By Andrew Bolt ~
I have no idea what the Australian Labor Party is covering up here. Is it that the party’s leader Bill Shorten made a commitment he won’t keep to abide by the umpire’s decision on Sunday penalty rates? Or is that he made a commitment he won’t keep to keep Sunday penalty rates?
Bill Shorten is under mounting pressure on a key Labor campaign pledge to “keep’’ weekend penalty rates, after he failed to guarantee they would not be downgraded if Labor won office…
Mr Shorten held firm to his policy of abiding by Fair Work Australia’s looming decision on Sunday penalty rates but pledged to intervene in the deliberations if Labor won office, declaring the “case to get rid of penalty rates simply doesn’t stack up’’. Mr Shorten’s comments came after Labor employment spokesman Brendan O’Connor was accused of dodging questions from Melbourne 3AW radio host Neil Mitchell about whether Labor would guarantee to keep penalty rates.
Labor’s innovation and industry spokesman, Kim Carr, in an interview on the ABC, appeared to cast doubt on whether Labor would accept a decision by the Fair Work Commission to cut weekend penalty rates. “All of my experience with the Labor Party is that our defence of penalty rates is absolute and I expect that to continue,’’ Senator Carr said…
In Labor campaign advertisements released last week Mr Shorten vowed: “We’ll keep weekend penalty rates.’’
Judith Sloan on Labor’s conditional support for an umpire that’s actually tended to be on the unions’ side anyway, having had so many members drawn from the union movement:
What do we want? An independent umpire. When do we want it? Only when it reaches the decisions we want.
This is the bizarre caterwauling of former unionist and Labor employment spokesman Brendan O’Connor when it comes to penalty rates.
If the Fair Work Commission has the temerity to alter penalty rates as specified in awards, then a Labor government will move heaven and earth to ensure penalty rates stay as they are.
Most people would regard this stance as hypocritical in the extreme; surely, the reason we have an independent umpire is that its decisions are final and beyond political interference.
Andrew Bolt writes for the Herald Sun, Daily Telegraph, and The Advertiser and runs Australia’s most-read political blog. On week nights he hosts The Bolt Report on Sky News at 7pm and his Macquarie Radio show at 8pm with Steve Price.