2 thoughts on “What I’ve been doing and saying

  1. Paul Keating and Bill Kelty introduced enterprise bargaining because industry-wide agreements (according to them) didn’t foster productivity gains – what should be the source of worker wealth. Now it seems that with the decline of the unions, particularly in poorly paid service industries such as aged care, they have reversed their position and want, as you do, industry-level agreements. I am skeptical of this line as many of these service sectors are competitive. I do wonder if the flow of immigrant workers into these sectors – nage care particularly – is putting a seal on wage increases rather than a lack of worker bargaining power. If wages are marginally above unemployment benefits and Australians are unwilling to take low-paid jobs rather than collect the dole then that would explain the bleating of employers to up the immigrant intake. Lack of bargaining power shouldn’t matter much if you have lots of firms competing for workers.

  2. Paul Keating and Bill Kelty introduced enterprise bargaining because industry-wide agreements (according to them) didn’t foster productivity gains – what should be the source of worker wealth. Now it seems that with the decline of the unions, particularly in poorly paid service industries such as aged care, they have reversed their position and want, as you do, industry-level agreements. I am skeptical of this line as many of these service sectors are competitive. I do wonder if the flow of immigrant workers into these sectors – nage care particularly – is putting a seal on wage increases rather than a lack of worker bargaining power. If wages are marginally above unemployment benefits and Australians are unwilling to take low-paid jobs rather than collect the dole then that would explain the bleating of employers to up the immigrant intake. Lack of bargaining power shouldn’t matter much if you have lots of firms competing for workers.

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