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EYE-BALL Opinion – The UNION’s – someone needs to tell them some real facts …

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Title:
– The UNION’s –
– someone needs to tell them –
– about high labour costs –
| Author: EYE-BALL Opinion | 16th Mar 2013 |
The MUA [Maritime Union of Australia] came out yesterday with demands for up to 56 days’ extra pay if Australian crew come into contact ‘457’ workers.  Can you imagine the fallout from such a high-handed demand – MUA members think that they need extra pay and conditions to work with ‘457’ workers.

Australia is on of the most expensive places in the world because of its high labour force costs – made so because of the high A$ value. Someone needs to help the Unions understand what the rest of the Nation already knows.

The Australian reported the story below:

Maritime Union fuels Julia GIllard’s war on foreign workers


| Author: SID MAHER, POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT| Date: Mar 16th, 2013 | Link to On-Line Story. |


THE Maritime Union of Australia has launched a new assault on foreign workers, demanding up to 56 days’ extra pay if Australian crew come into contact with them.

The demand – in a draft enterprise bargaining document prepared by the MUA for negotiations in the oil and gas industry and obtained by The Weekend Australian – calls for 28 days’ pay and an additional 28 days’ leave if a vessel operator or owner “engages foreign labour in the demobilisation or mobilisation of a vessel that has been working on the Australian coast”.

The union’s draft EBA demand also includes $495 a day in allowances for workers on the Inpex-dominated Ichthys LNG Project being constructed in the Browse Basin, the nation’s second-largest LNG project.

This includes a special $250-a-day payment linked specifically to the Inpex project.

It also calls for “hard-lying” allowances of $60 a day if there is no satellite reception and/or internet reception in cabins, $60 a day if there are no TVs, DVDs or radios, and $40 a day if there is a non-compliant galley.

The EBA demands four-star hotel accommodation for workers, and private health insurance.

The MUA demand opens a new front in the union fight against foreign workers. This has sparked an attack on temporary foreign worker visa rorts by Julia Gillard and promises that Australian jobs will be put first.

An MUA spokeswoman said negotiations over a new offshore enterprise bargaining agreement were still at a very early stage.

“The MUA is committed to ensuring these negotiations continue in good faith,” she said. “Our members have identified safety, training and security of employment – especially in relation to the use of temporary foreign workers – as their primary concerns in these negotiations.

“MUA members are not against the use of overseas workers where there is a genuine skills shortage. However, they have been increasingly concerned as some employers have turned to the 457 visa scheme to undercut local labour conditions and wages or to avoid investing in the training of local workers.”

The Prime Minister said during her western Sydney visits this month that Australian workers would go to the front of the queue and foreign workers would go to the back. The attack sparked a backlash from business groups and warnings from former senior diplomats that the crackdown on the use of 457 skilled worker visas could undermine Australia’s Asian century strategy.

Labor insiders have cited the attack on 457 visas as one reason the government’s stocks lifted in the latest Newspoll as it gained support in western Sydney.

Ms Gillard, who presided over a record number of 457 visas being granted last year, hardened her rhetoric this week, arguing that temporary overseas workers on 457 visas were increasing much faster than employment was growing.

“Temporary overseas worker number are up 20 per cent compared with the same time last year,” Ms Gillard told the ACTU in Canberra this week.

Immigration Department figures show applications for 457 visas have trended downwards for the past seven months, in line with declining demand in the economy.

Monthly visa applications were 26.5 per cent lower in January compared with their peak in June last year. That coincided with a rise in total employment of 0.5 per cent in the same period.

The use of 457 visa applications has grown greatly over the course of the past decade, rising from 49,590 in 2004-05 to 110,570 in 2007-08, the last year of the Howard government.

After reaching a low of 67,980 in 2009-10 after the global financial crisis, the use of 457 visas rose to 125,070 in 2011.

Immigration Minister Brendan O’Connor yesterday defended the government’s crackdown on 457 visas. “The government is perfectly correct in saying that the total new 457 issues have vastly outstripped total employment growth,” he told the ABC. “But the totals really aren’t the point of our reforms. We’ve made clear that the government doesn’t think all 457s are rorts; we’ve never suggested that. What we’ve suggested is that the government thinks that there are problems with particular firms and particular occupations.

