||Issue No. 285||14 October 2005|
Howard’s Secret War
Interview: Under Fire
Politics: And the Winners Are ...
Economics: The Common Wealth
History: Walking for Justice
International: Deja Vu
Legal: The Rights Stuff
Review: That Cinderella Fella
Poetry: Is Howard Kidding?
The Locker Room
Hooray for Robots
Good Guy Done Bad
Paper Tiger in Protection Racket
The Office of Workplace Services admitted to a 2004 Senate hearing that, in the 2002-03 year, it hadn't prosecuted a single employer, anywhere in Australia, for breaching an award or agreement.
The Office, which covers about five million workers on federal arrangements, said it had received 5254 complaints, during that year, and that 3500 had been "substantiated".
From that workload, it recovered owed monies on three occasions.
By comparison, the NSW Industrial Relations Department, responsible for around 79,000 employees, prosecuted 484 breaches in 2002 and another 256 in 2003.
In those two years, it won back $3.03 million and $2.5 million for dudded workers.
Individual unions, like the CFMEU and FSU, have won back more than $10 million for rorted members in a single year.
Howard is transferring all state enforcement responsibilities, under the new workplace regime, to his Office of Workplace Services.
"Whether you are an employee or an employer your rights will be protected under WorkChoices by the Office of Workplace Services," the government's taxpayer-funder IR booklet confirms.
"OWS will be an easily accessible 'one stop shop' for all enforcement and compliance activities.
Unions NSW representative, Matt Thistlewaite, says the move is part of a pattern of taking compliance functions from independent bodies to hand-picked creations of the federal government.
"They don't trust anyone or anything that is independent," Thistlewaite says.
"We have seen this with the establishment of the Office of the Employment Advocate, the Building Industry Taskforce and, most recently, the appointment of a hand-picked economist to take over minimum wage setting from the ÅIRC.
"This government writes the rules, then appoints its own umpire.
"All the old conventions, about impartiality and independence, have been junked."
Thistlewaite estimates that if federal government succeeds in its bid to wrest control of state IR systems, the OWS will become the compliance agency responsible for more than nine million workers.
|Search All Issues | Latest Issue | Previous Issues | Print Latest Issue|