Economy

Jul 24, 2017

Are nasty, aggro unions creating havoc for Aussie businesses? Well no, not really.

In the last five years Australia has enjoyed a period of industrial relations peace that no one would have believed in the 1980s.

Bernard Keane — Politics editor

Bernard Keane

Politics editor

If you listened to the Coalition or Australian business, you might think Australia is struggling with the terrible threat of irresponsible, corrupt unions running amok, creating havoc for businesses and ruining the economy.

As everyone knows, that, of course, doesn't quite measure up to the extended period of wage stagnation that Australian workers have endured, so bad that even the Treasurer doesn't think it's a good thing.

Free Trial

You've hit members-only content.

Sign up for a FREE 21-day trial to keep reading and get the best of Crikey straight to your inbox

By starting a free trial, you agree to accept Crikey’s terms and conditions

7 comments

Leave a comment

7 thoughts on “Are nasty, aggro unions creating havoc for Aussie businesses? Well no, not really.

  1. Tony Syad

    The CFMEU was the only party in Queensland to object to mining health standards – that have eventually resulted in a rediscovery of black lung. All other parties were complicit. Even existing mine workers, discovering that they had black lung, did not want that know – to avoid being immediately sacked.

  2. lykurgus

    “Right, bruvvers! These cunts aren’t comin’ good on any of our demands – everybody fuckin’ OUT!”
    James Pearson, ACCI, wants to bring THOSE days back. But in all fairness, he WAS the High Commissioner to Vanuatu then (and only entered the private sector in 2000), so “cargo cults” IS his background.

  3. Dog's Breakfast

    Yeah, anyone who lived here during the 70’s and the early 80’s, train strikes at least twice a year, bus strikes, postal strikes, construction strikes, green bans, black bans, etc, blimey, it’s like a golden paradise comparatively.

    I too look back to the good old days, when unions could and did represent their workers, and could meet with business where both held some power rather than a major company negotiating with an individual who is desperate for work.

  4. John Hall

    I am amazed how the younger generation don’t get the value of union membership to their wellbeing. We have so much continued rip offs like 7/11 staff , the garment industry, cleaning companies, backpackers etc. Government needs to take a more active role in ensuring that these ripoffs don’t continue & publicly shame the offenders.

    1. gerald butler

      They can’t, Liberals love the old master/servant paradigm with no pesky unions interfering. Then the benevolent (or not) master can dole out earned rewards (or not). Almost all good changes for the common herd have come from the unions and the Labor party.

  5. AR

    There y’go again with that facty stuff – it is not relevant to this political ideology. If workers dropped dead from starvation they’d want to charge the bereaved for removing the corpses from the premises.

  6. Barnes Graham

    Don’t confuse the bosses with facts, Bernard – their tiny little minds, so fatigued with worrying about unions, can’t cope with facts.

Share this article with a friend

Just fill out the fields below and we'll send your friend a link to this article along with a message from you.

Your details

Your friend's details

Sending...