Qantas chair Leigh Clifford told the HR Nicholls Society last night that Work Choices might have swung the IR pendulum too far to the right and that employers at the time had pushed for change that went beyond what the public would accept, while one of the senators who will hold the balance of power next year said he wanted employers to be able to pay workers less than the minimum wage.
HSU acting national secretary Chris Brown told the Victorian Magistrates Court today that the union's national executive was hit with a "bombshell" four months after Craig Thomson's departure when it was told the union was broke, minutes of national meetings were missing and an initial audit had uncovered numerous financial irregularities.
Qantas will axe 1,000 jobs over the next year, cut the pay packets of its chief executive and board and freeze executives' wages and scrap their bonuses as it faces losses of up to $300 million in the first half of the financial year.
The criminal trial of Craig Thomson finally kicked off in the Victorian Magistrates Court this morning, with the prosecution outlining 66 occasions between August 2002 and February 2008 when the former HSU national secretary allegedly misappropriated an accumulated $28,000 in union funds.
As the Senate prepares for a second inquiry into the Coalition's registered organisations bill, government members of the committee that has just examined it have recommended a slight easing of its tough disclosure requirements, while Labor senators want parliament to reject it outright.
A draft Productivity Commission report on the mobility of workers warns against imposing "excessive regulation" that could impede successful employer staffing strategies, such as using FIFO and temporary migrant workers, to secure workers in remote areas.