Tuesday 29th of July 2014

the need for workers unions...

unions

In Australia, unfortunately, some workers don't realise the value of unions because their working conditions are "okay" and "fair". The workers don't realise unions fought hard to improve workers conditions to these standards — standards that could slip very quickly under the relentless pressure from the Liberals (CONservatives).

Now workers who enjoy safety and rights don't value as they should the organisations that brought them these essential benefits. It's a sad case as the Liberal (CONservative) government — on behalf of employers — has been trying hard to demonise unionism under Rattus Howard and now with renewed vigour under Little Shit Abbott. 

Of course, there has been some abuse by union leaders who stretched their own entitlements, but by comparison with the hard-bashing CEOs and crooked politicians, these are very small misdemeanours. Companies often hide their sins by moving cash from profits, offshore. See the latest tax dance shuffle for the benefit of Uncle Rupe. 

And most of the mediocre mass media is designed to be union bashing. Unions are easy targets, especially with individuals' narcissistic selfishness loading this age of deceit. The government and the media work in tandem to divide workers, by enticing some workers to "choose" with the idea that choice is freedom, while in reality more often than not, this freedom is to work more for less — and pay the price in stress, sickness and earlier death.  

Thus UNIONS are essential to help workers fight for proper rights and maintain safety. Everyone should boycott Qatar, until there no more workers death due to working conditions in preparation of the Soccer World Cup. All workers should be unionised and protected — not used as if a disposable product in a careless society.

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More than 500 Indian migrant workers have died in Qatar since January 2012, revealing for the first time the shocking scale of death toll among those building the infrastructure for the 2022 World Cup.

Official figures confirmed by the Indian embassy in Doha reveal that 237 Indians working in Qatar died in 2012 and 241 in 2013. A further 24 Indians have died in January 2014.

These come after the Guardian revealed last month that 185 Nepalese workers had died in Qatar in 2013, taking the total from that country to at least 382 over two years.

Human rights groups and politicians said the figures meant Fifa could not "look the other way", and should be leading demands for Qatar to improve conditions for the estimated 1.2 million migrant workers fuelling a huge construction boom.

The figures from the Indian embassy show that 233 Indian migrants died in 2010 and 239 in 2011, taking the total over four years to 974. Since the World Cup was awarded to Qatar in December 2010, there have been 717 recorded Indian deaths.

However, the Indian embassy did not provide further details on who those individuals were, their cause of death or where they worked. But analysis of the lists of dead Nepalese workers showed that more than two-thirds died of sudden heart failure or workplace accidents.

Qatar's ministry of labour and social affairs told the Guardian: "With specific regard to these new figures, we were aware that local media had previously reported some of these headline numbers, and we are clarifying them. Clearly any one death in Qatar or anywhere else is one death too many – for the workers, for their families, but also for Qataris who welcome guest workers to our country to perform valuable jobs. We are working to understand the causes of these deaths – as these statistics could include a range of circumstances including natural causes, and road safety incidents, as well as a smaller number of workplace incidents."

Nicholas McGeehan, a Gulf researcher for Human Rights Watch, said: "These figures for Indian deaths are a horrendous confirmation that it isn't just Nepalese workers who are dying in Qatar."

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/feb/18/qatar-world-cup-india-migrant-worker-death

bias even from the "best" journos...

...

commentator Michelle Grattan wrote recently that:

Overreach seems to be endemic in this government. One would think that, after Tony Abbott laid it on far too thick about workers' conditions at SPC Ardmona and received a tongue lashing from one of his own, Treasurer Joe Hockey would have been extra careful.

But no. Hockey fell into a similar trap – and his slap down came from a rather bigger player.

When it announced that it planned to shut down its Australian manufacturing, Toyota cited a range of reasons. But Hockey wanted to put as much blame as possible on the costs imposed by the workers' conditions. 

We should note that Michelle uses the softer term of “overreach” rather than the word “lying”, whch she used previously whenever she referred to Gillard’s so-called carbon tax “lie”. 

