Communist Party of Australia

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Issue #1585      March 13, 2013

Plight of the privatised unemployed

There is a mistaken view that Centrelink staff harasses the unemployed. This is not the case. Most Centrelink staff actually have sympathy for the unemployed because they know that if not for a little bit of luck it could be them on the dole line. This lack off harassment by Centrelink workers was one of the reasons that the Howard government, more than any other government, fully “privatised” the harassment of the unemployed. The unemployed initially sign up at Centrelink but are immediately handed over to the private Employment Services Providers who now have government approved control over you.

They can demand that you have to turn up to their office whenever it suits them and even whether you will still get the dole or not. Basically the arrangement is for these private employment providers to harass the unemployed off the dole and the incentive is that these private companies are then rewarded with payment by the government.

With greedy motivation these companies try every approach to harass their unemployed victim off the dole. If you continue on the dole they threaten that they will make you go to another one of their two week “motivation” course which is a course where in my case a man who conducted himself like a fascist with a big mouth, however without the uniform, abused all the unemployed. He yelled at a young woman that she was too fat and that is why she could not get a job.

When I protested he threw me out of the ‘course’ and threatened me with loss of dole payments. It was absolute abuse but the unemployed are a group of people that the capitalist system openly attacks and unfortunately there is no one out their supporting them.

These companies make it very clear to the unemployed that they are going to make your life hell, so get off the dole. Because there is not enough jobs to go around they demand that the unemployed go and “canvas”. This means knocking on doors and pleading for a job, getting your family to support you instead of being on the dole, sending out your personal details to all the companies in the yellow pages even if they are not looking for workers, just get off the dole so they can get their money from the government.

The system is highly inefficient because if you have signed up to one job provider, one of the other job providers might get a job vacancy from a company looking for a worker but the latter job provider is going to give it to its unemployed person over you. So if you are stuck with a job provider who does not get many job vacancies you, as an unemployed person, will miss out and also the company looking for a worker loses because they have not necessarily got the ideal worker to fulfil their needs.

In some cases they also purposely keep people from getting a job for six months because they can get more money from the government after that period. However, the government would argue that private job providers are generally more efficient because they certainly push people off the dole even if they become one of the hundred thousand homeless or beggars on the streets.

If one wishes to officially complain about these Job Network Providers it is the Centrelink workers who, even though they are instructed not to give advice to the unemployed victim, do so. They cannot do much, other than give information on what arguments to put because these so-called Employment Service Provider companies are monitored by a “special” cosy government organisation also set up by Howard that automatically takes the position of the company.

The intention by Howard was to stop the unemployed moving to another job provider which, if allowed, would lessen the ability of the initial job provider to be able to corner their victim and then sufficiently abuse them enough to eventually harass them off the dole. The Centrelink worker told me her motivation for secretly helping the unemployed was because she cannot handle them crying in front of her.

Of course people like the ex-prime Minister Rudd’s wife does not cry, she is always smiling probably because she has made her hundreds of millions from this sort of abusive industry.

Name of the author supplied.   

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