From the editor of NOT REAL HAPPY, JOHN
It is widely recognized by most observers that the new Industrial relations changes will hurt most those who can least afford it Australias working poor. Reduced wages and conditions arising out of these changes will erode the standard of living of working men and women and their families who are the backbone of our nation.
Whilst it is true that these laws (at least in the short term) will not affect most skilled workers because of the current skill shortage crisis.
They will however effect your members, as we believe that they will cause a lot of industrial relations tensions and wage inflation, as more and more employies realise that their companies by backing these new laws have absolutely no loyalty to their workforce.
In the US employies continually move jobs just to get a pay increase as the concept of company loyalty no longer has any meaning in that country.
Further I believe as Australia takes on this American style labor relations that mafia style unions may well also emerge. Do you really want Unions (ie. Teamster Union look-alikes) representing skilled workers who earn huge wages existing beside a large pool of largley unskilled and non represented working poor (living on the minimum wage or less).
If ordinary Australians are unable to change their lot as they have little or no workplace protections and little bargaining power under the new system is there not the danger that productivity will start to drop significantly? 'the old pay peanuts and get monkeys scenario'.
Further these workers be even more vulnerable once overseas contract labour laws come into play (Howards version of the much critersized European guest worker system - the next big IR step).
In time will Australia face the U.S nightmare, that as real wages and conditions are reduced that crime will skyrocket and no go zones emerge in our cities.
You should remember that whilst many of your counterparts in the U.S may well be a lot richer, most also have to build high walls around their wealthy enclaves (and buy security) to stay safe.
Your representative in this process one Peter Hendy (or Balaclava Pete as he is known to the Maritime Unions) the head of the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry has been very outspoken in his support of this process. There is a reason for this it was after all his brainchild!
As former chief-of-staff to the Howard Governments Workplace Relations Minister (and later Defence Minister) Peter Reith for 5 years, Peter Hendy was largely responsible for the development of the policy formulations that have now become the controversial (and I assure you much hated) Workplace Relations Bill.
Reith previously Chief Advisor to Australia's major defence contractor, Tenix who is now in exile in Europe with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development if you may remember was the same guy along with Chris Corrigan sent balaclava-hooded thugs and Dobermans, against the wharfies, making Australia a laughing stock.
Remember Hendy's main focus since becoming CEO of the ACCI has been to push his own warped ideological barrow the Workplace Relations Bill (sic) and the oxymoron Work Choices campaign - not your companies interests.
Ask yourself, since Hendy has been CEO why has he not been concentrating on projecting Australian Business interests, rather than pushing the implemention of the Howard governments ideological program, which can I assure you do not necessarily coincide.
Remember that as he makes all those very nasty political statements in your name it is you as ACCI memmbers who will share the odium with the Howard Government and at the end of the day it will be your members who pay for this disastrous piece of social engineering.
My strong suggestion is that as affiliates of the ACCI that you either quickly replace Hendy with a CEO who has a more humane outlook (ie. One that actually has a business background and is not a politician or one of their lackies). Or if that proves not to be possible then you should take the honorable path and just leave the ACCI and form a more ethical peak business body.
A full time Business Proprietor (not a Union member) and part time editor of the COSSAMAP Websites.
LINKS : Just so you know what the NSW Unions think of Balaclava Pete this is from their website.
Also see http://expage.com/peterhendy1 and http://expage.com/peterhendy2