Working Australia under Tony Abbott

Recently the ACTU commissioned a report “Working Australia Census 2011”.

The findings are not only an analysis of 41,5784 valid completions of this census but in conjunction with this, the ACTU posed questions to a representative sample of 1,000 Australians using an online public poll. This public poll was intended to be a benchmark so as to provide a point of comparison with the census results.

It will come as no surprise that the results of this Census reveal that Australia is lagging behind the developed world when it comes to job security with approximately 40%of our workforce employed as either casual and contract. This means that almost 25% of all employees which total more than 2 million people are employed on a casual basis.

However the new news is that rather than as one would expect, that those in insecure employment are not low skilled and poorly educated but rather are university educated. It therefore could be argued that the new ‘flexibility’ in the workforce has gone all the way of the employer and has disproportionately effected those higher up the ranks of the educated. There has been some puzzlement as to why Australians, so wealthy and faring the GFC so well feel so hard done by..perhaps here is one reason.

Which brings us to where Tony Abbott’s attitude lies. Certainly at the start of the previous election campaign Abbott famously declared that WorkChoices is “dead, buried and cremated”. Although it is on Hansard as follows:

“There was a further round of workplace relations reform, which was a political mistake, but let us be under no illusions: it was economically advantageous.” **

Source: House of Reps, Hansard, 9 September 2009

However, to date Abbott has successfully avoided taking a stance via avoiding making any worthwhile policy statements, at least none that hold up under any form of reasonable scrutiny – but will he finally be forced to? And will the polls then start to say something different once it is realized that the Tony Abbott of 2009 is the Tony Abbott of 2011/12.

36 comments on “Working Australia under Tony Abbott

  1. “40%of our workforce employed as either casual and contract. ”


    We are not talking about young workers, working in their spare time or after school.

    We are talking about men and women with young families trying to get ahead.

    How far does one believe you get with the bank manger when seeking a home loan with a work record that does not allow you to say where you will be working in six months, let alone what you will be earning.

    You are even unable to plan a holiday. You sign contacts, and if you are lucky, they run the distance. You turn down work, believing you have work for Te next few weeks, to find out the next day, the job has finished. A lovely way to work. Sometimes the money is extra good. Sometimes all you can get is shit.

    Sorry, the workforce is flexible enough.

    What the employer is losing, is the input of the worker into the best way to run his business. There is no worker loyalty being developed.

    We are back to the days of body hire. The difference is that you do not line up on the street. You spend hours before your computer seeking work.

    It is going to be hell if the unemploymnet figures go up.

  2. My guess is that he’ll avoid publishing policy until the last minute to avoid scrutiny. Even when he’s forced to he’ll come up with stuff that can be sold with a slogan. Once in writing his policies won’t be worth the paper they’re printed on. He’ll run true to form. Things like the long promised parental leave will surely have to be jettisoned eventually, but it will be because of the great big bad debt, that Labor left behind.

  3. CU, you are certainly spot on with that one. I know of a university graduate in his 30’s who is working 4 jobs all temporary contracts which as you say makes it impossible to get a housing loan.

  4. Patricia, I agree. I think that it also should be remembered that in the past some of Tony Abbott’s policies have crossed the border into froot-loop territory. One that comes to mind is how he wants that there to be 2 forms of marriage in Australia – one the same as at the moment with there being only one ground for divorce, the other he wants to be a ‘faults based’ marriage with people sent to the courts …as in the less than good-old-days. With Abbott this is clearly pandering to his Roman Catholic religious background..and there will be more of those IF Australia is unfortunate enough to elect the LNP to government with him as leader.

  5. And Min
    What type of marriage contract does Mr Abbott envisage for himself?
    What is the “one ground for divorce”?

  6. That was a fairly interesting report by the least for yours truly. Apparently Australia also compares very unfavorably re ‘insecure work’..that is, for example in Spain temporary positions are in the vast majority to do with agriculture, but in Australia it’s people with university degrees.

    The young chap I mentioned earlier said that he feels as if he is in a continual cycle of work and job hunting.

  7. Assuming Yabbott is the next PM and Labor is out for a decade, it will give them plenty of time to bring back WorkChoices.

    Not in the first term, no need to rush, he’ll have a mandate.

  8. El gordo, it’s an absolute one of the first things that Abbott will bring back is WorkChoices..he has to pay the piper. And as far as the rest of an imaginary Abbott term…recriminalise abortion…place bans on anything which doesn’t conform with Catholic Church doctrine. Spend MEGA advertising to promote his non-existent reforms. Chuck maternity leave that will be one of the first to go, have mega photos of himself smiling with a shovel..that’s will be where all the $s go for his Green Army, publicity shots for himself.

  9. Abbott’s Green Army will get scratched before it even gets anywhere near the starting gate. You can’t have those pesky things called trees interferring with genuine real work now can you.

