Weekend Wrap 15th May 2022: Albo calls for wage rises on Insiders, Morrison promises to change and delivers more of the same and Dutton’s lies
Ben Davison looks at Albo's Insider's interview and the key point that Australians with jobs are now having to rely on food banks while Morrison argues for more pay cuts and against a $1 an hour wage increase.
Morrison ended the week promising to change but immediately doubled down on all the same old policy positions. The Liberal campaign launch shows a weakening grip on older voters and Dutton says things that are untrue about China and the USA.
While Ben attended a union organised choral protest against Morrison at a community centre where the staff slipped a subtle protest of their own into Morrison's birthday cake photo op. You can join your union at australianunions.org.au/wow
Today Ben Davison is live at the Queenscliffe Literary Festival where Van Badham will be hosting a panel on the ABC this afternoon.
Huge thanks to all our supporters on www.buymeacoffee.com/weekonwednesday
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Weekend Wrap 3rd July 2022: Albo rebuilds Australia’s reputation, Per Capita shines a light on NDIS, grim COVID milestone
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44:29Van Badham joins Ben Davison for a special Weekend Wrap to discuss the rapid rebuilding of Australia's international reputation, the latest Per Capita report on systemic risks of contracting in the NDIS and Australia suffering our 10,000th COVID death. Albo and the Labor government have rapidly rebuilt Australia's international reputation with allies in Europe and pacific embracing the new government. The results are tangible with new trade, regional security and bi-lateral relations that had been off the table under the Liberals all restarting. Per Capita released a report that shines a light on the problems of contracting in the NDIS this week. Van and Ben look at the real impacts of sham contracting on workers, people with disabilities and the NDIS as a system. From worker's being ripped off with "bridging loans" to clients being held legally responsible for workplace safety to foreign private equity taking taxpayer money and operating "unregistered" the growth of "contracting" in the NDIS is creating a range of problems. Links to the report will be shared on our supporter page www.buymeacoffee.com/weekonwednesday More than 10,000 Australian's have died of COVID since the start of the pandemic. The rate of deaths has climbed rapidly with the first 1,000 deaths coming between March 2020 and August 2021 but the latest 5,000 happening between February 2022 and July 2022. Australian Unions are arguing we need to continue support for people to isolate and many are calling for masks to be made compulsory again. Van and Ben share their recent experience of having COVID and of the total lack of masks during a recent shopping trip. With COVID increasingly a workplace by workplace issue its more important than ever to join your union at australiaunions.org.au/wow
Episode 94: The boomer fantasy of wage spirals, the failed states of America and good news about Queensland coal
1:16:39Van Badham and Ben Davison emerge from their COVID isolation to breakdown the real story behind the wages debate in Australia. The reality doesn't match the ideological chest beating from the business lobby who were quick to claim a Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) mandate for a wages cap (their isn't one) to stop a "wages spiral" and that Sally McManus, leader of Australian Unions, had called the RBA governor a "boomer". (She didn't). Van and Ben look at the ways collective bargaining is failing, how it can/could work to lift wages, some innovations like the TWU/Uber agreement and why more and more workers are banding together to take action across whole sectors (like the teacher unions in New South Wales). Across the board union members are earning more, so join your union at australianunions.org.au/wow Of course Liberal Leader Peter Dutton was quick to jump on the "wage spiral" rhetoric along with his anti-teacher culture war so Van and Ben look at why Liberal's in Australia might be using American style tactics. This episode takes an extended look into the US Supreme Court, the fundamentalists that Trump appointed to the court, the activism they are now displaying in overturning Roe V Wade, removing gun control laws, imposing religion in schools and directing federal funds to religious organisations. With the January 6 Commission hearings in full swing Van gives a clear eyed analysis of Trump, and his enablers, lack of commitment to democracy, dedication to culture wars and power at all costs approach. The good news is that Queensland is imposing a form of progressive taxation on coal companies! And as always we acknowledge the Cadre and Extend the Reach supporters who make it possible for us to reach even more people at www.buymeacoffee.com/weekonwednesday
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Episode 93: Morrison’s march through the institutions uncovered, we have COVID and Albo signs up for ambitious action on climate change
44:53Van Badham and Ben Davison have COVID! But that doesn't stop them from examining how a decade of Liberal/National government gave Morrison the chance to stack out various Australian institutions, ranging from the ABC to the Reserve Bank. While many appointments across government may have been on merit the uniform ideological background of people on the Reserve Bank Board have many people questioning the recent demands by the Governor of the RBA for workers to wear more pay cuts and suggesting a return to the board of a strong worker voice. Just as Fraser, Hawke and Keating appointed the head of the Australian Union movement to the board of the Reserve Bank many are now calling for Sally McManus, or at least someone with a labour market understanding, to be appointed. If you think worker's should wear the costs of higher profits but should get decent pay rises and want one for yourself join your union at australianunions.org.au/wow Van gives a background on where "long march through the institutions" comes from and Ben gives a rant about "If I was reserve bank governor." Did we mention they both have COVID? COVID hasn't gone away. Van and Ben have it and discuss how, after a lull, the numbers of infections, hospitalisations and deaths are again rising. Wear a mask, get vaccinated, stay safe. The good news is that the Albanese Labor Government has signed up to a 43% reduction in emissions by 2030. In a move that brought together stakeholders from across the environment, labour and business sectors Labor has set out an achievable ambition for real climate action. It might be a shorter episode but we'd never forget to acknowledge our Cadre and Extend the Reach supporters who Van reads out by name every episode.
