Friday, 13 December 2013

Liberal Party's Alex Hawke drinks the Murdoch Cool-Aid

News Ltd added more colour to the Abbott Government’s attempt to demonise GM Holden Ltd in this article in The Australian on 10 December 2013:

ONLY $150 million a year will save Holden? Rubbish. The Holden Enterprise Agreement is the document that has utterly sunk Holden's prospects. It defies belief that someone in the company isn't being held to account for it.
Holden's management masks a union culture beyond most people's comprehension. Employment costs spiralled way beyond community standards long ago. Neither "pay freezes" nor more money will save Holden, but getting the Fair Work Commission to dissolve the agreement and put all workers on the award wage might be a start....

It would appear that Liberal Party Member for Mitchell, Alex Hawke, drank some of that Murdoch cool-aid:

Leaving aside the rather dodgy stab at the actual amount GM Holden receives each year in subsidies, what would Mr. Hawke’s desire to trim wages mean to the weekly pay packets of ordinary workers?

The basic wage for non-trade employees at GM Holden’s Elizabeth plant ranges from $892.75 to $1,194.50 per each 38 hour week to be worked on the basis of 152 hours within a work cycle, according to the current Holden Enterprise Agreement 2011. While wages for cleaning maintenance workers range from $803.95 to $976.29 per week for 38 hours to be worked over the seven days of the week within the spread of twenty-four hours of the day, according to the current Resolve FM-Holden Enterprise Agreement covering its Elizabeth SA plant.

So it would appear that Mr. Hawke would like to see wages for these two groups of Holden workers reduced to between $267.98 and $398.16 per week. 

As the minimum award wage for workers engaged in manufacturing cars is from $484.40 to $822.50 per week, according to the Vehicle Industry Award 2000, he also seems to be advocating  a breach of industrial relations law.

Alex Hawke’s own base salary is $195,130 per annum or around $3,752 per week, having received a generous 2.4 per cent wage rise on 1 July 2013.

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