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: Movement of Australian workers

: Movement of Australian workers
: 01:22:24 24 2010
: 20 : 2 : 0 : 0 :    




Sixty pr cnt f ustrlin wrkrs sy tht th lvl f strss in thir jbs hs gn up in just 12 mnths.

Th sm numbr sy tht thy r wrking hrdr, with tw-thirds sying tht thy r nw ding mr tsks.

n-third fl tht thir jb scurity hs dtrirtd, nd mr thn n-qurtr fl tht pprtunitis fr prmtin hv dclind.

qurtr f wrkrs sy tht thy r wrking lngr hurs, nd nt ll r gtting pid fr thm.

Th situtin t wrk hs dtrirtd prticulrly rpidly fr migrnt wrkrs nd ths in th public sctr.

This is th wrld f ntrpris brgining nd Lburs wrkplc rfrm gnd s rvld in th Gvrnmnts wn 1994 survy f 11,000 wrkrs.

Its ls th wrld f th futur fr ustrlin bsss, with thir pk bdis prssing fr rfrm t b pushd furthr nd fstr.

nd yt this strtgy is nthusisticlly ndrsd by th CTU, which hs bn th Gvrnmnts strngst bckr in gtting wrkrs nt ntrpris grmnts. ftr yrs f th ccrd, whn ur unin ldrs tld us tht th cntrlisd wgs systm ws th ky t mintining wgs, scil wlfr nd wrkr unity, thy nw prmt systm driving wrkrs t turn ginst ch thr, t ut-cmpt ch thr, t cut csts nd ris prductivity ll fr th sk f pitiful py riss. s rsult, unin slidrity is bing undrmind, prfits r sring, nd thr r still fwr full-tim jbs thn t th bginning f th lst rcssin. Its bvius tht wrkrs r gtting rw dl.

Hw did w gt int this trribl situtin? Wht is ntrpris brgining nd wht r its dngrs? nd wht cn w d t bury it nc nd fr ll?

This pmphlt lks t ths qustins nd rgus tht tinkring with th prsnt wgs systm is nt nugh: trd-ffs nd ll kinds f prductivity grmnts hv t b rjctd ut f hnd. Unin ctivists nd t b rmd with th plitics t nswr th rgumnts put up by ur unin ldrs nd th mdi pundits but th nd t cmpt, but wrking smrtr nt hrdr, nd ll th thr sft sp tht is usd t sll scnd dcd f scrific t ustrlin wrkrs. This mns lking t scilist plitics tht cn xplin th crisis tht w r in nd which cn ls pint wy frwrd.

This pmphlt is writtn s wpn t b tkn up by ll ths wh wnt t fight ntrpris brgining, wh dnt buy th rgumnt tht thr is n ltrntiv, nd wh wnt t turn th tid n th mplyrs nd th Kting gvrnmnt. Thr r signs tht if givn ld, wrkrs r prprd t fight: wv lrdy hd 12 yrs f Librl plicis frm Lbr Gvrnmnt. Its tim t sy nugh is nugh.


ntrpris brgining hs bn sld t ustrlin wrkrs s wy f mking ur wrkplcs mr prductiv s tht jbs will bcm scur. Its supprtrs tll us tht wrkrs will rp dividnds with incrsd flxibility t wrk. Luri Brrtn sys tht his Gvrnmnts plicis will prmt businss flxibility within frmwrk f mply prtctin wht culd b mr in th intrsts f mplys? Wll, lts hv lk t th rcrd: whts invlvd in th grmnts tht hv bn struck t dt?

Lngr wrking hurs, incrsd shift wrk, rducd pnlty rts nd mr csul nd prt-tim wrk.

MPLYR ffrts t nsur tht hurs f wrk nw rflct th nds f th ntrpris, rthr thn th fmily livs f rdinry wrkrs, is th singl mst cmmn chng t wrking cnditins rising ut f ntrpris grmnts. ighty pr cnt f ll cmpnis rspnding t th Gvrnmnts 1994 survy rprtd tht thy hd chngd hurs f wrk, nd twnty pr cnt f wrkrs nw wrk mr thn 49 hurs ch wk.

Prtly this is dn by th virtul blitin f pnlty rts nd shift ldings. In th public srvic, mngmnt hs trid t rmv pnlty rts fr wrk n Sturdy mrnings nd public hlidys. t th Cmmnwlth nd dvnc Bnks, wknd nd vning wrk t rdinry rts hs bn intrducd. t mil pplinc plnts, rdinry hurs (pid t bs rts) hv bn sprd btwn 6m nd 6pm. t Thiss-Linfx jint vntur, th shift pnlty is cut frm 50 pr cnt t nly 15 pr cnt.

Th bsis fr rmvl f pnlty rts nd th rductin f shift wrk llwncs is th intrductin f rund-th-clck wrk nd lngthning th wrking dy: t lc wrkrs r tid t cntinuus shift wrk nd th xtnsin f th wrking wk frm 38 t 42 hurs, whil th City f Richmnd grmnt incrss th wrking dy frm 7.2 hurs t 7.7 hurs in xchng fr n-ff lump-sum pymnt. ll f this, dspit th fct tht th xtnsin f shift wrk is widly knwn t incrs strss, t put prssur n fmilis nd scil lif nd t incrs th incidnc f vrity f mdicl ilmnts.

nthr wy in which mplyrs r nw givn grtr cntrl vr wrking hurs is thrugh th lss f prdictbl frtnightly r mnthly rstrd dys ff. Mny ntrpris grmnts nw stipult tht RDs r t b tkn ccrding t th nds f th businss nd bnkd up in busy tims. Hnc th xplsin in strss clims nd th widsprd fling tht ppl r bing vrwrkd.

lngsid ths chngs is incrsing csulistin f th wrkfrc: frty pr cnt f grmnts rgistrd in th privt sctr in 1994 md prvisin fr incrsd us f prt-tim, cntrct r csul lbur. Fr xmpl, grmnts t ustrli Pst nd mil rng hv rducd rstrictins n th us f csul r prt-tim lbur, whil th grmnt t Brl lvtrs llws mngmnt t intrduc cntrct lbur during busy prids.

Wrkrs r split up nd cmmn cnditins rdd

STNDRD ftur f ntrpris grmnts is th brking-up f cmmn cnditins nd th ttmptd frgmnttin f wrkr slidrity. In th liqur trds, fr xmpl, grmnts hv crtd tw-tir wrkfrc, with vrtim pymnts limintd fr nw mplys nd xisting csuls, but mintind fr xisting full-tim wrkrs. Th bvius intntin is t limint vrtim py ltgthr in th lng-trm, but in th shrt-trm t divid th wrkfrc.

In th il industry, th trditinl pttrn f cmpny-wid brgining by wrking cmmitt f unins hs bn rplcd by sctin by sctin brgining. In ugust 1995, this rsultd in th ff-shr wrkrs bing lft high nd dry s thy wr frcd t tk strik ctin n thir wn withut supprt frm thir n-shr wrkmts.

Divid nd Rul is ls th nm f th gm t Tlcm, whr mngmnt hs trid t us brgining t frc whit-cllr wrkrs ff wrds nd nt individul cntrcts. nly prmpt thrts f industril ctin by th PSU frcd mngmnt t bck ff. Mngmnt t Tlcm hv ls split th rgnistin up int 22 businss units, ch f which hs t ngtit its wn trms nd cnditins. Its bvius tht mngmnt will us cncssins t n businss unit t driv dwn cnditins t th thrs.

ntrpris brgining, in cmbintin with th crv-ups f mmbrs rsulting frm unin mlgmtins, hs ld t incrsing divisins btwn unins, frm which mplyrs r th min bnficiris. This is bvius in th grb fr mmbrs by th ustrlin Wrkrs Unin, which hs md dls with mplyrs which undrcut xisting wrking cnditins in rturn fr xclusiv cvrg. Th WU hs gn n pching spr, nd hs wn r hs pplid fr sl unin cvrg f wrkrs t Munt Is Mins, tw Diky ustrli htls in Cirns, th Hmiltn Islnd rsrt in th Whitsundys, nd S Wrld nd Mvi Wrld n th Gld Cst. t th Cc-Cl bttlrs plnt in Sydny, mngmnt struck singl unin dl with th lctricins Unin nd cut ut th prviusly dminnt Miscllnus Wrkrs bcus th lctricins grd t cnditins blckd by th Misss.

Finlly, ntrpris brgining undrmins unin strngth n th shpflr, s unin dlgts wh hd frmrly stuck up fr thir wrkmts in rws with mngmnt r nw frcd t prmt fficincy t wrk. This usully dsnt mn cutting bck n dirctrs fs r xcutiv prks but finding wys f wrking hrdr nd cutting ut lbur. Th fct tht dlgts r nw rquird t ct s xtnsins f th prsnnl ffic is clr frm th rprt by mtlwrkrs unin rgnisr tht:

Whn th unin nd mngmnt cm lng nd sy lts chng things, thr cn b strng rsistnc, spcilly in hrd, dirty wrk nvirnmnts whr th cultur cn b prtty tugh. Whn th shp stwrd, wh is thir mt nd thir wn rprsnttiv, is sying th sm thing but th nd fr chng, things cn gt prtty ugly fr th ppl invlvd.

Wht this mns in prctic is vidnt frm th NI Brdkn fundry in Brisbn, whr wrkrs hstility t thir unin dlgt mking cncssins in ntrpris ngtitins ld t fist-fight btwn th dlgt nd n f th wrkrs. Th rsult ws tht bth wr sckd n th spt. Rthr thn hlping t build shpflr unin strngth, ntrpris brgining nly wkns it.

