28 July 2020

Jeff Sparrow, noting that Victoria’s major covid outbreak is linked to insecure work: “[J]obs didn’t become insecure by accident. For decades, politicians and pundits urged us to welcome precarity as a liberation from the shackles of the old industrial order. … Ever since the Hawke and Keating years, governments have hailed workplace deregulation and flexibility, as they eroded centralised bargaining and rigid awards in the scramble for productivity. … After years of ‘reform’, workplace insecurity pervades the whole economy, right at a moment when every job is under threat. Milton Friedman, the ideological godfather of market deregulation, once noted that ‘only a crisis … produces real change.’ The crisis has come — and with a vengeance. So let’s not let it go to waste. It’s well past time to reassert some control over our working lives.” (Meanwhile, the Morrison Government has identified [$] “industrial relations reform aimed at injecting greater flexibility into the labour market” as the “first cab off the rank” in its coronavirus response.)