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  #81  
Old 8th August 2017, 11:21 PM
wadaye wadaye is offline
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Default Re: Why income/wealth equality is getting worse

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One very easy way to eliminate overtime and still have workers needing to work 50 hours or more a week to survive requires cooperation across the economy. If two employers each employ a worker on 50 hours per week they have to pay a large amount of overtime. The problem for the employer can be solved if they each agree to employ both workers for 25 hours each per week. Thus the problem of overtime is eliminated. of course it requires extra travel time by the workers but that is an externality.
Its really brilliant.
Superannuation and sick pay, maternity leave and so on can be discarded (illegally of course) by simply having the worker as a subcontractor with an ABN.

Edit if this seems cynical, all we have to do to the above to reflect the current reality is to take out the requirement for an agreement between two employers and simply recognise that this is the new normal status quo in the economy generally.
Are you aware of the fair work act and various industry awards and agreements?

I'm not an employer and i'm all in for improving the income, conditions and benefits of basic wage and casual workers but in my view this vaguely Marxist ideological bullshit impedes more than improves. It's waffle, mate.
Not Marxist, (though really I have nothing against Marx) and waffle is a subjective opinion.

I worked in Family and Community Services for 9 years. I understand the way the system operates. When times are good the government gives the workers 70 hour per fortnight permanent contracts. When the upper echelons start putting cost saving imperatives, the organisation gives out 50 hour, or even 30 hour casual contracts, and with significant distaste, permanent contracts and stops issuing 70 hour contracts.
This causes disparity in the workforce as the organisation has to fulfil its obligations to those with 70 hour contracts to provide them with the work, and this inevitably also leads to overtime for them.
Those on the 30 and 50 hour contracts are effectively casualised for any work above the 30 hours or 50 hours. They are the ones who are given 70 hours work per fortnight when it suits the organisation, and 30 hours when that's all that's available. Further, they are given the short shifts, in the nature of two or three shifts a day to get their 5-6 hours a day, on 13 to 14 days a fortnight. I have worked in the disability care industry long enough to see this as the plain and simple policy of the government prior to the organisation being sold off.
The poor workers can try to get another job but it is pretty difficult with those hours, and even if they do they can't tell the organisation that they have got the other job or the management imposes criteria that they have to report their hours in the other job and lose anything in their government job which would take their cumulative hours over 76 hours a fortnight.

The casualised portion of the workforce thus loses virtually all possibility of receiving overtime, however many hours they work in their two jobs, by the simple process of hiring more staff on lower contracted hours and using those staff as effectively casualised workforce working above contract hours when it suits the organisation.

Edit: Privatisation resulted in a drop in wages for new staff to the industry award.

PPS: Cutting overtime was an explicit Organisational management policy and directive with accountability and performance monitoring.

PPPS: Simply put it is easier from a management perspective to prevent a worker on 50 hours per fortnight contract going above 76 hours and therby accruing overtime, than with a worker on a 70 hours contract.
The other imperative is also to prevent workers workibg less than contracted hours and thereby accruing unproductive pay.
The managemebt window to keep wage costs as low as possible is better achieved with workers on 50 hour cobtracts than 70 hour contracts.
The collateral damage is worker security and satisfaction.
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Last edited by wadaye; 8th August 2017 at 11:36 PM.
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  #82  
Old 9th August 2017, 04:22 PM
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Default Re: Why income/wealth equality is getting worse

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wadaye said View Post
One very easy way to eliminate overtime and still have workers needing to work 50 hours or more a week to survive requires cooperation across the economy. If two employers each employ a worker on 50 hours per week they have to pay a large amount of overtime. The problem for the employer can be solved if they each agree to employ both workers for 25 hours each per week. Thus the problem of overtime is eliminated.
while this is technically possible, and probably happens, I don't think this is a realistic scenario in a sense that this type of collusion at the scale of the economy is not feasible.

what is feasible, and is happening, at least in the US, is that employers employ people at just below the threshold of hours per week where certain benefits kick in.
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  #83  
Old 9th August 2017, 05:28 PM
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Default Re: Why income/wealth equality is getting worse

A lot of jobs have obscene amounts of overtime, far more than would seem prudent for safety reasons. People like truck drivers, doctor's etc should be paid a decent wage and not allowed to do too much overtime.

Some junior docs have to do obscenely long shifts [24 hours or more]. This has to compromise patient safety. So obviously hospitals need to employ more doctors so that more realistic, sane and safe shifts. Same for folks like truckies, who can kill themselves and others spending too much time at the wheel.

Stopping unsafe, unfair and frankly immoral overtime. This may go some way towards getting full employment.

Governments and their agencies, and the media, should be banned from incomplete employment figures.

For example, the full spread of work participation should be published.

1. full-time work
2. part-time work, also expressed as FTEs
3. participation rate, etc.
4 overtime work [including unpaid overtime, which should be banned anyway]
5 dangerous levels of overtime work [should also be banned, and employers fined or imprisoned].

eg Someone who only does 8 hours a week cannot be considered fully employed. So an additional metric of participation should be added.

That is, if a full-time job is forty hours per week, then 5 time time workers is equal to one FTE.

This would give us a better picture of who is doing what. People who are underemployed but seeking more work, inequitable overtime arrangements, etc.
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  #84  
Old 9th August 2017, 06:31 PM
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Default Re: Why income/wealth equality is getting worse

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pipbarber said View Post
Are you aware of the fair work act and various industry awards and agreements?

I'm not an employer and i'm all in for improving the income, conditions and benefits of basic wage and casual workers but in my view this vaguely Marxist ideological bullshit impedes more than improves. It's waffle, mate.
I doubt very much whether employers are actively cooperating to "share" employees and thus avoid overtime payments and other benefits.

