I post more on the relentless corporate and LNP attack on workers and their unions and our response.
New anti-union laws: Stop the war on workers
Employment minister Michaelia Cash and Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull discuss how they plan to destroy the unions.
by SUE BULL November 11, 2017
Four years on — after the Royal Commission into Trade Union Governance and Corruption and the re-introduction of the Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC) — several unions have begun campaigning against another set of laws.
These laws have tame, even innocuous names like the Proper Use of Workers Benefits Bill, the Corrupting Benefits legislation and the Ensuring Integrity Bill. They also target secondary issues like superannuation, entitlement funds or the abilities of unions to merge.
“Everyone should be worried that this is an attack on democracy by interfering with the running of unions,” McManus said on September 12. “Whenever the job of unions is made harder, it hurts all working people, that is time and money we won’t be able to spend raising wages and making jobs more secure.”
Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union national construction secretary Dave Noonan has outlined exactly what the Proper Use of Worker Benefits Bill has been designed to do.
He notes on the union’s website that this legislation could lead to the loss of apprentice jobs and the union movement’s ability to deliver health and safety courses.
Noonan wrote: “[The] bill seeks to control worker entitlement funds, which support workers who are made redundant. Interest from these funds supports health, safety and welfare programs, training and education in one of the most dangerous industries with high rates of suicide”.
Noonan told a Senate Committee hearing on October 30 that what the government is proposing is an unprecedented and unwarranted level of control and interference over union funds, for which there is no equivalent in the corporate world.
If passed, the bill would prohibit donations to welfare or charitable organisations, meaning support for programs such as Mates in Construction, a mental health/self-harm and suicide prevention program, would be made illegal.
The ACTU has also been at pains to point out the shortcomings of legislation undermining superannuation funds.
ACTU President Ged Kearney said on November 1: “We are deeply troubled that the government would make changes to super which will not address the massive theft of workers’ super, but in fact make it worse.
“Instead, the government has decided to attack working people, open up their financial security to the scandal plagued big banks, and make it harder for unions to do their job standing up for working people.”
The ACTU’s Change the Rules campaign is aimed at uniting workers to defend their interests and oppose the raft of anti-union legislation being put forward by the federal government.
The Change the Rules Campaign Kit issues a call to action, asking workers to join their union and get involved. “Once we build our movement, we will need to fight for the solutions,” it reads.
Strong stuff if it leads to unions coming out onto the streets to confront the entitled bluster and bankrupt rhetoric of the likes of Cash and Turnbull.
Statement from ACTU President Ged Kearney:
The Australian Council of Trade Unions is calling for all controversial IR legislation to be put on hold until we can know for certain who is, and who isn’t, eligible to sit in the Federal Parliament.
There are currently five pieces of controversial industrial relations and superannuation legislation before the parliament. Three bills give more power to the big banks over working people’s financial security, and the other two give more power to the ROC, which is currently embroiled in the controversy over the police raid on union offices.
Change the Rules Campaign Kit
Union campaigning training for union delegates
Background to Hedyon’s attack on unions
Thousands of Workers in their unions rally in Sydney to protest Turnbull/Cash attack on our rights to organise. Campaign to change the rules.
On Minister Cash http://chriswhiteonline.org/2017/10/on-minister-cash/
Stop the War on Workershttp://chriswhiteonline.org/2017/03/stop-the-war-on-workers-rallies-march-9th/
Rally against Ugly Esso
The system is broken. Esso’s corporate greed is out of control.
Together with contractor UGL, Esso is slashing the wages & conditions of hundreds of Gippsland workers.
Esso is ripping off consumers with outrageously high gas prices.
And Esso is even avoiding paying its fair share of tax. In fact in 2014-15 they paid NO tax on $8.4 billion revenue.
We need to return power to the hands of working people.
We need to change the rules.
Make sure you get down to this rally to support the Esso workers who have been out on the picket line for over 145 days.
We need to show greedy corporations like Esso that working people are standing up and fighting back!
Melbourne Rally Midday VTHC Wednesday 22nd November 2017
Listen to the union delegate FB
The Government Is Targeting Unions When They Should Really Be Worried About Your Pay Packet
In this lopsided contest between workers and employers, workers need all the help they can get.
…The more aggressive its attacks on the union movement become, the further the government sinks in the polls. And the failure of its scapegoating strategy does not solely reflect errors in political judgment.
…Data on labour compensation per hour of work (from the GDP accounts) suggest nominal wages actually fell 0.5 percent over the past year — the worst showing since World War II.
Many other indicators confirm workers need more power, not less, and hence that the government’s anti-union crusade is fundamentally misplaced. The share of GDP paid to workers fell to its lowest point since the ABS began collecting the data.
Minimum wages are one-quarter lower than 30 years ago, relative to overall wages. Union membership is down to 13 percent of total employment, in large part because of decades of unremitting legislative hostility. Enterprise agreement coverage is collapsing in the private sector, down 25 percent since 2013. The transformation of work from permanent jobs to insecure “gigs” further undermines the ability of workers to demand, and receive, higher pay.
In this lopsided contest between workers and employers, workers need all the help they can get. The power of collective representation is one of the most important tools in their toolbox. It’s no accident that unions and collective bargaining have been the primary target of business-friendly labour law changes over the last generation. But the legacy of that crusade is the stagnation and growing inequality of wages. Most Australians are suffering because of it. And that’s why they’re turning a blind eye to the Coalition’s effort to rouse yet another anti-union witch-hunt.
Read here http://www.huffingtonpost.com.au/jim-stanford/the-government-is-targeting-unions-when-they-should-really-be-worried-about-your-pay-packet_a_23277632/
Federal Court cracks down on ‘sham’ enterprise agreements
In the first judicial ruling against so-called “sham” enterprise agreements, the Federal Court has overturned a major labour hire deal voted on by just three workers but which later covered more than a thousand in the mining industry.
The precedent ruling against One Key Resources, which is one of the biggest labour providers in the black coal industry, could mean the end of a common practice for labour hire firms that unions argue undercuts wages and conditions.
Justice Geoffrey Flick found One Key Resources’ 2015 enterprise agreement was invalid because three workers with limited job experience could not genuinely agree to a deal that covered 11 job classifications extending well beyond mining and construction and into road transport, clerks and hospitality.
How they saved Dave: Worker sacked over undies protest wins back his job
So Dave and his workmates won an EBA with their employer that included a laundry allowance so their dirty work clothes could be cleaned. Despite it being a legal entitlement, the employer refused to pay it. Because our workplace laws are so broken, it is not quick and easy for working people to enforce our rights – even if they are in black and white in an agreement. Employers who refuse get away with it because the independent umpire does not have to power to enforce rights, workers have to go to the expensive and very slow Federal Court. So the workers had a 10 minute protest in their undies to try and convince the boss to abide by the agreement they had made. They sacked the delegate for it.
It should have never got to this point! We need to change the rules so the independent umpire has teeth again, so it is quick and easy to enforce our rights.
ETU workers win against Crown
Meat pies, kangaroos, class struggle and Holden cars
The reasons for Holden’s closure are primarily the neoliberal economic policies of the Australian government and the economic rationalist decisions of the US giant, General Motors. GM calculates that there are greater profits to be made by centralising production in much larger factories with cheaper labour and greater automation. In the end, it showed no loyalty to its workforce.