PRIME Minister John Howard has been forced to come to the defence of Tony Abbott after the Health Minister appeared to publicly acknowledge that the Government's WorkChoices laws had stripped protections from workers. Excerpts from an amateur video taken at a community function early this week featured comments from Mr Abbott, a former workplace relations minister, on the effects of the controversial laws.What Labor did to the footage has already been revealed as nothing short of a dirty little fit-up:
This video, which Labor gave to the ABC, was doctored, removing some qualifications Abbott gave and splicing two quotes together...Here's what Abbott was seen on the ABC saying:
I accept that certain protections, in inverted commas, are not what they were. I accept that that has largely gone. I accept that.Here's what he actually said:
I accept that certain “protections” - in inverted commas - are not what they were. That whole raft of regulation expressed in awards that sometimes ran into hundreds, even thousands of pages, I accept that that has largely gone. I accept that. I accept that the Industrial Relations Commission doesn’t have the same power to reach into the nook and cranny of every business that it used to have. I accept that.-- Nick
But in the end, the best protection for the worker who feels he or she might be under pressure at his job is the chance of another job, the chance of a better job. That is the best protection. Not going off to some judge or Industrial Commission that might order your employer, who you don’t like and he doesn’t like you, to keep you in an unhappy partnership forever.
So that is the best protection that we can give people, the protection of an abundance of jobs, the protection of an economy which is crying out for more workers. That is the best protection and I think that has been delivered in spades locally and nationally.