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The controversal issue over the Howard government’s industrial relation laws has been in the media since it was released a year ago. These industrial relation (IR) laws put more power to businesses and leave employees with fewer rights when it comes to unfair dismissal, minimum wage and leave of absenses. As a result of the one year anniversary, the issue has been evident in several different sources of media, ranging from radio broadcasts to newspapers and scholary journals. The treatment of the issue has sparked many different views, and by influencing what the viewer reads, the media has affected society’s outlook on the IR laws.
The new IR laws drastically affect government, business and society. For the Howard government, the benefit raised by the new law is that business owners and employers will support the Labor party at upcoming elections. This is due to the large benefits they received when the law was passed, with having more control over their business and the power to choose a cheap labour force. This leads to a larger opportunity to cut expenses and increase profit. Consequently, the Labor party receives more votes and potentially more time in parliament. The opposition, Kevin Rudd, while disputing these laws, wins over the opinions of those of society who have been negatively affected by the laws. These can range from fired employees who cost too much for their workplace to workers who are still employed but feel threatened by the law. The working class society has been negatively affected by the laws, with less control over Australian Workplace Agreements (AWAs). The issue of changes in the IR laws has a large link to government, business and society, with the decision of one group affecting the decision of another.
Several media sources have attacked the IR laws, grouping them as un-fair and injust. Fran Kelly, ABC National radio presenter, stated on March 28, 2007, Steve Fielding’s objections in accordance with the IR laws. Using such...
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