Wrk is intnsifid nd jbs r lst

FR TH PST 12 yrs ur unin ldrs hv grd tht wrkrs hv t tk rspnsibility fr imprving prductivity. ntrpris brgining tks this n stp furthr s mplyrs us ntrpris grmnts t rmv limits stblishd by wrkrs vr pst yrs t cntrl th pc f wrk nd nhnc jb scurity. rviw f th first 1,000 grmnts by th Gvrnmnts Dprtmnt f Industril Rltins (DIR) pints tim nd gin t th wy in which nw clssifictin structurs, rdfining f jbs, multiskilling, nd rrgnistin f wrk hs ld t brdning f rspnsibilitis nd th rmvl f rstrictiv wrk prctics nd dmrctin brrirs.

t mtl industry plnt in Mulgrv in Mlburn, th ntrpris grmnt nw mks prvisin fr nginring trdsprsns t undrtk smi-skilld wrk such s pinting, pcking nd lburing whn thr is drp-ff in wrkld. t th mssiv Frd plnts in Mlburn nd Glng, ll wrkrs cn b skd t undrtk ny tsk n th shpflr, using ny quipmnt, limitd nly by rcgnisd nd ccrditd skills, knwldg nd xprinc. Similr ttl flxibility pplis fr stff t Shrtn Twrs in Mlburn nd t Mdw L. t Wstinghus Brk nd Signl th grmnt prvids fr cntinuus prtin f th plnt by stggring ll ml nd t brks nd nsuring tht wrkrs tnd th mchins f thir wrkmts wh r ff n brk.

In th public srvic, mngrs r trying t rduc highr dutis llwncs fr wrkrs wh tk n jbs highr thn thir wn clssifictin. Furthr, in svrl grmnts, such s t Cntinrs Pckging t Ftscry, pymnt is nw md nly fr skills whn usd, nt s thy r cquird.

Th im f ntrpris grmnts is cntinuus imprvmnt by mns f bnchmrking nd bst prctic. In rng f grmnts rviwd by th DIR, th unins giv cmmitmnt t incrsing prductivity by 10 r 20 pr cnt vr th lif f th grmnt, whthr msurd by incrsing utput, dcrsing csts nd ld tims, r imprving prduct qulity. t Mlburn City Cuncil nd t th Tx ffic, wrkrs r nw rquird t bnchmrk thir wrk ginst th csts f prviding th sm srvic in th privt sctr bth in ustrli nd vrss. In thr rs, much is md f custmr srvic s prductivity indictr: wht this mns t n lit rsturnt in Glb in Sydny is tht th mplys bnus pymnt dpnds n thir smiling t custmrs!

Th Gvrnmnt bsts tht ntrpris brgining lds t incrsd tmwrk, which lds t n wrnss f th nds f th cmpny. It mks much f th cmmitmnt t gin-shring, by which wrkrs nd mplyrs suppsdly gin qully frm chngs. But brif rviw shws wh rlly gts th bnfits. Judgd in stright csh trms, mny ntrpris grmnts r n-ls bts fr mplyrs. This is clr whn w d th sums: th 1994 ntrpris grmnt t th Gvrnmnt Ptnts ffic prmiss 700 wrkrs py ris f 2 pr cnt, but nly n cnditin tht thy cut csts by $1 millin. Th ttl cst f th py ris t th Gvrnmnt is nly $400,000, lving it with windfll gin f mr thn hlf millin dllrs.

Tmwrk ls mns tht wrking cnditins fll by th wysid. Incrsingly, mngrs r xpcting tms t tk rspnsibility fr cutting bsntism in thir sctins, with th crrt f ttndnc bnuss nd th stick f rmvl f stnd-by stff. This ncurgs wrkrs t crck dwn n thir wrkmts, bcus sickis cut th bnus nd incrs th wrkld n ths wh shw up. nd whil th Gvrnmnt clims tht ntrpris grmnts cn hlp mk wrkplcs sfr, th mst cmmn prvisin in NSW stt grmnts in th r f HS is th simplifictin r rductin f mplyr prvisin f prtctiv clthing nd quipmnt.

Prductivity incrss nd wrk intnsifictin hv n gl: cutting stff csts with th blssing f th unins. Tlcm, fr xmpl, hs cut 20,000 jbs sinc 1990, vn whil ldrs f th Cmmunictin Wrkrs Unin (CWU) r sitting dwn hmmring ut ntrpris grmnts which will simply pv th wy fr futur rdundncis. Similrly, th CTU nd Gvrnmnt ftn pint t ICI s bing mdl cmpny. Hwvr, succssiv runds f ntrpris brgining sinc 1989 t this cmpny hv ld t th wrkfrc bing cut by n-third whil prductivity hs incrsd by 15 pr cnt.

Th cnnctin btwn ntrpris brgining nd rdundncis is clrst t Qnts whr, in rturn fr py ris f 6 pr cnt sprd vr tw yrs, th unin hs grd t rductin f stff frm 21,200 t 18,000. Just whn w nd t b sving jbs, ntrpris brgining is trding thm wy fr pittnc f py ris.

nd if wrkrs dnt t th lin, th Gvrnmnts twic-mndd unfir dismissl lgisltin llws bsss t gt wy with blu murdr in islting nd victimising militnt uninists. Nt nly ds th nw lgisltin d nthing t stp mss rdundncis, but it ls impss $30,000 limit n cmpnstin py-uts. vn this is nt nugh fr Bb Crr, NSW Lbr Prmir, wh nly n mnth ftr bing lctd in Mrch 1995 strtd High Curt chllng with th im f vrriding vn th Fdrl Gvrnmnts wk prtctins fr mplys, ching th mplyrs lin tht th unfir dismissl prvisins cntributd t tng unmplymnt!

Wrkrs ls ccss t ntinl wg incrss

FINLLY, bcus th CTU, mplyrs nd Gvrnmnt r ll cmmittd t incrsing th pc f ntrpris brgining, ll prtis hv bn ding thir bst t nsur tht wrkrs cnnt lk t sfty-nt incrss frm crss-th-brd ntinl wg css s n ltrntiv wy f winning py ris. Such incrss hv bcm fw nd fr btwn sinc 1991 nd cntinully dlyd. Th ccrd Mrk 7, drwn up btwn th LP nd CTU just bfr th 1993 fdrl lctin, ws suppsd t bring n ntinl $10 wg incrs fr ll wrkrs wh hd nt gt n ntrpris grmnt by July 1993. Hwvr, this cmmitmnt ws sn jttisnd. Immditly ftr th lctin, th munt ws rducd t $8 nd dfrrd until ltr in th yr.

ccrd Mrk 8, dvlpd in 1995, cntinus its wg-cutting lgic, with nnul incrss f nly $10 pr wk vr th nxt thr yrs. vn Murdchs ustrlin nwsppr rgud tht this wuld nt gurnt ny significnt imprvmnt in dispsbl incm fr wrkrs withut brgining clut. Whts mr, th CTU nnuncd up-frnt tht vn ths misrbl incrss wuld b dpndnt upn cutting unmplymnt. If th bsss dnt tk n nugh lbur t shrtn th dl quus, wrkrs with jbs will scrific vn mr! ll f this is prt f th CTUs pln t frc wrkrs int ntrpris grmnts.

Fr frm prviding frmwrk f mply prtctin, s th Gvrnmnt wuld hv us bliv, mst ntrpris grmnts mn mr scrific, fwr jbs nd wrs wrking cnditins. ntrpris brgining invlvs wrkrs pying fr thir wn wg incrss nd slling cnditins in nvr-nding chs fr cmptitiv dvntg. Whil th trd-ffs tnd nt t b s dmging in strngly-uninisd rs in mining nd cnstructin, sm rs f mnufcturing, nd public utilitis s thy r in th prly-uninisd privt-sctr srvic industris, ll grmnts r prmisd n th id tht wrkrs jbs nd cnditins shuld b dtrmind by th nds f th mplyrs. In th lng-trm, this cn nly undrmin uninism nd t wy t stblishd wrking cnditins.


Th LP/CTU gnd

NTRPRIS brgining rprsnts shrp brk frm th cntrlisd wg-fixing mthds cmmn in th 1980s. Hwvr, th truth is tht ntrpris brgining is th lgicl cntinutin f wht hs bn Lbr plicy sinc t lst 1987. vr sinc th tw-tir systm ws intrducd tht yr, th Gvrnmnt hs bn pushing t mk py nd cnditins incrsingly dpndnt n ntrpris r industry prductivity. This hs givn us rund ftr rund f cncssins, nd wrsning f wrking cnditins in svrl ky rs.

nd w cn g vn furthr bck thn 1987 t s sm cmmn thrds in Lbrs plicy. Th ccrd strtgy frm its vry strt in 1983 hs bn bsd n th id tht wrkrs ndd t rstrin wgs, rfrin frm striks nd wrk hrdr t imprv businss succss. Th id ws tht this wuld llw mplyrs t incrs prfits, t xpnd thir businsss, t strt xprting nd t tk n mr lbur. In fct th Lbr Gvrnmnt, first undr Hwk thn undr Kting, hs hd s its first pririty nt imprving things fr wrkrs wh vt thm in, but srving ths wh rlly hld pwr tdy big businss. ustrlin businss ss its futur in intgrtin int th wrld cnmy, nd prticulrly th sin rgin. This hs mnt pning up industry t vrss cmptitin, privtising public srvics nd th drgultin f bnks, irlins, lctricity supplis nd mny thr sctrs.

Pursuing th ntinl intrst, th Gvrnmnt hs trid t nfrc intrntinl bst prctic, cmplling ustrlin wrkrs t wrk vr hrdr fr lss rwrd, s ur mplyrs ngg in cut-thrt cmptitin with bsss vrss. Th rl cntnt f this ntinl intrst is md clr by th CD, th club f rich cuntris, whs rprt n th ustrlin cnmy in Jun 1994 instructs th Gvrnmnt t ttck stblishd unin structurs nd wrds bcus thy gt in th wy f wht succssful mdrn cpitlist cnmis rquir: cmpny-bsd r n unins, nd py dtrmind by cmpny prfitbility nt cmmn stndrds.

This is dd-nd fr wrkrs, nt nly in ustrli but ll vr th wrld. Just s th ustrlin gvrnmnt is prmting ustrlis ntinl intrst (by cutting wgs, driving up prductivity nd rtinlising industry), s t r gvrnmnts nd cmpnis in si, Nrth mric nd urp. Its bvius tht wrkrs r n t hiding t nthing in this srt f dgfight nd tht th ntinl intrst, which Lbr is s kn t prmt, is rlly th intrst f th bsss. In prctic, th ntinl intrst in ur cpitlist systm rquirs furthr scrific by ths wh ctully prduc th wlth nt th ht-sht businss tycns wh nly squndr vlubl rsurcs, but th wrkrs in th ffics, fctris, rilwy yrds, wrhuss nd public srvics.

