sexy name, alright. I reckon it's probably just a CrockOfShit, though.

I don't watch telly much (well, at all) but the other day at work we were all working back and someone had put the cricket on. While we ate dinner, one of Johnny's ads came on.

Now I work for a global corporation - we have a culture of workaholism and sacrifice, and everyone is in the share plan scheme, no unions in site. So it was completely unexpected when, as the voice on the telly told us that Howard's government had been the best friend of workers in the history of the country (or something), everyone burst out laughing.

Nobody said a word. They didn't have to. Even these young go-getters working back til midnight in a cut-throat corporate environment knew, deep down in their guts, that the little bastard was nothing but a liar.

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