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Lex Talionis 18th Apr 2012 03:00


Swan has no control over the banks nor should he.
I don't completely agree with you on that.
I do believe in a free market but you can have different extremes such as the American system with basically no regulation (which was one of the main reasons for the GFC) and at the other end of the scale you have the UK model with very tight regulations and in Australia we are somewhere in between.

If you let anyone and that means employers as well as employees have a blank cheque there will always be a group who will take it to the nth degree.

Both sides of politics in Australia have complained about the reserve bank and the oil companies and so on but they never do anything about it.I still fail to see how the price at the pump can be increased at the first sign of trouble in the middle east when the fuel at your local servo has been there for several days and was taken from the middle east weeks or a month or so earlier.

Yet when the price of crude drops it takes weeks if ever for the price to drop at your servo.I am still to be convinced at the reason for disparity of fuel prices at different locations and at different times of the week.

Funny how the price seems to go up whenever there is a long weekend or holidays.

The banks told us that they where replacing tellers with ATM's so that we would have better service and they would save money and now we are charged if we use them beyond a limit.

I think it is a dangerous precedent for a bank to act independently of the reserve bank.Certainly if the Reserve puts up rates and the baks are not making a profit then by all means they should increase their rates.

However,this is not the case here with the banks making record profits and their CEOs making statements about their pay not being unreasonable it sounds even more out of touch.

I noticed that St George actually lowered their rates the other day.

If they can why then does the ANZ feel the need to raise them.

Pinky the pilot 18th Apr 2012 03:04


literally stormed out with my life savings in an envelope (I didn't need a briefcase ) and went to a smaller bank down the road.
No doubt leaving a red faced bank employee with blistered ears as well Worrals?:ooh: Hope so, as sometimes that sort of 'stuff you' exit is the only language that some business' understand.

Private Partz 18th Apr 2012 03:19

When the left of politics are busy knocking the banks, they conveniently forget that the banks provide a valuable service to customers and are owned by many shareholders, be they mums and dads, corporations or SUPERANUATION FUNDS.

I highlighted the latter because most contributors and observers will have super in some form or another, and have a vested interest in maximising their retirement income stream. So, if the banks are doing well, your super fund will be a beneficiary. The government doesn't forget to take it's cut of of the profit through taxation either corporate or individual, so if the banks make a big profit, the taxman makes one too.

Try and think of the taxman as someone who has a 30% shareholding of all and every business in Australia (without having to pay for it).

In a similar vein, the MRRT is a disingenuous grab by the ALP government for cash, given that they have and continue to waste money on ill-considered programs such as the BER and NBN.

The Mining Industry may be riding high and profitable at the moment, and good luck to them. Again, most or all super funds will have invested in them for both growth and income. If BHP make a record profit, then it will be distributed as dividends or reinvested in expansion programs. The dividends will be taxed, or if spent on expansion, there is a stream of cash to the taxman via various taxes.

The MRRT was created simply to replace what Swan has wasted or redistributed elsewhere.


The Liberal party then comes up with gems like Work Choices which benefited big business and not the employees.Mr Abbott has said a number of times that he wants to go back to the good old days of the Howard government.
The ALP and their union masters are the reason why our Industrial Relations has gone back to the 70's with FWA. I've always considered unions are nothing short of a legislated protection racket, and I've had first hand experience with the way they practice their thuggery.

Work Choices was designed to introduce flexibility into the workforce and allow employers and employees to negotiate without the heavy hand of some drunken union heavy intervening (or wanting a brown paper envelope to go away). If you think Craig Thomson and the HSU were screwing the pooch, you've just seen the tip of the iceberg.

parabellum 18th Apr 2012 06:08

Good to see you here Private Partz:ok: Now don't go away.

Problem I have found about Work Choices is that 99 out of 100 people who jump up and down about it in protest have never actually read it!!!