Th unin ldrs s thir jb s plicing wrkrs in this prcss. Thy t bliv in th ntinl intrst. Thrugh rprsnting wrkrs in cllctiv brgining nd rbitrtin, thir rl is t win th bst dl fr wrkrs within th lgic f th cpitlist systm. But t ply this rl dpnds n bing ccptd by mplyrs s cnmiclly rspnsibl. nd in rdr t mintin thir psitins f pwr within thir unins thy must sqush ny thrt frm mmbrs which chllngs crdil rltins with th mplyrs. Ngtitin nd cmprmis, rthr thn industril militncy, bcms thir brd nd buttr. Bcus thy wnt ctivly chllng th systm t its fundtins, thy ccmmdt t it. Thy ccpt tht wrkrs wgs nd jbs shuld b subjct t cmpny prfits s th bsis fr hlthy cnmy.

Whn businss is bming this dsnt sm t b prblm: thr is nugh ft in th systm t llw fr rgulr wg riss whil prfits r mintind. Th intrsts f bth wrkrs nd bsss sm t b mt. But whn th systm is in prlngd prid f wknss, s it hs bn sinc th mid-1970s, th jb f ur unin fficils cms t b n f cting s nfrcrs fr Gvrnmnt nd businss. Bcus thy s thmslvs s dlivring nly wht th systm cn ffrd thy hv n intrst in chllnging rdundncis, cuts t wrking cnditins nd ll th thr ttcks n wrkrs rights tht ris in cnmic criss. Indd, thy tk rspnsibility fr th crisis, vn if this mns undrcutting ll th cnditins thy ngtitd t th hight f th bm.

In its vin ffrts t mk th systm wrk, th CTU hs bn right bhind th Gvrnmnt sinc its lctin in 1983, thrugh vry twist nd turn f th ccrd, s w hv lurchd frm dizzy spcultiv bms t chrnic bust. Th invlvmnt f snir unin fficils in ntinl nd industry triprtit bdis, nd thir supprt fr th ccrd mr gnrlly, indicts thir willingnss t undrwrit industril stbility s th cnmy undrgs substntil rstructuring. In July 1995, Mrtin Frgusn climd W hv rlly drivn imprvmnts in prductivity nd fficincy t wrkplc lvl, nd tht hs mnt chngs in wrk prctics. I think in sm instncs, tht hs lintd wrkrs, but w hd n ltrntiv. In prctic, this hs mnt tht Th signing f th ccrd hs sn unins d th dirty wrk f mplyrs by bing frcd t sll unpltbl wrkplc rfrms t th mmbrs in th nm f structurl fficincy nd wrd rstructuring, s th issu ws put by th scrtry f th Nrth ustrlin Wrkrs Unin in 1995. Unin supprt fr cnmic rstructuring hs bn invlubl t businss nd Gvrnmnt, s th LP hs bn bl t us its unin links t dlivr wg rstrint fr th bsss. Frmr Trsurr Jhn Dwkins, Cbint Ministr frm th mid-1980s until 1993, md this clr in spch t businss functin in July 1994:

Whil th Businss Cuncil ccsinlly lmnts its lck f succss nd lck f influnc, it nd its prdcssrs hv, by thir prxis in th Gvrnmnt nd th CTU, chivd mr thn thy culd hv xpctd frm Gvrnmnt f thir frinds.

It is littl wndr thn tht unin rgnistin is dclining crss th cuntry. Unin dnsity (th prprtin f wrkrs in unins) slippd frm 50% t 48% undr th cnsrvtiv Frsr Gvrnmnt f 1975-83 but undr th Hwk nd Kting Lbr Gvrnmnts, it hs flln t 35%. Unin mmbrship plummtd 16% in 1990-94, r by n vrg f mr thn 100,000 ch yr! Fr frm prtcting th unin mvmnt, th CTUs strtgy hs cntributd t its rpid dclin.

Th ccrd: th rich rk it in

Its clr tht th ccrd hs rprsntd gift t businss, s mr stut mplyrs such s Frd nd BHP rcgnis. Prfits rs by t lst 10 pr cnt ch yr btwn 1985 nd 1990 whil rl wgs fr mst wrkrs fll by but 10 pr cnt. Cmpny txs wr cut frm 48 pr cnt t 39 pr cnt. Th frtuns f th Businss Rviw Wkly Tp 100 rs frm $3.1 billin t mssiv $21.2 billin btwn 1983 nd 1989. Th rsult ws mjr rdistributin f wlth frm wgs t prfits (s Chrt 1).

Th CTU dfndd wg cuts by rguing tht wrkrs rl living stndrds wr bing prtctd by incrss in th scil wg (wlfr, hlth, ductin tc.). But, s w cn s frm Chrt 2, th incrs in th scil wg did nt nrly mk up fr th cut in rl wgs in py pckts.

Fr whil th ccrd strtgy pprd t wrk. Th wrld cnmy pickd up in th rly 1980s nd ustrli bgn t rcvr frm th 1982-83 rcssin. Ntinl utput incrsd nnully n vrg by 3.4 pr cnt btwn 1983 nd 1990, mplymnt grw by 3 pr cnt ch yr, nd unmplymnt fll frm 10 pr cnt t 6 pr cnt.

Hwvr, th ustrlin cnmy culd nt scp th systms histric bm-bust cycl nd in mid-1990 Ktings sft lnding turnd int ns-div. Mnufcturing utput fll by 8 pr cnt nd prfits by 40%. Hwvr, it ws wrkrs wh suffrd mst, s mplyrs tk t dwnsizing with vngnc. Tw millin (r n in fur) jbs dispprd in th thr yrs 1990-93 s ustrlin mplyrs cut stff t mr thn dubl th pc f thir cmptitrs in th Unitd Stts. Unmplymnt incrsd rpidly t 11 pr cnt, th wrst prfrmnc f ny Wstrn cnmy.

ftr tw yrs f shrp rcssin th cnmic rcvry fficilly strtd in rly 1992, nd by mid-1994 ustrli nd Nw Zlnd, with grwth rts f 4-5 pr cnt, ld th CD. But just s in th 1980s, its th businss sctr tht hs crmd ff th wlth bing crtd. Cmpny prfits dubld frm 1991 t 1994 s prductivity in th mnufcturing sctr jumpd by mr thn 25%. Cmpny txs wr cut furthr, frm 39 pr cnt t 33 pr cnt in th ugust 1993 budgt, rprsnting windfll gin f $2 billin t th businss sctr. vn with th cutbcks f th 1995 budgt, this ws nly liftd bck t 36 pr cnt.

ustrlis tp xcutivs hv dn thmslvs prud ut f th rcvry s thir slry pckgs incrsd frm n vrg f $400,000 t $800,000 btwn 1989 nd 1994, with th tp high-flirs t Wstpc, BHP, Pinr Intrntinl nd Wstfild rking in btwn $1.5 millin nd $2 millin in 1995. In Tlcm, th numbr f snir xcutivs rning pckgs f t lst hlf millin dllrs jumpd frm n t 11 in 1994 s th cmpny md prfits f $1.7 billin. n rsult f ll this hs bn tht ustrli hs xprincd th fstst grwth in inqulity thrughut th Wst sinc th rly 1980s, with th xcptin nly f Nw Right nirvns, Britin nd Nw Zlnd. Th Gvrnmnt plns furthr hnd-uts with its prpsd privtistin f irprts, Tlcm nd thr infrstructur, fllwing its plns t fully privtis th Cmmnwlth Bnk nd Qnts.

Whil businss cffrs swlld, th rcvry ws truly jblss rcvry in its rly stgs s crprt blnc shts wr rvivd by furthr mss rdundncis. Unmplymnt ctully rs vr th curs f 1992-93. Sinc Lbrs r-lctin in 1993 hwvr, mplymnt hs grwn, nd by th middl f 1995 unmplymnt ws dwn t 8.3%. vn s, this is still rcvry frm which wrkrs r gtting prcius littl. Mny f th nw jbs r distinctly lw-grd: 1994 study by th Gvrnmnts Buru f Industry cnmics fund n incrsing prprtin f prt-tim jbs, tndncy fr unmplyd wrkrs t us thir rdundncy py t st up in bck-yrd slf-mplymnt, nd gnrl rcycling f bttr jbs int wrs jbs, frm uninisd t nn-unin nd frm prmnnt t csuls, th s-clld McJbs. Btwn 1982 nd 1994, nly 15% f ll th jbs crtd wr clssifid s full-tim prmnnt fr (s th Burus study put it) t th xtnt tht firms nd dditinl lbur rsurcs, thy will usully b tmprry mplys r sub-cntrct lbur. Th rsult hs bn tht th numbr f full-tim jbs in mid-1995 ws still 180,000 fwr thn t th bginning f th rcssin.

Whts mr, th situtin is nt ging t imprv, bcus mny mplyrs pln furthr cuts. Univrsity f Qunslnd survy f 650 snir mngrs in 1995 fund tht 33% f privt cmpnis nd 71% f public ntrpriss wr plnning t cut full-tim jbs in th fllwing tw yrs, whil 60% f ll mngrs wr ls plnning t incrs wrklds t th sm tim. S th prspcts fr full mplymnt r s dim s vr.

Th prblm is tht th trmndus rdistributin f wrkrs incm frm wgs t prfits ds nthing t slv ustrlis undrlying cnmic difficultis. Thrughut 1995, nly tw yrs ftr unmplymnt stppd rising, businss cmmnttrs wr nxiusly pring t th blnc f trd figurs, cnvincd tht th Gvrnmnt wuld hv t stp in nc gin t bring rcvry t hlt by jcking up intrst rts. This indicts th grdul dcy t th hrt f th systm, which mns tht mplyrs hv t us th pprtunitis prsntd by ntrpris brgining t intnsify wrk prssur nd cut jbs s wy f mintining thir cmptitiv dg vr thir rivls. Th prblm fr thm, nd fr us, is tht bsss ll vr th wrld r ding xctly th sm, which mns tht, n snr hv thy wn tmprry cmptitiv dvntg thn it is rdd by similr brkthrughs (ttcks n wrkrs rights) in thr cuntris.

Lbrs cnmic plicis, supprtd t th hilt by th CTU, hv gt ustrlin wrkrs nwhr. Rlling bck ntrpris brgining mns turning bck th whl cnmic rtinlist gnd nd wuld b stp frwrd fr wrkrs intrsts.


