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  Issue No 49 Official Organ of LaborNet 07 April 2000  




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Songs of Solidarity

Compiled by Dr Lucy Taksa - Hisory Editor

Visiting US labour acadmeic John Lund has found a new way to digest history - he commits workers' struggles to song.

When not writing and singing his and other labour songs, John Lund is a Professor of labour education and industrial relations at the School for Workers at the University of Wisconsin. John is also a faculty member in law and industrial engineering. He is originally a member of Operating Engineers Local 701 in Portland, Oregon and prior to the last fifteen years in labour education, was a union representative, union researcher and organiser.

The School for Workers is the oldest university-based labour education program in North America; John's work there involves teaching, research and providing technical assistance to unions in industrial engineering, job evaluation, compensation systems, new technology, labour law, organizing, union administration and use of computer technology. John is currently a visiting professor at the School of Industrial Relations at the University of New South Wales.

The Delegate's Lament

Words: John Lund

Tune: Wildwood Flower

Who is this worker of lowly pay
Looking so haggard, hair's gone to gray
Gets no sleep, day nor night
Always wrong, never right.

Doesn't have a law degree
But goes to bat for you and me
Knows the hows, whys and whens
All the problems known to men

Awards and clauses, annual leave
Penalty pay and when to grieve
Super-annuation, working tools
Management rights and union dues.

When with the boss the delegate agrees
Then s/he's the sellout with weak knees
If to the workers s/he seems to cater
Then they're a Communist agitator.

Everyday somebody will complain
Their union has gone and screwed up again
The person who has to take this slop
Is only the delegate of your shop.

TQM is simple

Words: John Lund, @1996

Tune: "Tis a gift to be simple"


TQM is simple, very simple indeed
It's trying to figure out what your customers need
You problem solve, you act on fact
You listen to your folks
It'll change your business
It's really not a joke

1. It isn't something simple, it's been done o'er and o'er
The consultants say it's really hot, let's try it out once more
While their meter keeps on running and the meetings never end
We will reinvent the wheel and then we'll do it all again.

2. We go to lots of meetings where on one big team we play
And we practice problem-solving, gee, it's fun to learn this way
While we build our paper aeroplanes and we draw our fishbone charts
But what this has to do with work is way beyond my smarts.

3. Oh Pareto charts are wonderful and scattergrams are nice
But there's hardly any workers here, the suits are thick as lice
No they haven't got the message, no they haven't got a clue
If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the problem too.

4. We really want your input, to our meetings you must come
We will fill the wall with flip charts, we'll facilitate each one
And when we've picked your brains clean of these new ideas of yours
We will pick your pockets, steal your jobs, leave you insecure.

5. I once read a book by Deming it had written thirteen rules
Get rid of quotas, drive out fear and many other jewels
But the meaning for our managers is really common sense
You must practice what you preach or you'll be the past tense.


Ye sons of toll, awake to glory!
Hark, hark, what myriads bid you rise;
our children, wives and gradsires hoary -
Behold their tears and hear their cries!
Behold their tears and hear their cries!
Shall hateful tyrants mischief breeding,
With hireling hosts, a ruffian band -
Affright and desolate the land,
While peace and liberty lie bleeding!


To arms! to arms! ye brave!
Th' avenging sword unsheathe!
March on, march on, all hearts resolved
On Victory or Death.

With luxury and pride surrounded,
The vile, insatiable despots dare,
Their thirst for gold and power unbounded,
To mete and vend the light and air,
To mete and vend the light and air,
Like beasts of burden, would they load us,
Like gods would bid their slaves adore,
But Man is Man, and who is more?
Then shall they longer lash and goad us?

O Liberty! can man resign thee?
Once having felt the generous flame,
Can dungeon's bolts and bars confine thee?
Or whips, thy noble spirit tame?
Or whips, thy noble spirit tame?
Too long the world has wept bewailing,
That Falsehood's dagger tyrants wield;
But Freedom is our sword and shield;
And all their arts are unavailing!

