Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Holiday Choices, Labor's newest Affordable Housing Strategy?

Today's SMH reports:

"Under [Howard's] Work Choices employers and staff could cash out up to two weeks of an employee's annual leave each year. Labor's standard will allow individual industrial awards to include provisions for cashing out annual leave with no ceiling on the amount that may be paid out each year."

This from a Labor Government???

Is this some kind of backdoor "Affordable Housing" strategy, tempting workers to solve a systematic problem with an individual solution?

It is clear where the extra money will go.

Some Holiday Choices! Workers will be forced to make the agonising decision. Shall I sacrifice my rest, my health, my family time to catch up on my mortgage or rent arrears".

This "Sophie's Choice" should never be imposed on the vulnerable members of society.

Only yesterday. DH praised Rudd to the skies. Kevin Rudd, go back out in the cold please.

And only yesterday, under the heading NSW Govt exploits contract workers, DH explained very carefully how workers' entitlements are eroded by contract work, and how contract deals that looked so sweet 10 years ago are now leaving contractors far worse off in every way than permanent employees. All that is left is the illusion of freedom.

A corollary of this principle is that once employees trade their holidays away, they will never get them, let alone their health, back.

In what has been the most Judaeo-Ecumenical week in the history of this diary, DH, a card-carrying atheist yet, has had to remind Kevin Rudd once again to go back to his Bible and "
Consider the lilies".

Dear friends, today's lesson calls Father Kevin to "Remember the Sabbath Day and Keep It Holy".

That simple tenet, the fundamental need for time for rest and replenishment, underpins the social justice ethic of Western Civ.

Not a good idea to throw this time-honoured principle to the dogs.

* The pic is a still from Sid Caesar's "Boardroom Lunch", which is not only brilliant slapstick, but in its ending, an education in realpolitik. Guaranteed to make your day

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