W CN s tht ntrpris brgining thrtns jbs nd wrking cnditins. But hw cn it b stppd? T nswr this qustin w nd t b clr but th fcts nd th rgumnts tht cn win.

Dnt w hv t incrs prductivity t kp ur jbs?

WHIL mny wrkrs undrstnd tht th whl LP-CTU prgrmm hs givn thm nthing, thy still ccpt id is tht if w wrk hrdr, llwing ur mplyr t kp hd f th cmptitin, t cut csts nd s frth, w cn nsur prfits nd thrfr mintin ur jbs.

But th vidnc shws tht this rgumnt is full f hls. Gvrnmnt study hs msurd th chngs in mplymnt nd prductivity t ll th mjr gvrnmnt ntrpriss in th fiv yrs t 1992-93. Ths r th rsults:

Prductivity nd mplymnt in Gvrnmnt ntrpriss 1987-88 t 1992-93
Sctr Lbur Prductivity mplymnt
lctricity Supply +113% -34%
Gs +54% -22%
Wtr +54% -26%
Urbn Trnsprt +46% -17%
Prts +154% -50%
Rilwys +64% -32%
ustrli Pst +23% -4%
Tlcm +112% -17%
ll Gvrnmnt ntrpriss +102% -24%
Surc: String Cmmitt n Ntinl Prfrmnc Mnitring f Gvrnmnt Trding ntrpriss, Scnd nnul Rprt, 1994, GPS.

fllw-up rprt shwd tht prductivity in th ky utilitis incrsd by furthr 14% in 1994 lrgly du t lrg fll in lbur inputs.

Th situtin is th sm in th privt sctr. t BHPs stl divisin th numbr f wrkrs mplyd hs flln by mr thn 40 pr cnt sinc 1983 whil prductivity hs tripld frm 200 t 600 tnns f stl pr wrkr. Th rwrd fr th cmpny ws cmbind tw-yrly prfit f $2.2 billin ut f th rcvry f 1993-95. This is th cmpny whs chif xcutiv prudly bsts tht imprving prductivity is n ndlss tsk. Similrly t th Ntinl ustrli Bnk, which cut thusnds f jbs during nd ftr th rcssin, prfits cm in t nrly $2 billin in 1994-95. Th cr industry rprsnts th mst xtrm cs f this n-win chs fr prductivity: dspit significnt incrss in prductivity nd cuts in mplymnt in th 1980s, Nissn hs shut up shp, Frd hs clsd its Hmbush plnt nd Tyt is clsing its plnts t Prt Mlburn nd Dndnng.

vry industry shws th sm glmy rcrd. N mttr hw much w incrs prductivity, mngmnts rply is th sm: mr sckings.

f curs, its n cincidnc tht jbs r bing msscrd t th sm tim s prductivity is climbing rpidly. s wrkrs wrk hrdr, giv up lng-ccptd wrking cnditins, gr t cvr fr ch thr nd bcm multi-skilld, thy invit th bsss t cut th numbr f wrkrs mplyd.

Th cnnctin btwn prductivity incrss nd jb lsss is clrst in industris whr thr is n physicl utput t b msurd. In rs such s ductin, hlth nd thr public srvics, wg incrss thrugh ntrpris grmnts r dpndnt lmst ntirly n prductivity incrss chivd thrugh rducing stffing lvls, lding t incrsing clss sizs, dcrsing numbrs f nurss n ch hspitl wrd, th clsur f hspitl wrds nd rducd clint srvic. Wrkrs mplyd in ths industris nd ths wh dnt hv ccss t privt ductin nd privt hlth r th clr lsrs. Fur ut f fiv stff in th hlth, cmmunity srvics nd ductin sctrs rprtd t th Gvrnmnts 1994 brgining survy tht thy wr wrs ff s rsult f wrkplc chngs tht ccurrd in 1994, with ths in wrkplcs with fdrl ntrpris grmnts fling th mst ggrivd.

Whts wrs is tht mplyrs us wrkrs willingnss t cmpt t knck dwn cnditins fr ll f us. Th bst xmpl f this is t Hinz, which md prfits f $18 millin in 1991 nd whs chif xcutiv, Tny ΒRilly, njys n nnul slry pckg f $8 millin. Rsults such s ths wrnt nugh fr th cmpnys dirctrs, hwvr. Hving tkn vr Wttis, Nw Zlnd fd cmpny, in th rly 1990s, Hinz ustrli thn tld wrkrs in Mlburn in 1992 tht unlss thy mtchd th cncssins md by wrkrs t Wttis, th plnt wuld cls. Using divid nd rul tctics, thy wr bl t scrw dwn wgs nd cnditins fr wrkrs in bth cuntris. Th CTU grd t n mrgncy pckg f 210 jb cuts nd th intrductin f 7-dy, 24-hur prtins, with cntinuus shift-wrk.

Hinz is gd xmpl f wht hs bn hppning t ustrlin wrkrs fr th lst fiv yrs: ll pin nd littl gin. vry trd-ff tht w mk in ntrpris brgining ngtitins, fr frm imprving jb scurity in th futur, ctully prprs th wy fr yt mr jb cuts.

rnt ur cnditins sf with wrds s minimum stndrds?

Th Gvrnmnt nd mny unin ldrs sy tht th wrd systm prtcts us by mintining crtin minimum cnditins. Th Industril Rltins Cmmissins ntrpris brgining principls stt tht grmnts must nt invlv rductin in rdinry tim rnings r dprturs frm Cmmissin stndrds f hurs f wrk, nnul lv with py r lng srvic lv with py. nd th mndd Industril Rltins ct sys tht th Cmmissin must crtify ny grmnt tht ds nt disdvntg th mplys cvrd by it.

Hwvr, whil this my lk K n ppr, ny skilld mplyr rprsnttiv culd driv cch nd hrss thrugh this t tribunl hring. Wht cnstituts disdvntg t wrkrs? In prctic, th Cmmissin nd nly b stisfid tht wrkrs r nt disdvntgd whn ll lmnts f th grmnt r lkd t s whl. This mns tht pnlty rts, fr xmpl, cn sily b scrppd bcus thr my b sm crumbs f cmpnstin fr wrkrs in thr rs f th grmnt.

vrll, w cn b sur tht ntrpris brgining will rd wrd cnditins in th lng-trm. s Luri Brrtn himslf bsts, th n-disdvntg tst llws fr wid rng f vritins t wrd cnditins, whil his Dprtmnts 1994 survy f svrl hundrd grmnts cmmnts tht th high incidnc f cluss dling with mplymnt cnditins suggsts tht chngs t wrd cnditins r cmmn. mplyrs my b willing t ffr wht sm lik gd dls s first stp t gtting wrkrs invlvd in ntrpris brgining. Th cncssins invlvd, such s multi-skilling, rmvl f dmrctin nd chngs in rstring rrngmnts my sm minr. In th lng-run, hwvr, such cncssins hlp mplyrs shd jbs nd undrmin unin rgnistin.

In th Qunslnd trnsprt industry, fr xmpl, whr th Trnsprt Wrkrs Unin (TWU) hs ngtitd grmnts fr $25 py riss withut tuching wrd cnditins, th unin hs ls grd t c-prt with mngmnt t cut bsntism nd t limint th trditinl dmrctin btwn drivrs nd mintnnc nd rpir crws. Mr gnrlly, it hs grd with th mplyrs tht it is th unins rspnsibility t find wys t cut csts s wy f funding py incrss.

t ustrli Pst, th ntrpris grmnt mintins th wrd in mst rs but it ls ffrs shift wrkrs th right t sll bck thir xtr n-wk lv ntitlmnt, mking nnsns f wrd prvisins fr nnul lv.

In Tlcm, th CWU prmisd mmbrs tht thir ntrpris grmnt wuld nt ffct wrd cnditins nd ssurd thm tht thy wrnt giving wy much t gt 3 pr cnt py ris. In prctic, th unin hs grd t frcd rtrnchmnts, t mngmnt bing llwd t ssign rstrd dys ff n ny dy f th wk (limiting th pssibility fr wrkrs t tk thr-dy wknds), nd t th us f n-prsn prtins ut n th rd. Mngmnt hv cm bck in th scnd rund, dmnding th intrductin f prfrmnc rviws, furthr multiskilling, n xtnsin f hurs nd cuts t sris f vr-wrd cnditins. ll ths chngs simply pv th wy fr furthr mss sckings.

In cnditins f lrg-scl unmplymnt thr will lwys b prssur n wrkrs t ccpt grmnts, vn if thy undrcut wrd cnditins, fr fr f lsing jbs if thy rfus. Brrtn hs md this clr: th nw rgultins llw fr grd rductins [in py nd cnditins] if ths r judgd nt t b ginst th public intrst, fr xmpl, s prt f strtgy fr dling with shrt-trm businss crisis nd rvivl. Wht cmpny culdnt mk cs tht it is undrging shrt-trm businss crisis! Wv lrdy sn th cuts t cnditins t th SPC fruit cnnry in Shpprtn in 1990. Mr rcntly, t th Bnds clthing fctry in nrthrn NSW, rgin with n f ustrlis highst rginl unmplymnt rts, th grmnt signd by th unin incrss th sprd f rdinry hurs, such tht ll wrk dn btwn 7.00 m nd 10.30 pm is pid t rdinry rts nly. Th grmnt ls cntins n gurnt f minimum wkly hurs, whil llwing wrking wk f up t 48 hurs. This clrly undrcuts th wrd, but th cmpny rgud tht cnmic circumstncs llwd thm n ltrntiv nd th grmnt ws duly crtifid.

Th thrt t wrd cnditins hs bn md vn mr plin with Lbrs tw gifts t th bsss in 1994: nn-unin ntrpris grmnts nd th s-clld trining wg.

s sn s th Gvrnmnt ws r-lctd in Mrch 1993, th big mplyr grups put it undr intns prssur t incrs th pc f ntrpris brgining. In pril Kting prmisd th Institut f Cmpny Dirctrs t mk ntrpris grmnts full substituts fr wrds, nd in ctbr th Gvrnmnt tbld its Rfrm ct intrducing nn-unin ntrpris grmnts. Lik ll f Lbrs rfrms, th prvisin in th Industril Rltins Rfrm ct fr nn-unin grmnts is simply n mr ptin fr mplyrs t cut jbs nd cnditins.

