One of the arguments I have heard is that WorkChoices led to a relative decline in wages in some industries (specifically hospitality) while mining, for example, used WorkChoices to increase productivity.
Earlier in the week, Pollytics blog reported an Essential Research poll finding that most people believe that Tony Abbott would bring back WorkChoices. Labor has been dusting off its old anti-WorkChoices rhetoric to take political advantage of this.
But will the same scare campaign work twice?
Though many WorkChoices policies persisted well into the Rudd government’s first term – indeed some aspects of their re-regulated IR system didn’t start until last month – the stories of workers being ripped off by bastard bosses using WorkChoices over the last couple of years have been hard to find, certainly much harder than the anti-WorkChoices ACTU advertising before Howard’s defeat would have led us to believe.
Indeed, the WorkChoices era in the Australian labour market was remarkably good. Unemployment sank to 30 year lows before the GFC hit. Despite claims that bosses would use their new powers to ‘unfairly’ sack workers, involuntary job losses dropped to very low levels. Continue reading “Will the WorkChoices scare campaign work again?”