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John Passant

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July 2021



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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)



Archive for 'Penalty rates'

Turnbull’s war on workers

Penalty rate cuts encapsulate the Turnbull Government’s war against the fair go for workers and must be defeated, I write in Independent Australia. To read the whole article click here. Turnbull’s war against the fair go


Penalty rate cuts – because low paid workers are not exploited enough

The double-edged sword of penalty rate cuts for the lowest paid alongside tax handouts for the privileged may well galvanise the union movement, writes John Passant in Independent Australia. Click here to get a link to the whole article.

And what if Labor wins?

Shorten’s comments today on penalty rates signal a retreat from the ‘hint of class’ approach the ALP seemed to be developing around themes like the Royal Commission into the finance industry and their ‘crackdown’ on tax avoidance and other minor tax the rich changes. The back down might slow or even reverse Labor’s momentum and support. If they want to win in July we need more class rhetoric and action from them. The capitulation on penalty rates suggests they may have abandoned the softly softly ‘touch of Bernie’ approach and with it, perhaps, the election.

Cutting penalty rates – a summary in all their richness

The Productivity Commission: Men on $400,000 a year telling women on $40,000 that penalty rates are bad. Liberal and National Party politicians on from $200,000 to $550,000 supporting the Productivity Commission. Men or women earning more than $400 billion from Australia and paying no tax supporting and pushing for these cuts in pay to women and men on $40,000 or less.

WorkChoices – it’s back

The Abbott government will not reject the attacks on penalty rates, the minimum wage slow down, relaxing the unfair dismissal laws or condemn individual contracts that will undermine pay rates for all workers. It will say it is just a draft; it is really just fine tuning what is already there; in the national interest we should all work together to address significant challenges to the economy and jobs, etc etc etc. What this all boils down to is making the working class pay for the crisis of profitability gathering pace in Australia. If the ruling class get these changes through that will open the floodgates for the next set of attacks from the insatiable bosses.

Notes for a talk on penalty rates

These are the written unedited notes I have a for a talk I gave on Penalty rates at a Solidarity meeting in Canberra on 14 April.

Abbott’s agenda and the war on penalty rates

I am speaking on Tuesday evening at a Solidarity socialist group meeting in Canberra on the attacks on penalty rates and what is driving the Abbott government. Make no mistake. Cutting or abolishing penalty rates cuts the living standards o a large number of workers. Bosses won’t use the extra money to employ more staff. They’ll pocket it for their own benefits. The best way to stop these attacks and stop rotten bosses screwing us over is to take industrial action to protect our hard won gains of the past.

United Voice Canberra protest against bosses ripping off workers

United Voice is holding a protest action in Kingston in Canberra from 12 pm on Friday 10 April outside a penny pinching café in Kingston which allegedly owes one of their workers $20,000 in unpaid entitlements including penalty rates and payments under the minimum wage. This is an important public demonstration of the role unions play in protecting our community. Support United Vice by coming along to show your solidarity.

The attack on penalty rates

Alex McAuley in Red Flag discuses 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 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?