Th min dngr with ths ntrpris flxibility grmnts (Fs) is nt tht fld f nn-unin cmpnis will suddnly rush t ngtit thm: in th first 15 mnths f th nw ct, nly 70 Fs wr rgistrd in th Cmmissin nd mst wr t uninisd cmpnis. Rthr, th prblm is tht thy giv uninisd cmpnis th pprtunity t dictt cnditins t thir nn-unin sits nd xclud rlvnt unins with mmbrs lswhr in th cmpny frm hving ny rl sy in stting wgs nd wrking cnditins. ny bjctins frm unins r put dwn t th ctivitis f n xtrnl rgnistin r third prty. Th intntin is clrly t put prssur n uninisd brgining lswhr in th cmpny cncrnd.

Thus Fs r gun tht bsss cn hld t th hd f unin ngtitrs if thy r bstint in trding ff cnditins. This ws dn in July 1995 t Hllmrk Crds whr th mtlwrkrs nd printing unins wr rfusing t mk cncssins dmndd by th bsss, in prticulr n th issu f vrtim. Th cmpny thn pprchd wrkrs dirctly, wn thir supprt fr th cmpnys prpsls in bllt, nd thn hd th chngs cmntd in plc s n F.

T th xtnt tht nn-uninisd cmpnis d us nn-unin grmnts t undrcut wrds, such grmnts cn b usd s bttring rm t brk dwn cnditins f uninisd wrkrs. n lk t th first nn-unin dl in th mtl industry is nugh t s wht mplyrs will intrduc if givn fr hnd. Strtic Pty Ltd, cmpny mplying 73 wrkrs mking scurity drs in Brisbn, hs intrducd n F which prvids fr:

n gurntd py ris nd ny wg incrs t b dtrmind by prfrmnc

minimum f 4 hurs wrk wk

n gurntd knck-ff tim

th bss t dcid whthr h is stisfid wrkrs r sick

ll vrtim cut t tim nd hlf

hlth nd sfty issus dcidd by th bss

Ths kinds f grmnts r cncr thrtning cnditins fr wrkrs thrughut th mtl industry, but thy cn b stppd. In July 1994 250 whrfis t Frmntl wnt n strik ginst smll cmpny intrducing cnditin-cutting nn-unin ntrpris grmnt. Whil th grmnt nly dirctly ffctd 7 wrkrs, th whrfis knw tht bsss in uninisd cmpnis wuld sn strt rguing fr similr cnditins in thir wn rgnistins.

In thr rs, mplyrs r putting prssur n wrkrs t lv thir unins nd sign stff cntrcts. Th mining gint CR hs dclrd wr n th unins t its wrksits nd hs succssfully bust th unins t svrl sits. Th prblm fr uninists is tht th crrt f 10-15% py ris dngld in frnt f wrkrs, in xchng fr signing nt stff cnditins nd th cmplt dstructin f dmrctin, bcms n ttrctiv ptin whn thir unins r ithr filing t win ny py riss t ll r whn thy rgrd 4% py ris s significnt victry. Whn chllngd by wrkrs t utlin th dvntgs f stying in thir unin in ths circumstncs, lding fficils r unbl t giv cnvincing nswrs. lthugh utright unin-busting f this typ is still nt th dminnt mplyr tctic, mvs by Qnts nd th Cmmnwlth Bnk in ugust 1995 t stp cllcting unin dus my b strw in th wind.

Th bsss hv ls bn givn nthr wpn in thir rmury, with nw prvisins in th Industril Rltins Rfrm ct tht nbl mplyrs t tk lgl ctin t prvnt unins frm striking xcpt in th mst rstrictd circumstncs: th bility f unins t strik t blck scb nn-unin dls is furthr wknd by this lgisltin.

Figurs frm th Buru f Sttistics shw whts t stk fr wrkrs nd mplyrs if nn-unin grmnts tk ff. Nn-unin blu nd whit-cllr wrkrs gt t lst $50 nd s much s $150 lss in wgs thn uninisd mplys. Nn-unin wrkrs ls gt infrir cnditins f mplymnt in rs such s suprnnutin, hlidy lv, sick lv nd lng srvic lv.

Th scnd giv-wy fr ustrlin bsss, intrducd within yr f Lbr bing rturnd t ffic, ws th trining wg which ws sld, quit ccurtly, s Lbr t its btstrps. Th whl mplymnt Whit Ppr ws ctully tstimny t Lbrs filur in lvn yrs in ffic t dlivr nything lik full mplymnt. In 1978 th Lbr Prty hd dnuncd th cllus Hrrr Budgt intrducd by Mlclm Frsr whn thr wr 60,000 lng-trm unmplyd. By th tim Lbr tk ffic in 1983, th rcssin f 1982-83 hd rsultd in lng-trm unmplymnt incrsing t 200,000. Tn yrs ltr, undr Lbr, th figur hd grwn t 370,000. Th Gvrnmnts rctin ws t intrduc its Jbs Cmpct, llwing mplyrs t tk n cut-pric lbur with subsidis f up t $260 pr wk. Cmbining th chp wg nd subsidy, mplyrs r bl t hir lbur fr $10 pr wk, with n rquirmnt t kp th trin n th pyrll whn th subsidy xpirs ftr 6 r 12 mnths. Th min purps f this schm is nt t ffr hp fr yung wrkrs f rl jbs t dcnt rts f py but t incrs th pl f jb-rdy lbur which cn b usd t incrs cmptitin fr jbs nd kp dwn wgs in th currnt rcvry.

Th CTU hs ccptd bth th prvisin fr nn-unin ntrpris grmnts nd th trining wg dspit th bvius thrts tht thy ps t uninisd wrkrs. It is hmstrung in its ppsitin t furthr ttcks bcus it ccpts th businss nd Gvrnmnt gnd tht ur wgs nd cnditins shuld b dtrmind by th dmnds f intrntinl cmptitin. Wrkrs will b drivn int cmpting vr mr vigrusly with wrkrs in thr cmpnis, r vn with wrkrs in thr divisins f th sm cmpny r ntrpris, ll fr th sk f th prfit mrgins.

Wnt wg rstrint hlp cut unmplymnt?

Unin supprt fr wg rstrint in th 1980s nd th trining wg in th 1990s is bsd n th id tht mplyrs will tk n mr lbur if wgs r kpt dwn. But this is cmpltly mistkn. In th cs f th trining wg, th likly impct is tht ths tkn n will simply substitut fr wrkrs currntly mplyd n full wgs s th LP itslf rgud whn it cmpignd ginst th Clitins yuth wg prpsl bfr th 1993 lctin. Mr gnrlly, thr is n vidnc tht th vrll lvl f wgs hs ny significnt impct n mplymnt r unmplymnt. Wv lrdy sn hw th jbs crtd in th 1980s wr swpt wy by th rcssin f 1990-92. study cnductd by th Dprtmnt f Industril Rltins in 1990 fund tht in nly 4 pr cnt f css did bsss sck wrkrs bcus wgs wr t high.

Th situtin is th sm vrss. Thr is mssiv unmplymnt crisis thrughut th Wst, with 24 millin unmplyd in th big G7 cnmis ln, but thr is n rltinship btwn unmplymnt nd cuntris with high wgs. Trditinlly, th rltinship hs bn th ppsit: urpn cuntris with high wgs (prticulrly in Scndinvi nd Grmny) hv hd lw unmplymnt nd ths with lw wgs (prticulrly in Suthrn urp) hv hd vry high unmplymnt. Tw sprt studis by Grmn nd Swdish cnmists in 1986 nd 1991 rviwd th CD xprinc frm th 1960s t th 1980s nd cncludd tht wg lvls r chngs in wgs hd n rltinship t th grwth f unmplymnt thrughut th Wst.

Clrly, ny id tht ccpting wg rstrint thrugh cncssins in ntrpris grmnts will sk up th unmplyd is nn-strtr.

Cnt ntrpris brgining b usd t imprv things fr wmn?

Sm supprtrs f ntrpris brgining suggst tht wmn cn ngtit t hv thir wrking wk rrgnisd t tk ccunt f childcr rrngmnts r thir nd t lk ftr sick childrn. But th rlity is vry diffrnt. Th rgumnt rlis n th id tht wmn wrkrs will gt t dcid hw thy wuld lik t rrgnis thir wk. In prctic, it is th mplyrs wh dcid n th schdul, nt n th bsis f wrkrs nds, but n th bsis f pk wrk rquirmnts. This hs bn th xprinc f flxibl wrk schduling t ustrli Pst nd in th public srvic, nd tw-thirds f wmn rspnding t th Gvrnmnts 1994 survy sy tht chngs t wrk vr th curs f th yr md blncing btwn wrk nd fmily mr difficult.

nd whn w lk t th vrll pckg f ntrpris brgining, its clr tht it is n-win situtin fr wmn wrkrs. CTU Prsidnt-lct Jnni Grg lmly clims tht th jury is still ut n th issu, but ntrpris brgining, by drgulting py nd wrking cnditins in prid f high unmplymnt, clrly hits th mst prly-rgnisd wrkrs th hrdst. In mny css, this mns fml wrkrs in industris such s clthing, rtil nd srvic sctrs.

Tw rsrchrs in Sydny hv rviwd th 20 lrgst fdrl grmnts fr th NSW Dprtmnt f Industril Rltins nd rgu tht th min utcms f ntrpris brgining in fml-dmintd industris hv bn widr sprd f hurs f wrk, rducd pnlty rts nd incrsd us f csul nd prt-tim wrk, ll in rturn fr lwr py riss thn r typicl in ml-dmintd industris. s rsult f blishing pnlty rts, tk-hm py fr wmn cn vn b rducd. Rviwing th xprinc f ntrpris brgining in NSW, Lbr MLC Mrdith Burgmnn cncluds: It is quit clr tht th gd things tht hv ccurrd fr wmn r smll in numbr nd tht th bd things r widsprd. xctly th sm hs ccurrd undr th Nw Zlnd mplymnt cntrcts systm, whr vrg py riss fr wmn hv bn nly just vr hlf th vrg fr ml wrkrs.

Th CTU itslf rcgnisd th dngrs f ntrpris brgining fr qul py bck in 1985 whn its Cngrss rslvd tht industry nd ntrpris brgining disdvntgs lss rgnisd nd lss industrilly pwrful grups whil th Industril Rltins Cmmissin in 1991 dclrd tht ntrpris brgining plcs t rltiv disdvntg ths sctins f th wrkfrc whr wmn prdmint. Th nly diffrnc nw is tht it is th Lbr Gvrnmnt ding it rthr thn th Clitin prtis just prpsing it!

