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John Passant

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February 2015
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Keep socialist blog En Passant going - donate now
If you want to keep a blog that makes the arguments every day against the ravages of capitalism going and keeps alive the flame of democracy and community, make a donation to help cover my costs. And of course keep reading the blog. To donate click here. Keep socialist blog En Passant going. More... (4)

Sprouting sh*t for almost nothing
You can prove my 2 ex-comrades wrong by donating to my blog En Passant at BSB: 062914 Account: 1067 5257, the Commonwealth Bank in Tuggeranong, ACT. More... (12)

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)



The attack on penalty rates

Alex McAuley in Red Flag discusses the attempts of the government and the bosses to further cut, or even abolish, penalty rates. This drive won’t go away despite the ongoing crises in the Abbott government seeing the Employment Minister, Senator Eric Abetz, divorce the government from the Productivity Committee inquiry and from implementing any recommendations about either penalty rates or the minimum wage before or after the 2016 election. They know as well as anyone that embracing cuts to the minimum wage and penalty rates would destroy completely their very slim chances of re-election. If, god forbid, they were re-elected they could then change their minds and implement the recommendations to cut the minimum wage and get rid of penalty rates. A government saying one thing before an election and doing something different after. Hard to believe eh?

In the article Alex says, among other things:

Stripping penalty rates from awards would immediately affect 1.5 million workers whose wages and conditions are set by these minimum standards. Workers on awards are concentrated in industries in which weekend and shift work are common – retail, hospitality, health care, social support and manufacturing. The Australian Council of Trade Unions estimates that workers in service industries like shop assistants, cleaners and hairdressers would be $50 to $90 a week worse off without penalty rates.

To read the whole article click this link.



Comment from Mike
Time February 27, 2015 at 7:16 am

I’ve never understood why someone should get paid more for a Sunday. Are we still clinging to some Biblical view that Sunday is a day of rest?

Christianity should not determine wage rates. As far as I am concerned there are 7 days in a week and all should be treated the same.

Comment from John
Time February 27, 2015 at 1:05 pm

Because we all need time off to be with our families, most of whom are only really fully available during weekends, and to be with other people. And because the penalty rates enable many workers to live adequate lives.

Comment from Mike
Time February 28, 2015 at 9:28 am

That seems to be a contradiction that is put forward by many.

People need time off to be with their families, but they should get paid more on those days which would only encourage them to work.

Surely the solution is to ban work on Sundays.

Comment from Philip
Time March 2, 2015 at 10:38 am

It is laughable that mainly small business owners are cheering the issue of abolishing penalty rates when from my experience (35 years in the workforce) most of the small businesses I have worked for don’t pay penalty rates and are only looking for vindication to support their greed.

Comment from Lorikeet
Time March 3, 2015 at 5:40 pm

Mike, you couldn’t ban doctors, nurses, paramedics etc from working on Sundays. Do you plan on volunteering to be the first to die?

Politics contacts have advised me that the idea of taking away penalty rates came from Senator Bob Day from Family First (Right Wing Christians). Even if his plan was to return Sunday to the status of traditional “day of rest”, he should know that people working in essential services have to work on Sundays.

I can understand that small business people have huge problems competing with big business, and therefore would like some help from the government. However Big Business has far more to gain from the abolition of penalty rates.

When I went into the Big W in Brisbane CBD on Saturday, not one service checkout was open on either floor. So I insisted on being served by the person who supervises the self-service counters.

From speaking with a guy who has to supervise 6 self-service checkouts at a Coles store, there is no way he can prevent thefts from taking place. Surely it would be more cost effective to have 3 staffed checkouts, as shop assistants get very low wages.

In recent times, I have seen customers on TV demanding a discount for serving themselves. If the truth is known, only a small percentage of the population (mostly older people) support the preservation of other people’s jobs. This is largely the result of teaching people “Me Syndrome” over the last 3 or 4 decades.