Kevvie’s Clear Choices

Saint KevinElectorally, Rudd’s IR announcements at the National Press Club luncheon today seem likely to appeal, with the critical reactions from union spokespeople adding a vital touch of concern which will assist in delineating the ALP from the unions, avoiding the usual rightard criticisms of the ALP being in the unions’ pocketses. Cleverly, Kev emphasised his primary responsibility to the economy.

“Industrial disputes are serious. They hurt workers, they hurt businesses, they can hurt families and communities, and they certainly hurt the economy.”

Chief points of Kev’s IR policies outlined were

  1. secret ballots on strikes
  2. no strike pay (which isn’t going down at all well with the unions)
  3. uniform, national IR system for the private sector (already meeting resistance from the NSW government)
  4. bosses with fewer than 15 staff will still be able to sack employees for any reason if they have worked for the company for less than a year, and for businesses employing more than 15 people, staff will only be able to claim unfair dismissal if they have worked there for six months or more

Supportively, Australian Council of Trade Unions president Sharan Burrow said

the policy prompted little cause for concern.

“We are of course waiting for the details but this is a good start.”

Which issue will take centre stage at the ALP conference? U or IR? Kev expressed confidence that his IR policies would be endorsed by the 400 delegates.

With the polls showing Labor is increasing its comfortable lead, with the primary vote 50/35, on a two party preferred basis 59/41 and best prime monster 48/36, Team Rodent is looking more and more likely to be waving desperate huge bribes and tax cuts to all us Joe Blows in the May budget.

2 comments to Kevvie’s Clear Choices

  • I’d expect more union leaders will speak out on behalf of their members soon enough. The National Conference will doubtless water down some of Rudd’s proposals, but at least he’s marking his line in the sand clearly for industry, minimising the chances of a direct Howard attack upon him, which Howard imho is tongueing for over IR.

    As far as putting the screws on industry, Kev will likely be smart enough to reserve those for when he’s in power. Any diversion from his stated policies today and the rodent will be in like Flynn with his wedgies.

    I’d like more info on minimum wages too – yet we’ll probably have to wait till after the budget and Howard has presented the guts of his stance. If Rudd presents too much too soon, Howard may attempt to steal his thunder – for a more cunning operator a la Hawke or Keating for example, this would be an opportunity to blindside Howard and lead him up the garden path.

    At present, Rudd is pursuing a pragmatic course – the leading of the sheep back to common sense and fairness won’t be an overnight wonder. Both parties lean way too far to the right in my view … Mussolini’s conception of corporatism comes to mind:

    “Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the merger of state and corporate power.”

    While Whorestralia is benefiting magnificently from the resources boom and unprecedented levels of foreign investment, it is absurd to apply the lion’s share of the benefits to industry. Trickle down economics are just another form of feudalism.

  • Oz

    Except it might not be endorsed by Doug Cameron it seems.

    It might help Rudd if he is as harsh on lockouts and similar tactics as he is on strikes.

    I still would like a bit more detail about how minimum wages will work. Will it be a single one for everyone? Or something like a simplified award system?