AMWU – Abbott: WorkChoices not dead, just getting ‘tweaked’

17 08 2010

AMWU – Abbott: WorkChoices not dead, just getting ‘tweaked’.

Tony Abbott has let the cat out of the bag on WorkChoices, only hours after declaring it ‘dead, buried and cremated’.

When the date for the federal election was set last Saturday, Mr Abbott rushed to assure voters that he would not bring alter the Fair Work Act and bring back WorkChoices.

Within hours, however, the Liberal Party’s IR spokesperson Eric Abetz, went on radio to say that this didn’t mean the Liberals wouldn’t ‘tweak’ the IR legislation.

By Monday, Abbott couldn’t help himself, and released a list of promises that included attacking making workers pay for the cost of secret ballots for industrial action – a change which would mean amending the Fair Work Act.

AMWU National President, Paul Bastian, said that no-one could believe Tony Abbott when it came to his promises on IR laws.

“WorkChoices is a Liberal Party article of faith. He couldn’t keep his promise for one full day as opposition leader, and that promise will be in shreds if he is elected next month.”

Mr Bastian said the AMWU would be campaigning to ensure workers understood exactly what rights they would lose if the Fair Work Act was taken away.

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WorkChoices. Never Again! Abbott Facts

17 08 2010

WorkChoices took away the rights of working Australians.
Todays Liberal leader Tony Abbott was a key Minister in the former Liberal Government that introduced WorkChoices. Now, he wants to bring it back. He just wont call it WorkChoices.





Lest we Forget

17 08 2010

Workers talk about the “sweat blood and tears” fighting for rights at work – the same rights the Howard Government took away with “Work Choices”, the Howard Government’s IR laws.

Tony Abbott muddles message on workplace laws

“Give me a bit of paper, I’ll sign it here,” Mr Abbott said to 3AW host Neil Mitchell as he tried to end questions about John Howard’s divisive workplace laws.

But pressed again by Mitchell, Mr Abbott said: “I can’t give an absolute guarantee about every single aspect of workplace relations.

“Obviously I can’t say that there will never ever ever for 100 or 1000 years time be any change to any aspect of industrial legislation. But the Fair Work Act will not be amended in the next term of government if we are in power.

“But let’s, I mean, Work Choices, it’s dead, it’s buried, it’s cremated now and forever. But obviously I can’t give an absolute guarantee about every single aspect of workplace relations legislation.”





Collective bargaining – it’s good for all of us

17 08 2010

How do nurses achieve better nurse-patient ratios to lift the standard of patient care? How do workers in dangerous industries win tougher safety standards? How do teachers win smaller class sizes to boost students’ ability to learn?
The answer is collective bargaining, and these benefits go hand in hand with better pay, better conditions and the ability to have your say at work — in all industries.





In Pakistan, UN chief urges rapid assistance for flood-stricken communities

17 08 2010

15 August 2010 – Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Sunday called for the rapid delivery of assistance for millions of people in flood-stricken Pakistan, as he saw for himself the devastation wrought by the recent disaster.

Mr. Ban arrived in the South Asian nation to demonstrate the support of the United Nations and the international community in the wake of what has been called the country’s worst disaster in living memory, having claimed more than 1,200 lives and leaving at least 2 million homeless.

“I’m here to see what is going on? I’m here also to urge the world community to speed up their assistance to the Pakistani people,” the Secretary-General told reporters on arrival.

An estimated 14 million people have been affected by the floods, which began late last month in the wake of particularly heavy monsoon rains and which have destroyed homes, farmland and major infrastructure in large parts of the country, most notably the north-west province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK).

Speaking at a news conference after touring the affected areas, Mr. Ban described what he witnessed as “heart wrenching,” recalling scenes of washed-out roads, bridges and even whole villages, as well as people marooned on tiny islands with flood waters all around them.

“I will never forget the destruction and suffering I have witnessed today. In the past I have visited the scenes of many natural disasters around the world, but nothing like this,” he stated.

“The scale of this disaster is so large so many people, in so many places, in so much need.”

Last week the UN and its partners announced they are seeking almost $460 million to help Pakistan tackle the needs of flood-affected families, including food, clean drinking water, tents and other shelter and non-food items, as well as medical supplies.

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reported yesterday that although the scale of the disaster continues to expand, just 20 per cent – some $93 million – of the funding requirements set out in the Pakistan Initial Floods Response Emergency Plan have so far been covered.

“These unprecedented floods demand unprecedented assistance,” stated the Secretary-General. “The flood waves must be matched with waves of global support.”

He also announced that he will allocate a further $10 million from the UN’s Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) for the relief effort, bringing the total disbursement since the beginning of the crisis to $27 million.

According to OCHA, ensuring access to clean water remains a top priority as rates of diarrhoeal disease continue to increase in affected areas.

The Secretary-General noted that UN agencies and their partners are aiming to provide at least six million people with safe drinking water and food as soon as possible.

Before travelling to the flood-affected areas, Mr. Ban met separately with President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani, and expressed the solidarity of the UN with the Government and people of Pakistan.

