ga('send', 'pageview');
John Passant

Site menu:

February 2014



RSS Oz House



Subscribe to us

Get new blog posts delivered to your inbox.


Site search


My interview Razor Sharp 18 February
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace on Razor Sharp on Tuesday 18 February. (0)

My interview Razor Sharp 11 February 2014
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace on Razor Sharp this morning. The Royal Commission, car industry and age of entitlement get a lot of the coverage. (0)

Razor Sharp 4 February 2014
Me on 4 February 2014 on Razor Sharp with Sharon Firebrace. (0)

Time for a House Un-Australian Activities Committee?
Tony Abbott thinks the Australian Broadcasting Corporation is Un-Australian. I am looking forward to his government setting up the House Un-Australian Activities Committee. (1)

Make Gina Rinehart work for her dole

Sick kids and paying upfront


Save Medicare

Demonstrate in defence of Medicare at Sydney Town Hall 1 pm Saturday 4 January (0)

Me on Razor Sharp this morning
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace this morning for Razor Sharp. It happens every Tuesday. (0)

I am not surprised
I think we are being unfair to this Abbott ‘no surprises’ Government. I am not surprised. (0)

Send Barnaby to Indonesia
It is a pity that Barnaby Joyce, a man of tact, diplomacy, nuance and subtlety, isn’t going to Indonesia to fix things up. I know I am disappointed that Barnaby is missing out on this great opportunity, and I am sure the Indonesians feel the same way. [Sarcasm alert.] (0)



Howes that? He’s out

It takes a special kind of union leader to argue that some wages are too high and that what we need is a compact between business, unions and the Government to end the division and discord. Paul Howes, head bureaucrat at the Australian Workers Union,  is that special kind of union leader.

Here we have a government labeling workers earning $50,000 a year ($25,000 less than the average wage) as overpaid. Here we have a government arguing it is time to get rid of penalty rates. Here we have a government about to bring back the Australian Building and Construction Commission to make industrial action illegal on building sites and jail workers for stopping work. Here we have a government seriously considering  a royal commission into union corruption.

And all Paul Howes can offer is a compact (another name for a warmed over Accord) with the bosses and their Abbott government. They are going on the offensive. They don’t want to talk to us.

If ever there was a time to fight back it is now. If ever there was a time to mobilise the troops it is now. Such is the degeneration of the leadership of the union movement that all Howes can offer is jaw jaw before the bosses’ full scale war war. He has waved his surrender flag.

Of course Howes’ brothers and sisters in the union leadership will and have condemned him. But like him they have no strategy for defeating this vicious anti-worker government.

Every victory our side lets Abbott and the bosses win only emboldens them to launch bigger and bigger attacks on us.

The way to avoid total defeat is to go on the attack now. Sitting around the campfire chanting Kumbaya and holding hands with the bosses and Abbott won’t stop them knifing us in our sleep.

Strikes and demonstrations can stop Abbott and his business mates in their tracks.  That will mean rank and file workers overthrowing the rotten leadership of Howse and his do-nothing mates in the Australian Council of Trade Unions. 

That movement across unions hasn’t yet built. However more and more class collaboration and hence defeats might see some union activists begin organising rank and file groups to control the union and begin real industrial campaigns against the attacks on jobs, wages, conditions and unions.  That is our hope, not compacts or accords.

Massive discord holds the key to the possibility of success and of beating back the bosses. Or as the BLF says, in much plainer English: ‘If you don’t fight you lose.’




Pingback from Howes that? He’s out | OzHouse
Time February 5, 2014 at 9:11 pm

[…] Feb 05 2014 by admin […]

Comment from Lorikeet
Time February 6, 2014 at 8:30 am

The use of this word “compact” leaves me cold.

When the government proposed one for aged care workers, it involved a wage increase so minuscule a woman could have put it in the face powder compact she carries in her handbag.

Paul Howes is clearly working for the same UN bosses as the leaders of Labor/Greens and Coalition, looking for new ways of reducing wages and working conditions while expecting greater productivity, in line with the third world.

Factor in ongoing attacks on the welfare system and their agenda is clear.

The best strategy other union leaders could adopt is to start giving financial support for Pro-Australian parties.

I tried helping Together Union here in Queensland to save the jobs of nurses, but unfortunately they are too dense (or too corrupt) to cease giving money to the ALP whenever an election is called.

The federal leader of the ANF has said there are 2 million unionists in Australia, but why isn’t she mobilising them???

A union delegate from the ETU with whom I spoke fairly recently seems to think that Labor has learned its lesson in Queensland and would not continue to sell off the people’s assets if they were returned to government. Hee, hee. Pull the other one…..

Someone from the BLF gave the state leader of the DLP a big hug during a Labor Day March here in Brisbane about 3 or 4 years ago. This told me that the tide was turning on the ALP (only 7 seats in Qld parliament), but how much longer do we have to wait for the penny to drop and the axe to fall on both major parties?

Comment from Kay
Time February 6, 2014 at 8:42 am

The Hawke/Keating Prices and Incomes Accord brought more benefits to ordinary Australian workers, and to the Australian economy as a whole, than raucous rent-a-crowd union strikes and protests ever did – or ever will. Unfortunately, socialists are only pro-socialism and pro-conflict for ideology’s sake – definitely not pro-Australia nor even pro-worker.

Comment from Lorikeet
Time February 6, 2014 at 7:32 pm

A lot of murky water has passed under the bridge since the days of Hawke/Keating.

As I remember, Bob Hawke, grossly misnamed Champion of the Worker, fired federal government employees suffering from workplace injuries, giving some of them nothing. I should know. It happened to me.

Before compulsory unionism was abolished, the slightest whiff of a strike usually brought positive results for workers, and woe betide any employer who tried to renege on his/her responsibilities.

Write a comment