Govt and business planning TV ad campaign on IR

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Govt and business planning TV ad campaign on IR

The employer organisation representing the top 100 corporation is considering a TV ad campaign backing WorkChoices, and the Workplace Relations Minister has hinted that more taxpayer dollars may be thrown at the Federal Government's biggest election problem.

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The employer organisation representing the top 100 corporation is considering a TV ad campaign backing WorkChoices, and the Workplace Relations Minister has hinted that more taxpayer dollars may be thrown at the Federal Government's biggest election problem.

Business Council of Australia (BCA) President, Michael Chaney, said at the weekend his organisation 'strongly objected' to the current ACTU ad which portrays company board members as planning to cut workers wages before discussing 'executive bonuses'.

Chaney said the ad was either absolutely dishonest or 'truly ignorant of what happens in boardrooms in Australia'.

'Anybody who's been in a boardroom in the last 10 years knows that in fact the opposite happens a significant amount of time is spent in boardrooms talking about how to look after the workforce, the employees, how to motivate them, how to reward them so that they're satisfied and they're happy in their jobs and therefore they'll be more productive,' he said.

Need happy employees

'The fact is no business will prosper unless its employees are satisfied.'

Asked if the BCA will mount its own advertising campaign, Chaney said he had been contacted by 'quite a few business people about that particular advertisement and they're outraged about it, because of what they think it does to the reputation of business'.

'They've encouraged us to speak out against them. We speak out in many ways in fora like [TV interviews] and in newspapers and so on but we're giving some consideration to doing that.'

Meanwhile Workplace Relations Minister, Joe Hockey, told another TV interviewer that the Government had to get more information out to business and out to the workers on its IR system.

Compelling argument

'I think, certainly as time's gone by, they have embraced the new system, that's one of the reasons why we're seeing such strong take-up of AWAs and non-union and union collective agreements, in fact, under these new laws,' Hockey said. 'But I think there is a compelling argument to provide more information to business and to workers.'

The WorkChoices advertising run by the Government last year cost taxpayers more than $40m and is generally regarded as a dismal failure. The Government has refused to reveal the results of continual polling to evaluate it success.

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