Can you believe that? The unions cherry picked a few items that were not union friendly and thanks to a left leaning, union friendly media, that embraced the ALP publicity machine, not to mention an Australian public who like to believe what they are told is good for them, (but some times need a bit of waking up), and hey presto, Work Choices is seen to be worse than anything the Spanish Inquisition could have ever thought of!

Worrals in the wilds 18th Apr 2012 06:09


Work Choices was designed to introduce flexibility into the workforce and allow employers and employees to negotiate without the heavy hand of some drunken union heavy intervening (or wanting a brown paper envelope to go away).
The electorate didn't think so. They thought it was about getting screwed by big business. Many people running businesses (not all) were openly salivating about the chance to drive down conditions by 'divide and conquer' without any pesky group bargaining. I firmly believe Howard and his government were turfed out due to Work Choices and if the Libs try it again, they'll get turfed again.

Problem I have found about Work Choices is that 99 out of 100 people who jump up and down about it in protest have never actually read it!!!
I did read it, although not recently.

...some drunken union heavy intervening (or wanting a brown paper envelope to go away).
Whatever. :bored: Not all union people are drunk and corrupt, any more than all business owners are jerks.

Have you been at a table full of individual representatives? I heard about one large organization that had sixty individual reps attend their first EBA meeting, including some guy's Mum who spoke for ten minutes about how her son was underappreciated. Six months later and they were still wading through the bargaining because nothing could ever get decided and the meeting went off on more tangents than a Maths C textbook.

parabellum 18th Apr 2012 06:15

Don't think the electorate had enough information, (had never read it or explained to them by someone who had), to make a fair judgment.

Worrals in the wilds 18th Apr 2012 06:21

That's the standard ALP/Greens argument (though used the other way): 'They just don't understand because they're too stoopid'! I think people understood quite clearly that it was going to be them (as an individual) against a company. I recall a lot of discussion about it at the worker level and people were scared.

Anyway, I don't think we're going to change each other's minds ;).
IR is a very polarizing topic, and a person's own employment and/or business experience plays a big part in their point of view.

Lex Talionis 18th Apr 2012 22:52


Don't think the electorate had enough information
I think the electorate knew all too well the details and it's why Mr Howard was shown the door very nicely.

The electorate didn't think so. They thought it was about getting screwed by big business. Many people running businesses (not all) were openly salivating about the chance to drive down conditions by 'divide and conquer' without any pesky group bargaining. I firmly believe Howard and his government were turfed out due to Work Choices and if the Libs try it again, they'll get turfed again.
Very well said Worrals

The problem was that the industrial pendulum had swung well and truly to the employers side with Work Choices just as it had been in the unions favour in the 1970's.

Neither situation is good for the country when either side has a massive advantage.

Anyway, I don't think we're going to change each other's minds
Again well put Worrals:ok:

To be honest I think the current situation is doing very well and it's in all our interests for it to continue.

CoodaShooda 18th Apr 2012 23:51


To be honest I think the current situation is doing very well and it's in all our interests for it to continue.
Do you run a business that employs staff, Lex?


I recall a lot of discussion about it at the worker level and people were scared.
And it was that fear that was beautifully used by the labor strategists.

I don't know whether Workchoices would have proven to be the big bogeyman had it been allowed to continue.

Knowing some members of the Chamber of Commerce as I do, I suspect some workers would have received the rough end of the pineapple. Whether this would have been the case for the majority of workers must always remain a moot point.

However, my dealings with the unionista in Darwin seem to have been similar to Private Partz. But perhaps that's just the type of union official we get up here and they are different down south.

Worrals in the wilds 18th Apr 2012 23:59

The system does need tweaking for small business. The question is how to get the balance right, because there are some awful people out there running small businesses (not all, of course).

There are also some awful bludger workers out there working for both large and small businesses, and it should be possible to get rid of them without spending a fortune on lawyers. Big companies can absorb bludgers better than small businesses because of the larger staff numbers, but you don't want the situation where people can be sacked because they won't put out for the boss or they're too 'old'. I don't, anyway, but it's the sort of thing jerks do if they think they can get away with it. Likewise WH&S stuff. A lot (not all) of small business owners seem to think they should be exempt from providing a safe workplace and I don't think that should be the case either.

