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.”



Any other creative minds who think they can do a better job of the
Government’s IR advertising – or the union advertising in response to
the new laws – should send their fertile thoughts to


[email protected]

.

Peter Fray

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