October 11, 2004

WETS YOUR CHOPS FOR JANUARY 2005, EH?:

Howard sets his sights on workplace (Jason Koutsoukis, October 12, 2004, The Age)

Prime Minister John Howard yesterday vowed to implement the Coalition's industrial relations agenda as soon as possible, setting the stage for a dramatic shake-up of the workplace.

With the Coalition set to take full or near control of the Senate, Mr Howard said the Government would push the six industrial relations bills currently blocked, including the contentious Fair Dismissal Bill which has been rejected 41 times in eight years.

"We certainly will press ahead very strongly with things that we've believed in for a long time, particularly in the area of industrial relations," Mr Howard told his first post-election news conference.

"I think we do need more industrial relations reform and if the better outlook in the Senate means that we can have a little more reform in that area, especially in the the things that we've talked about, then that will be to the good of the country."

Treasurer Peter Costello said getting the Fair Dismissal Bill passed would be the Government's No. 1 priority. "I think we have tried on 41 occasions to change the unfair-dismissal laws to make it easier for small business, to make it easier for them to create jobs, to reassure them," Mr Costello said.

Meanwhile, shares in Telstra and major media companies rose yesterday on the prospect of the Government using its numbers in the new Senate - which begins sitting on July 1 - to complete the privatisation of Telstra and to liberalise the cross-media ownership laws.


Supposedly it's almost impossible to fire anyone there as is.

Posted by Orrin Judd at October 11, 2004 7:53 PM
Comments

The Liberals made a devil's bargain with the Greens and other fringe groups, and lost a lot of their blue-collar support. From what I hear, this inability to fire people is the worst of their anti-growth policicies on the books. It also appears that the pro-growth movement in the EU is gaining ground, with a recommendation from a special task force that more emphasis be put on job creation. Of course, this is the EU, so who knows where it will go.

Posted by: Dave Sheridan at October 12, 2004 4:31 AM

I don't think it's hard to fire people at all. I've been working about 10 years as an employee and employer, I've seen dozens of people come and go from multiple companies, sometimes they were pissed off, but they went.

I suppose it's possible to use the letter of the law to make your employer's life hell if he tries to fire you, but I've never seen it happen.

But I work in a high skill, ununionised field. Things might be very different elswhere.

Posted by: Amos at October 12, 2004 11:34 PM
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