Beware of trade unionists engaging in “accords”

The spirit of  the ALP Accord between business, government and unions during the Hawke administration has been invoked to support the “we are all in it together” initiative launched by the PM to sit around the table with selected people. John Roskam flagged some concerns about the selected people – the chosen few – to sit around the table.

Frankly, I’m surprised that someone like Scott Morrison, who I always thought had such a good understanding of mainstream Australia, would do something like this. First, he ignored the role of small business when he created his economic recovery council, and now he’s seeking the permission of the ACTU to get people back to work. In trying to win over the ACTU the Coalition has said it won’t proceed with its legislation to stamp out unlawful behaviour in the union movement. So in other words the ACTU has already had a big win without it even doing anything. What the government has done is completely misguided. Either it believes the legislation is necessary or it doesn’t. If you’re willing to drop something like this to please the ACTU, it reveals that maybe the government believes the legislation wasn’t really needed in the first place.
 
The attitude of the ACTU to Australians sharing the sacrifice of the coronavirus crisis was summed up in its response to the NSW government’s plans to delay (yes – merely delay) pay increases for public servants, in exchange for no job losses in the public sector. The ACTU said it was a ‘terrible decision’ and said they’d fight it.

John referred to Des Moore’s “not happy Bob” commentary on the Accord. Des makes the point that you shouldn’t believe everything you’ve heard about the Accords of the 1980s – in fact the recession had more to do with moderating wage demands from the unions and reducing strike activity than anything they agreed to with Labor did.

From Des Moore.  Read it all.

It is not possible here to detail the changes in economic policies which have been prevented, in substantial part, by opposition of union leaders. They include, however, such areas as taxation (consumption taxes and lower marginal rates of income tax), efficiency of public enterprises (total opposition to privatisation and resistance to exposing enterprises to competition), efficiency of private industries (resistance to faster reductions in protection), and labour market reform…

In essence, union influence exerted through the Accord has significantly slowed the rate of structural change in the Australian economy and inhibited business investment, thereby keeping down growth in productivity and living standards.

So who would you back in a contest between mediocrity and mendacity?

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14 Responses to Beware of trade unionists engaging in “accords”

  1. Exit Stage Right

    Rafe, your headline should be simply, “Beware of Trade Unionists”.
    This attempt by Malcolm lite to rule by consensus is a foolhardy attempt to embrace the ALP as brothers in arms.
    Fook me, why did I bother to vote Liberal?
    The Unions and the left in general are deranged, destructive, selfish bastards. They are not interested in whats good for the country. The Happy Clapper is gullible and so naive. Don’t dance with the enemy, Scotty.

  2. stackja

    Unions exist for future ALP MPs to become union organisers, while they await ALP preselection.

  3. Jim Rose

    The prices and wages accord guaranteed full wage indexation to the union movement after years of national wage cases where they got less than full indexation. In return for getting something for nothing, they promised wage restraint which was being imposed upon them already by the arbitration and conciliation commission

  4. Bruce of Newcastle

    Trade union officials tend to be people with a craving for power, like politicians, but who lack electability.

    There will always be ugly people in society who crave power. The art is to keep these people from becoming the Mugabes they will naturally become, if given rein to.

  5. min

    How can you get consensus when there appears to be two opposing goals?
    All I have heard from McManus is that she wants Job security and higher wages . How does one negotiate to get more people back to work when many employers have done it really tough trying to keep their businesses alive and pressures of what the unions and labor want maybe the last straw . Unionists and labor have no idea about running a small business where profits have to be earned and are not the result of people paying money to belong .
    ScoMo will have to run conflict resolution meeting before he even starts .

  6. Squirrel

    If they adopt the Accord practice of inflation-related percentage wage increases for those on low and lower middle salaries, and a standard flat dollar increase for all on higher incomes – most particularly for the public sector – this taxpayer won’t be too disappointed if nothing much else comes of this.

  7. Rob MW

    In essence, union influence exerted through the Accord has significantly slowed the rate of structural change in the Australian economy and inhibited business investment, thereby keeping down growth in productivity and living standards.

    Some might take issue with that given that the Union movement actually sped up the structural change by becoming exporters of Australian manufacturing jobs through their bloody-mindless obstruction in the understanding of how a market economy actually works – wages & conditions are more important than job creation.

    Before CoVid 19 John Howard fixed Australia’s unemployment figures by moving the long term unemployed from the official unemployment register onto the pensions scheme therefore artificially reducing the official unemployment rate making him an economic genius but, in effect, boldened the Unions to go even harder because we now had effectively full employment and an uncompetitive employee market and not a competitive jobs market.

  8. Robber Baron

    Morrison continues the Turnbull era of creepibg Greens Marxism.

    It’s lambs to the slaughter for the Kulaks.

  9. Entropy

    Frankly, I’m surprised that someone like Scott Morrison, who I always thought had such a good understanding of mainstream Australia, would do something like this. First, he ignored the role of small business when he created his economic recovery council, and now he’s seeking the permission of the ACTU to get people back to work.

    Why is Roskam surprised the political class is getting together to make sure they are alright first? ScoMo and the head of a super union have a lot more in common with each other than they do with a small business owner or one of the few remaining workers on the shop floor.

  10. Petros

    Are small businesses represented at this thing? Given that they employ about 40 percent of people in this country then they should have a large representation at this level.

  11. Spurgeon Monkfish III

    Are small businesses represented at this thing?

    No, which is why Roskam has been blasting SloMao incessantly since the latter announced “this thing”.

    Speaking of SloMao, he really is an irredeemable mediocrity. Just when I think he couldn’t possibly be any more staggeringly useless, incompetent or tin eared, he ups the ante (or keeps digging, if you prefer) – again.

    The stupid forking gliberals may as well have retained Waffles Turnbuckle. Mind you, we’d now have been gifted with a Teats Peanuthead regime for over a year, which would have been only marginally worse.

  12. Cynic of Ayr

    FFS, Morrison and every Liberal Politician since Jesus could tie the laces on his sandals, has done nothing to curb union power.
    They do nothing about the ABC, and the ABC makes the Unions look like kids at a picnic.
    Morrison is the same as the others. His ego thinks he can sway the unions to be on his side, the same as he goes on the ABC, expecting to sway the ABC audience to vote for him.
    Neither will ever vote or side with conservatives.

  13. candy

    Neither will ever vote or side with conservatives.

    I think they will if Morrison and LNP take the final plunge and fully embrace climate change.

    They see Morrison as a Turnbull, ambitious for himself and his group of followers and can chip away at him to go the renewable path, abandoning the union legislation to crack down on rogue unions etc, deals done behind closed doors.

  14. Soberinthemorning

    I knew Des Moore. He was a stupid old fart, way over promoted by John Stone, who at least was clever, if still a narcissistic asshole.

    Still even a stopped clock is right every now and then.

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