Red Alert

Hate to say it, but in Australia…….

Posted by on March 23rd, 2012

As New Zealand workers face growing employer militancy with lockouts and demands for give-backs, Australia has been getting on with ensuring secure jobs and improving the pay and conditions of more vulnerable workers.

I’m really pleased to see that the Road Safety Remuneration Bill passed with a resounding vote in favour in the Senate.  It comes after a long running campaign to make roads safer for all users by taking the pressure from truckies to work long hours, take short cuts and scrimp on maintenance just to earn a living.

I tried to get an inquiry into NZ truck safety and its relationship with remuneration a couple of years ago, but was blocked by the National Party, despite evidence of a trucking nightmare in New Zealand.

The problem hasn’t gone away.  There is still one truck related death a week in New Zealand.  Many drivers are owner-drivers, so they have no employment rights, because they are in a commercial arrangement. Some do okay, but others are struggling. Other driving industries, such as the Courier Industry also face enormous pressure.

I just want to see people earn fair income for the work they do.

The other bill the Australian Senate passed this week is the Fair Work Amendment (Textile, Clothing and Footwear Inudstry) Bill which extends most provisions of the Fair Work Act to contract outworkers in the textile, clothing and footwear industry by deeming them to be employees. Our legislation covers “Homeworkers” and deems them to be employees, which came about after serious exploitation of Homecare workers in the 1990′s and a major court decision.

It may be that we are ahead of Australia in this instance, but their legislation provides a good study on how we might tackle the ever increasing dependent contracting arrangements in New Zealand.

But wait…. does National care?


13 Responses to “Hate to say it, but in Australia…….”

  1. Spud says:

    :-( Lucky Australia! :-( :-( :-( !

  2. Jack Ramaka says:

    The wealth transfer continues until workers wages get down to the minimum wage equivalent in China, the Tories will not be happy.

    If Chinese can work for a $1.00 a day why not kiwis.

  3. Doug says:

    As New Zealand workers face growing employer militancy with lockouts and demands for give-backs, Australia has been getting on with ensuring secure jobs and improving the pay and conditions of more vulnerable workers.
    Really!!
    http://www.smh.com.au/business/asciano-appeal-on-port-dispute-20120316-1vaqx.html

    ASCIANO has escalated its long-running dispute with 1200 wharfies at ports around Australia, calling on the federal government to step in to ensure a resolution.

  4. Doug says:

    Lucky Australia.

    In February 2012 according to Roy Morgan:

    Unemployment was 9.7% (down 0.6% since January 2012) — an estimated 1,182,000 Australians were unemployed and looking for work.

    A further 7.9% (up 0.4%) of the workforce* were working part-time looking for more work (underemployed) — 962,000 Australians.

    In total 17.5% (down 0.3%) of the workforce, or 2.14 million Australians, were unemployed or underemployed.

    The Australian workforce* in February was at 12,228,000, (down from a record high of 12,429,000 in January, 2012 but up 531,000 since February 2011) — comprising 8,000,000 full-time workers (up 8,000 since February 2011); 4,228,000 part-time workers (up 523,000 since February 2011) and 1,182,000 looking for work (up 255,000 since February 2011).

  5. al1ens says:

    When I decided I wanted to live in the southern hemisphere, as an Englishman, my obvious choices were Aus and NZ.
    Coming from the dying north, the scenery, quality of life and local idiosyncrasies etc… were always going to be great wherever I landed.
    The main overiding factor in my decision to privately colonise NZ were no venemous creatures, and that Australia is sadly full of aussies :lol:

  6. al1ens says:

    Imagine, to my surprise, that aus is full of kiwis.
    And NZ has a bilious vomiting whale and poisonous cacti. :lol

  7. well, well, well says:

    {Deleted. Please don’t make things up and spray around insults, Grant}

  8. Spud says:

    @Doug – I meant about the fair work thing, but they good points! 8O

    @Al1ens – :-D

  9. Doug says:

    {deleted, off topic. MPs decide what they want to post about. Grant}

  10. John Ryall says:

    Just a factual correction Darien.

    The “homeworkers” definition was in NZ legislation well prior to the 1996 case over the home support workers. It was originally designed to protect clothing outworkers, but the provision was used by the Service and Food Workers Union to extend it to a growing group of workers who were being employed as individual contractors on less than the minimum wage by Regional Health Authorities to support older people in their homes.

    Following the union winning this case, the Labour Government in 2000 then reworded the provision to take into account the coverage this new group of workers.

  11. Bea says:

    I’d also note that Australia’s gender pay gap (17.6% per Herald Sun) is close to double that of New Zealand (9.6% per Scoop).
    As far as fair pay for fair work is concerned, I don’t know that Australia is a great example.

  12. Nathan Mills says:

    Parallels with the POAL in Aussies PCKT miners. Victorian Nurses ordered back to work by Federal Court order, teachers still planning strikes, Qantas saga, lol even their DOC workers are going on strike. On the upside, the security guards at the mint are looking to picket for three days, presumedly leaving billions of shiny new dollars strewn around the place and unattended :)