But the reality is that a lot of casual and part-time workers do need to work more than one job these days, so effectively they are working overtime without the associated benefits. And in industries such as building a lot of employers find that they can reduce the cost of employee benefits by employing workers as subcontractors.

457 workers are often paid a paltry salary and expected to work as many hours of unpaid overtime as the employer requests.

Salaried employers in industries like IT have long been expected to work unpaid overtime, often a great deal of unpaid overtime. Once upon a time this was offset by good salaries, job security and benefits. But job security is a thing of the past, salaries are often poor, and the expectations regarding unpaid overtime are greater than ever. Some 457 workers in IT are effectively making less than the minimum wage once unpaid overtime is taken into account.

The reality is that, in today's economy, the sort of protections that you and I took for granted when we started working are regularly skirted and nobody much cares any more.

Underpayment and exploitation in some industries is the rule rather than the exception. I just did a quick google to find some examples, and there are plenty. Here is a good one:

http://www.smh.com.au/interactive/20...udent-swindle/

Quote:
The stories that emerged are part of a vast system of cheap or even free labour in Wollongong’s growing hospitality and retail industries that a Fairfax Media investigation and Mounser’s social media experiment have uncovered.

The picture shows that many young people are chronically short-changed and some are paid close to half of what they should legally earn. Others routinely work as many as 20 hours a week unpaid as part of so-called “work trials” that can last entire days or, in some cases, weeks

These stories are backed by new research that shows the systemic exploitation of workers under the age of 25 in cafes, restaurants and shops threatens to put downward pressure on wages overall in a region where youth unemployment sits above 16.7 per cent – more than double the national jobless rate of 5.6 per cent.
This is not the Australia that I grew up in.
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  #85  
Old 9th August 2017, 07:11 PM
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Default Re: Why income/wealth equality is getting worse

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@142857 This is not the Australia that I grew up in.
And when you were growing up did you spend your time assessing the working conditions of Australian women, immigrants, students, the uneducated and illiterate? Don't look back, look forward.

I dont mean to detract from the overall point of your post though. Yes, it's ugly.
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  #86  
Old 9th August 2017, 07:19 PM
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Default Re: Why income/wealth equality is getting worse

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And when you were growing up did you spend your time assessing the working conditions of Australian women, immigrants, students, the uneducated and illiterate? Don't look back, look forward.

I dont mean to detract from the overall point of your post though. Yes, it's ugly.
No I didn't. Because in those days there were people making real and effective efforts to address those issues.

Thirty or forty years ago, what would have happened to an employer who was deliberately and systematically underpaying their employees? There'd be an angry union mob at their doorstep, that's what.

What happens now? Usually nothing. There are still many people who care, but these days their ability to address those issues is limited and they do what they can.


On the subject of work trials as mentioned in the article, my wife did a one-day work trial in a hairdressing business 2 or 3 years ago. Unpaid. They were very impressed with her work and with her attitude and friendliness so they offered her a job. At $6 an hour.

Last edited by 142857; 9th August 2017 at 07:22 PM.
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  #87  
Old 9th August 2017, 07:53 PM
wadaye wadaye is offline
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Default Re: Why income/wealth equality is getting worse

.
Quote:

while this is technically possible, and probably happens, I don't think this is a realistic scenario in a sense that this type of collusion at the scale of the economy is not feasible.

what is feasible, and is happening, at least in the US, is that employers employ people at just below the threshold of hours per week where certain benefits kick in.
I wasn't really suggesting the collusion is actually happening, only that it might as well be because the result is the same.
Agreed re point 2
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  #88  
Old 9th August 2017, 08:05 PM
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Default Re: Why income/wealth equality is getting worse

@142857
seems there are lots of trials of universal income. Why do we never hear of them? Why is it not happening here?

Beside Finland, there is Kenya, California (corporation based), India, Netherlands, Canada, Italy, Uganda. Hmmm. Interesting stuff.

http://www.businessinsider.com/basic...tario-canada-5
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  #89  
Old 9th August 2017, 08:35 PM
wadaye wadaye is offline
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Default Re: Why income/wealth equality is getting worse

OK so we agree that the economic situation is getting worse. (for example a 12 year old after school carrot packer in 1984 could earn quite a lot more per hour relative to house prices than a minimum wage worker or a care worker today. )

But why?

I don't accept that it's all got to do with population increase through natural growth and immigration. The change is more fundamental than that, though it is of course relevant.

I will offer my two cents worth. Its got to do with increasing capital accumulation. Injection of money into the economies through low interest rates means that wages are devalued while capital assets appreciate, exponentially. Since assets are protected and are not taxed, except for the small portion which is capital gain and then only if the asset is not the primary place of residence, or otherwise only half of the capital gain if the asset has been held more than 12 months (by an individual).
the problem is that assets themselves are not taxed. That's why for just a year or two in prison Obeid has enjoyed all his wealth, shared it with his family, squirreled it away, and will get to keep it or enjoy it by and large, because property is a sacred site.

When the wealth of society becomes increasingly locked away in the assets of the capital owning classes then less and less is available for the welfare of society.

Housing is turned into a business whether the people want it or not. The biggest earning potential of the population is no longer to work for a lifetime but to own a house for a lifetime, where the capital accumulation is tax free.

The social contract is stretching gravely thin
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  #90  
Old 11th August 2017, 09:23 AM
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Default Re: Why income/wealth equality is getting worse

US centric but I would bet applies to Oz

Our Broken Economy, in One Simple Chart

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/...nequality.html


Quote:
A well-known team of inequality researchers — Thomas Piketty, Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman — has been getting some attention recently for a chart it produced. It shows the change in income between 1980 and 2014 for every point on the distribution, and it neatly summarizes the recent soaring of inequality.
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