||Issue No. 272||15 July 2005|
Home Ground Advantage
Interview: Battle Stations
Unions: The Workers, United
Politics: The Lost Weekend
Industrial: Truth or Dare
History: A Class Act
Economics: The Numbers Game
International: Blonde Ambition
Training: The Trade Off
Review: Bore of the Worlds
Poetry: The Beaters Medley
The Locker Room
The vision thing
You C.A.N. Do It
The PT Barnum of the loony Right gave us the benefit of his wisdom this week, which didn't take long but nonetheless was a fine illustration of what is possible when you engage the mouth while the brain is in neutral.
Graeme Haycroft's intellectual background stems from the fact that he runs a labour hire firm. He is a modest man, humbly declaring himself the "most published expert on the labour market issues" in the country.
He gave a stunning example of how wide the meaning of the word expert can be in an op-ed piece for Brisbane's Courier Mail last week under the headline "Fair Go For All".
Those expecting to read how there would be a fair go for all were strangely disappointed, as former insurance salesman turned huxter for paying staff in salt, Graeme Haycroft, explained how the new industrial relations laws are fantastic, and that it's all about choice.
Hey! Who needs to worry about AWAs, because so few people are using them, says Graeme - an OEA "partner" who uses an unusual selling technique.
And even if people are on an AWA, well, according to old Greybags the changes are merely "cosmetic" anyway.
Has anyone ever associated being able to go to work without fear as being "cosmetic"?
I suppose the Vogue website pointed to the example of a fitness trainer sacked from a gym for not wearing make-up, so maybe he is on to something.
Haycroft is perplexed that workers get "holiday pay, sick pay, long service leave, bereavement leave and redundancy thrown in whether you wanted them or not".
Heaven forbid! Why don't workers just volunteer their time as well! Obviously that's what they all want, hey Graeme? That's why they're flocking to support these changes.
Naturally the man who encourages continued use of the word 'crackpot' has identified that workers are frustrated that they don't have the choice to work for six packs of bourbon under the name of flexibility.
"Employees and employers actually want the same things," says the man who has a disturbing resemblance to John Pertwee of Doctor Who fame. Employees are also apparently "happy to drop guarantees" in return for more money according to the Einstein of industry.
"This gives workers security," says Haycroft, as the men in white coats move in.
Apparently the opposite of the fair go is the entitlement, so the only way to guarantee a fair go is to remove entitlements. It's a stunning argument presented handsomely without a shred of logic.
Apparently opposition to the changes is coming from industrial relations professionals, not good 'ole boys who happen to run a company that does, well, industrial relations. Graeme is very keen to show us the workings of his unprofessional industrial relations company, the remarkably utilitarian Labour Hire Australia Group, on their website.
They proudly declare that "We take over all your problems and risks associated with employment", like, for instance, having to pay people for example.
Haycroft is an interesting character. He believes in unions, just not for everybody.
He believes in unions so much he formed one himself, what he calls the Small Business Union. Which is none of the three.
Another thing he believes in strongly is nepotism.
He believes in nepotism so much he made his son head of Occupational Health and Safety for his work in the construction industry. The idea being that your workers' occupational health will be safer if they don't join a union.
Ben Haycroft is good at lifting things.
Graeme's website proudly tells us how number one son Ben "controls" a workforce of over 200.
Let's just hope he controls them with the famous Haycroft Mindmeld, and not the more traditional form of control favoured by his sunshine coast property developing mates, Sumo wrestlers and swarthy chaps who repossess jewellery.
You have to take your hat off to a man who can make Russ Hinze look like an intellectual, and that's after he's been dead for about ten or more years.
A man who counts amongst his mates sunshine coast property developers who find it difficult to close their mouths properly is obviously just the sort of, err, human with their finger on the pulse of Australian society.
If Graeme's contribution to helping us understand the inner workings, or lack thereof, in the mind of the industrial zealot has impressed you then why not email himand let him know what you think is a fair go for all.
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