Ths wh suggst tht ntrpris brgining wrks fr wmn r simply trying t giv glss f scil justic t wht is in rlity n utright ttck n ll wrkrs, mn nd wmn. In this, thy find thmslvs in th gd cmpny f th NSW Librl Ministr fr Industril Rltins, wh prtnds tht ntrpris brgining cn mpwr wmn with rng f wrk ptins. Cnsidring th kind f wrk ptins fvurd by Librls, this shuld b nugh t snd wrning thrughut th unin mvmnt.


Wrkrs rsistnc t th Gvrnmnt gnd

IN 1995, fur yrs ftr ntrpris brgining bgn in rnst, nwsppr clumnists discvrd tht wrkrs wr suffring frm rfrm ftigu. Thy fund tht Lbr's rcvry ws vtlss rcvry nd tht cynicism twrds Gvrnmnt plicis, bth Lbr nd Clitin, is widsprd. Th prblm is tht whil mny wrkrs knw tht ntrpris brgining stinks, in th nd thy vt t ccpt ntrpris grmnts n th bsis tht thrs n ltrntiv. ur unin ldrs tll us tht if w dnt ntr int ntrpris brgining thn wll nvr gt nthr py ris. nd s, ll rund ustrli, ths wh wnt t fight ntrpris brgining fl tht thyll b lft n thir wn if thy rjct ntrpris grmnts. Th rl situtin, hwvr, is vry diffrnt.

ntrpris brgining is nt n unstppbl juggrnut, nd mny mplyrs r still hsitnt t lunch frntl ffnsiv ginst wrkrs. Thy undrstnd vry wll th ptntil fr ntrpris ngtitins nd grmnts t ld t bcklsh. Tht this fr is justifid is clr whn w lk t th rsistnc t trd-ffs tht hs bn vidnt in vry sctin f industry sinc ntrpris brgining first bgn.

Strting with ustrli Pst wrkrs in Nw Suth Wls in 1991, thr hv bn cmpigns by bth blu nd whit cllr wrkrs t rjct ntrpris grmnts which hd th blssing nt nly f mplyrs but ls f unin fficils nd th Kting gvrnmnt.

t Tyt in Mlburn in 1992, th unins prpsd ntrpris grmnt ws rjctd fur tims by wrkrs t th cmpnys Prt Mlburn plnt. nly n th fifth ttmpt, ftr prpgnd wr invlving lttrs t th Tyt wrkrs frm th unin, th cmpny nd th CTU, did thy ccpt th rvisd ntrpris grmnt.

In Mrch 1993 wrkrs t BHP struck ntinlly fr th first tim in tn yrs t prss fr th cmpny t fulfil its prmiss t py incrsd wgs rising ut f n rlir ntrpris grmnt. BHP wrkrs wr utrgd bcus, s n unin rgnisr put it: th trps s tht thy r lifting thir prductin, thy s fwr numbrs f ppl in th plnt, but thy dnt sm t b gtting th rwrds frm it. ftr thir strik th unin wn n immdit 5 pr cnt ris in th wrd wg.

CWU mmbrs t Tlcm hv cnsistntly fught ntrpris brgining, frcing th unin ldrship t cll mtings t discuss th issus. In ntinl scrt bllt in ugust 1993, ftr sustind cs ws run ginst th ntrpris grmnt by scilists nd thr rnk nd fil trd uninists, 34 pr cnt f Tlcm wrkrs (5,200 wrkrs) vtd ginst th scnd-rund ntrpris grmnt, dspit it bing hvily pushd by th unin ldrship nd mngmnt. n yr ltr, ppsitin tickts rn ginst th incumbnt fficils in th CWU ntinl lctins n th bsis f n vt fr th third rund f ntrpris brgining.

t Frnklins wrhuss, wrkrs tk stnd in pril 1994 ginst nginrd wrk stndrds (spd-up) bing intrducd vi ntrpris grmnts. Th cmpny plnnd t incrs th numbr f csul stff nd t implmnt wg incntiv schms. Th wrkrs, mmbrs f th NUW, struck fr wk ginst spd-up, frcing th cmpny t rtrt nd t cncd n immdit py ris f $25, with $10 t fllw. In th sm mnth 500 wrkrs wlkd ff th jb t th Shll rfinry in Glng in prtst ginst th scking f six wrkrs, nd wn thir jbs bck.

n f th mst utstnding cmpigns ginst rttn ntrpris dl invlvd NSW firfightrs in 1994. Just lik th Tyt wrkrs, firfightrs rjctd thir prpsd grmnt svrl tims nd rgud tht thy hd lrdy scrificd wrd cnditins in prvius yrs nd shuld nt hv t giv up still mr t gt py ris. Mss mtings, wrk bns nd cnsistnt publicity cmpign t rjct trd-ffs ld t th unin winning 13 pr cnt py ris.

Rsistnc t ntrpris brgining hs bn just s bvius mng whit-cllr wrkrs. Unin prssur by th PSU in 1993 frcd th Tlcm mngmnt t bck ff frm tipping whit-cllr wrkrs ff thir wrds nt individul cntrcts. In th sm yr, th NSW Public Srvic sscitin wn n immdit cst-f-living py ris f 7 pr cnt with n trd-ffs.

ppsitin hs bn vry bvius in th Cmmnwlth public srvic, whr wg ffrs hv bn nly just vr hlf th ging rt lswhr. Mss mtings nd cmbind dlgts mtings hv cnsistntly ithr vtd in ppsitin t gncy brgining r hv rcrdd vts f thr r fur hundrd ginst th dls bing prpsd. DSS ffics hv bn clsd n rgulr bsis by wrkrs prtsting ginst shrt-stffing. s rsult f this kind f prssur, th Gvrnmnt ws cmplld t grnt highr py riss fr public srvic wrkrs thn it hd riginlly plnnd. Thr is ls nw substntil numbr f public srvic wrkrs wh r ttlly ppsd t th cls c-prtin f thir unin with th Gvrnmnt, rsulting in th ppsitinl PSU Ntinl Chllng tm winning 35 pr cnt f th vt in lctins fr lding psitins in th PSU in Jun 1994.

Rsistnc t trd-ffs ws rspnsibl fr rsigntins f snir fficils in whit-cllr unins. In th sm mnth s th PSU lctin, th tw lding fficils f th Qunslnd brnch f th SPSF wr frcd t rsign ftr n ntrpris grmnt fr Qunslnd public srvnts ws rjctd by th unins stt cuncil. In pril 1994 th fdrl scrtry f th Finnc Sctr Unin, wh hd bn in ffic fr 26 yrs nd ws n nthusistic supprtr f wrkplc rfrm, ws ls frcd t quit ftr NZ bnk wrkrs vtd 7,000 t 5,000 t chuck ut prpsd grmnt which ffrd thm misrbl 1.5 pr cnt py ris in xchng fr substntil lngthning f rdinry tim hurs, wrk t wknds nd furthr stff cuts. Six thusnd jbs hd lrdy bn cut t th bnk nd, ccrding t th unins ssistnt scrtry, wrkrs flt thrtnd nd inscur bcus lw stffing lvls hd ld t xcssiv wrklds nd frcd unpid vrtim.

vn in rs f trditinlly wk unin rgnistin wrkrs hv knckd bck ntrpris grmnts. In th hspitlity industry, wrkrs vrwhlmingly rjctd n grmnt t th Shrtn Wntwrth Htl in Sydny vn ftr th grmnt signd t th cmpnys min htl in Mlburn hd bn widly sld by th CTU nd Gvrnmnt s mdl grmnt. In th insurnc industry, wrkrs t Clnil Mutul rjctd n ntrpris dl ffring 4 pr cnt whn thy hrd but thir gnrl mngr bing put n slry f $600,000. Th dl ws t xtnd rdinry wrking hurs t 7 m t 7 pm nd fr Sturdy wrk t b intrducd withut pnlty rts. Wrkrs sid tht thy wuld rthr nt hv th py ris thn hv t wrk still hrdr undr ths cnditins. In th clthing industry, which hs bn dcimtd in th pst dcd with fctry clsurs nd thusnds f sckings, wrkrs t Ykks fur fctris in Victri struck in ugust 1995 nd wn 9% py ris vr 18 mnths whil ls dfting mngmnt dmnds fr t brks t b scrppd. vn in th nn-unin privt bnking sctr, ntrpris flxibility grmnts wr knckd bck in bllts t th Bnk f Mlburn nd th Bndig Bnk in 1995.

nd in css whn wrkrs d ccpt n ntrpris grmnt in th first stg f ngtitins, thy r ftn wisr whn it cms t th scnd rund: nc bittn, twic shy! nd s t Frd in Mlburn, wrkrs ccptd n ntrpris grmnt in 1991 which gv thm py ris f 5 pr cnt but tk wy ml llwncs nd dirt mny. S whn it cm t ngtitins in 1993 thy wr rdy t fight. This tim mngmnt skd fr rductins in th prvisin f sick lv fr lng-srving wrkrs. Wrkrs dcidd tht thyd hd nugh. rnk nd fil rvlt fllwd, with fur-hur strik nd tw dys f sbtg rgnisd by junir stwrds nd thr shpflr ctivists. lthugh th unin vntully frcd th dl thrugh in scrt bllt, 600 wrkrs still vtd ginst th grmnt, illustrting th kind f frcs tht cn b mbilisd in th futur.

Th situtin t th Rhm plnt in Sydny is th clrst indictin f th lng-trm ffcts f ntrpris brgining. This plnt, which in 1992 ws th first t rgistr mtl industry grmnt bsd n prfrmnc-bsd py incrss, ws n rly shwcs f ntrpris brgining. Sinc 1992, hwvr, thr hs bn sris f stppgs nd bns, which culmintd in 1994 in strik with pickt lin by 350 mtlwrkrs ppsing cmpny pln t furthr incrs flxibility t th plnt.

