Get Real Paid

Posted: July 13, 2012 in Politics

I don’t agree with a lot of what Tony Abbott says, but this week he started making a little sense.

There are some people out there doing it tough, no doubt, and maybe the industrial relations system we have in place needs a makeover.

People like Gerry Harvey, who are struggling to make ends meet, must weep at the thought of paying those filthy rich floor staff and cashiers overtime.

Companies on the verge of financial collapse like Woolworths and Wesfarmers (Coles) can’t be finding it easy to pay their cashiers and shelf stackers extra to work through till midnight.

Could Abbott be right? Do we need to tighten things up?

Abbott’s words 12th July 2012

“Workplace relations changes over the last few years … are making it harder for you to stay open on Sundays, after hours, on public holidays,”

“You do need more flexibility in your workplace arrangements – individual flexibility agreements must be made more workable, and we will do that.”

Dead, buried, and cremated??

Well, I for one don’t think so Mr Abbott.

Much of this work is performed by students, trying to pay their way through University, or earning some money while attending Tech.

Tony Abbott keeps telling us how tough families are doing it, but he wants to stop them from earning too much extra money. Maybe he is right, maybe those doing it tough, or trying to educate themselves should be made to work at nights and over weekends for less money. After all, while the rest of the world is going out at night, or enjoying their weekend, we still need those doing it tough to be able to wait on us, or serve us. We just don’t want to have to pay them… well maybe just a few crumbs…

What a crock…

Some of these struggling bosses paid obscene amounts of money to hear Abbott stutter his way through this speech over lunch.

Struggling indeed…

One of Abbott’s struggling “Fat Cats”?

We constantly hear from right wing commentators how we shouldn’t help out industries doing it tough. Business’s that aren’t viable should be let fail they tell us. Abbott agrees with that when it suits him, but when it comes to some sectors, it’s best to strip money from the workers to inflate the swollen bank accounts of the bosses apparently.

Does Tony Abbott take us all for idiots?

These businesses he talks of started up knowing all too well that workers are paid overtime and penalty rates. All too well. Most people do a little trick before opening up a business, commonly referred to as research. Any of these businesses who were not aware of these things, maybe you should apply the right-wing theory to them, and let them fail.

Unless Abbott has found a new demographic to pitch to… Those who were dropped on their heads as infants. Good luck with that Tony.

Those of us who weren’t dropped on our heads see things in a different light.

We know, for example, that getting a first rate education is important, going to uni is something that should be encouraged and made as easy as possible. It is important that these students be able to work and earn a decent salary, I don’t believe any of them are planning to retire on their Gloria Jeans or Liquorland wage.

The selfish amongst us also realise something. If you don’t pay staff extra to work at night or on the weekend, you won’t get decent staff… It’s a simple concept really, I hope someone takes the time to explain it to Abbott, slowly would be best…

These selfish folk amongst us want to be served by the best, and why not?? They don’t care who is serving drinks at the bar when they’re at work. Who cares if the barista is crap when your nowhere near the cafe? When these people are out, they want the best of workers serving them. The best of workers will be waiting for a drink at the bar next to them if we lose penalty rates.

The concept is, that during busy times you want your best workers, despite it costing extra. Given that the busy times are on weekends and nights, in most service roles, penalty rates are needed to attract your best staff.

Abbott needs to understand, just because someone is still at university or college, doesn’t mean they are not yet educated. It does not in any way mean that they are a dumb shit.

These people, the students, and even those in our outer suburbs who may not have had the benefit of a fantastic education. These people are not idiots, contrary to what Abbott may think, they were not dropped on their heads as infants. They are capable of deciding what is best for themselves.

That is why I’m glad Tony Abbott is starting to actually form policies. I hope what he said at that lunch was a pre-prepared written statement, so we will know it was Tony’s version of “Gospel Truth”, as it seems the choice is becoming more simple.

I hope all students take note of Abbott’s plans. Not just students either, those single parents who work odd hours, those struggling and working a second job, and of course, all those middle class people who have children working for their pocket money.

Here is that choice made simple.

Under a Labor government, just over a million of you will pay no tax, none, nil, nada… you will be removed from the tax system. This means more money for you.

Under a Coalition government, you will lose overtime, and penalty rates. The minimum number of working hours will likely drop from 4 to 2 also. This means less money for you. However, you will be compensated, your compensation will be knowing that big miners like Clive Palmer, Andrew “Twiggy” Forest, and Gina Rinehart will pay less tax instead. Awww what a comfort…

That choice again. More money, or less money.


Tough call.

