By Joe Montero
The corporate world is gearing up for a possible clash with the Australian Labor government, showing just how determined it is to stop even the mildest of changes to polices that have long served its sectional interests,
Hot on the heels of the threat by employer groups to finance a major advertising blitz against any change to the industrial relations system, targeting Labor at election time, the mining lobby has followed by promising to do the same if there is a move towards introducing a windfall profits tax.
On Thursday the Minerals Council of Australia’s chief executive, Tania Constable, issued the threat to campaign against “bad policies.”
Photo by Mick Tsikas/AAP: Minerals Council of Australia chief executive Tania Constable
Energy companies have made a similar threat over any move to a major shift towards renewable energy and force down power prices. This one is being led by the Australian Resources and Energy Employer Association.
What other issues are they going to move on? Time will tell. But one thing is certain. Big business is getting more militant. The threats appear to be coordinated. The claim that nay move down these or other similar roads will harm investment, lose jobs, and damage the economy.
The truth, of course, is somewhat different. The real motive is the protection of privileges. Which have allowed a decrease in the wages share of national income, cost jobs, locked the nation into fossil fuel dependency, and damaged the economy.
So much for the idea of employers, worker, and government sitting down together as one big happy family. It’s not ging to happen.
It I true that part of the motivation is to pressure the Albanese government in current negotiations on key issues. This is not thew whole of it. There is a longer-term strategy, and this is to create the conditions for the return of a government that will carry service to this sectional interest to a new level. A present, the diminished Liberal Party is incapable of doing much, and the corporate world is taking matters more thoroughly into its combined corporate hand.
In short, it seeks to maintain neoliberalism and make it more extreme. This is class warfare and a major threat to Australian society. The question is how will Australian society respond? Australia must stand up to the pursuing of corporate interests that bring harm.
Any move that the Albanese government makes in this direction deserve to be supported. At the same time, any move in the opposite direction must be questioned and opposed, if the need is there.
The alternative to the strategy of big business should be to build the broadest possible unity towards building a better and fairer Australia. The rest of us have our rights to defend.