Th rgumnts fr scrific, which wr s succssful in winning wrkrs t th ccrd nd wg rstrint thrugh th 1980s, hv wrn vry thin ftr dcd f wg cuts, rising unmplymnt nd sring prfits. This is bvius nt just frm unin rsistnc t ntrpris brgining but ls frm wrkrs rctin t th pliticl nd cnmic ffnsiv by th Librl Prty in 1992-93. Jff Knntt cm t pwr in Victri in ctbr 1992, full f blustr but hw h ws ging t tm th unins. Instd, 800,000 Victrin wrkrs struck, nd 150,000 wrkrs mrchd n Nvmbr 10, nd this stggring prtst ws fllwd in 1993 by furthr mrchs f 80,000 in Mrch nd 50,000 in My. Businss gt n vn biggr shck with th lctin rsult in Mrch 1993. crss ustrli it ws grd by ll th xprts tht Clitin Gvrnmnt ws crtinty. n th night, Lbr ws rturnd with 10 t 15 pr cnt swings in sm wrking clss lctrts nd n incrsd mjrity. This ws mr thn simply vt vr th GST: it ws clss rctin t th Librl thrt. Th significnc f this fr th ptntil fr wrkrs t rsist n widr frnt ws ntd by n cdmic frm th Univrsity f Nwcstl wh cmmntd:

It ws prhps n f th irnis f th lctin dbt tht whil th cncpt f bst prctic ws gining widr ccptnc t wrkplc lvl, th suprficility f much f th nwly cquird rhtric f trust nd c-prtin ws xprssd t th pliticl lvl by th rsurgnc f clss-bsd plristin rund th unfinishd gnd f lbur mrkt drgultin.

This clss-bsd plristin hs ls bn vidnt utsid Victri. In 1995 thr wr mss dmnstrtins nd gnrl striks by wrkrs in Suth ustrli nd Wstrn ustrli in prtst t stt gvrnmnt ttmpts t shckl unins nd imps swinging public-sctr cuts. nd wrkrs gnrlly r nw mr ppsd t privtistin thn thy wr in th 1980s: in 1994, 60% f wrkrs wr ppsd t furthr privtistin, s ginst nly 45% in 1987.

Thr is thr vidnc t shw tht mplyrs r nt gtting things ll thir wn wy. survy f 109 tp mngrs by rsrchrs t th Univrsity f NSW in 1993 shws tht th bsss think tht th mst significnt bstcl t implmnting chng t wrk in th lst thr yrs hs bn mply rsistnc. 58 pr cnt f mngrs citd this s n f th thr mjr prblms tht thy fcd. Th mngrs cmplind but mply cutin nd hsittin rund chng, stff scpticism nd pthy t chng, cmmitmnt prblms nd nn-unifrm supprt fr chng. thr mngrs rprtd tht th frnt-lin distrust th mtivs f tp mngmnt nd fr fr thir jb scurity. furthr 29 pr cnt f mplyrs mntind cmmunictin filurs, 21 pr cnt industril rltins issus, nd 15 pr cnt pr wrkplc cultur s significnt bstcls t chng. Mngmnt sid tht thy hd difficulty gtting th mssg thrugh, r tht thy suffrd frm unin inflxibility, ntrnchd industril rltins ttituds r th strngth f th unin.

Th sm kind f rsistnc is vidnt in th Gvrnmnts wn 1994 rprt n ntrpris brgining. Frty tw pr cnt f 11,000 wrkrs wh rspndd t th Gvrnmnts survy sid tht thy hd bcm lss stisfid with mngmnt cmprd t 12 mnths prviusly, whil n-hlf f mngrs survyd sid tht thy hd bn unbl t mk sm kind f wrkplc chng tht thy hd intndd. Tp f th list f issus n which mngmnt hd bn unbl t mk brkthrughs wr chngs t wrk prctics r wrking tim rrngmnts. This is nt surprising whn th survy shwd tht lmst s mny wrkrs thught tht thy wr wrs ff s rsult f ntrpris brgining s thught thy wr bttr ff.

With th rcvry f 1993-95, mplyr frs f wrkr rsistnc nd vn wg brkthrughs incrsd. Thy rcgnis th ptntil fr strngly-plcd unins t us skill shrtgs t bid fr lrg wg incrss. In Nvmbr 1993, Gvrnmnt dvisr Prfssr Bb Grgry wrnd tht thr ws srius dngr f wgs brkut in cming yrs if unmplymnt fll blw 7 pr cnt bcus f th prsumptin tht if n ntrpris chivs prductivity incrss, th firms wrkrs shuld shr in thm.

This is ls rcgnisd by th ustrlin nwsppr, which pintd ut in Mrch 1994 tht th nly thing stpping th unins frm ging ll ut fr whtvr wg riss thy cn gt during th rcvry is th cmmitmnt f th unin mvmnt in th ccrd t rstrint. Similrly, th ditr f th Businss Rviw Wkly tld rdrs:

Mny big cmpnis r tlling m tht thir wrkfrcs r bcming incrsingly difficult t hndl. Unin fficils ls rprt rumblings. Th wrkrs r sying tht thy did nt us thir muscl in th 1980s nd md big cncssins n wrk prctics. Nw tht businss is imprving, thy wnt shr f th ck.

Thr is bdrck f unin rgnistin n which wrkrs bility t rsist cn b built. survy by th Dprtmnt f Industril Rltins in 1990-91 shwd tht 80 pr cnt f wrkrs in wrkplcs f mr thn 20 r uninisd, nd f ths mmbrs, 22 pr cnt r in clsd shps. Tw-thirds hv dlgts t rprsnt thm. This is trmndus bstcl t unin-busting by ustrlin mngmnt. nd vn thugh striks r nw dwn t 50-yr lw, thr wr still vr 1,000 industril disputs rcrdd ch yr in th 1980s nd vn 560 striks in 1994. Sm sctins f th wrkfrc struck rgulrly, vn in th dpths f rcssin f 1991: th vrg cl minr ws n strik fr nrly fiv dys nd th mtl nd nginring wrkr fr nrly tw dys. In trms f ppl ttmpting t imprv thir livs, thr ws n thr undrtking in ustrlin scity tht s ctivly invlvd s mny ppl s striks.

Th unin ldrship undr prssur

WRKRS r shwing grwing hstility t furthr scrifics. mplyrs r wrrid tht thir gnd f wrkplc rfrm is ncuntring rsistnc. nd ur unin ldrs, wh hv dn s much t prmt industry rstructuring in th lst tn yrs, r nw fling th ht frm blw.

Th liks f Klty nd Frgusn r nt nrly s sur f thmslvs s thy wr tn yrs g whn th ccrd ws first intrducd. t tht tim unin ctivists nd scilists wh rgud tht it ws lding wrkrs int dd-nd wr dridd by th unin ldrs nd ftn wn littl supprt mngst thir wrkmts. Sm wr nthusistic supprtrs f th ccrd, rguing tht it culd imprv wgs, jbs, scil wlfr nd th rl f unins in gvrnmnt dcisin mking. Sm wr mr gurdd but thught tht w shuld giv it g.

Nw, s rsult f th rcssin tht w hd t hv, th Gvrnmnts dtrmintin t plugh hd with nn-unin ntrpris brgining nd its budgt cuts, sm unin ldrs hv bn frcd t tk stnd. This ws mst vidnt in 1993 mngst lding unin fficils in NSW. Stv Hutchins, ssistnt scrtry f th NSW TWU, tld th NSW brnch f th LP t its 1993 stt cnfrnc f his unins grwing cncrns but ntrpris brgining:

W hv sn tht th unmplymnt figurs hv nt chngd nd s fr s I'm cncrnd whn w hv bn invlvd in ntrpris brgining ll w hv dn is trd ff jbs w hv bcm mr prductiv nd put mr ppl ut f wrk.

S if w wrk n th bsis f ccrd Mrk 7 w will nvr gt t th stg whr w will b bl t gt fr th ustrlin wrkr sm srt f incrs, bcus by bing mr prductiv, mr fficint, mr invlvd in ntrpris brgining w will b putting mr ppl ut f wrk.

S w will nvr win.

In ugust 1993, th cmbintin f Brrtns plns fr nn-unin ntrpris brgining nd Dwkins fdrl budgt ld t th biggst split btwn th gvrnmnt nd th CTU sinc Hwk ws lctd in 1983. Snsing th md f mst unin mmbrs, Michl ssn, scrtry f th NSW Lbr Cuncil, clld th budgt n ct f bstrdry whil Mrtin Frgusn clld th cuts t Mdicr n bslut disgrc. thr unin ldrs thrtnd t munt wg cmpigns t cmpnst fr th tx incrss n ptrl nd cigrtts. Such prssur frcd th Gvrnmnt t bck-trck n sm f its msurs, lding th Finncil Rviw t rgu tht th Gvrnmnts rputtin hs bn vprting s fst s wtr n ht cmnt.

Mny unin fficils r nw rguing fr crss-th-brd py riss rthr thn ngtiting cmpny by cmpny r dprtmnt by dprtmnt. Lt in 1994 th mtlwrkrs nd trnsprt wrkrs put in fr 14.5 pr cnt crss-th-brd ris, nd in 1995 th cnstructin wrkrs unin wn n incrs f 15% ftr tking ctin crss th mjr mtrplitn sits.

Ths clims shw th wy frwrd fr wrkrs lrdy stuck with ntrpris brgining. Unins must push fr n-strings py riss fr ll mmbrs t b ldgd t th sm tim crss ll rlvnt industry sctrs. If mplyrs rsist, th ncssry ctin must b brught t br t win th clim. If nugh unins fllw this strtgy w cn prvnt ny furthr frcturing f unin slidrity nd pv th wy fr rturn t univrsl py riss fr ll wrkrs f th kind w hv hd in th pst.

Whil unin fficils r undr prssur t giv vic t wrkrs disstisfctin, it is ls clr tht thy cn nvr b trustd t truly rprsnt wrkrs intrsts. Thy rmin tid t th Lbr Gvrnmnt nd th whl gnd f incrsing industry prductivity, vn if this shuld mn furthr rdundncis. Thus, sur rltins btwn Gvrnmnt nd CTU in 1993 imprvd in th fllwing yr, s th CTU ndrsd first th Industril Rltins Rfrm ct nd thn th trining wg schm.

