It sorely tests my willingness to believe when I hear Malcolm Turnbull, Michaelia Cash and now Tony Abbott claim that they wish to give workers a fair deal. Their expressions of compassion for “lowly-paid” and “decent” workers do not quite align with their actions since winning government. They were quite happy to sign off on the 2014 budget which was blatantly skewed against low income workers. Furthermore, Cash has already signalled her preference for standardised weekend penalty rates arguing this could increase employment.
It was the union movement that fought for and obtained annual leave, the eight-hour day and the minimum wage. It was the Coalition that opposed Medicare and superannuation. Those found culpable of corruption and abuse of power must be brought to account, in both the union and the corporate sector. This can be achieved without undermining an entire movement that has so often been a powerful force for the good.