Wednesday, 26 September 2007

Riot squad called on sacked workers!

Just when you thought nothing more stupid could be done by the organising committees for capitalism in Australia (known, ironically perhaps, as "Governments"), this happened.

After almost 500 workers lost their jobs, and had all pay and entitlements (including their Superannuation) frozen when their employers - McArthur Express - went belly-up and into receivership, t
he company locked them out at the gates. They naturally decided to protest.

Now, there a number of ways to deal with this kind of problem. One of them, and the most reasonable in the wombats' eyes, would be to give the workers open slather on the company - they are, after all, owed around a million dollars. Naturally, Capital doesn't think this way and disagrees.

You might even call in the tame union officials - and the TWU all-too-often falls into that camp - to talk them into a kind of vote-ALP supine submission. But no...

The Clever-clogs-that-be decided that in the current climate - what with terrorism, and anti-Howardism, and anti-WorkChoices-ism being so rife at the moment (take, for example the 15,000 workers that rallied in Melbourne today) - it would be best to call in the Riot Squad. And that they did, resulting in two arrests, one woman being injured by over-the-top police violence, and a worker being crash-tackled. (Now, imagine if they tried to pull the same trick in Melbourne today...).

Apparently it didn't go down too well up here either:

Transport Workers Union senior official Mark Crosdale said the mood outside the depot was angry.

No surprise there. Even less surprise, then, ought to be on the faces of employers and ALP MPs when, after the elections (and if Labor wins), they find that workers don't take too kindly to the WorkChoices-lite of "Forward With Fairness". After all, when the "workers' party" provides an "alternative" that includes maintaining the ban on the right to strike, not restoring the right to entry, and maintaining the ABCC - the secret police force used to harass building industry workers as though they were worse than terrorists, who would be surprised?

And, just to leave no doubt as to which side of the locked gates Kevin Rudd falls on, at
the WA Labor Party Conference back in June, Rudd was honest enough to point out that:

"When it comes to the construction industry, we support a strong cop on the beat."

No doubt that's a great comfort to the workers at
McArthur Express. Once again, the question is posed, if Labor won't put workers first, who will?

1 comment:

Red Wombat said...

Actually, the wombats might have spoken too early on the numbers of that Melbourne rally - it would appear that well over 20,000 marched.

More details to follow...