Rudd tells AMWU boss to ‘get real’ about IR.
Federal Opposition Leader Kevin Rudd has told a major union boss to ‘get real’ with his criticism of Labor’s new industrial relations (IR) policy.
These verbal spats were always on the agenda, given that Labor under Rudd is now walking an extremely fine line between alienating it’s power base among Unions, and not winning over enough business and industry sentiment with it’s IR policy announcement earlier this week.
Doug Cameron is essentially one of the last dinosaurs in the Union movement. An advocate for workers rights first, last and always, Cameron is always vocal when it comes to IR issues which impact on his constituent members. Admirable, however Bannerman has always considered Cameron to be hard right when it comes to industrial disputation, and Rudd is quite right to claim that Cameron is out of touch with the modern age. The days of one out-all out strikes are dead and gone not just from an ideological perspective, but also from a social and economic perspective. Industrial action only harms workers and has to be considered a last resort when confronting industrial disputes with employers. The concept of secret ballots and regulations on just when strike action is deemed legal rates alongside the Hawke government’s ethos of consensus bargaining. From a productivity perspective, it’s the only way forward for the Union movement which, hopefully, will force a more conciliatory attitude among the more powerful Unions.
As an aside, what Doug Cameron does and doesn’t think about the IR proposals is pretty much irrelevant. He’s parachuting into a safe Labor Senate seat at the next election anyway. Clearly, the AMWU as a whole doesn’t consider the Rudd IR announcement worthy of mention. There’s absolutely nothing on the website by way of complaint or rejection, which leads Bannerman to believe that this is merely Doug Cameron having another whinge.