Monday, June 29, 2015

What is the Problem?

So far there have been no National or Liberal politicians supporting the petition for upholding workers’ constitutional rights to obey the laws at workplace. Apparently it has shown this issue really tests politicians’ attitudes towards workers’ basic rights and obligations under the Constitution. Similarly, the judges who have made relevant decisions about Ms Zhang’s case have held the same attitudes that the conservative politicians held.

Of course the unlawful dismissal law was first introduced by the Labor government in 1988. When Labor was in power making the Fair Work Act 2009 and believing that what happened to Ms Zhang should never happen again, Labor Attorney-General could raise Ms Zhang’s case to the High Court and ask the High Court to outline whether employees have to first complain about employers’ unlawful activities to the court or tribunal to be protected by the unlawful termination law in accordance with 170CK(2)(e) of the Workplace Relation Act 1996, which is substantially identical to 659(2)(e) of the Workplace Relation Act (Work Choices) Act 2005 and 772(1)(e) of the Fair Work Act 2009. (We should remember the High Court’s point was the government did not raise any concerns about Ms Zhang’s case, when dismissing the application of leave to appeal in relation to Ms Zhang’s case.) If Labor government had done that, the judges in High Court and other courts would have been more careful about workers’ rights when making decisions; therefore the rule of law would be enforced not the rule of judges.

Unfortunately the leaders of Labor such as Kevin Rudd and Julie Gillard did not hold the attitude that the majority of Labor politicians has held. Both Kevin Rudd and Julie Gillard have shown that they have focused on power struggles.

Obviously, when Labor leaders do not respect the workers’ rights in their hearts, how can we expect the judges to respect the rights of vulnerable workers? The Constitution gives the government power to intervene in important cases to enforce the rule of law not the rule of judges.

Therefore the problem has been the judges’ and politicians’ attitudes towards workers’ rights. When attitude is wrong, rule of law cannot be carried out because those people who hold wrong attitudes are able to find ways to do thing not in accordance with the laws and Constitution


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