foodora gig economy

Today in comments: condemnation of every business profiting off the growing and increasingly toxic gig economy, as well as the faceless bureaucrats arguably pushing us down the road to a police state. Solutions?It’s time for both groups to speak out and work towards shutting the whole thing down.


On the gig economy

Laurie Patton writes: The history of industrial relations here and in every so-called free enterprise country is that workers always need protection from unfair employment practices. The gig economy is little more than a return to the piece work and wage suppression it took trade unions a hundred years to eradicate. The internet has brought us many advances, but it should be subject to the same rules that apply outside the online world.

John Kotsopoulos writes: The gig economy is what you get when you allow a massive power imbalance to develop between workers and employers. The constant race to the bottom is not just harmful to employees but small business owners as well. The travails of franchisers caught in the toxic web of unfair franchise agreements is a lesson in what can happen. Meanwhile big business has prospered on the backs of employees and franchisers. It’s time the decent people in big business spoke out against this toxic environment that bodes ill for the economy generally. 

Kyle Hargraves writes: A good deal of the economy of the small business sector is treated as if the employees are de-facto contractors. Some places require an ABN to commence work. Hospitality, tourism tour-guides, including most part-time bus/coach drivers, diving instructors and aeroplane/helicopter grade 3 instructors, telephone sales and real-estate sales etc. are in this category — but the list is by no means exhaustive. There was a ruling from the ATO some years ago that if 80% of one’s income came from a single source than, prima facie, the recipient was an employee.

An interesting dot-joining exercise might be to ask the Opposition for its reasons in supporting tax cuts to large business or supporting security legislation as an alternative to plugging the holes in standard IR legislation.


On the road to a police state

BeenAround writes: There is s simple problem with Australian democracy. Our constitution guarantees basic institutions only, not citizens’ rights. That flaw is what is being exposed by Dutton and his ilk. An Australian bill of rights is long overdue because the basic institutions are not only failing to protect individual rights, they are at the very least complicit in the erosion of those constitutionally illusory rights.

Desmond Graham writes: Great work, keep it up and analyse each tentacle of the Commonwealth bureaucracy. What people do not realise is our Constitution is merely a compact between the states, mainly addressing commercial problems and the states giving up certain activities to make things work. The best antidote would be if the Commonwealth was constrained to return to its constitutional role; this would require politicians regaining control. Fat chance.

The High Court of Australia has been an accomplice in reducing the states’ rights and powers and consequently individuals’ protection – by stretching the words of the Constitution to expanding the power of the Commonwealth. Unfortunately we do not have the judiciary with the the enlightenment and principles that is embedded in the Supreme Court of the US. Our judiciary may be learned in the law but ignorant of the principles of democratic society.

Klewso writes: Meanwhile we have a media that could be calling these egomaniacs to account, embarrassing them in public, getting them to back off for fear of ballot-box retribution. But they are not — likely for fear of alienating those Limited News Party connections. They are emboldening them through mute complicity. Imagine Labor doing this… the way that media would be carrying on.


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