  1. Brad says:

    Been thinking the same things for years Peter..Everybody wants the best of everything but nobody wants to pay for it ..Simple solution for the bastards :breed a sub class of drones to wipe their arses for them..
    It’s hard yakka doing the physical work that keeps the pigs fed and clean..
    Most of the fuckers would have never done a hard days slog in their lives..
    If you ask me, its all upside down…checked shirt boys should be on the income of the pigs and visa versa..

    • wixxy says:


      “It’s hard yakka doing the physical work that keeps the pigs fed and clean”

      That is an awesome line, I may have to borrow it one day 🙂 Top job


  2. Min says:

    Efficiency does not mean taking away penalty rates and hitting your workers over the head with a wet mop to make them work harder..every good boss knows that maximum efficiency means taking your workers on the journey with you.

  3. Miglo says:

    My salary went up $9,000 a year when WorkChoices was dumped. On an AWA that’s how much lower my pay was than the union supported Certified Agreement.

  4. Min says:

    Wixxy, I expect Julia to launch the mother of all scare campaigns in the lead up to the next election. JG is a strategist.

  5. hayzeee says:

    Work choices lives still in the mind of the mad monk!

  6. PuffyTMD says:

    Good article!
    Can you please make the font bigger, and the grey a bit darker?

  7. Steve says:

    Workchoices was, is and always will be alive and well, and living in the large vacant space between Abbotts ears. along with the rest of the vacuous Howard policies, re-hashed, renamed and resurrected.
    But then what can you expect from a party with a front bench, sporting the kind of talent exemplified by the likes of Pyne, Bishop, Hockey, Mirrabella, sadly even Turnbull and of course the mad monk himself, not one of whom are capable of original thought.
    I did at one time consider Turnbull to be the one possible shining light in the intellectual vacuum that is the LNP, but after his comments of late I realised that he is as sadly lacking as the rest of them.
    All I can say is that IF this mob get their grubby little hands on our country…..God help us!

  8. thereal2bob says:

    Does Tony Abbott take us all for idiots?

    No way on earth!
    But given the polls show the coalition primary vote at 56% he can certainly assume that at least 53% of us are.
    The problem as I see it is that there are about 20% of people who see themselves as rich and think that they will do better under abbott when in reality it is closer to 2 or 3 % and then there are about 36 % of people too dumb to count beyond 2. The greedy and the dumb account for 56 % of us and the authorities wonder why I’m not an organ donor. I’m pretty confident that coalition supporter won’t get it.

    • Eldred says:

      I find quite a bit of doubt the efficacy of opinion polls.
      Who do you know that has been asked directly and responded honestly about some political drama when the phone rings and you’re cooking dinner or not that interested to be probed into an opinion?
      Or when someone with a microphone or clipboard stops you in the street?

      I think a lot of ‘opinion’ is agreement with the questioner due the framing of the query.
      “How much in an opinion scale numbered one to X, with ‘one’ good ‘X’ shithouse, do you believe in…(insert tick here).

      Many who cruise the online poll sites about making a few E-Dollars by taking ‘surveys’ about shopping, banking, motoring etc often find a gotcha question about the pollies.
      In this modern age many people, especially the young with smartphones, are insulated from the pollsters, and also the elderly who still have committed views.

      Anyway that’s my opinion

  9. paulwello says:

    How mush do u want to bet none of what he talked about gets into a news LTD paper

  10. kazann says:

    Ah Tony Abbott as usual on the high wire balancing. what he has actively believed in and pushed for in the past, his true beliefs, against his populist, they’re all dumb ass suckers, tell em what they want to hear and make me king agenda. Then once in power the suckers will get punched.

    When did we become such an unthinking society where people are only able to absorb the who and what and rarely think about the why and how?

    When my child was seeing a speech pathologist one of the tell tale signs of my child’s disorder was his inability to take in anything more than who and what. The speech pathologist said it was typical of children with a receptive and expressive communication disorder. The why and how were, at that time, to much for him to process. Is that where we are going? A society filled with people who don’t have the capacity to ask how and why. Are they time poor? Disinterested? Have undiagnosed receptive and expressive language disorders?

    Lets hope people start to ask questions before the sucker punch fest begins and life starts imitating art (bad art in this case) where we find ourselves living in Idiocracy, a crap movie with characters scarily resembling some people I know.

  11. debbiep says:

    Kazann may have hit the nail on the head, so to speak . One of my sons went through school with constant comments saying he disrupted class. Why? Because he asked questions all the time. Only a few teachers ever found this as enlightening. His maths, physics , history and science teachers love him for it.

    Bottom line, We are not encouraged to ask questions anymore. Is this what is missing? As we watch where all this may be going. Questions ARE important and people are not asking the how and why?