Weekend Wrap 19th June with Van Badham! Albo’s agenda, Dutton on Insiders, early childhood reforms
42:01Van Badham joins Ben Davison for the Weekend Wrap and a look under the hood at the Victorian and New South Wales early childhood education announcements this week. While it was a joint announcement the details highlight the public sector vs private sector approaches of the respective Labor and Liberal governments. NSW has also announced "reforms" in education which are based on policies that have consistently proven a failure elsewhere. Albo has outlined the first three items for parliament, along with a framework for the rest of 2022. Van and Ben discuss how these priorities, emissions reduction, women's safety and socio-economic participation, employment and skills, workplace reforms that grow wages, improve collective bargaining and job security line up with Albo's embrace of the Hawke consultative approach to government. Plus Ben reviews Dutton on Insiders, discusses how badly the Morrison era managed the economy in creating the inflation problems we now have and Dutton's attempt to avoid any responsibility while weaponising claims about child abuse, that his own government couldn't find evidence to support, to divert from the indigenous Voice to parliament.
Episode 92: Workers win pay rises, how Labor won government, coal fails during snap and good news about energy transitions in WA
1:13:32Van Badham and Ben Davison celebrate Minimum Wage day as 2.7 Million low paid workers in Australia are set to receive at least a 4.6% and up to 5.2% increase in wages. We look at who will get what and when. As well as the dollars and cents, Van and Ben break down the economic and socio-political realities of the minimum wage decision, what we need to do to help lift the wages of the other 75% of workers in Australia not on minimum awards (it starts by joining your union australianunions.org.au/wow) and how an Albanese Labor government faced down the business lobby fear campaign to deliver better wages. The leader of Australian Unions, Sally McManus, has called for systemic changes saying, "the current system is failing. It is unable to deliver wage increases despite low unemployment, high productivity and high profits." Perhaps unintentionally parts of the business lobby have supported the call for reforms and demanded "more effective enterprise bargaining". Van and Ben also look at the national press club address by ALP National Secretary Paul Erickson and discuss how Labor won the 2022 election and the political reality of Australia being a "Two party, Labor Party and non-Labor parties, system". As Australia shivers in a cold snap energy producers have shut down 25% of the energy generation and Van and Ben discuss how coal and privatisation are failing our nation. But the good news is that in Western Australia climate action means huge investments in renewables, new jobs and the closure of coal plants by 2030! Plus Van reads out the names of our Cadre and Extend the Reach supporters from our supporter page www.buymeacoffee.com/weekonwednesday
Weekend Wrap 12 June 2022: Shorten on Insiders talks NDIS fixes, Qantas, Merivale and toxic corporate cultures
29:23Ben Davison looks at Bill Shorten's Insider's interview and his push to fix the NDIS. With 90% of NDIS providers now unregistered, organised crime infiltrated into the system & foreign private equity extracting profits Shorten has promised that if "you are delivering personal care you have to be registered" that people will be "paid the proper award" and we to "make sure people are qualified". While every dollar invested in the NDIS returns $2.25 the lack of quality control, auditing and minimum levels of training in the unregistered sector is undermining those outcomes. Ben discusses the issues around choice and control in the broader context of how consumers exercise choice and control in other parts of the economy and how the Liberal's twisted the concept to fit a neo-Liberal version of "free market" that has seen an explosion in overcharging, digital sham contracting, the entry of organised crime and genuine safety concerns. The issues with the NDIS mirror a broader toxic culture among parts of Australia's business community. Ben dives into why Mabel (disability & aged care), Merivale(hospitality & entertainment) and Qantas stand out in their sectors as examples of profit before all else. Using a variety of unlawful conduct, wage theft, government subsidies, Liberal Party connections, publicity puff pieces, market domination, customer capture and "leadership" baubles the executives of these companies have profited at the expense of working people in Australia. And they are totally unapologetic. Ben looks at why people like Alan Joyce and Justin Hemmes aren't role models on leadership but are examples of profiteering, a broken economic system and corporate cultural failures.
