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Could Work Choices make a comeback?

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HC Online | 03 Sep 2013, 12:00 AM Agree 0
As the election enters its final days, new information has raised concerns that the Coalition may harken back to The Howard Government’s Work Choices – is this legitimate concern, or unfounded fear?
  • GWH Lohrey | 03 Sep 2013, 02:50 PM Agree 0
    Highly likely.
  • Nicole | 03 Sep 2013, 03:05 PM Agree 0
    I think this article is inappropriate and HC should be more apolitical or report on the facts of both parties policies.
  • Cameron | 03 Sep 2013, 03:17 PM Agree 0
    Hi Nicole, thank you for your feedback. As a journalist, I agree that to push one's political position in their stories is poor practice. The media - even niche publications such as ours - has a responsibility to avoid the "non-reporting" that can lead to misinformed and confused voters. Our readers trust us to report on facts so they can make informed decisions, and I work everyday to ensure I honour that to the best of my abilities.

    As such, in my reporting on this election I had tried to maintain as neutral as possible. I am in no way stating that Work Choices will return, I am simply reporting on a number of comments made surrounding it. Whether or not I agree with these comments is not something I will disclose as a professional journalist, I simply feel that the conversation surrounding such a pivotal element of workplace and IR policy in Australia should be reported to the readers of HC.

    I also demonstrated in the article that Mr Abbott has indicated Work Choices will not return - a statement that is important to keep in mind whenever approaching this topic.

    Additionally, HC has outlined major stances from all three parties. See the link within the article for more information.
  • Marc | 03 Sep 2013, 05:04 PM Agree 0
    I think the reality is that until any Govt is elected there is no guarantees promises will be kept. We have seen this from the current govt. Its a sad state of affairs but there it is. However given that the Libs admitted that Work Choices was a significant reason why they lost the election I think its unlikely they will bring it back in its entirety. Parts maybe
  • John | 03 Sep 2013, 05:45 PM Agree 0
    I am bit concerned that this topic has arisen on the eve of an election when clearly the Opposition has stated that WorkChoices is "dead, buried and cremated." Seems both inappropriate and mischievious to say the least that this article has been produced.
  • RivercityIR | 04 Sep 2013, 07:26 AM Agree 0
    I find the scaremongering about workchoices returning highly amusing. Abbott, love him or hate him, is not a stupid man. He would not attack wages and conditions like his mentor did as he saw the end result of what a fully mobilised union propaganda machine can do.

    Given I worked in the union movement during this time I saw, and drafted and spoke in some instances, about the "evil of workchoices" because that was my job. Stepping out and having a better look at it, there were a few employers that took advantage of the AWA's and stripped away conditions, but there was nowhere near the number that was claimed. Most employers in fact only ever used the Act against the officials themselves to try and keep them from pumping white lies and half truths into the heads of their employees.

    Abbott won't touch IR very much at all. Perhaps some amendments around productivity and flexibility, which seems to be everyones real issue at the moment. Although I am yet to find the section in the Act that says a business can't have either.

    One thing you will likely see during his first term is a change to ensure that unions pay tax, and are equally accountable for the money they earn and spend. These 2 points alone will be enough to achieve what he wants to achieve without going anywhere near workers wages and conditions.
  • Margaret | 04 Sep 2013, 09:14 AM Agree 0
    Nicole - after many years in the IR field, I couldn't agree with you more. To put it mildly - it's an unnecessary beat up!
  • Peter Macklin | 04 Sep 2013, 01:53 PM Agree 0
    I tend to agree with some of the comment about posting an article this close to a federal election, from my perspective I can't see anything wrong with the libs providing a little balance to the IR pendulum, I also don't think they will bring back workchoices given the reaction from the country last time. From my experience as an HR professional during the Workchoices era although you heard some some random 'horror stories' from rogue employers overall it was a fairly balanced system, although having said that, the longer it may have been in place the further to right the pendulum may have swung!
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