Gina’s employment coup

Thirteen months ago the Gillard Cabinet approved the introduction of Migration Employment Agreements between the giant mining houses and the Department of Immigration.
It followed intense talks between Gillard and the mining groups over the mining tax. Gillard wanted an across the board agreement with Rio Tinto, BHP Billiton, Xstrata and the Australian mining billionaires and the MEAs were part of it.
Currently, there are half a dozen MEAs under negotiation but Rinehart’s was the first to be given the green light by Immigration Minister Chris Bowen, the right-wing anti-Gillard minister who formerly worked for NSW minister Carl Scully.
When Gillard was asked about the Rinehart agreement last week, she panicked (fearing more publicity) and blurted out that she knew nothing about it. She dingoed the question and dingoed her responsibility to support Cabinet policy which she herself had championed.
Her standing in Cabinet has utterly collapsed (except for Penny Wong, Nicola Roxon, Tanya Plibersek and Anthony Albanese) and the backbench is demoralised and furious.
If there was an obvious replacement she would be gone at tomorrow’s (Tuesday’s) Caucus meeting in Canberra. But the only person on offer is Kevin Rudd whose bid to return to The Lodge was kicked into touch at the end of January.
The argument is growing that if Rudd returns (he still remains the most popular Labor leader with the public) he could save the party in Queensland and Tasmania and rescue some other marginals in NSW, Victoria and WA.
The leadership speculation has been provoked by the publicity surrounding the Rinehart labor agreement. So who leaked the report to the media and gave it the anti-Gillard spin?
Apart from predictable howls from AWU leader Paul Howe and Senator Doug Cameron, there has been no serious comment on the MEA policy which was smuggled into existence with the deal between Gillard and the mining giants over tax in April 2011.
This is a Labor Government prepared to do deals with mining companies to supply them with cheap, non-union and contracted labor at the expense of the jobs, conditions and living standards of Australian workers and their families.
No expense is spared to help the mining giants, their owners and shareholders with a new employment concept – fly-in and fly-out from China, the Philippines and Indonesia.
When will they reintroduce blackbirding, the 19th century policy of bringing Pacific Islanders to Queensland to cut sugar cane?

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