Sunday, October 16, 2005

Safer, fairer propaganda

It's been a while since I vented my anger about the infuriating Liberals, but a non-stop, taxpayer-funded (to the tune of $12 million) propaganda campaign on the new workplace relations "policy" has me ready to rant.

The beauty of TV ads for this dictatorship is there's no expectation that issues will be covered in depth, and they can play on the subconscious of the already largely ignorant electorate. Promising protection of our rights while actually weakening them is easy when it's made to sound like we're being given extra things (who doesn't like presents?). Unfortunately, we already have all the protections being offered, and far more, guaranteed to us by existing laws.

It's reassuring to know that if my boss takes a dislike to me for any reason, as long as it's not demonstrably based on sex, race or religion, he/she can simply dismiss me, say it's because my position is no longer needed, and I have no recourse. To quote from the detail, spoken by the Government itself, on how employers can happily screw their employees:
"claims cannot be brought where employment has been terminated because the employer no longer requires the job to be done (i.e. operational requirements)"
It's another nice feature that the decision on whether assistance is provided for a claim of unfair dismissal is made by a Government department (DEWR) who, I'm sure, will help you out if it's them (or another department) who've sacked you.

Most conditions taken for granted (especially in the Public Service) will now be up for grabs in any agreement, and can be entirely removed. Which is nice for someone who'd like to be employed by DEWR, or other organisations, who are already making it mandatory for new starters to sign an individual agreement. Choosing between an AWA (which for all I would have known as a new starter was a perfectly fair contract) and having a job offer taken away from me is a pretty obvious choice. Who is that "choice" fairer for, though? Hmmm, that's a tough one...

Here's what Kim Beazley had to say on October 14, the summary being:
"What is being mounted here--and it was not foreshadowed during the last election campaign--is the most massive attack ever on the Australian way of life by an Australian government. It will mean the destruction of the lives of ordinary Australians, about which the incredibly wealthy people on the Liberal-National front bench chortle and cheer in question time after question time. They will haunt the houses of average Australians with the propositions they are going to put through: no umpire, no protection, no underpinning, no-disadvantage test--nothing. There will be absolutely nothing but a master-servant relationship in which the power persists with the person who owns the business."