As expected, a coalition of business groups are getting together to promote the Howard government's Work Choices regime. This is perfectly understandable, given the man people who obtain the "choices" through this system are the employers. They want the laws kept, highlighting a "danger to the economy", saying that a return to the old industrial relations system (ie something where employers aren't allowed to unilaterally decide on appropriate wages and conditions for their employees) will raise interest rates, inflation, and lower our economic performance. Not to mention fading the curtains, causing the cows to produce sour milk, and causing porco-avian congestion on every airport runway.
Further to the earlier story about the bloke in the Work Choices ads who was busy employing kids as "subcontractors" in his painting business, and then failing to pay them, it appears he didn't just confine this to strangers. His own son was another who wasn't paid for work he carried out for the business.
Actually, the case of this painter is a pretty good microcosm of why the whole notion of Work Choices isn't good. For a start, it relies on the employee being aware of all of their rights as an employee, which the majority of people aren't. It relies on an employee being in an equal bargaining position to an employer (rare, to say the least). It relies on an employee being able to turn down a job - and given doing so is a breach of the rules for unemployment benefit, it therefore requires a potential employee to have at least three months worth of income to fall back on before they can go back to receiving the dole. It relies very strongly on the employers playing fair - but then takes away any incentive for them to do so.
[Copied over to Meg's Place on Blogspot - actually, anything which starts with an "In Which" header can be presumed to be mirrored on the Blogspot page.]