Comments on Michael Stutchbury “Boneheads are back on the streets”, 1/07/2009, http://blogs.theaustralian.news.com.au/currentaccount/index.php/theaustralian/comments/boneheads_are_back_on_the_streets/
The Rudd government was given a mandate to abolish Work Choices and replace it with a better and fair one. Work Choices just went too far in reforming workplace relations. As a result, it lost the support of most Australians.
In the same token, it seems the current new regime of workplace relations under Rudd / Gillard is doing the same – it has gone too far but in just the opposite direction.
The rights of every working person in Australia should be protected. Naturally, most individual employees are more vulnerable compared to most employers when employees and employers come together and negotiate working conditions and pays. There are clearly needs for laws to protect the rights of working people.
There can also be an appropriate role for unions to play. However, the role for unions should not be mandatory. Employees should have the right to have individual agreements if that is what they so choose.
A fair and productive work relations regime is important in both protecting the rights of employees and employers and being conducive to productivity. Neither too far to the right or the left is right. It needs a balanced approach.
Diversity also has its virtual. Forcing people to go either for the former AWAs or collective agreement will not be best for Australia.
It seems there is a need for more fundamental reforms to the regime governing work place relations. There should be a mechanism that can prevent any government from going too far to either direction.