25 Oct 2016

Australia's future demands a re-think of employer - employee relationship if we are to prosper.

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Based on an article by Ian Verrender

Australia's future demands a re-think of employer-employee relationship, its not them and us anymore.

Certain sections of the establishment for years have been calling for "workplace reform", it is cause for celebration, evidence that we finally are moving towards a more "flexible" workforce. Wow?

Little do they realize this trend could be counter productive.

The long-term ramifications of this shift are likely to play out in a manner that could hinder economic growth, put severe strain on our national finances and lead to a breakdown in social cohesion.

Never as a nation have we been less prepared for these challenges; the rise in long-term unemployment and underemployment(the elephant in the room) and the intergenerational wealth transfer as younger skilled workers and particularly new graduates find themselves overqualified, under-utilised and poorly paid.

Instead, our business leaders are focused almost entirely on the elimination of penalty rates for the lowest paid in society — ironically so they can boost their own personal bonus payments — while the Government tears itself apart battling an imaginary foe in the shape of rampant union power.

Who are the customers? The workers and we shouldn't forget it!

Until now, the prospect of a cheaper, highly skilled and more flexible workforce has thrilled many in the business community.

Slowly it is starting to dawn on business that those in the workforce also play another vital role in the economy.

They may be a cost at work, however they are your a source of revenue as consumers.

Your workers are your customers. If workers earn less, they spend less. If they have less secure jobs, they are denied or severely limited to, access to credit.
At some point, that will begin to impact consumption patterns which will flow through to corporate earnings.

I know its a big, big ask, couldn't business and workers get together to solve this problem or is it beyond them. Bob Hawke managed to do so, so why can't we do again, put ideologies aside and talk, really talk.

The summit 

Labor Prime Minister Bob Hawke's economic summit held out hope to the unemployed and help set agenda for his government's economic policy that followed.1983

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