||Issue No. 215||02 April 2004|
Interview: Terror Australis
Unions: Graeme Beard's Second Dig
Industrial: The Hell of Troy
Organising: Miners Strike Gold
Economics: The Accepted Wisdom
History: Vicious Old Lady
International: Out of Sight, Out of Mind
Review: War Unfogged
The Locker Room
Getting Away With Murder
We don't hear much from Kev the Rev these days, so when he strode to the dispatch box to issue a statement on T-shirts it was assumed that he would no doubt be discussing the miserable effort by Westco last week.
Instead of railing against the sleazy humiliation of the staff at the clothing retailer what did we get from the workers friend? A denunciation of union T-shirts on building sites.
This is a man that would be happy to see a thousand staff sexually harassed than for one to join the union.
Whatever world Kev is living on it sure isn't the real one. How would Kev feel if his daughter was forced into a T-shirt that had 'Stop Pretending You Don't Want Me' printed on it?
Andrews couldn't even bring himself to mention the Westco case. That would, of course, mean having to admit that things like individual contracts are leaving vulnerable workers exposed to this sort of abuse.
Instead he banged on about those naughty, bad building unions. Yawn! Do they seriously believe that anyone outside the League Of Rights believes that garbage?
His other great initiative this week was a move to change the law to allow the Federal Government to kill workers through it's own negligence, and then be able to walk away. What a goose!
How long will this intellectual pygmy spend his time hiding behind the Building Industry taskforce? No doubt the Federal Government is moving quickly to set up a Retail industry Taskforce. After all, this is about protecting working people from exploitation isn't it? Or is this government only interested in propping up sleazy employers?
The good Reverend and his coalition cohorts must be mystified as to why they can't seem to get any traction on the Union Bogeyman issue, especially as the union movement is obviously the spawn of Satan.
Well, but the events at Westco illustrate why.
Many working people are so under the pump that the idea that having someone to go into bat for you being a bad thing is laughable. Especially when the sort of thing that happens at Westco is pretty much a daily occurrence in one form or another at workplaces across Australia; with the Federal government giving employers carte blanche to do pretty much as they please to their fellow citizens.
Andrew's silence on this issue has been deafening, and speaks volumes for his and his government's grasp on reality. Instead of trying to fight the cold war by proxy, they might want to have a good look at what's really happening to people in the workforce.
Isn't there something in the good book about treating people as you'd like to be treated? If that's the case then our Tool Of The Week obviously feels that there is a need for people to dump on him from a great height, as he seems quite happy to do that to everyone else.
Maybe Kev should pull his head out of the bible a bit more often and have a look at what's happening to real people in the real world. But the chances of that happening are about that of a snowflake's chance in hell, which would be a good place for Kevin Andrews to go to after his finished with a stint in the Tool Shed.
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