You starving members of the unemployed, Why starve?
We have produced enough.
The warehouses are overflowing with the things we need. WHY STARVE?

Songs of the International Workers of the World.
Published by the I.W.W.
H. Cook and Company, Sydney.
Courtesy of the Mitchell Library.


Ralph H. Chaplin

(Tune: "John Brown's Body").

When the Union's inspiration through the worker's blood
shall run,
There can be no power greater anywhere beneath the sun,
Yet what force on earth is weaker than the feeble strength of one?
But the Union makes us strong.


Solidarity forever!
Solidarity forever!
Solidarity forever!
For the Union makes us strong.

Is there aught we hold in common with the greedy parasite,
Who would lash us into serfdom and would crush us with his might?
Is there anything left for us but to organize and fight?
For the Union makes us strong.

It is we who plowed the prairies; built the cities where they trade,
Dug the mines and built the workshops; endless miles of railroad laid.
Now we stand, outcast and starving, mid the wonders we have made;
But the Union makes us strong.

All the world that's owned by idle drones, is ours and ours alone.
We have laid the wide foundations; built it skywards, stone by stone.
It is ours, and not to slave in, but to master and to own,
While the Union makes us strong.

They have taken untold millions that they never toiled to earn,
But without our brain and muscle not a single wheel can turn.
We can break their haughty power; gain our freedom, when we learn
That the Union makes us strong.

Songs of the International Workers of the World.
Published by the I.W.W.
H. Cook and Company, Sydney
Courtesy of the Mitchell Library.


*    Contact our history editor, Dr Lucy Taksa

*   View entire issue - print all of the articles!

*   Issue 49 contents

In this issue
*  Interview: Rebuilding from the Rubble
Ramona Mitussis, APHEDA's co-ordinator in East Timor reports on how Australian workers are contributing to rebuilding a nation.
*  East Timor: UN Poseurs Delay Reconstruction
Returning to the Dili compound where he spent five days under siege, HT Lee finds an aid bureacracy out of control.
*  Unions: The Last Bank in Minto
"It's a busy branch", Carol Davison insists, watching the crowd gather around the Commonwealth Bank branch at Minto Mall. By the time you read this, the branch will be another empty shopfront, stripped of its fittings, with junk mail starting to accumulate under the front door.
*  International: Workers of the World Unite
ILO Director-General Juan Somavia's keynote address to the ICFTU Congress in Durban, South Africa this week.
*  Olympics: Strange Tenants
Rentwatchers lifts the lid on the legacy the 2000 Games will leave on Sydney's tenants.
*  Politics: The Loneliness Crisis
Lindsay Tanner looks at the politics of the soul that form the backdrop of many of our social ills.
*  History: Songs of Solidarity
Visiting US labour acadmeic John Lund has found a new way to digest history - he commits workers' struggles to song.
*  Satire: Seven Launches 'Popstars' Spin-off
On the heels of Popstars comes a new show taking five minor celebrities and turning them into normal people
*  Review: Keating's Engagement
Whether it's analysis or self-justification, Paul Keating's new book is an engaging read.

»  Free East Timor? For the Workers, It's Just Cheap
»  Maria Wins Historic Email Test Case
»  More Hot Air: Cyclone Telstra Hits Townsville
»  Cleaners Walk: We Are Humans, Not Robots!
»  Reith's Day in the Dock Draws Near
»  Olympics Tickets: One Size Doesn't Fit All
»  Back Door Sell-Off of Nursing Home Beds
»  Entitlement Changes Fail to Protect Workers
»  Shaw Sets Safety Guidelines
»  Water Workers Ready to Walk
»  Honour for Jack Mundy
»  Lindsay Tanner Chat Session
»  Radio Free East Timor Fundraiser Thursday
»  Workers Online Turns 50 Next Week!

»  The Soapbox
»  The Locker Room
»  Trades Hall
»  Tool Shed

Letters to the editor
»  Public Meeting: Globalised Capital and International Labour.

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