But in light of the Opposition Leader’s attacks on the Government’s performance, she had this to say:

But it is a simplistic attack, which doesn’t do justice to Shorten’s own economic knowledge. Shorten’s attention should be on the creation of a forward looking industry policy, because the end of the auto sector will be a fait accompli (production is due to finish in 2017) by the time of the next Labor government.

Interestingly, while for the past three years Michelle never similarly challenged Abbott and Hockey as they relentlessly proclaimed that an international Triple A rating was nonsense and that we were in the same dire economic situation as Greece. In fact, no journalist, to my recollection, ever took the LNP Opposition to task as it constantly talked down Australia's good economic performance.

read more: http://www.independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/abbotts-three-word-slogan-plan-for-economic-growth,6179

untrue crap from little shit abbott...

Do we want to be a nation whose prosperity is held hostage by commodity prices, or do we want to be a nation that builds things, asks AMWU national secretary Paul Bastian.

“No country has subsidised its way to prosperity."

~ Prime Minister Tony Abbott (December 2013)

No country — that is, except all of them.

There are only all the European ones, the American ones, the South American ones, the Asian ones — pick a prosperous country and you will see government subsidies.

Why?

Because sectors like automotive production are valuable to any nation. They provide good, skilled jobs. They have flow on effects to boost jobs in other sectors. And manufacturing promotes research and development across the board.

But Australia's relatively new Coalition Government has started tearing out subsidies from critical Australian industries — flushing away jobs, skills, and future prosperity.

If you value jobs and skills, you have to invest in them.

http://www.independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/workers-not-to-blame-for-car-industry-decline,6189

a right wing attack on workers...

Abbott government-supported efforts to pursue individual construction workers for strike penalties – including preventing the sale of assets such as homes – have been branded as an “unprecedented” ideological attack.

The construction union and the federal opposition levelled the criticism, as they argued the legal manoeuvres signalled a tough new approach that could be taken against any worker engaging in unprotected industrial action.

Nigel Hadgkiss, who was appointed by the Coalition government as director of the pre-existing construction industry regulator, Fair Work Building and Construction (FWBC), told the Australian newspaper asset seizure orders had been executed against workers who participated in action connected with the Woodside Petroleum project in Western Australia in 2008.

Of the 117 employees ordered by the federal court last year to pay penalties, 25 had failed to pay amounts totalling $135,625, he told the newspaper.

Two seizure orders stopping employees from disposing of certain assets had been issued and the charges registered against their houses meant they could not dispose of them until they paid the debt.

“Workers, employers and unions alike should consider this a warning that if they breach workplace laws, FWBC will not hesitate to enforce penalties imposed by the courts,” Hadgkiss told the Australian.

“There would quite rightly be public outcry if my agency was selective about who was made to comply with court orders … It will be up to the court, not FWBC, to determine whether the debt has the financial capacity to pay the penalty.”

The employment minister, Eric Abetz, voiced his strong support for the FWBC's tough approach.

“This is no different to the processes that apply to individuals who fail to comply with court orders in any other fields,” Abetz said in a statement.

“Laws have to be enforced and obeyed and individuals who do not obey court orders must be held to account. No one should think they are above the law or that certain laws won’t be rigorously enforced.”

But Labor's workplace relations spokesman, Brendan O'Connor, characterised it as an “attack on the homes of workers who might take unprotected industrial action” and said the government must clarify whether the approach applied “to every Australian in a job”.

“It seems not even the great Australian dream is safe from Tony Abbott’s twisted priorities,” O'Connor said.

“This vindictive and unprecedented assault marks a new low in Mr Abbott’s ideological attack on the rights and conditions of Australian workers.”

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/may/29/labor-and-union-call-coalition-strike-penalties-plans-ideological-attack-on-workers

 

Actually, It is my view that Woodside Petroleum should pay the fines or argue against them in court, on behalf of the workers. This may sound silly. But At the time, Woodside may have been planning some operations that were going to destroy a pristine environment — something that eventually Woodside did not do, for commercial reasons. It would be magnanimous and eventually profitable of Woodside Petroleum to defend the freedom of workers to strike. It's a moral thing and a human right.