Paul Howes backflips on Gillard's carbon tax

Folded like a pack of cards

What was he promised, I wonder?

THE head of Australia’s largest blue collar union yesterday provided a much-needed fillip for the Gillard government by endorsing its carbon tax.

The endorsement by the Australian Workers Union came just weeks after AWU national secretary Paul Howes vowed to oppose the impost if it cost a single worker’s job.

Mr Howes said in Sydney yesterday he had been mollified by the generous industry compensation package, particularly for the steel sector.

But Mr Howes, whose union represents about 135,000 workers, most of whom work in trade-exposed areas of the economy, said the government had done a less-than-stellar job of selling the controversial package.

“Look, it hasn’t been perfect, has it?” Mr Howes said of the government’s salesmanship.

“I mean, Blind Freddy can tell you that. But that’s their job. They’ll work it out.” (source)

Such touching faith in Labor’s abilities. He must be thinking of previous successes: BER, pink batts, er…

The reality is that the unions and Labor are joined at the hip, and despite all the tough talking, when the crunch comes, they collapse like a cheap accordion.


  1. Didnt think that this was going to go any other way.
    He was just flag waving at the start to appear tough and give the impression that he would be supporting rank & file AWU members.
    He had a big hand in disposing of Rudd and instilling Gillard as PM so my cycnical mind was always doubtful of his original stance.
    Funny how the attitude has now changed to a ‘get up’ style threat to business. Do what we say or else. No longer threating the Govt, just the employers.
    Anyway, he is yet another Labor stooge & all he really cares about is positioning himself politically for the future, not the AWU members.

  2. Baldrick says:

    With opposition to the carbon dioxide tax growing every day and Labor slipping so far behind in the polls, it’s no surprise that Paul Howes has eventually thrown his support behind Julia Gillard, it was only a matter of time.

    His threat to the Labor/Green/Independent alliance to oppose the tax ‘if one AWU job was lost’ meant more of OUR money went to protecting AWU jobs, which is of course good if your an AWU member but that has come at the expense of employees of small to medium business, who’ll have no protection of jobs.


    Well looks like Paul and Julia are gold medal certainties at next London Olympics in the new event of best mixed pair double back flip ….

  4. rukidding says:

    The question I think that should be asked over and over of Julia,Combet and the like is.

    If the rest of the world is or has moved to price carbon(CO2),as you say,why does our trade exposed industry need compensation to compete.

  5. Shooter says:

    Howes would have been promised a safe Labor seat in Parliament. Hang on – after this little episode by Gillard etc there will be no such animal as a safe Labor seat unless it is in the Illawarra where the ALP could stand the devil himself and be assured of his/her election!

    Come to think of it that has already happened on a couple of occasions.

  6. Like you said, unions and labor are joined at the hip. The difference is now, the workers have been detatched.

  7. Paul Howes… ” Safe Labor seat you said! Why did you lie to me, Julia?”

  8. Irony is Howes is position himself for his turn at a “safe labor seat”….and after the next election THERE WILL BE NO SUCH THING =)

    How many/how few before Labor does not even have official party status anymore…and then what, a formal coallition with the greens =)

    Just gets better and better….NOT

%d bloggers like this: