Business, unions decide reform is too hard

Big news: nothing will happen! At New Daily:

Streamlining awards and overhauling enterprise bargaining agreements is worth it for working people, the head of Australia’s largest union says.

Australian Council of Trade Unions head Sally McManus says she will be genuinely listening to employers’ groups.

“We’re going to give it a go and we reckon that’s worth it for working people,” Ms McManus told Nine’s Today show on Wednesday.

The meetings are part of the federal government’s “JobMaker” plan announced on Tuesday.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the government would shelve its union-busting Ensuring Integrity Bill as a sign of good faith ahead of the latest effort to reform Australia’s industrial relations system.

Five working groups will look at changes designed to help coronavirus recovery.

They will review awards, enterprise bargaining agreements, casual work, union and employer misconduct and greenfields – agreements that set flat wages and conditions throughout the lifetime of a construction project.

“I think for a long time we’ve been in our corners and seen things through a prism of WorkChoices really,” Ms McManus said.

Mr Morrison said it was time for all parties involved to “put down their weapons”.

“It’s a consensus-based process,” Mr Morrison told the ABC on Wednesday.

But asked if he would guarantee that workers won’t be worse off after the negotiations, Mr Morrison said the debate shouldn’t be so black and white.

Business Council of Australia chief executive Jennifer Westacott said employers were willing to put the past behind them.

“We are all doing this for the people who need their jobs back,” she told ABC.

She welcomed news the government had ditched laws making it easier to de-register unions and ban officials.

“We need to focus on the task at hand,” Ms Westacott said.

So, we’ll see some IR nips and tucks and that’s it. So much for grand reform, not that it was ever really on the agenda:

  • tax reform, nope;
  • tax concession reform, nope;
  • stamp duty reform, nope;
  • competitiveness reform, nope;
  • innovation reform, nope;
  • federation reform.

In short, no structural reform at all. Here’s Koch with Scotty from Marketing over-selling nothing:

We’d better get immigration running very fast, very fast or jobs and growth are cactus.

David Llewellyn-Smith
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  1. so magnanimous

    ““We are all doing this for the people who need their jobs back,” she told ABC”

  2. Pity, I was hoping that the Covid panic would change society, or at least produce some fixes to Australia. But no, the can gets kicked down the road on borrowed money and time.

    • DingwallMEMBER

      Yeah … nah…. need a full, burning out-of-control, deep and long crisis to change things. Australians just revert to the easy avenue.

      It’s why we farm houses, still log old growth forests, and now are addicted to China.

      • GlendaFMEMBER

        Because for all of ‘them’ the world and Oz was just hunky dory the way it was, they have power, money, influence, and if they don’t upset the apple cart, it can all just get back to the lovely comfortable ponzi that was, sooooo easy and …. well…. it works!!!
        If it ain’t broke ……

  3. Why do we need more flexibility ? Labour hire already allow as firms to treat staff as just another cog in the just in time production machine.

  4. Resident IR Professional here. This gab-fest will amount to nothing. Why? Very simple, ACTU will want to see job security and wage rises pitted against the desire of the LNP to have “flexibility” (casualisation and outsourcing), “less red tape” (easier to steal your overtime and sack you) and “constrained wage demands” (if you thought we were ar5eholes before just you wait). In other words their interests are poles apart.

    Sad Sally is doing the right thing to sit at the table and hear them out but I doubt little will come of it. This is not an Accord between a Labour Union and a Labor Government. This is (what’s left of) unions pitted against the Property Council and Mineral Council and the Migration Council. p.s. I would not be surprised if Innes Willox and Sad Sally play footsies under the table.

    • There’s no sense of Woke Sally standing up to any of these Councils. The project of the ACTU (Abject Capitulation That’s Us) is to divert as much as possible to capital and as little as possible to labour. Especially local labour.

    • For as long as real demand for most kinds of worker output is sunk, what do unions have to bargain with, really?

  5. working class hamMEMBER

    Exactly what have “they” done before?
    SFM actually gloated about how the LNP had returned a budget surplus, before his diatribe about “Jobmaker”.
    Can you rewrite history before it was written?

  6. Can’t wait for all the new workers to come in, pretend to do Uni online and then WFH in their tiny apartments. And as long as the govt agrees to hand out union pamphlets at the airport Sally will wave it all through. Maybe the needed skilled list will change to include indentured servants.

  7. All same same until the bottom falls out which it will as Slowmo and Fraudenberg et al will ensure.