  12. Marian Rumens says:

    If only we could get this article out into the general populace. Anybody got any bright ideas? Maybe somebody could slip it into the ‘comments’ in newspaper

  13. Itsjustnotthatsimple says:

    Australia has some of the most expensive wages in the world. Simple economics will take over if we dont. That means people will just buy from overseas where its cheaper to do so and Australian retailers, manufacturers etc will go broke and shut shop. We cant hide from the global economony anymore no matter whether we think its fair or not. As long as everyone is happy for that to happen, heck lets give everyone a pay rise!

    • wixxy says:

      I don’t think amybody is getting a pay rise, they are just not being taxed. this means more money being spent, this means an overall increase in sales.

      From someone who is a supplier in the retail channel, I can tell you that these retailer fight tooth and nail to be open longer hous and on public holidays, despite penalty rates. In WA they have been fighting for as long as i can remember for Sunday trading.

      Trust me, it’s not so they can lose money….

      But you may be right, maybe we should base ousrelves on overseas economies, like Greece, Spain, Ireland, Italy, even the US and the UK. They are doing so well

  14. millymolly55b says:

    I’d like to question the assumption that students must work underpaid, night-time / weekends jobs alongside study and getting themselves an adult education. It is reasonable to assume that once their study is completed most will become valuable members of society and will repay any reasonable investment in them. Being tired from working in a bar or retail outlet is not the best way to maximise one’s ability to assimilate and utilise new concepts. Who when they are exhausted is able to formulate deep and pertinent questions or conceive complex arguments to challenge something presented to them?

    Also, the assumption that it is ok to pay someone less because they are younger is weird – just like basing their rate of pay on the colour of their skin or their gender. Factors that count are; that they do the job well, the demands that they meet to do that (travel, shifts, stress, dealing with the public / issues, etc), and that the pay is fair for *anyone* who has to fund a life outside work in that community.

    The best workers for a job may not be the academic whiz kids, it may be a mature plodder of moderate intellectual capacity – if the work is demanding they should get paid more, whoever they are.

    I realise this is very subjective – but what we currently have is ‘if it is is awful / dehumanising / lonely / smelly / dreadful hours or shifts then you get paid less. If it is exciting / glamourous / gives you control and power and has lots of perks then you get paid more’

  15. Imagine says:

    Workchoices never went away. The ideology of the Libs will always try to disempower workers to favour the rich and powerful overlords, until we end-up with a serf class in this country.

    If AWAs were so bloody good, why weren’t politicians on them?

  16. Oscar Jones says:

    I think the Coalition knows there ARE a lot of idiots out there. You would think in this era of mass communication that the public would be educated but the reality is that news is spread thin and drama and gossip dominate.

    There is no real analysis and the reason Howard lost was Work Choices- in other words enough voters voter for purely selfish reasons. They let Howard get away with anything he wanted before then but as soon as their own pocket was threatened he was doomed.

    As another points out, Labor should mount the mother of all Work Choice scares. Abbott and the Coalition is stacked with dunderheads who think the USA experiment is admirable yet since Regan (as Thatcher did) began to dismantle the New Deal that enriched the USA beyond all dreams, it’s been catapulting out of control. Corporatism has replaced capitalism and seems determined to stack wealth at the very top and slave it’s customers in poverty.

  17. Itsjustnotthatsimple says:

    @ wixxy thats a somewhat distorted twist to compare us to those economies. Realistically you just have to look where Australians are buying their retail and manufactured products from. Places like India, China and Asia. Those economies are undergoing enormous growth and the simple fact is that it doesnt matter if you and I dont agree with it, their costs (particularly wages) are so significantly lower than ours, that if we cant find ways to reduce costs and improve our productivity, it simply wont be economically viable for Australia to run businesses that compete. In other words, there wont be any jobs in those sectors to pay penalty rates to.

    So you can all get on your high horse about whether its “fair” or not to pay penalty rates, but at the end of the day, it doesnt matter what you think, simple economics is what it is and blaming Tony Abbott is just plain ignorant.

    • wixxy says:

      I’m not blaming Abbott for anything, I am just stating the facts that he is looking to cut penalty and overtime rates, and Labor is looking to increase the tax free threshold.

      I agree with cutting some costs, which is why I would like to see the mining tax applied to all mining super profits to fund a company tax cut, I think Labor wimped out a bit there.

      However Abbotts plan to cut wages doesn’t really lift living standards at all, and his plan to increase company tax to pay for his over the top parental leave scheme doesn’t exactly cut company costs either…

  18. Itsjustnotthatsimple says:

    btw many of these rich and powerful overlords you talk about, are the ones that were willing to risk everything they owned and work their backsides off to create businesses that employ those who dont want to work ridiculous hours or risk their family home. Many of whom, when business isnt going well, dont draw a wage themselves so they can keep paying their staff. Eventually, for some of them it deservedly pays off. They should be thanked and admired rather than criticised and cut down. This “Tall Poppy Mentality” in our Country sickens me.