“This is hysteria because the point is all we are making is that there are genuine shortages. Why would you oppose reforms if all we’re doing is ensuring that they’re genuine shortages before you actually bring somebody in?

“That’s the question that should be asked here. Because the reality is, the scheme itself is fine if it’s being used properly. It’s not being used properly, we’re attending to that and the critics of these reforms clearly support the rorts.”

Tony Abbott said if there were rorts going on they should be properly policed and “this is the Prime Minister’s responsibility”.

Last month Workplace Relations Minister Bill Shorten publicly aligned himself with the MUA, declaring he wished he could inject its “spirit” into some Labor MPs to convince them the election was winnable.

Ms Gillard praised the union as a “voice for fairness and opportunity since 1872 and few unions have your amazing record of strength and solidarity in good times and in bad”.

Tensions over 457 visa workers erupted last month when temporary foreign workers were choppered on to a heavily picketed construction site to combat a union and community campaign to blackban foreign workers and widen coverage. Up to 40 picketers were trying to block access to a $40 million water project in Werribee, near Melbourne, for more than a week as part of what they claimed was a “community” campaign that the industry maintains is linked to the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union.

With reference to the Chart used in the above story – the Government needs to provide details about how many of the 120k+ ‘457’ visa’s have been issued to ‘boat arrivals’, and how many of them have actually been given permission to seek work.

Gillard is attempting to cloud the illegal immigration issue with legitimate ‘457’ visa entry and is out there cracking the ‘457’ whip on behalf of her beloved Unions – it is desperate days for Gillard and she’s hoping the Unions can do for her what she can’t do for herself.

In a different era, this whip around might gain some traction, but the wheels have turned. The Australian workforce is overpaid, underworked, and has too many benefits to compete on the international stage.   Australian workers would disagree with this summation, but then their lot has not changed at al, got worse if anything … they need to be told that the Governments consent to the high A$ value has positioned them where they sit on a world stage.

The Australian workforce has priced itself as ‘too expensive’ when compared with the rest of the world and it’s all about to collapse on itself.

Just on currency value alone – it costs the world an extra 40% to buy goods from Australia, Australian Companies are exporting jobs offshore because of the cheaper costs involved.  This information is known in wider circles, someone just has to get the message to the Unions that they risk all members jobs if they place demands like the MUA has in the above story.

This observation does not go near the reasons for the demands in the first place – i.e. in lieu of working with ‘457’ workers.   That is another story all in itself.

Gillard and Swan are five years too late to the party to do something about labour costs … the RBA were no help, and whatever advice Treasury were acting upon, Swan and Gillard being Union people were asleep at the wheel.

Australian business’ must be shaking their heads on Gillards latest pet project … the end can’t come quick enough.


The EYE-BALL Opinion plea for action:

Gillard’s Government is poison to this Nation … how do we get rid of her now?

The message has to be sent – there are some 14 million registered voters represented by 150 MP’s – 72 of which are ALP.    If each of these 72 ALP MP’s received an e-mail, a fax, a phone call, or a letter from all the people who want her gone with a simple message like the one below –  :

This is a protest message …
GET RID OF GILLARD

… do you think it might motivate caucus …

Please – send this message to as many and as often as you can – bombard the Caucus Members with a message so clear and with weight of numbers that it will force them to act.

You could also think about sending it to the Independents, Oakeshott, Windsor, Wilkie, and Brandt,  as well … Katter already votes with the Coalition, and Slipper and Thompson are a lost cause and their fate already sealed.

Links to every MP e-mail can be found using the Australian Parliamentary Website Members and Senator links below … pick your an ALP MP or Senator, or send it to all – voice your opinion now.

Please – if you found this story to your liking and would like to promote it to your social media contacts – i.e. Twitter, Facebook, or other icon linked account below – please use/click on your favoured Icon(s) to promote the story.  Thankyou.


Have your say where it counts: – contact your Local Federal Representative via the links below and let them know how you feel about this, or any other topic that you feel strongly about – or you can just post a comment below and let off some steam.

Links to Australian Parliamentary Website – MP’s


The EYE-BALL Opinion …

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