He said he hoped his visit will help accelerate the rate of generous support from the international community, and noted that the immediate relief efforts would need to be complemented by longer-term reconstruction, with help from the UN and global partners.

“As the waters recede, we must move quickly to help people build back their country and pick up the pieces of their lives. Farmers will need seeds, fertilizers and tools to replant. Education, health and nutrition need to be restored quickly.

“In the longer term, the huge damage to infrastructure must be repaired. The UN will be part of all this too,” said Mr. Ban, who added that he will report to the General Assembly on his visit later this week.





UN warns on waterborne disease risk among flood-affected Pakistanis

17 08 2010

16 August 2010 – Waterborne diseases continue to pose great risk to millions of people affected by the devastating floods in Pakistan, the United Nations warned today, a day after Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, on a visit to the country, described the “heart-wrenching” suffering he witnessed among flood survivors.

The UN World Health Organization (WHO) said that in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, one of the hardest-hit provinces, acute diarrhoea is the leading cause of illness and accounted for nearly one in five patient visits since the floods began. The problem has also been reported in Balochistan, Punjab and Sindh, the agency reported.

The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) estimated that as many as 3.5 million children in affected areas may now be at risk of diseases carried through contaminated water and insects. UNICEF plans to provide clean water to 6 million people.

“The lack of clean water and the unavailability of medication, in the aftermath of these floods, is a deadly combination. When added to the poor living conditions and the lack of food, which contribute to vulnerability, the picture is gruesome,” said Guido Sabatinelli, WHO’s representative in Pakistan.

Acute respiratory tract infections and skin diseases are the other health problems among those affected, according to WHO. Malaria could also pose a major threat as mosquitoes breed in the stagnant flood water.

Mr. Ban visited Pakistan at the weekend to demonstrate the support of the UN and the international community in the wake of what has been described at the country’s worst disaster in living memory, having claimed more than 1,200 lives and leaving at least 2 million homeless.

“I’m here to see what is going on. I’m here also to urge the world community to speed up their assistance to the Pakistani people,” the Secretary-General told reporters on arrival.

The Government estimated that 20 million people have been affected by the floods. The UN and its partners plan to assist at least 8 million people who are in urgent need of life-saving shelter, food, clean water, and health care. Based on a preliminary assessment of immediate needs, UN and non-UN humanitarian agencies have already requested $459.7 million through the Pakistan Initial Floods Emergency Response Plan, which was launched last week.

Donors have so far contributed or promised $125 million, or 27 per cent of the requested amount, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

Speaking at a news conference after touring the affected areas, Mr. Ban reported scenes of washed-out roads, bridges and even whole villages, as well as people marooned on tiny islands with flood waters all around them.

“I will never forget the destruction and suffering I have witnessed today. In the past I have visited the scenes of many natural disasters around the world, but nothing like this,” he stated. “The scale of this disaster is so large so many people, in so many places, in so much need.”

“These unprecedented floods demand unprecedented assistance,” stated the Secretary-General. “The flood waves must be matched with waves of global support.”

He also announced that he will allocate a further $10 million from the UN’s Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) for the relief effort, bringing the total disbursement from the fund since the beginning of the crisis to $27 million.

Before travelling to the flood-affected areas, Mr. Ban met separately with President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani, and expressed the solidarity of the UN with the Government and people of Pakistan.

He said he hoped his visit will help accelerate the rate of generous support from the international community, and noted that the immediate relief efforts would need to be complemented by longer-term reconstruction, with help from the UN and global partners.

“As the waters recede, we must move quickly to help people build back their country and pick up the pieces of their lives. Farmers will need seeds, fertilizers and tools to replant. Education, health and nutrition need to be restored quickly.

“In the longer term, the huge damage to infrastructure must be repaired. The UN will be part of all this too,” said Mr. Ban, who added that he will report to the General Assembly on his visit later this week.

Meanwhile, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees reported that an airlift of relief supplies arrived in Quetta today to help flood survivors in urban centres in Balochistan province. Four Government cargo planes moved 64 tons of tents, plastic sheets and mosquito nets from UNHCR stockpiles in Peshawar to Quetta to help speed up relief efforts. More airlifts are expected, pending the availability of aircraft.

In a related development, Irina Bokova, the Director-General of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), has expressed her sadness and concern about the flood devastation in Pakistan and pledged the agency support for those affected.

UNESCO is preparing to send a scientific mission to help the Pakistani authorities upgrade their flood management capacity. The agency will also help carry out an evaluation of needs in preparation for launching emergency and post-disaster educational projects.

It warned that the floods could affect the archaeological site of Moenjodaro, an immense and ancient urban centre built of baked bricks that was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1980. The site is located just two kilometres from the Indus River.





Budgie smugglers and Bob Hawke may help sell Mad Monk

17 08 2010

* Simon Canning
* From: The Australian
* December 07, 2009 12:00AM

HOW do you market the Mad Monk? Just days after his surprise ascendancy to the leadership of the Liberals, this is now the question exercising the brains of the party machine.

