On unions – july 2014

The royal commission into trade unions is a political witch hunt.
If Ministers have ordered the public service to pursue this anti-democratic frolic, it’s a clear abuse of power. The government is aiming for a union-free Australia. by Tim Lyons
The residents of the right-wing fever swamp on the internet who are following the process obsessively see unionism as a giant conspiracy against the national interest, and union officials as a kind of fifth-column. They are welcome to those views, as misguided as they are, but there is no basis for those views in our democratic institutions. The “scoping questionnaire” and spiteful rhetoric of ministers (Senator Abetz’s go to line is “union thug”) is evidence of a broader infection.

We have, as the ACTU executive noted last week, a royal commission into trade unions which “appears to be proceeding on the basis of an antipathy or lack of understanding of the basic principle that a union is a collective, industrial, campaigning, political organisation of working people.” What’s absent is any sense of the purpose or function of trade unions, or the motivations of trade union members and officers.

At a deeper level, it seems to reveal a fundamental clash of world views. If workers are commercial providers of “labour units”, then collective action seems like a restrictive trade practice – and trying to take wages out of competition seems like collusive conduct.

Except we aren’t in a bad economics textbook, we are in the real world. Workers are real people living off their labour for wages, and labour law, unions and collective action are a modest attempt to even up the power imbalance of an individual worker and their employer. Read the whole article here


CFMEU complain about anti-union process

Inconvenient facts keep mucking up the trade union royal commission’s anti-CFMEU storyline.

Tony Abbott’s royal commission tried to build five anti-CFMEU narratives in four days of explosive hearings in Sydney and Melbourne but the foundations were crumbling within hours.

Real-world events, beyond the reach of commission rules and practice directions, challenged the credibility of two key witnesses while the evidence of a third was flatly rejected by fellow employers.
Read further

7 (almost) wins by unions http://workinglife.org.au/2014/07/21/victory-report-almost-7-recent-wins-by-workers/

MUA Bust the Budget
Unions will fight big business attack on Australian workers

29 July, 2014 | Media Release
The Business Council of Australia (BCA) has launched an ideological attack on the very heart of Australia’s industrial relations system designed to benefit big business at the expense of hardworking Australians.

“The BCA’s Building Australia’s Comparative Advantage report is yet another wish list from big business wanting to pay and treat Australian workers however they want, without facing any consequences,” said ACTU President Ged Kearney.

“This is big business dictating the Abbott Government’s IR agenda – no rights, no penalty rates, no collective agreements, no independent umpire and no protection for workers.

“It’s an attempt by business to weaken the safety net, lessen protections and remove entitlements for workers,” said Ms Kearney.

Wages growth is moderate and lagging behind inflation, while labour productivity growth is the highest in a decade.

“Put simply, Australian workers are producing more for less,” said Ms Kearney.

OECD figures show Australian workers are among the most productive in the world. On average, Australian workers produce goods and services worth US$55.50 per hour. That is more than the Euro-area average (US$54.60 per hour), Canada (US$49.20), the UK (US$46.60), New Zealand (US$38.50) or the OECD average (US$47.70).

“The BCA itself acknowledges that labour productivity is high. This paper is not about boosting productivity – it is about putting the interests of big business ahead of Australian workers,” said Ms Kearney.

“This paper shows big business is trying bring back elements of Work Choices, despite the fact that Australia recorded its worst period of labour productivity growth when Work Choices legislation was in place in the mid-2000s.”

The BCA’s long term agenda appears to be to diminish the independent umpire, leaving workers unable to address safety risks at work or tackle discrimination and harassment, said Ms Kearney.

“Unions will fight any move by business groups or the Government to attack penalty rates or the rights of Australian workers.”

VTHC Choir Songs of hope http://workinglife.org.au/2014/07/25/songs-of-power-songs-of-hope/
ACTU President Ged Kearney
Early childhood educators have wages reduced by Abbott http://workinglife.org.au/2014/07/04/because-of-my-union-i-have-a-voice/


Abbott Government as part of its ideological crusade brings in foreign workers to undermine Australian jobs in the offshore oil and gas sector.

AAWL union stories http://aawl.org.au

VTHC We are union

Bust the Budget 4 rally
National 100% pay campaign http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lGtJxaC6kEQ&feature=youtu.be

HSU Kathy Jackson (not typical of a unionist) admits paying ex-husband $50,000 from union slush fund

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/national/kathy-jackson-admits-paying-exhusband-50000-from-union-slush-fund-20140730-zyg7n.html#ixzz3907zpIjGhttp://www.smh.com.au/national/kathy-jackson-admits-paying-exhusband-50000-from-union-slush-fund-20140730-zyg7n.html

Kathy Jackson crumbles

On Jackson http://wixxyleaks.com/wixxys-royal-commission-witness-statement/
Bust the Budget Melbourne  2014
Online union campaigning


Tasmanian workers face wage freeze

Australian unions condemn Israel war crimes in Gaza http://auspalestine.org/


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