In Judith Sloane’s pre-emptive defence against the Howe inquiry into the casualisation of the Australian workforce (“Nothing casual about our diverse workforce”, The Australian, 21/12) she argues that a) there is no casualisation, and b) “many” workers benefit from casualisation. I am reminded of the defence of the bungling burglar who claims “I wasn’t there, and even if I was, I didn’t do it.”
The elephant in the room, apparent from the figures and also to anyone actually engaged in the workforce, is that massive casualisation has occurred in the last decade, and that this is of benefit primarily to employers.
“No right to secure jobs”
23 Apr 2012
Michael Moore (The Australian, Letters, 23/4), the secretary of the anti-labor think-tank H. R. Nicholls Society which thought Work Choices too soft, argues that there can be no right to job security because it “depends essentially on the efficient performance of each [worker], and of the business itself”.
This is a self-serving misapprehension held by many employers, who overlook the definitive distinction between themselves and their employees: the latter are not co-investors in the business. They have not chosen to undertake entrepreneurial risk, they do not stand to share in the profits and therefore should not be subject to the losses.
In rejecting the “user-pays” principle in relation to means-testing of aged care, Tony Abbott may seem to have forgotten which party he leads (“People will have to pay more, Abbott says”, The Australian, 21/4). But the Liberals’ record of opposing means tests and defending subsidies for the wealthy makes it clear that their policy of winding back welfare only applies to those who actually need it.
To The Australian’s several correspondents who so wittily demand that opponents of mandatory detention now accept asylum seekers into their homes (Last Post, 4/5): your sarcasm backfires, as the altruism you can’t even imagine is already gladly being offered by those who can.