They may have little time to reform the Abbott brand in the minds of electors before Kevin Rudd decides to go to the polls.

Hours after Abbott unseated Malcolm Turnbull as the leader of the opposition, Liberal strategists were already at work measuring the worth of the Abbott brand in the marketplace and beginning to chart a course for the party and its new leader to follow.

In the modern media environment speed is of the essence and an entire strategy framed on the leadership of Turnbull has had to be scrapped overnight and retooled to fit the very different model that Abbott presents.

It will be anchored on a tagline, a few simple words that encapsulate the essence of the Abbott leadership and what he would offer at the helm of the nation.

If Kevin were 07 and Obama were Hope, how would marketing gurus package the new leader?

Advertising and marketing experts agree that despite coming to the role with the not insignificant baggage of having been the party’s headkicking hardman for more than a decade, Abbott has qualities that will be a marketer’s dream.

Denis Mamo, creative director of Sydney advertising agency Ursa, says Abbott’s often criticised ability to speak his mind regardless of the consequences might prove to be the element that sets him apart.

“He has a lot of attributes that are distinct, so it is not like you are going to be short on things to pick,” Mamo says. “He is a man who speaks his mind and if you look at that point you have to look at the honesty route.”

Mamo and creative colleague at Ursa Luke Martin crafted a possible campaign poster for the new leader based on his pre-spill surf outing in a skimpy pair of Speedos.

“Tony Abbott,” the poster reads, “Nothing to Hide.”

“Even the budgie smugglers work,” Mamo says, “because it makes him more human.”

http://video.ak.fbcdn.net/cfs-ak-snc4/48322/643/1240116303490_9160.mp4

Mamo says the development of the Abbott image may ultimately mirror the making of Bob Hawke as a national leader.

The hard union man used his larrikin credentials to create an everyman image in the marketplace, and Abbott’s minders may well follow the same path.

Mike Newman, who crafted Labor’s election campaigns in the 1990s at Saatchi & Saatchi and now runs agency Seizmic, is another who sees a marketing hook in Abbott’s personality.

“He carries a lot of baggage and he was a spectacular problem at the last election,” Newman says.

“But also what he stands for is a kind of authenticity.

Abbott: I was charged with indecent assault
By Michelle Grattan
July 18, 2004
The Sun-Herald
http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2004/07/17/1089694611809.html

“There is so much spin and weasel words in politics, but he comes across as the guy who is prepared to run things up the flagpole.

“He is an ideals-driven man and he is a blokey character.”

Newman jokes that the line that could deliver Abbott election victory is one that again talks to the former Howard heartland.

“The Liberals are back to the future,” he suggests.

“I think Abbott can get the public engaged and that is a huge part of marketing him.”

Rowan Dean, creative director of Euro RSCG, which last year created a lauded campaign for the Democrats on the ABC TV show The Gruen Transfer that the denuded party later adopted, says the brand makers should not fear having some fun with Abbott’s image.

“Budgie smugglers, not people smugglers,” Dean says. “Or for the women, `With ears like these I will always listen’.”

Dean is another who believes Abbott’s authenticity is the key.

“If he stays true to himself he will go OK,” Dean says. “There is an honesty about him I think people understand, but if he starts spinning he is dead because that is not who he is.”

Abbott’s climate doubts
Adam Morton and Tom Arup
August 17, 2010
http://www.theage.com.au/federal-election/abbotts-climate-doubts-20100816-126xm.html

The female vote poses a particular branding challenge for Abbott, and the marketers agree that his hardline stance on issues such as abortion, which has alienated many feminists, will require particular finesse to overcome.

“I think the women are going to be a tough call,” Mamo says. “So (in marketing Abbott) they will need to find things that unite people.”

Whereas Kevin Rudd’s brand was formed in the softly, softly mock aggression of his Sunrise stints alongside failed Liberal leadership candidate Joe Hockey, Abbott’s image has been formed in the blast furnace of Lateline, The Australian and The Bulletin.

When Rudd claimed the Labor leadership, one of the first marketing moves made by the party was to run an Australia Day advertisement of Rudd introducing himself to the Australian public, and the experts agree a “meet the real Tony Abbott” approach could be a campaign ice breaker and a way in which to eject some of his baggage.

Cyberspace will also prove critical to the Abbott brand.

Whereas Rudd and Obama embraced You Tube, Facebook and MySpace, Abbott and Rudd will go head to head on Twitter. And it is here, where the voters become the flagbearers of the brand, that the success or failure of marketing the Mad Monk will first become apparent.

Long before Labor pulls the election trigger, the support that YouTubers and Twitterer’s show for the Abbott brand will be like a canary in the coalition coalmine.

For the duration of his record term as Prime Minster, John Howard owed part of his electoral success to the efforts of lauded creative director Ted Horton and marketing consultant Toby Ralph.

Horton’s ability to tap into the psyche of middle Australia was legendary and was only found wanting in the end by a tired government, new marketing technology and desire for change. Tony Abbott will be the marketing challenge of 2010. That is the only result without doubt.