||Issue No. 187||18 July 2003|
Hearts, Minds and Other Body Parts
Interview: As They Say In The Bible ...
Industrial: Just Doing It
Unions: Breaking Into the Boys Club
Activists: Making the Hard Yards
Bad Boss: In the Pooh
Unions: National Focus
Economics: Pop Will Eat Itself
Technology: Dean for President
International: Rangoon Rumble
Education: Blackboard Jungle
Review: From Weakness to Strength
The Locker Room
Sid Einfield Would be Proud
Tom in the Manger
Sermon on the Mount
Letters to the Editor
Sid Einfield Would be Proud
On the evening of Monday 31st June, 2003, I was invited by an Energy Company to attend the 6th Birthday celebration of the NSW Electricity and Water Ombudsman. The function comprised participants from the Industry, to the Chair of E.W.O.N. an Ombudsman and more.
Joined by Ministers of the NSW Government, journalists and the CEO's of our Energy Companies, along with past members of the Ombudsman's office, members of Parliament and more, they spoke of the honour and the right of citizens to make complaints against their Utility Companies and have them looked into and have them respected. A short video was shown of migrants and the Aussie battler outlining their concern on the Big Brother attitudes and a Couple of difficulties they had. These people spoke confidently of the way EWON assisted them and how their complaints as consumers had been listened to carefully.
As I sat and watched I remembered as a younger Labor activist in the late 70's and early 80's that I sat on a Labor Party Policy Committee called "Consumer Affairs" that we met regularly with one of the great men of the Labor Party, Sid Einfield, a man that had battled for the working class and also middle class, to ensure they had rights as consumers and those rights respected. Sid to me is one of the great men of Labor. Opposition Leaders and more shook in their boots when Sid walked into the Parliament with his files underneath his arms not knowing what issues could be raised and what scurrilous deeds could be exposed in Parliament. Our Tory mates did not see this as an important role. As I watched and saw the videos I remembered that great man of Labor and thought of how proud he would be I also thought back to my grandfather who was President of the Waverley Branch when a couple of young activists sat in the room called the Einfield. The world's a small place but the rights of the small people are upheld because of the actions of Labor and these great men that walked before us.
When we think of consumer rights and we think of what we now take for granted we spend a thought for the time, effort and issues placed before us in the old Branches of the ALP the struggles that have taken place and those great advocates that were not interested in grand standing for themselves but standing up and saying "it's right to complain" it's right to stand up for those that cannot stand up it's right to create a system where those people's voices will be heard and the little person has a chance to be listened to, be very proud of the issues that we have brought up in the Labor Movement, be very proud of those people that have walked before us, be very proud of Sid Einefield and those that have been part of out great movement - we need them all, for our memory's we need them all, for the future, we need more great Labor men and women.
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