Mar 14, 2014

How the FWA was a miserable failure — at justifying business hysteria

Last year was the second lowest year for industrial disputes since records began. So much for business claims it would lead to industrial chaos.

Bernard Keane — Politics editor

Bernard Keane

Politics editor

At Crikey we’ve often noted how the Fair Work Act, which we were told would undermine workplace productivity, has resulted in a rise in labour productivity and low wages growth, when we were told it would lead to a wages breakout.


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8 thoughts on “How the FWA was a miserable failure — at justifying business hysteria

  1. Steve777

    Really, AIG and ACCI functionaries should be challenged whenever they lament the level of industrial dispution or difficulties in dealing with their employees. They should be asked: What is the basis of their case? Can they prove what they are asserting? The numbers clearly don’t support their whinging.

  2. Dogs breakfast

    BK, you have some of the name wrong. It’s the Australian Industry Union, and the Aust. Union of Commerce and Industry, and the Business Union.

    Apart from that, yes, it’s very rude of you to point out that none of their bone-headed arguments rely on actual facts. It’s an ongoing concern that the great corporate geniuses that run Australia don’t know that productivity is not a function of wages, and that lowering wages does nothing to productivity, except possibility de-motivating staff who may just work that little bit slower.

  3. The Hood

    Well let’s talk about the ever repeating formula here. A chairman, CEO or industry spokesman gets up and gives a speech to the converted at a tax deductible piss up like the Australian minerals or mining or energy industry group love in and he tells them what they want to hear with zero facts to back up his own personnel prejudices. News Corp press swallows it word for word and the AFR puts it on the front page with human interest photo etc and some days later will have one of their commentators pull the whole bullshyte story apart piece by piece in an analysis piece on page 64. But who reads that?

  4. condel

    No laws can ever be passed to stop right to strike, just do it.

    But as is right – you take your chances and do not believe anyone – it’s 50/50.

  5. fredex

    I would love to see, on the same graph using the same scales, “Working days lost per 1000 employees, quarterly average from work-related injury and disease”.

    And then compare to the graph for days lost to disputes.

    You would think that would be easy to do, just look the numbers up at the ABS.
    I couldn’t find them – might be my fault but if they are there then they were hiding from me.

    I did find out how many people suffer from work related injuries and disease in recent years – around 700,000 per year.
    Seems a helluva lot to me, I wonder why all those worthies quoted in the article aren’t up in arms about that.

  6. tonyfunnywalker

    If it ain’t broke why do we need to fix it? The Work-choices alternative preformed poorly in comparison. Its ideology versus facts again. There is a need for the Labor party to start putting a ” truth the lie ” that Abbott is getting away with – same with Climate Change, Health, Education. The acquiescence to the unelected “Soviet like” Liberal Praesidium of the Institute of Public Affairs – the faceless men that drive policy for their own self serving ends.

  7. Tyger Tyger

    You have to love the way attacks on workers and unions are always led by groups such as the ACC, the BCA and the AIG:
    “Employer unions good, employee unions bad.”

  8. bluepoppy

    Agree with Tyger Tyger. Employer unions looking out for an elite group ie. the minority. They don’t get that growing gap between rich and poor ultimately has consequences for everyone.

    Labor really poor at getting across the failures in Coalition argument on many fronts including mineral wealth taxes, workplace, climate change etc. Shorten proving to be a poor choice.

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