Articles on Industrial relations

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Tony Abbott has tough decisions to make on workplace reform before the next election. AAP

A return to WorkChoices: Why is business trying to hammer it home?

In one of the most significant moments of the 2010 federal election campaign, Opposition Leader Tony Abbott declared the Coalition’s unpopular WorkChoices policy “dead, buried, cremated.” In an interview…
Cutting penalty rates and reviving individual workplace agreements will have no impact on productivity. AAP

Workplace ‘reform’ won’t cure our ailing productivity

Business leaders are insisting changes be made to the Fair Work Act to boost productivity. Retailers apparently face a crisis because of penalty rates, and an MP agrees that penalty rates stymie productivity…
Expansion is behind a transitory decline in the mining sector productivity growth: but what’s the picture for other sectors? AAP

Australia’s productivity: what is the true picture behind our lagging growth?

Official explanations of the deterioration in Australia’s productivity growth have tended to emphasise the especially sharp declines in three sectors – agriculture, mining, and utilities (such as electricity…
Don Argus’s focus on industrial relations overlooks the real issues behind slowing productivity growth. AAP

Don Argus blames IR for productivity slump - but are other factors at work?

Former BHP Billiton Chairman Don Argus has blamed inflexible industrial relations laws for Australia’s lagging productivity, describing the Gillard Government’s economic reform agenda as “lazy”. Argus…
Peter Reith votes in the Liberal Federal presidency election. AAP

Peter Reith, Tony Abbott and the industrial relations maze

“Julia Gillard’s retrograde changes to workplace relations law are slowly burning our economy and in time the voices of embattled business will be heard across the country.” – Peter Reith, The Age, June…
A Melbourne picket line during the 1998 waterfront dispute. Takver's Soapbox/Wikipedia

Peter Reith: ‘true believer’ or party pooper

After his failed attempt at winning the Liberal Party presidency, Peter Reith has become a liberated soul. As president he would be expected to avoid controversy, especially on policy issues. But now…
The Labor government has shied away from making substantial changes in industrial relations law. AAP/Patrick Hamilton

Fair work? It’s all about political spin in industrial relations

Peter Reith’s spectacular re-emergence into Australian politics has enlivened the so-called “IR” debate. His intervention has called forth a flood of commentary, from Tony Abbott (who now supports “practical…
Few in the Liberal party are keen to see a potentially damaging return to the workplace debate. AAP

Party turmoil takes Reith off old Liberal wounds

With political debate dominated by carbon and mining taxes, the recent stirrings by Peter Reith about industrial relations may have come as a bit of a surprise – out of left field, if you will excuse the…
Peter Reith votes in the Liberal Federal presidency election. AAP

Back to the future with Peter Reith

I have some very fond memories of the mid 1980s. The fluoro shirts, the feathered haircuts, dancing to Wham! at the local blue light disco. But this week I’m having a disturbing ‘80s industrial relations…
Indigenous affairs minister Jenny Macklin must ensure policy reflect cultural differences.

Blaming individuals will get indigenous employment policy nowhere

The Gillard Government’s new discussion paper on indigenous welfare policy in the Northern Territory continues Labor’s rhetorical reliance on a loosely defined concept of the “dignity of work”. Federal…
FairWork Australia’s decision will allow young workers more flexibility. AAP

The after-school job is the comeback kid

Fair Work Australia’s decision to relax the minimum shift requirement for school kids from three hours to 90 minutes has been praised by employer groups and criticised by unions, who fear low-paid teens…

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