Some nice observations from John Faulkner in the Senate
last night on an independent player in the workplace relations debate –
and how keen he is to talk to the Senate now, compared to what went on
in the days of A Certain Maritime Incident:

The voice advising the government today on work force
rights and workplace justice is Peter Hendy, Australian Chamber of
Commerce and Industry chief executive and, not coincidentally, Peter
Reith’s former chief of staff. Mr Hendy claims the government proposals
will boost productivity by increasing trade-offs for wages and
conditions in the workplace. I have no doubt about the trade-offs Mr
Hendy has in mind. Mr Hendy has real form.

Can we expect the
kinds of trade-offs that the employees of Patrick Stevedore found they
had to make when they arrived at their workplaces and found them locked
and patrolled by Rottweilers and by mercenaries in balaclavas? Will
they be the kinds of trade-offs that happen when your employer shifts
staff to a shelf company and assets are held in another company to
avoid fulfilling contracts and paying entitlements, as happened to
those waterside workers in 1998? Peter Hendy was in that plan up to his
neck. Any trade-offs and flexibility that Peter Hendy thinks are a good
idea ought to make working Australians both alert and alarmed.

appointment to this cushy sinecure at the Australian Chamber of
Commerce and Industry was a reward for his role in the notorious
children overboard deceit. When the Senate inquiry into A Certain
Maritime Incident sought to ask Mr Hendy about his role in that massive
fraud perpetrated on the Australian people, he was nowhere to be found.
On four occasions he was invited to appear to give evidence but not
once was Hendy willing to face the music. It was a very different story
with the recent grotesquely abbreviated Senate committee inquiry into
this Work Choices bill. Hendy could not get to the witness table fast
enough to ingratiate himself with the government, toadying to John
Howard and Kevin Andrews and singing the praises of this brutal attack
on working Australians. He was a key player in one of the most divisive
election campaigns that federal politics in this country has seen. It
is no surprise to see Peter Hendy, along with that other kids overboard
player and henchman, Ian Hanke, as camp followers to the government on
this legislation.