Hockey: You’re a fucking ASS!

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Young workers ruling unnecessary: Hockey

Federal Workplace Relations Minister Joe Hockey says today’s ruling on junior workers by the New South Wales Industrial Relations Commission will confuse both business and workers.

The commission says it is apparent AWAs are designed to reduce wages and working conditions under WorkChoices to the detriment of children.

The commission has set out principles to protect New South Wales children on AWAs from losing their penalties and breaks without compensation.

But Mr Hockey says the Federal Government has included parental consent in the workplace laws to protect young workers.

“If you believe Mr Della Bosca and the Labor Party, it’s a free-for-all against children with AWAs,” he said.

“That’s completely false. That’s why we’ve been saying in our ads that you need the consent of parents or guardians if you are under 18 to sign an AWA.”

Mr Hockey says under the Howard Government, teenage employment and wages for young people have both increased.

“One of the reasons why young people’s wages have increased in real terms by three times the amount [they were] under Labor was because we have introduced a fairer and more flexible system,” he said.

How the fuck is parental consent supposed to do anything when it comes to adolescents getting screwed over by unfair, underpaid AWAs? Is Hockey implying that parents have some sort of control over employers that compels them to make the AWA a fair and properly paid contract? What fantasy land does he think we’re living in?

Parental consent does nothing to prevent employers exploiting junior workers. If they want to work, they have to convince their parents to consent, no matter what’s on offer. Short of that, is Joe Hockey suggesting that juniors not work if the AWAs on offer aren’t fair? Not really an option these days, when parts of the school curriculum involves things like working at MacDonalds for credit.

What Hockey completely ignores is the fact that the “fairness test” announced recently by John Howard does nothing to protect these junior workers as they enter the workforce. The test is designed to ensure that someone moving onto an AWA receives fair pay considerations for any penalty rates, holidays or any other working conditions lost by being moved to the AWA. But if someone is taking up new employment, there’s no measure of what those conditions were. Ergo, it’s a blank sheet on which any conditions the employer wants for whatever pay the employer wants can be writ.

Joe Hockey, stop trying to defend the indefensible. Your government has abused the power it won at the last general election and it’s time you all just fucked off and let someone else come in and clean up the mess you’ve made.

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  • May 23, 2007