    • wixxy says:

      As it does me, I’m not knocking the bosses, when things are going well they make a fortune for their long hours and so they should.
      All I am saying is for workers it should be the same, working long hours should reap some rewards. Working the hours nobody likes working should pay extra, that is fair.
      As far as I am aware, sweatshops are illegal in this country.
      We shouldn’t change our standards to compete with them, it is a downward spiral…

  19. Marilyn says:

    Wow, who knew that our bosses went without pay – anyone actually know any?

  20. Oscar Jones says:

    Itsjustnotthatsimple: what you say is basically correct but is also part of the problem.

    China and India are not going to re[place the West but are gobbling up their manufacturing base. That is not trickling down to the great masses. Their markets are us and our spending power is declining.

    China has a huge middle class but it’s dwarfed by the masses. India has more billionaires than any other country but the masses live in the same poverty.

    The USA and UK are becoming financial centres manufacturing false credit that has already led to meltdowns. US & UK industries are vastly subsidised (despite ‘bosses’ continually claiming credit for their success). Something has to give.

    • St John Smythe says:

      It is also frustrating to be told that Australians are buying all their retail products made in China or India. So many manufacturers have moved to China (and not lowered their retail prices by one cent), that there can be little choice with a lot of products. The manufacturers have moved to these countries, not to stay afloat, but to dramatically increase their margins and please shareholders It is too convenient to blame the consumer. The consumer does not make corporate decisions.

  21. Itsjustnotthatsimple says:

    @Marilyn – actually I know plenty and Ill include myself in the pot.

    @OscarJones and @Wixxy – yes I agree, a downward spiral it could be if we arent careful and something will have to give. To an extent I think business will naturaly look for what we can be competitive with. Maybe its mining in the short term but that isnt enough now nor will it be for many different reasons. I think Peter Beattie had some good ideas in trying to advance our ability in bio-engineering, aeronautical and some of the advanced sciences aka “The Smart State”. We need to put our efforts into something we can be competitive with on the world stage that will intrinsically create jobs and opportunities for Aussies.

    On the penalty issues, they were originally brought in to compensate people for working the hours that were considered unsavoury for working. These days we have a 24/7 society to a large extent. There are also many people who prefer to work those hours because they are studying at uni or for other personal reasons that better suits their lifestyle. Penalty rates arent paid in other countries. Most countries dont have employees getting 4 weeks annual leave each year either not to mention long service leave and superannuation. Im not saying we should cut all these things but how do we seriously compete when our cost base is so high. Something does indeed need to give. If you asked a uni student would you prefer to keep the penalty rates and have no job in 6 months time (hypothetically speaking) or would you rather get paid reduced penatly rates and keep the job as long as you need it (or future uni students may need such jobs)? I know what I would have said when I was at Uni.

  22. Min says:

    One thing that we do not want is for Australia to go the way of the US where there is an underclass of working poor who subsist on tips and top-ups from Welfare…wages so low that they qualify for government assistance.

    I have a feeling that is what many of the employer class want, they pay minimal and then employees must go to the government to reach a standard above acute poverty level.

  23. SG Warren says:

    The whole argument about penalty rates flies in the face of one of the Rights leading arguments against the ETS.

    They claim that whenever businesses get given a new cost they pass that cost on to their customers (they ignore the fact that they don’t pass on the cost if it will make them uncompetitive and instead become less profitable which is basically the entire point of the ETS as it forces a change to the form of fossil fuel production that produces the least greenhouse gasses but I digress) but the business they claim is hardest hit by penalty rates is the hospitality business.

    Apparently opening on a Sunday is making every cafe and bar in the country go broke but this is rubbish. Here we actually have an industry where every single business has exactly the same cost associated with Sunday trading. Every single cafe and bar is obliged to pay their staff penalty rates on a Sunday. So why don’t they all just put a Sunday surcharge on business done on a Sunday? It’s the logical business decision.

    Why because all the industry unions give small business owners terrible advice because they don’t actually care about the welfare of small business owners and are in fact just proxies of big business. Big business has the economy of scale to absorb the extra rates, small business doesn’t so they are using this issue as a method of driving small business owners out of business.

    If half the cafes and bars in a suburb introduced a Sunday surcharge to their business I can bet you they will all do it within a fortnight. Why? Because its the smart thing to do. And most of us would pay it because we all understand that noone actually wants to work on a weekend. But the small business councils intentionally don’t ever suggest it because their masters don’t want a resolution to the problem.

  24. mrlanky says:

    Been reading Mega’s new book and just read Howard on the GST (paraphrased), “The GST is dead. The voters killed it at the last election.
    Regardless of what you think about GST, I can’t help but notice a correlation

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