CoodaShooda 19th Apr 2012 00:14


The question is how to get the balance right
IR will always be a teetering see-saw between employers and employees.

Our system of swinging between left and right wing governments every few years seems to be the best option in the circumstances.

But it could be improved if we could have governments that dismantle as well as enact regulatory legislation.

sisemen 19th Apr 2012 00:51

From the Friday Joke thread:


A large passenger jet crashes deep in the Australian Outback.

Several hours later the search party find the still smoldering wreckage on an outback station. The owner of the station greets them whilst sitting on his excavator.

"did you realize this was an RAAF 737?" the head of the party asked.

"yep" was the laconic reply.

"And did you know that the Prime Minister was on board?"

"Yep"

"were there any survivors?"

"Nope, just finished burying them a few minutes ago" the station owner replied.

"So Gillard is dead then?" the head of the search party asked in confirmation.

"Well" the station owner replied, " She kept saying she wasn't, but you know what a liar Julia is"

Andu 19th Apr 2012 03:58


Knowing some members of the Chamber of Commerce as I do, I suspect some workers would have received the rough end of the pineapple.
Both my children were relatively new to the workforce in the last years of the Howard government. A little to my surprise at the time, both were quite comfortable with negotiating with their bosses for a pay rise every 12 months, (which was always successful), quite possibly because both of them were/are good workers and above average at their jobs. Fair Work Australia, when you cut to the quick, and however politically incorrect it might be to say so, under the guise of fairness, is designed for those who aren't.

Worrals in the wilds 19th Apr 2012 04:40

IME, Gen Yers are never shy about putting their point forward or telling everyone how great they are (and of course often they actually are). :cool:

Fair Work Australia, when you cut to the quick, and however politically incorrect it might be to say so, under the guise of fairness, is designed for those who aren't.
To a certain extent. However, it also protects the quiet people, the insecure people (often older and/or female workers) and the shy people who would rather walk over hot coals than tell the boss what a great job they're doing. There are plenty of good workers like that, who just want to turn up and get the job done without skiting. Individual bargaining favours the FIGJAM types who can't wait to tell management how great they are, even if it's not actually the case.

I have a personal theory that this is partly why there are so many tosspots in middle management, where positions are usually advertised individually and conditions are negotiated one on one. The loud 'I can do anything, what's an areyplane again':ugh:? guys often outshout the quiet achievers and get the promotions and better salaries. Then their subordinates have to spend months educating them about what areyplanes are so they can make some fact based decisions instead of bluffing it out all the time and making everyone's life difficult. Of course said subordinates never receive any credit for this, because by this stage the FIGJAM is on his next mighty overpromotion mission and has no time for the serfs.

Lex Talionis 19th Apr 2012 04:57


Do you run a business that employs staff, Lex?
Yes as a matter of fact I do Cooda so how about you?

At the time of Mr Howard and his sardonically named industrial cure for our country I was employed by a very large Australian concern and we were being walked over.To be honest we had been treated like this for years but Work Choices gave them the opportunity to screw us at will with almost complete impunity.

I don't know whether Workchoices would have proven to be the big bogeyman had it been allowed to continue.
It was exactly that before Mr Howard was shown the door.It was no fear campaign it was work in progress.
The difference now is that I treat people who work for me as they are human beings not numbers and an asset to me and not an unavoidable liability.

Unfortunately there are both employers and employees who do not meet our expectations and work ethics.That is part of life and we have to deal with it but to have an industrial code that is biased one way or the other is counter productive.

Our system of swinging between left and right wing governments every few years seems to be the best option in the circumstances.
That maybe the situation we find ourselves in but it is far from ideal.

both were quite comfortable with negotiating with their bosses for a pay rise every 12 months,
What would they have done if their employer had not been so accommodating?

Like it or not collective bargaining does have a place when a half decent AWA is not possible because the employer is not interested.If the employer knows that he has a large pool of people seeking work then he/she can do whatever they want.Then you have the problem of people not being able to get a loan to buy a car let alone a home because they cannot prove they will have a job at the end of their AWA.
We now see Gina Rinehart and the airlines wanting to use 457 visas to bring in cheap overseas labour.

How about training Australians instead or will we continue to shift everything we need offshore.

sisemen 19th Apr 2012 06:00


We now see Gina Rinehart and the airlines wanting to use 457 visas to bring in cheap overseas labour.
It's a bit simplistic Lex to make a cheap jibe at Gina Rinehart. The mining industry, certainly in WA, is sucking people out of the normal system like you wouldn't believe. QANTAS are even now running direct flights from Sydney to Newman!

The mining areas in WA are harsh environments so, even with pinching almost all of the available WA workforce and a fair percentage from the Eastern States there are still not enough willing Australian workers to fill the positions in mining - never mind the gapped positions in WA in the rest of the commercial world.

Those positions have to be filled. Ergo, 457 visas. It's a short term answer to, hopefully, a short term problem.

And yes, I know that some are being screwed (by our yardstick) but if an asian worker previously earning $5,000 a year takes on a job here for $30,000 is he unhappy? Probably not. Or at least not until some union bloke tells him that he should be because an Aussie guy is getting $120,000

Worrals in the wilds 19th Apr 2012 06:05


Or at least not until some union bloke tells him that he should be because an Aussie guy is getting $120,000
Or they were until the Chinese blokes turned up and were happy with $30,000. $30,000 goes a lot further in China than it does in Australia.

That's what bothers people about 457 visas, that the company's going to go with the big saving and threaten to FIFO everyone in from Mumbai if the Aussies don't start taking $30,000 a year as well. That's an exaggeration, but you know what I mean.

A person earning AU$30,000 equivalent in India is considered wealthy. It's enough money for a nice house, a car with a driver and private schools for the kids. Here, it's a very low wage and you'd be lucky to pay rent.

CoodaShooda 19th Apr 2012 06:09


Yes as a matter of fact I do Cooda so how about you?
Yep, me too. Trebled the size of the workforce since I took it on 14 years ago. :O


It was exactly that before Mr Howard was shown the door.It was no fear campaign it was work in progress.
You see, that's the problem I have with the Work Choices argument, Lex.

I personally didn't have any problems with it back then, nor my family, nor my staff, nor anyone else I knew. In fact, life seemed a lot more comfortable back then.

I certainly heard the stories that were being put around and I know (but choose not to associate with) company directors who believe it their god given right to screw their workers around - but they would do this regardless of the IR regime in place.

So, when you apply the old "Believe half of what you see and none of what you hear" rule........................:hmm:

Worrals in the wilds 19th Apr 2012 09:39

In an ideal world, we wouldnít need IR laws at all. Employers would be fair and reasonable and employees would do their job properly.

This isnít an ideal world.

Take the recent Clean safe campaign from United Voice, formerly known as the LHMU. I donít think anything in their claims is unreasonable (okay, maybe 4% pay rises and portable leave are a bit pie in the sky, but you canít blame them for trying ;)).

http://unitedvoice.org.au/industries...ry-English.pdf
There are cleaning contract companies who expect their staff to work ten or more hours overnight without a toilet break, let alone a meal break. They expect them to work in high rise office buildings with the ventilation turned off because itís Ďtoo expensiveí. This is despite enormous profits collected by both the contract company and the companies renting the building. The fancy lawyers, financial advisors and PR poppets who inhabit the buildings during the day wouldn't cop working without the aircon, so why should the guys who clean their toilets?

Anyone whoís been in an office building with no air con will know that theyíre horrendous. None of the windows open, they're as stuffy as hell and smell like old socks. Despite all the modern gizmos cleaning is still reasonably labour intensive and requires strong chemicals and dealing with smelly stuff.

