My piece in the Herald Sun this morning (an abridged version was in the Daily Telegraph) addresses the now familiar issues of SPC and the long history of subsidies to the car industry, a rag-bag of green firms and others. The dole that SPC Chairman Gonski sought was equivalent to an investment subsidy of 25 per cent. The cost of this would leave a budget deficit of over 15 per cent even if the generosity were not to attract additional claims as a result of it reducing the cost of investing.
Now we have the news that the reason for the troubled cost structure of SPC is that the leader of the AWU, one Bill Shorten, took the workers out on strike 10 years ago during harvest time and won a 13.5 per cent improvement in conditions including another 8 days R&R. Nice one Bill!
SPC and other cooperatives have some useful tax breaks stemming from their days as a cooperative. Unfortunately for Coca Cola Amatil, the rents from these and more have been absorbed by the monopoly over employment that unions have seized/been given by management.
The only way to ensure that we have productive industry and employment is for the various concessions on businesses to be unwound and the labour relations placed on a footing that allows a market to prevail.