Former labor treasurer michael aird on labors of love
A few weeks after Michael Aird’s election as a Labor senator in March 2008, a meeting was arranged to discuss a labor task force’s report. It made little difference that Labor had been given the report. What mattered was that Labor had decided to continue a policy designed to protect the labor unions: the proposal would give them the right to organize without the need to get special help from Labor.
While the Labor Department had no mandate to intervene on behalf of labor unions (or anything else for that matter), the task force was concerned about what would happen if labor unions took matters into their own hands and shut down in order to unionize. The Labor Department was well aware that many labor unions wanted to get back to what they considered the “traditional” union structure:
If some unions want to try a new system and go back to the way it was at the peak of the Great Depression, and the government says no, you can’t take things out of the hands of the workers. But if we do it, it’s like trying to take away a piece of a diamond. I know that sounds crazy—it’s crazy—but that’s what we’re talking about.
Labor’s labor task force was going to ask the unions to agree to not seek concessions from any employer who made more money in the last year than he did in the previous year. But there was a catch: they were only allowed to take this measure in the first year—a short enough time that Labor could not immediately revoke the contract when there was an influx of public funds into the system. That meant that Labor could get the unions to sign up to n포항출장안마 포항출장마사지ew labor standards only if they gave up any of their collective bargaini세종출장안마ng rights or had the unions agree to have the government intervene before the new agreement was in force.
If Labor was going to force the unions to agree to strike, it seemed Labor had a problem. The task force was split on whether or not a strike was actually good for labor unions. T카지노he Labor Department, the task force’s report warned, “cannot effectively address [unions’ demands in a manner] that is consistent with Labor policy.” The task force, the report said, had “little doubt” that a strike would actually hurt the interests of workers and have negative social consequences, even if “the strike is not in the interests of the unions as a whole.” (The task force recommended a “minimum viable strike” for labor unions.)
But even though Labor had made its position clea