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Comments on Peter Martin: "...the bravery, the courage, to call it as it is, no matter the political sensitivity of the advice."





Updated: 2015-09-30T08:04:03.541+10:00

 



Henry’s comments on industrial relations displays ...

2007-08-15T10:37:00.000+10:00

Henry’s comments on industrial relations displays political partisanship, ideological blinkers and a complete misunderstanding of the current industrial relations laws. Henry said:

“However, industrial disputation today is even lower than during the earlier long period of low unemployment, perhaps reflecting the extent to which today’s flexible arrangements better match the preferences of employers and employees.”

The real reason why there are low levels of industrial disputation has nothing to do with ‘flexible arrangements matching employer and employee preferences’ and everything to do with the fact that WorkChoices (and the previous Workplace Relations Act) have emasculated trade unions and made it incredibly difficult to engage in protected industrial action. The changes are so draconian to have attracted comment from the ILO.

The claim that flexible arrangements better match the preferences of employers and employees is pure ideological dribble and is not reflected in any substantial, independent assessment of the impact of WorkChoices. It implies that employers and individual employees are able to negotiate from positions of equal power and knowledge. In fact most studies have found that WorkChoices has increased levels of exploitation:

“WorkChoices has created a climate where some employers feel licensed to act unilaterally and without consideration of workers and their rights. This is having significant effects on employees’ willingness or capacity to negotiate over their working conditions. Negotiation in an environment where unfettered power of dismissal overhangs discussions, changes power relations at work fundamentally.” (http://www.unisa.edu.au/hawkeinstitute/cwl/publications.asp)