Completely Biased

Saturday, October 16, 2004

FTA Fun, Fair Dismissal, Gillard Love, Miranda Devine Is An Idiot

At 12:13AM I dropped my ALP application in the postbox, finally. The sight of Bob Carr on the brochure seriously made me second-guess my decision, but I stuck with it anyway. So here's to me getting worked up enough over something to actually do something about it.

Now that odds are the Libs will own the Senate, it looks like the US pharmaceuticals companies are once again bending Howard over in regards to the FTA, and $10 says he'll easily cave in like the bitch he is, and Labor's amendments will get removed. Or will they have to wait till next July to do that? Either way, congratulations Australia. You fucking idiots. There's also a fight over copyright laws as well relating to it.

Crean has stepped down as ALP treasurer, and recommended that Jules take the job. That'd be awesome. Jules is the coolest female MP ever. Latho as leader, Jules as treasurer/deputy, and move Rudd to health. You want the most charismatic people in the roles the media heavily follows. So yes, I'd pick those three as the holy trinity. Looks like Rudd is eyeing treasurer though, so maybe Jules will stay with health. I'd like to see her move up though.

Another reason to pick Gillard for treasurer is that when Howard keels over, Costello is going to take over as leader, and Abbott will most likely end up being treasurer on the Liberal side. Jules has already shown time and time again that she can not only hold her own against Abbott, but can make him look like an utter fool over and over. All the more reason to pick her.

Some company thinks that Labor didn't give Latham enough time to build up his brand.

Unfair dismissal laws. Howard reckons there's been massive increases in productivity over the past decade (office sizes in Melbourne have also shrunk an average of 30% in the last decade). Now he wants to push this even further by giving small business employees about as many rights (or maybe less!) as McDonald's workers. Nothing increases productivity like lack of job security!

Peter Holding wrote a bit on it, in PM's Dismissal Plans Far From Family-Friendly (found via Rob's blog):
Orwellian in name, the Howard Government's "Fair Dismissal" legislation does the opposite to that which its name suggests. It allows companies that employ fewer than 20 people to unfairly dismiss its employees.

It not only removes the right to claim unfair dismissal for employees who are dismissed, it will affect the power relationship between the employer and those employees who are not dismissed. If an employer has the power to dismiss an employee unfairly, or without a valid reason, the whole context of the employment relationship changes.

The new law will be a recipe for bullying, harassment and exploitation. If a boss or supervisor gets angry and swears at a worker who then swears back, and on the spur of the moment the boss decides to sack the worker for "misconduct", there will be no right to claim unfair dismissal.

To make matters worse, if misconduct is the cause of the dismissal, the ex-employee may also be precluded from claiming social security for a period.

Unpaid overtime will increase. Under the law as it now stands, an employee may be prepared to work back occasionally for no extra pay for a boss who lets them take time off on pay when family matters come up. That is a give-and-take situation.

But under the new laws, an employer will be empowered to require an employee to work back for no extra pay, knowing that if they refuse they can be dismissed for no reason and with no questions asked.

Of course there is a productivity increase to the employer in any situation where it can derive such free labour. But is this the manner in which Australians want to see productivity increases?

Rates of involuntary casualisation of the workforce are also likely to increase. Casuals who have not been employed regularly for more than 12 months are not to be counted in determining whether the company employs 20 people. This creates an incentive against offering workers full-time employment.

Will this lead people away from working for small business though, knowing that they have less rights there than when going for corporations, etc?

The more I read on, the more I get annoyed at 52% of the population.

The SMH has done some polling and found that nearly a third of union members vote for a government that hates unions. And people say it's just wrong to call people stupid for voting Liberal?

Miranda Devine, I hate you. Although I'll give you some concessions as you want to punch concrete cowboys in the head as much as I do. I intend to counter this editorial with quotes from a few hundred blogs kept by people under the age of 24 (believe me, I have them bookmarked). Not tonight though.

Back Pages delved into the forests policies of both parties. It's a really good read. So go!

Finally, some torrents (piracy is wrong etc etc (although I can't see the harm in downloading a show that'll never get aired again and probably won't ever get a DVD release), and no, I didn't upload these):