  10. Leopards, spots, Min. Great post.

    CU, you’ve nailed it as usual.

    patriciawa, he’ll be buggered if the budget’s in surplus, which I’m sure the government will shift heaven and earth to achieve for the following reasons:

    1) The PM has promised to be in the black by 2013 and unfortunately even if there is a fresh GFC or other financial crisis, the politics is so toxic that she’ll be crucified if the great god surplus is not delivered, unless in the meantime the Murdochracy is crippled, honest reporting is resumed in this country and the rug is ripped out from under Liealot’s feet.

    2) If the budget is in surplus, there’s no get out of gaol card for Liealot, so he’ll have to own all his policy f*ck ups. It would be worth the pain just to see that. It’d be like watching a herd of rats trapped in a sewer.

    I can just see Sloppy’s piggy eyes darting everywhere as he tries to please explain why they’ve pulled the pin on their promises and squandered the surplus!

    I wonder if they’d try to spin a Labor surplus as a negative. There’s enough idiots among the cheerleaders who’d buy that backflip with double twist and triple pike. lol

    el gordo, people have had a taste of SerfChoices. Only the most blinkered cheerleader will think breaking that promise is a good thing. And when he breaks all the other “promises”, which he will do, he’ll have to have a particularly good spin doctor to talk his way out of that.

    And let’s not forget the media enquiry and the continuing woes for the Murdochracy may mean he’s not the msm’s favourite son any more.

    Min @12.50pm, I doubt he even remembers that promise.

  11. If Tony Abbott is elected PM there is no doubt that Work Choices will be re implemented. It will be renamed of course but ti will be Work Choices.

    Tony will need to repay the big business end of town and this will be his gift.

    Just the same as Barry O’Farrell gave $300 million tax break to clubs while slashing the rebate for solar energy for the public.

  12. Shane, absolutely. There is no doubt whatsoever that Abbott will bring back WorkChoices because after all, he will have a mandate. I’ve lost count of the times when Howard would sit there his beady little eyes darting to and fro saying, I have a mandate…

  13. Sue, it is a shame for Mr. Abbott that the only way to have a mandate, is to get the numbers on the floor of the lower house.

    That is the one thing he does not nor ever had.

  14. He is pragmatic and will remain a small target, Tony has the political nous that Julia lacks.

    You’re a laugh a post el gordo, and so wrong yet again.

    Abbott has no political nous at all, which is why he is a one trick pony and has to keep to strict stage managed public appearances, something a PM cannot do. So that has nothing to do with political nous, of which Gillard has bucket loads having gotten the best of Abbott in parliament and when she was in opposition time and again.

    As to Abbott being pragmatic, just what parallel universe is that Abbott from.

  15. Mobius, that reminds me of the public forums prior to the last election. Stage managed is right! Of special note is the one where Gillard was subjected to a set-up..alone propped on a stool in the center of the stage, whereas Abbott romped in to speak 2nd and mingled with the crowd.

  16. Our lovely work place. It is a fact that where the boss and his workers pull together, productivity grows. The worker has as much a stake in the business growing, as does the boss.

    “..What we have in Australia now is a crisis of insecure work,” he told union members in Sydney today.

    “No longer are there jobs that you can rely on to support families in Australia.

    “Insecure work has impacted on people who need a regular income that is required to support their families.”

    Mr Lawrence said there were now more insecure workers than ever before and that “every year that number is growing faster”.

    “Insecure work is no longer, if it ever was in fact, the domain of students, or those caring for children,” he said.

    The campaign launch heard there are more than two million workers nationwide employed on a casual basis, while about one million workers are contractors….

    Read more:

  17. Reb, you maybe correct but we are not the original Aboriginals.

    Even if our people have been here for a little over two hundren years, we are still late comers.

  18. If Mr. Abbott is telling the truth, the turnouts are truly shocking. Mr. Abbott seems to be having problems putting bums on seats, if photos of the gathering’s are true.

    “This week I have been in the electorates of Bass in northern Tasmania, Lyne and Cowper on the NSW north coast and Bonner in outer-metropolitan Brisbane. In each of them, I hosted a community forum: an hour’s question and answer session with members of the public.

    True, community meetings arranged by local Coalition MPs and senators tend to have an anti-Labor flavour even when the invitations have been sent to local community groups and to people thought to be swinging voters. …

    ….First, people don’t think Julia Gillard was ever really elected.

    Twice, she was selected, not elected: first, by the faceless men when she replaced Kevin Rudd; and second, by the independents after last year’s inconclusive election. This is at the heart of her authority problem…”

    People or Mr. Abbott.

    I have no problem in that she was elected both times.

    First by members of the caucus.

    Secondly when she had the numbers of elected members, on the floor of the lower house to form a government.

    “….Third, people think the current government is terminally incompetent: it could execute a prime minister but it can’t execute a programme. Whether it’s combustible roof batts, over-priced school halls, the National Broadband Network white elephant, the closed down live cattle export trade, the closing down Tasmanian forest industry, or the border protection disaster, everything this government touches turns to mush…”

    Most of these claims are false but belong to the previous government. It would be nice to see him having something new to say.

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