Th industril rcrd illustrts th prblm with plcing ur trust in th unin ldrs. Thy criticis businssmn wrding thmslvs ft py riss, but this is mr rtd in thir fr tht wrkrs might g fr th sm thn in ny sns f ngr t th injustic. Thy wnt businss t b mdrt, s thy cn sll mdrtin t th rnk nd fil mmbrship. In Nvmbr 1994 Klty cknwldgd tht thr is lt f wgs prssur ut thr nd dfndd th right f unins, such s th Trnsprt Wrkrs, t mk wg clims f 15%. Hwvr, h ls wvd th big stick, wrning unins nt t ngg in lpfrgging r t mk crss-th-brd clims. Th Trnsprt Wrkrs clim shuld b bsd n cmpny prfitbility nd prductivity nd must hv rgrd t th ntinl nvirnmnt.

Th cwrdlinss f th unin ldrs hs ls bn pprnt in numbr f ky industril disputs. Thy ndrs r vn ld ctin, nd thn shrink bck fr fr f upstting rltins with th Gvrnmnt r mplyrs. Thus, th Mritim Unin ld strik ginst th privtistin f ustrlin Ntinl Lin in lt 1994 but thn clld it ff, gring t smllr crws nd ultimtly t th crprtins privtistin. fw mnths ltr in rly 1995, Mrtin Frgusn flw int Munt Is t brkr sll-ut f MIM wrkrs wh hd struck fr 11 dys ginst cmpny plns t mk dl with th WU t rip up wrking cnditins whil dnying wrkrs th right t chs thir wn unin. ftr Frgusns intrvntin, th wrkrs ndd up frcd t ccpt th vry cnditins ginst which thy hd struck. Fr his ffrts in prmting th Gvrnmnt gnd within th unin mvmnt, nd in rcgnitin f srvics rndrd t businss, Frgusn ws duly rwrdd ltr in th yr with prslctin fr th sf fdrl LP st f Btmn in Mlburn.

Similr prblms with th unin ldrs strtgy r bvius in th public srvic, whr wrkrs wr in uprr thrughut 1995 vr lck f stff nd vrwrk. Undr prssur, th ldrship f th CPSU ws frcd t munt cmpign fr mr stff. Hwvr, s th yr wr n, thy bgn t ppr knr nt t pliticlly mbrrss Gvrnmnt fcing fdrl lctin within th yr, thn t th prspct f lding th kind f ctin tht culd win. Rthr thn using wrkrs ngr t gnrt ppsitin t ll cut-bcks s wy bth f pushing bck th Gvrnmnt ffnsiv nd dvlping wrkrs industril slf-cnfidnc, thy prfrrd t g quit in th hp tht Lbr ws nt hurt lctrlly.

Th prblm with this strtgy is tht it brings but th vry utcm it is dsignd t vid. Thus six yrs f industril spinlssnss frm Qunslnds unin fficils in th fc f public-sctr cuts lft th wy pn fr th cnsrvtivs t cuntr-ttck in th 1995 stt lctin whn th unbtbl Wyn Gss Gvrnmnt cm within 16 vts f dft. Ky swings ginst th Gvrnmnt wr rcrdd mngst public sctr wrkrs ngry t th cuts.

Whr t nw?

W CN bt ntrpris brgining but whthr th ptntil fr rsistnc t furthr scrific is rlisd will dpnd n ldrship nd plitics.

Its imprtnt fr militnts t b rgnisd t fight ntrpris brgining. Tim nd gin ur unin ldrs rsrt t scrcy nd intimidtin t prss thrugh th ntrpris brgining gnd. Mny trd uninists cn tll stris f th scrtiv wy in which thir ldrs cnduct ngtitins vr ntrpris grmnts with mngmnt. Th fficils dnt tll mmbrs whts invlvd until th vry lst mmnt, whn th grmnt is prsntd s finishd pckg. Mmbrs thn dnt gt chnc t listn t th issus t mss mtings but r tld t vt t lcl wrkplc mtings, whr ppnnts f ntrpris brgining dnt lwys gt chnc t rgu ginst th dl. Nrly n-third f ll wrkrs rspnding t th Gvrnmnts 1994 brgining survy rprtd tht thy did nt hv fir sy, with th mst cmmn rsn bing tht nithr mngmnt nr thir unin invlvd thm.

In sm css, unin fficils kp hlding vts until mmbrs vt th right wy, nd in thrs, th unin ldrs r s scrd f th prspct f th dl bing dftd t pn mtings tht thy hld scrt bllts. nly in this wy culd th ntrpris grmnt b rmmd thrugh in Tlcm, fr xmpl, in th fc f mmbrship rsistnc.

In mny css wrkrs r scpticl but ntrpris brgining but my b bmbzld by th rgumnts f mngmnt nd th unin ldrships. Hwvr, tim nd gin it hs bn shwn tht rnk nd fil wrkrs wh mk th rgumnts ginst ntrpris brgining in clr nd infrmtiv wy cn gt gd hring. nd if th dl is nt rjctd immditly, fllw wrkrs rmmbr th rgumnts whn it cms t th scnd rund f ngtitins. Thn its vn mr likly tht th grmnt will b knckd bck nd cnditins scurd.

nd whn ctivists gt tgthr, w cn strt building ntwrks in ch mjr industry nd unin t mk th rgumnts but whts wrng with ntrpris brgining nd why w dnt hv t put up with yt mr trd-ffs. ctivists nd t mbilis rund sris f clr dmnds. Th bttm lin is tht thr shuld b n trd-ffs, n rdundncis, wrds shuld b dfndd, nd ll wg riss shuld b crss-th-brd.

This ls mns tht militnts shuld b xtrmly wry but gtting invlvd in ngtiting cmmitts in th hp f chnging th gnd. This tctic hs bn put frwrd by mny in th lbur mvmnt, in th hp tht ntrpris brgining cn dlivr imprvmnts rthr thn scrifics. Fr xmpl, th Ntinl Py quity Clitin urgs ctivists, prticulrly wmn cncrnd but th widning py gp with mn, t cntrl th gnd nd dvlp ltrntiv slutins. It suggsts tht uninists lk t ltrntiv prductivity msurs, including imprving qulity, custmr srvic, tchnlgy, nd jb rdsign, s n ltrntiv t simply cutting jbs. Wrkrs r urgd t msur prductivity f th ntrpris r tm rthr thn individul wrkrs nd t mphsis intr-rltd fctrs which ffct hw wll th ntrpris ds.

But ll f this is missing th pint. ntrpris brgining is quit unlik trditinl wg brgining in tht it is ntirly bsd n trding ff wgs fr wrking cnditins nd jbs. Th tsk f unin ngtitrs in ths situtins is t put frwrd th lst dmging cncssins nd t rgu with fllw ngtitrs but wht mmbrs wuld b mst prprd t scrific fr py ris. Th nly rsult f such invlvmnt will b th discrditing f unin ngtitrs in th ys f thir fllw wrkrs.

This is prticulrly imprtnt pint, bcus unin fficils nd mngmnt ftn pprch militnts t tk up psitins n ngtiting r cnsulttiv tms with th clr im f gtting ptntil ppnnts f ny drft grmnt t tk rspnsibility fr slling it t mmbrs. In sm css snir unin fficils knw tht th crdibility tht wrkplc militnts hv will b nugh t lly ny justifid frs tht wrkrs my hv but th impct f th grmnt. Th nly bsis tht militnts shuld gt invlvd in such cmmitts is with clr mmbrship bcking t fight trd ffs f ny kind. If it bcms impssibl t blck such dls n th cmmitt, militnts shuld rsign nd xplin why t th mmbrship.

s wll s rgnistin, ppnnts f ntrpris brgining nd t b quippd with th plitics ncssry t dl with qustins lik ths cvrd in this pmphlt. W hv t b bl t xplin why wrking hrdr r ccpting rdundncis isnt ging t sv singl jb in th futur. W nd t b cnfidnt t rgu tht w hv n ntinl intrst with th bsss r th Gvrnmnt. W hv t sy tht wrkrs hv nly gn frwrd whn w hv stuck tgthr nd fught tgthr. Bnchmrking nd cmptitin is n-win gm fr wrkrs: instd w nd slidrity within th lbur mvmnt f th kind w sw in Nvmbr 1992 in Victri, whn wmn nd mn, whit-cllr nd blu-cllr, yung nd ld std up t fight Knntts ttcks in th biggst wrking-clss dmnstrtin sinc th First Wrld Wr.

W ls nd t rgu tht wrkrs fighting vrss ginst thir wn bsss prductivity ffnsivs r ur llis, nt ur cmptitrs. vry strik nd vry mbilistin by wrkrs in si is stp frwrd fr ur rights s wll s ths f wrkrs in vry cuntry. Th ris f indpndnt unins in Indnsi, th stirring f th lbur mvmnt in Tiwn nd th mssiv displys f industril pwr by th Suth Krn wrkfrc in th lst tn yrs ll shw wy fr ustrlin wrkrs t fight. Th mr w build slidrity crss cmpnis nd rgnistins, crss stts, nd crss ntinl brdrs, th lss chnc th mplyrs hv t ply divid nd rul.

Th fr tht hunts Gvrnmnt nd mplyrs in ustrli is tht undrnth th currnt situtin f pprnt industril pssivity in mst sctrs f industry lis th ptntil fr n xplsin f scil nd pliticl discntnt f th kind tht hs flrd up rund th wrld in th pst thr yrs, frm th Ls ngls rbllin nd th dmnstrtins by 150,000 minwrkrs nd thir supprtrs in Britin, t th studnt nd unin dmnstrtins in Pris vr Gvrnmnt cutbcks.

T tk th fight ginst ntrpris brgining frwrd, nd t cpitlis n th struggls t cm, w nd t build n rgnistin cmmittd t fighting fr scilist plitics. Tht mns rcgnising tht its th bsss systm tht is in crisis nd tht ur scrifics nw simply mn mr scrifics in th futur. It mns lrning t put prssur n ur unin ldrs whil rgnising mng th rnk nd fil fr whn ur ldrs lt us dwn. nd it mns building gnuin wrkrs prty tht cn prvid fighting ltrntiv t Lbrs btryls.

mplyrs hv shwn tht thy hv n wy ut f thir crisis thr thn t thrw hundrds f thusnds f wrkrs nt th scrp-hp. In th Blkns nd in fric, th crisis hs ld t scrific f n vn grtr, inhumn kind.

Th fight ginst ntrpris brgining is prt f th fight ginst th crrupt priritis f th systm. If yu gr, jin th scilists.

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