The AFR is packed (see Australia index, sub req.) with news of the Howard Government's proposed industrial relations reforms today. ABC Online also has a free version of the piece. AFR's Lenore Taylor has a decent analysis piece that provides some context for those not up to speed. Lenore says: "So far, the PM's vision is music to the ears of the business groups that have been offering him free advice."
However, Computerworld's Julian Bajkowski was more than happy to tell me this morning via email he had the IR story on 31 January. Julian's piece gives some credit to Lenore's comment about happy business groups:
If successful, the new laws could legally allow enterprises, outsourcers and vendors to dramatically restructure the definition of permanent and contracted IT staff under federal workplace law. However, Andrews' office is adamant the new law will not allow employers to force-march permanent staff onto contract conditions, a practice currently illegal under existing industrial laws.
And so a huge IR battle is set between the Federal Government, Federal Opposition, States, and unions (I can feel a protest coming on).
It's an odd coincidence that Sun Microsystems is currently taking advantage of the USA's IR policies to "force-march permanent staff onto contract conditions," as Julian would say. See ARN story:
The Mercury News reports that some employees at the company will be "badge flipping," meaning they will continue to work at Sun's facilities but will be employed by CSC. Sun says the moves are part of its overall goal to reduce spending by US$500 million by July 2006.