Under camouflage of anti-bikie (accepted by the Labor party) and sexual offenders legislation, Qld Attorney General, Jarrod Blejie, took away workers rights to a safe work environment and took away rights to privacy of their health history and cover.
Extensive changes to Industrial Relations laws are yet to be analysed owing to the complexity of the legislation passed in the dead of night. A few moans from the Labor Party and it was all over. Another defeat for the class (not the school room, kiddies) … another victory for capitalism.
About 500 union members have rallied at lunch time (while other workers are at work) to protest the LNP government’s Workcover legislation rushed through the Parliament this week .
Kiddies at school could be heard singing the following anthem as their Mum’s and Dad’s (mostly from union office) slumped back to work from the lunchtime stoppage:
Life is Great in the Sunshine State
Every Queensland heart sings a song;
To its table lands, such a shame
We wont be around for long.
And our faith is great in the Sunshine State
For our Queensland future is sold;
From the northern cane to the western plain
Queensland Rail is about to fold
.All the while every mile, there’s a sorry smile
And a golden handshake for the bosses.
For friendship’s great in the Sunshine State,
Unless they sack your mate or lock her out at the gate.
The new laws will introduce a common law claim threshold of a 5% impairment (reportedly eliminating 50% of common law claims) and see workers injury/claim history made available to prospective employers if requested.
Queensland’s Workcover scheme is the second cheapest in the country in terms of cost to employers, the most efficient in terms of return to work for injured employees and returned a $517 million profit to the government last year.
The bipartisan parliamentary committee that reviewed the Workcover scheme recommended that it not be changed as it was best practice and cost-effective.
Why then would the LNP government ignore all of the facts to rush through changes that will see Queensland workers worse off?
And how easily they got away with it with minimal parliamentary response. Unions still reeling from the loss of Labour Day, a defeat of the class at the ballot box, now face the litmus test.
Can they muster sufficient mobilizing power to tackle laws that are worse than WorkChoices ‘cos they take away the notion of being able to sure that they will return home safe from a working day. Business and employers are laughing all the way to the bank, their compo claims have been reduced over nigfht.
Lawyers are upset because common law rights to sue for injury at work have been halved.
Teachers are talking about taking unprotected action over changes to federal education laws that reduce equality across the teaching profession.
Will teachers union officials back their strong talk with action or will they renege at the last moment?
Meanwhile at University union organisers are struggling to get members even interested in a ballot for industrial action on their log of claims.
So what now, people? Well, I’ll have a punt and say that bikies will not take the new laws lying down, they will hand in their colours, go underground and come back fighting after they see their leaders in jail wearing pink jumpsuits. If a cop gets killed, Jarrod Blejie is to blame. Meanwhile on the other side of town John Battams and his accolytes at the QCU are trying to think up a way of stopping the teachers from taking unprotected action against legislated inequality in the class rooms.
Who knows what the sexual offenders legislation is all about?
In Canberra Tony Abbott (Tannous Abboot) is scheming on returning his budget to surplus by selling Australia Post. The post office is returning overseas postcards to the sender in a vain attempt to suck more postage out of us.
Meanwhile, anyone who has a proper job that doesn’t feel alienated or isn’t considering quitting as a form of protest gets the Emma Golburn award for courage in the face of adversity.
21 October 2013