Maybe those cleaners should speak out and demand better conditions. Guess what happens when an individual does that? Suddenly there are no hours available for them, or they get dismissed. Many cleaners are unskilled, poorly educated or have very limited English. They depend on the meagre income to feed their family and pay the rent, so itís not surprising that most of them cop it sweet, particularly after a few get punted for being 'difficult'. :yuk:

Maybe thatís how it should be; maybe they deserve it for being poorly skilled. I know plenty of people argue that, and say that the market will dictate conditions. Personally I think thatís law of the jungle, and if thatís what we want then we may as well declare Mad Max rules as of now. I donít want to live in that sort of place and I donít like to see people getting f:mad:d over because theyíre too small to fight. Letís pitch a Thunderdome battle between Gina and a cleaner; whoís better equipped? Whoís going to win? Thatís what individualised bargaining is. One cleaner, one Gina; two men enter, one man leaves. Who would you back?

I doubt that any of you who are employers treat your workers like many contract cleaning companies do. Firstly youíre not jerks, secondly you need to retain skilled workers and if you treat them badly theyíll tell you to take your job and jam it. Not everyone has that freedom.


I worked for a company that expected employees to work outside all night without jackets or rain gear. Workers couldnít supply their own because that was against the 'uniform policy'. After the first shivery night I disregarded the uniform policy and turned up in an increasingly lairy collection of jackets.

Surprise, surpriseÖthey coughed up with a uniform coat (I think it was the J-Lo style light green puffer jacket with mock fur collar that broke the camelís back :cool:). Iím lucky; firstly Iím a good employee, secondly Iím educated and speak English, and thirdly I was a member of the union. All those things combined to provide a reasonable outcome, particularly after I rang the union organizer and yelled at him a bit. The expression 'fat arse' was used at least once :hmm:. However, not everyone is in a position to do that.

Unions are supposed to advocate for their members. Where outfits like the HSU are completely despicable is that they take money from their members (often poor, badly educated and vulnerable) and use it to further their political aims or drive around in fancy cars. IMO they are more despicable than the horrible employers who exploit their workers, because they took their membersí money, promised them advocacy and betrayed that promise. :mad:

Thereís a lot said about how the ALP has to get back to its grass roots, but IMO the grass roots also have to get back to their grass roots and wake up to themselves. Otherwise they will be annihilated and then no-one will speak for the vulnerable. Also, they'll still lose elections.

Thatís not to say all unions are corrupt, self-interested or like the HSU; they arenít, any more than all priests are child molesters. It is incorrect and wrong to tar everyone within the movement with the same brush. Guys like PPRuNer Steve Purvinas (ALAEA) act with integrity and in the interests of their members. Even if you disagree with every single thing he says, he says it with honesty and conviction, because he's a good Federal Secretary.



Of course the ALAEA is a relatively small union without political ambitions, and I think thereís a lesson in that. Theyíre not interested in being pollies or faceless men. Theyíre interested in a good deal for their workers. Plenty of unionists (even within the big unions) are the same, and theyíre the people who need to be calling the shots.

What the movement has to do is grow up, root out the rorters and get on with what itís supposed to do; advocate for members and bargain on their behalf. Unfortunately there is a misplaced sense of loyalty among many union people (never the ones running the rackets, it seems, only the nice, well meaning people:yuk:) and they feel they must defend the spivs at all cost. Of course the spivs milk this for all itís worth, with frequent uses of the words Loyalty and Mate. :yuk::yuk::yuk: If they had a basic comprehesion of what those words mean, they wouldn't be sitting down the bottom of trustability polls, scratching their nuts, wondering what went wrong and how to protect their own self interests while their members desert them.

woollcott 19th Apr 2012 11:23

Well said Worrals!

How true - in an ideal world there would be no need for IR laws.

As you said, not all unions are corrupt, just as not all refugees are criminals and all crime is not blue collar crime.

Unfortunately, all the Alan Jones and Andrew Bolts of this world and all of the very very angry people on this thread will disagree most vehemently


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