Hendy move to Nelson office shows ‘WorkChoices still lives’: ACTU

News

Hendy move to Nelson office shows ‘WorkChoices still lives’: ACTU

The ACTU has launched a savage attack on the move of hard-line IR warrior Peter Hendy from the head of the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) to be chief of staff for new Opposition Leader Brendan Nelson.

WantToReadMore

Get unlimited access to all of our content.

The ACTU has launched a savage attack on the move of hard-line IR warrior Peter Hendy from the head of the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) to be chief of staff for new Opposition Leader Brendan Nelson.

ACTU President Sharan Burrow said the appointment of Hendy ‘confirms that Work Choices is still alive and kicking in the Liberal leadership’.

‘Peter Hendy’s new job shows that the announcement by Liberal leader Brendan Nelson yesterday that “WorkChoices is dead” was just a charade,’ Burrow said.

Hard line approach

‘The Liberals under Brendan Nelson clearly have no intention of listening to the Australian people and moving on from their hard line approach to industrial relations.

‘Hendy’s apparently seamless shift from big business lobby group ACCI to Liberal HQ also confirms just how close is the Liberals’ relationship with big business.’

Burrow said the Liberals have just suffered one of the biggest ever election losses because the public rejected WorkChoices and the Liberals’ extremist anti-union IR agenda.

‘Now they appoint a long-time industrial relations extremist and big business lobbyist to their inner circle,’ she said.

Learnt nothing

‘This shows that the Liberals under Brendan Nelson have learnt nothing from the election and are deaf to the desire of the Australian people to have their rights at work respected and who support the role of unions.’

Media reports earlier this month suggested Hendy’s time at the head of ACCI was limited because he had been instrumental in organising the employer-backed pro-WorkChoices TV ads that were run during the election.

Liberal ‘operative’

It was felt that he would not be able to successfully interact with the new Labor Government because of this and his previous Liberal background - particularly when Labor leader Kevin Rudd described Hendy as ‘a Liberal operative’.

This was ironic because Rudd had given Hendy a reference when he applied for the ACCI job.

Before ACCI Hendy had been chief of staff to IR Minister Peter Reith when the confrontation with the wharfies union took place.

In a statement issued yesterday, Hendy said he had left the ACCI because Dr Nelson had asked him to join his office.

Work professionally

‘Until this week I had been planning to spend the coming months positioning ACCI to work professionally and constructively with the new Rudd Government,’ Hendy said.

‘However, I have been asked by Dr Brendan Nelson … to come and join him as his chief of staff.

‘I look forward to the opportunity to assist in making the Liberal-National Party Coalition an effective and credible alternative government.’


Related


Hendy under pressure at ACCI following Rudd win

Rudd says ACCI head a 'political operator' for Howard

Rudd wrote reference for anti-union business leader

 

Post details