Squiz Today / 21 March 2017
Squiz Today – Tuesday, 21 March
POLITICKING ON PENALTY RATES
It was parliamentary power plays at ten paces on penalty rates in Canberra yesterday. In the red corner, Labor put up legislation to overturn the Fair Work Commission’s decision from February to cut Sunday penalty rates for workers in retail, fast food, hospitality and pharmacy jobs. In the blue corner, the Coalition announced legislation to impose penalties on businesses and unions who give or receive secret payments for trading away workers’ entitlements. And then things got shouty.
HANG ON, BACK IT UP
Depending on your viewpoint, this is either about a) the challenge for (particularly small) businesses to open on Sundays with (some would say) prohibitively high pay rates, or b) protecting the entitlements of about 700,000 workers. Shorten has been telegraphing his punches since the decision was handed down a month ago. The new news is Turnbull’s move yesterday, designed in part to make Labor squirm by highlighting deals that have already been done between some unions and big business that have traded away workers’ entitlements, including penalty rates.
SO HOW DOES THIS END?
Ha! Do we look like we have a crystal ball? What is certain is that both sides will take a few liberties in this debate. Turnbull yesterday talked about Shorten and backhand payments when he was a union official (when in fact a Royal Commission found Shorten had no case to answer). Shorten accused Turnbull of being complicit in the decision to cut penalty rates (when in fact it was the decision of the independent FWC). One notable point: the Coalition has been pretty gun-shy on industrial relations issues for almost 10 years (think WorkChoices) so it's significant they have re-entered the fray. It makes us think of this truly horrendous inspirational clip on persistence which looks like a bunch of Hallmark card writers got drunk and vomited.
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CROCS GO 2 FOR 2 ON HUMAN SNACKING OPPORTUNITIES
Two croc attacks near Innisfail in Far North Queensland has put a cull back on the agenda. A 35yo spearfisherman was killed after diving into the water from his dinghy. Police recovered his body on Monday. Those involved in the search said they believed the croc to be about 4 meters long and aggressive (no kidding). The other victim, an 18yo man, survived. He was mauled by a croc after getting into the water on a dare/to impress a girl. Seriously, who does that?
GO, HARVEY, GO!
Harvey Norman shares were down 8.2% yesterday with events conspiring to make the day difficult for them. The company had to disclose that two directors had sold a significant number of their shares in the business. To be fair, Gerry Harvey also purchased a big slab of shares too. And then a report out from Credit Suisse said Amazon will quickly take market share when it enters the Aussie market, and businesses like Harvey Norman are vulnerable. Put those two things together and the market got nervous. Amazon isn't even here yet and it's shaking things up.
UBER DISRUPTED BY INTERNAL ISSUES
The great disrupter is being disrupted… from the inside (you got that already from the headline? Sorry…). President Jeff Jones yesterday announced he would depart Uber, saying his values were incompatible with those of the company’s. Pretty unusual (and refreshing) in the era of ‘spending more time with family’. Jones had only been at Uber for seven months after being brought on as a marketing expert. Uber have not had a great start to the year – they were under attack from the #deleteuber campaign targeting management's participation in Trump's business forums and there's been high profile sexual harassment complaints. We bet their crisis management team are on surge pricing.
HELLO, IT’S ME, I WAS WONDERING IF AFTER ALL THESE YEARS YOU’D LIKE TO MEET, TO GO OVER EVERYTHING
It’s the call our federal MPs never want to get. If they were quick enough yesterday, the general public could get the phone number of their elected representatives (present and some past, including former PMs) after details were accidentally published on the parliamentary website. Names and phone bills are published bi-annually and the numbers are usually redacted, but not this time. The information is down now, but as everyone but millenials seem to understand, nothing ever really disappears on the internet.
ADELE’S GONE BUT IMPACT STILL FELT IN BRISSY
Rumour Has It (actually, it’s confirmed) the women’s AFL grand final on Saturday between the Brisbane Lions and Adelaide has been moved from the Gabba in Brisbane to the Gold Coast after Adele's concerts three weeks ago tore up the hallowed turf. Officials were worried players would be Rolling In The Deep with the pitch surface deemed unsafe. Brisbane fans said: “If you're gonna let me down, let me down gently.” Unfortunately, sometimes it lasts in love, but sometimes it hurts instead. We’re here all week.
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Harmony Day - details here
Reports that the Coalition Party Room this morning will consider changes to 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act and operations of the Human Rights Commission
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