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Holy fuck! An update! - Ramblings from Baron von Explosion [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]

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Holy fuck! An update! [Apr. 1st, 2008|07:03 pm]
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[mood |sicksick]

Yeah, so it looks like that lofty goal I had of a column per week has been blown out of the water. On reflection that's not so surprising, given that I'm working just under ten hours a day four days a week and the fifth day I'm at university. Add in study, sleep, an oncoming cold and the occasional bout of mindless self-indulgence, I haven't really felt the urge to put pen to paper - or finger to keyboard, if you will.

Oh, it must be bad. I'm recycling my jokes.

It's not that I'm out of ideas, either; throughout my diary are little jotted notes from day to day of ideas for columns, sadly most of which were highly topical and now a little aged. Not in the good way, either. I had a nice piece about NSW MP Peter Lindsay mouthing off again about... something, back in February. Buggered if I can remember what. I was going to do another good one about how much it must suck to be Brendan Nelson right now back in the first week of March. In all fairness, that one's still good and probably will continue to be for the rest of his life.

I've also got one about WorkChoices and AWAs and a certain company that pays certain monies to me on a regular basis that I'm not wholly comfortable about posting less there be some kind of blowback.

Seriously, it looks to me like winning the internal election to take the helm of the Liberal party was a really bad career move. Not only has he got Tony Abbott (snigger) and Malcolm Turnbull (worrying) indulging in their own private political machinations behind his back to try to engineer their way into the top job, he's also been faced with rumours in the past month that Peter Costello (uh-oh) hasn't discounted the possibility of coming back.

That said, the Liberals really aren't doing a particularly good job of persuading us that they're a serious contender for the federal government. We (look, I say we, but I mean I. All bloggers do. We [no, this time I actually mean we, as in, bloggers] say that so it sounds like we actually know what we're talking about and what popular opinion is, which is laughable when you consider what a bunch of shut-ins we [I, that time] are.) keep getting nothing from them but knee-jerk gainsaying of whatever the Labor party says along with pointless, trivial rubbish. Most recently the hissy fit thrown by one of the Shadow Ministers (man, that's an awesome job title) about Kevin Rudd getting donations from a large Chinese IT and industrial concern, and being on vaguely friendly terms with the CEO; the accusation being that he was bought out by a foreign company.

This of course blew back in the Minister's face when it was revealed that head of the National party and former deputy PM Mark Vaile had buggered off overseas to go be a paid consultant for some resources company while at the same time drawing pay as an opposition member. It was also pointed out that the same Chinese firm that had given money to the Labor party had given a similar sum to the Liberals.

If they want to be taken seriously in time for the next election, when most political hacks are picking Labor to increase their lead, the Libs really need to lift their game and come up with some new, believable policies. They also really do need to make a firm commitment to not bring back WorkChoices. Oh, and they really, really need solid leadership. Right now it looks like there are at least three chefs and that broth is turning into more of an irish stew.

tl;dr: lots of words bemoaning my lack of free time to post updates mixed with a dry review of the Liberal Party's time in opposition thus far, sadly lacking in jokes.

[User Picture]From: ozzyols
2008-04-01 03:21 pm (UTC)
It was interesting to watch the ABC the other night when they looked into the changes post AWA that have been implemented. It seems that there has been a lot of rewording, but when you get down to the brass tacks... it's pretty much the same deal... nothing has really been changed.

You should be okay for while though with your AWA it's usually for a couple of years.

Also - people got flustered about AWA's when they first came out... Australia has ALWAYS had them... they were called EBA's Enterprise bargaining agreements!

I remember when the bus strike was on back in 2001. there were 4 driving companies... Path, Swan, Southern Coast and Connex. Only Swan didn't go out on strike for better conditions. The reason. Swan when they took over the southern route had called all their workers in and negotiated a deal.... Their deal was... They would be paid XX% above what ever the going rate was across the board, they worked a 5 day shift to be negotiated to their leisure, that rate was regardless of what day you worked (with exception of public holidays) so John opted for mon-fri from 9-5 cause that suited his life style. While Stu chose to work from Thurs-Mon cause he wanted his days off in the middle of the week. By raising the over all rate and not having to pay penalties left right and centre, the staff who were working weekdays were happy and those who normally worked the penalties weren't any worse off because they were able to get more hours.

Meanwhile - we couldn't provide any time table information because the other three bastard companies were on strike! Suffice to say, Swan took over Connex when it went belly up, and the staff there - at first were concerned, but they ended up liking the agreement.

I remember also when SPC was going belly up big time - it was a closed shop deal. The bosses when to the union and said, if you can get your members (ie everyone) to take a 30% pay cut for a year, we will put it in writing to feed this back as capital to the company and get the business back in the black and they would get a bonus at the end of the year.

Union: What if they don't
SPC: We will have to lay staff off to get the money that way.

The union went back to it's members and told them...

Union: Management says take a 30% pay cut or get laid off.

Suffice to say the staff went on strike.

One guy who really needed his job went and made an appointment with the managing director and asked why they were doing this. The manager explained what they had said in the meeting to the union leaders.

The guy went back on the floor (with the manager this time) and told them exactly what had been originally planned.

The result was it was the first time that the staff told a union to fuck off kicked them out of the building completely and they created an EBA and the company was true to it's word. 12 months later, SPC was back on it's feet, all staff were retained (and some new ones taken on) and they got their bonus.

I believe unions etc have their place, but shit they have to learn to act in moderation... if you swing wildly to the right of course your opposition is going to go the exact same distance in the OPPOSITE direction (Pick the person who has been raised by a moderate union leader :D)

okay rant over!
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[User Picture]From: karlski
2008-04-01 11:07 pm (UTC)
Flippant answer ahoy - don't get offended. I'm quite ill and irascible.

Basically yes, that's all well and good, but then you have the AWA which a friend of mine, let's call him Barlski, has been given. This agreement wasn't negotiable, there was no discussion and he was pushed into signing it for fear of being fired otherwise which, since he was a contractor at the time, was perfectly legal.

So yeah, totally, an AWA which cannot be negotiated or changed in any way shape or form and which you are pressured into signing and which gives you performance-based incentives when roughly half of your work is dependent on the speed of remote operators is just a simply fantastic concept. Yeah, that's an individually negotiated contract that's better for employer and employee.

Pardon me while I go have a sarcasm fit in the corner.
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[User Picture]From: ozzyols
2008-04-01 11:13 pm (UTC)
Ahhh me thinks me seeing the light!

Well that sucks... but was the AWA negotiated at all by Barlski's company union? I know our ones are in consultation.
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[User Picture]From: karlski
2008-04-01 11:55 pm (UTC)
The AWA was not available for negotiation.

At all.

The company had decided that this is what they were going to offer, hope you like it.
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