12. The IR ads the government should be running
Crikey's occasional corporate law correspondent Adam Schwab writes:
Much has been said about the fact that the Government is spending around $100 million advertising its planned changes to the Workplace Relations Act. But not much has been said about the pathetic advertisements that have so far been produced. The Government would be better off sacking their grossly overpaid advertising agency and media buyers and running ads like this:
Advertisement One: Cameras focuses on an employee rifling through the handbag of a fellow employee and removing money from her purse. Midway through the act the thieving employee is caught by a manager and summonsed to the manager's office. The manager tells the employee he can no longer trust him and that he will need to find another job, and offers the employee a generous one month payout. The employee swears at his manager and says he's going to call the union.
The next scene is a hearing at the Industrial Relations Commission in which the Commissioner announces that the dismissal was harsh, unjust or unreasonable and that the manager must re-employ the thief in his previous position as he was not given a proper warning before being dismissed. The Commissioner also announces that the thief is to receive pay in lieu for the time he was away from work. The advertisement then concludes with white writing on a black screen which reads:“The New Workplace Laws – Allowing thieves to be sacked."
Advertisement Two: The owner of a small firm (which has around 10 employees) gathers his staff around and tells them that due to a flood of Chinese imports the only way the business can survive is to lay off four staff members. The ad then flips to a scene in the Industrial Relations Commission, in which the four sacked staff members are awarded six months' pay because the redundancy was not deemed to be fair by a commissioner who also happened to be a former union boss.
The next scene shows the business owner shutting the gates to his business and apologising to the six hard-working staff members who lost their positions when the business went bankrupt. The advertisement then concludes with white writing on a black screen which reads: “The New Workplace Laws – Saving Australian jobs."
Advertisement Three: Three CFMEU members in workers attire are standing around a building site. One of the builders looks at his watch – it is 11.30am. Another builder says he has had enough work for the day and that they should head across to the pub. Four hours later, their supervisor strolls into the pub and notices the three builders in a drunken state. He asks them why they have been in the pub for so long. One of the builders replies: “safety concerns." The supervisor asks what exactly were the safety issues, to which the builder replies: “can't remember."
The next scene shows Premier of Victoria, Steve Bracks, announcing that the Spencer Street Rail Development, like Federation Square, will be completed two years after its scheduled completion date and won't be ready in time for the Commonwealth Games. The last scene is of a Japanese businessman who announces that his company will no longer be building a new factory which was to employ more than 1,000 people in Melbourne, due to industrial relations concerns, but instead will build the factory in New Zealand. The advertisement then concludes with white writing on a black screen which reads: “The New Workplace Laws – Creating Jobs for honest Australians."
Friday, October 14, 2005
Another take on IR reform
I was impressed by this take on the government's IR reforms, published on (in?) Crikey today and written by an old friend of a friend of mine. After starting from a fairly neutral perspective, I'm becoming swayed by the merits of the IR reforms and am growing tired of union sob-stories. Plenty more to come, though, I'm sure: