In the dying days of the past parliament, Labor pushed through a raft of changes to laws that would have a direct impost on Australia’s oil and gas sector – the last bastion of the resources boom.
Not least of these is the requirement that oil and gas companies be required to fly union officials out to an offshore installation if they demand access to that “site”
Or the requirement that foreign flagged vessels providing specialist works for facilities off the Australian coast get special visas for their crews. That is despite the fact those crew members will be working a couple of hundred kilometres off the coast and will not set foot on the Australian mainland.
On top of that they will likely have to pay the cost of flying union officials out to their vessel to see if any of their crew wants to become members of the union.
On land, the problems come from the requirement that employers let the unions into lunch rooms to try and sign up prospective members.
So where does Kevin come in?
Should Tony Abbott manage to win the next election it is likely he will be facing a hostile senate.
That means any attempts to repeal or even tone down such draconian industrial relations laws will likely come unstuck in the senate. He also will face the public relations problem of Labor opposition screaming about Work Choices the moment he makes any move to unwind some of these laws.
Therefore, it mayt be better for business if Kevin gets in.
He will likely have a more friendly reception in the senate.
The recycled Rudd has made little secret of the fact that he wants to break the union’s stranglehold on Labor.
Undoing such legislation and bringing the IR situation more back into balance is right up Kev’s alley.
It will show that he is taking a responsible stance on economic issues while shafting those union leaders who played a part in shafting him in 2010.
This also is why it is smart for him to be ringing the changes in Labor structure that he is.
That way he can ensure that he remains the shaftee and not the shafted should he win the next term.
After a couple of years, his Labor colleagues will no doubt be remembering why they got rid of him the first time around, but it will be much harder for them to prescribe a repeat dose.
There is one way Abbott has out of this mess.
At the moment those changes made in the last days of parliament have not yet received Royal Assent, so they have not actually taken effect.
It may seem odd for Rudd to push for the Governor-General to sign them off prior to the election if he was to remove them down the track.
So Abbott could just leave them be.