Episode 91: A decade of economic damage, minister making their mark, NSW workers face down wage cuts and good news about sea grass
1:08:43Van Badham and Ben Davison look at what's happening in our economy as the Reserve Bank raises rates, inflation spikes and wages continue to go backwards in real terms. Van and Ben get underneath the headline figures to look at what's really driving inflation, who's profiting and why wage increases are exactly what we need to get the economy humming. You can get your wages moving by joining your union at australianunions.org.au/wow They also examine how the Liberal/National policies of the last decade put more workers on minimum rates, forced more people into their own "business" (with no employees and revenues of less than an average wage) and what the "Uberfication" of growing sectors means for job security and wages. It has only been a little over two weeks and already Albo and his ministers are making their mark on everything from foreign relations to the minimum wage, from arts policy to the NDIS. Van and Ben look at some of the highlights, including the departure of the CEO of the NDIA and the Charities Commissioner, along with some of the policy statements from the ministers. In NSW the Perrottet government is trying to divide workers through a series of industrial bully boy tactics, selective bribes and divisive language. But as today's public sector walk off shows, the workers of NSW remain united whether they are in teaching, higher education, health, nursing, transport, railways or a paramedic. Check out psa.as.au for details of the latest actions. And there is good news about the worlds largest plant, right here in Australia! Plus we give shout outs to our Cadre and Extend the Reach supporters who have grown the audience of The Week on Wednesday to nearly 50,000 a month, you can check out the supporter page at www.buymeacoffee.com/weekonwednesday
Weekend Wrap June 5 2022: Liberal energy policy bites, profits soar as wages crash, Labor makes moves
26:07Ben Davison looks at Labor's moves to scrap the cashless debit card, end the outsourcing of Centrelink call centres and lift the minimum wage while acknowledging National reconciliation week and Mabo Day. Insider's had National Party leader David Littleproud on who expressed "no regrets" over the policies of the last decade of Liberal-National misrule, lied about Labor's efforts to fix the energy crisis and doubled down on the Morrison era policy of supporting multi-national gas companies over the needs of the Australian people. There's also a quick look at the rogues gallery that's likely to be the shadow ministry under Dutton. Ben breaks down the reality of the gas situation (we export too much), the economic situation (too much is going to profits instead of wages) and the work unions are doing to fix it (taking action across the country). NSW workers are suffering under a wage cap and are holding a summit on how to make the Liberal government lift the cap, which is costing workers more than $6,000 a year. Australian unions are getting wins, with Labor pushing for a proper increase in the minimum wage, and new ads showing the power of sticking together in wage negotiations. Join at australianunions.org.au/wow Ben also thanks all the supporters, who contributed at www.buymeacoffee.com/weekonwednesday, for helping the podcast reach almost 50,000 downloads just in May.
Episode 90: Albo’s new Labor Ministry, Does the media have a class bias, and Dutton imports culture wars
1:12:56Van Badham and Ben Davison dive into the new Albanese Government Ministry with a look at some of the key changes as well as an explainer on how "factions" work and directly answer some direct listener questions. Big appointments in defence, skills, education, environment, climate change, NDIS, government services, aged care, housing, Indigenous Australians, infrastructure, the arts and workplace relations all align with some key Labor priorities for this term of government. Many groups are already pointing out the passion and commitment the new ministers have for these portfolios, as well as the size of their bibles? Its a real thing. For the first time in a decade Australia has a workplace relations minister who proudly tells people to "join your union" so do it here australiaunions.org.au/wow The swearing in of the ministry was carried live across the media and some of the bloopers showed a distinct lack of understanding about the backgrounds of the new government and by extension many millions of Australians. Ben and Van discuss whether there is a class bias in Australian media. One of the potential problems with a lack of broader political context in journalism is that people like Peter Dutton may try to exploit it and say not untrue but also damaging lies. Today Dutton imported, lock, stock and barrel, a Trump Republican talking point about teacher unions having too much power. Apparently the not affiliated to the Labor Party teacher unions control the Labor Party with their "extremist agenda". Van and Ben discuss why this kind of ultra-conservative babble gets air time and why it shouldn't. Plus after a record number of downloads in May we thank our Cadre and Extend the Reach supporters, you can check out the supporter page at www.buymeacoffee.com/weekonwednesday
Weekend Wrap 29 May 2022:PM Albo’s first week, Insiders learns nothing from election, Dutton the glass jaw villain, Barnaby for the chop and industrial actions
23:13Ben Davison looks at a huge first week for the Albanese Labor government as five ministers bring the Muragappan family home to Bilo, push to lift wages, rebuild our relationships in the Pacific, ensure our role in the Quad and commit to the Uluru Statement from the Heart and a Voice to parliament. Ben also reviews the latest episode of Insider's where Phil Coorey calls Education, Health, The NDIS, ICAC, early childhood, aged care, industrial relations, the arts, infrastructure, climate change, the environment and women's rights "2nd tier spots" demonstrating that a panel of two people who's papers endorsed Morrison and a third who worked for Howard probably haven't fully digested the impact of last Saturday's election. Speaking of people who learnt nothing from the election, The Liberals seem set to crown Peter "not a monster" Dutton as leader this week. Despite his slanderous comments about the Bilo family, and the Biloela community, and his long track record of division and misuse of power the "Liberals" can't come up with anyone better. The Nationals will be running a three horse race between Barnaby Joyce, Darren Chester and David Littleproud to see who gets the dubious honour of being Dutton's side kick. The episode ends with a round up of some of the key industrial actions in schools, universities, aged care and against Amazon that have occurred this week with a reminder that joining your union at australianunions.org.au/wow is the best way to lift your wages, make your job more secure and be part of a community committed to building a better future for workers in Australia.