Free market think tank the Institute of Public Affairs has today accused the ACTU of hypocrisy for its ‘Change the Rules’ rally to rewrite Australia’s rigid industrial relations system that they themselves wrote.
IPA Research Fellow Kurt Wallace said, “Australia has one of the world’s most inflexible, complex and extensive industrial relations regimes. The ACTU’s demands to slap more rules on Australia’s IR regime would make it even harder for Australians to get a job and experience the dignity of work.
“It would hurt the 650,000 Australians who are looking for work, the 1.1 million who are looking for more work, and the countless others who have simply given up on looking and left the workforce altogether.
“This is an embarrassing display of hypocrisy by the union movement, to be causing massive disruption, attempting to ‘change the rules’ that they themselves wrote alongside the Labor Party only 10 years ago.
“Is it any wonder union membership is at record lows, accounting for just 10 per cent of the private sector workforce?” said Mr Wallace.
IPA Director of Communications, Gideon Rozner, refuted the union movement’s claims that income inequality is high and increasing.
“Income inequality is lower today than 15 years ago and is around the OECD average. The most reliable data – the Gini coefficient, which accounts for taxes and transfers – shows that income inequality has been broadly unchanged over the past two decades and has, if anything, decreased slightly.
“Sally McManus and the unions like to talk about ‘workers’ rights’, but what about the right to have a job in the first place? What about the right of employers and employees to agree on terms of employment that are mutually beneficial?
“Sally McManus and the unions like to talk about the ‘working poor’, but there is no greater fast-track to poverty than being out of work.
“The union movement is stuck in the past, in a mindset of class warfare that Australians moved on from decades ago,” said Mr Rozner.
Watch the IPA’s video correcting the myths of the Change the Rules Campaign.