Yesterday was Labor Day, and we got a public holiday. There’s a certain irony in that. In Victoria, VECCI, ( The Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry) is saying we need to work longer and if we unshackled our workers from unionism we’d be better off.
And up north the Fair Work Commission has ruled that train drivers can’t go on strike cos they’re an essential servce. Last thing WE heard from the Fair Work Commission was when one of their Commissoners Mr Stephen Lawler was being paid 460k a year to have it off with Kathy Jackson, the former Health Services Union Secretary who siphoned off millions into her discretionary fund. That’s right up there with the CEO of Border Force being laid off for almost a year and still pocketing the 600 k salary. Life’s hard at the top.
Labor day was all about the Eight Hour Day, which precipitated the Industrial Relations Commission, and the the famous Harvester case declaring a fair wage for fair days work.
All that’s gone. Wages have stiffed. And if you hadn’t noticed the inequity has become a yawning gulf. The pollies don’t give a stuff cos they’re all sinecured. Even the truly shithouse ones are set for life, and they don’t worry about a life renting, the insecurity of contracts, the gig economy or uber. The great unwashed, poor bastards, salaried workers, (who actually pay tax), get a day off. If they’re public service pecksniffs of corporates they’ll play a round of golf. The rest will take it in their stride. Another symbol of empty symbolism. Up there with the Queens Birthday weekend, in its hollowness.
Whilst wages have gone backwards and housing prices stratospheric, winners will be grinners. They’ll celebrate Labor Day. The Labor Day holiday will be good for Qantas, (pays no tax), for Transurban, (pays no tax), for Google, Microsoft, Uber, Amazon, Adani, the list is endless. They pay no tax, make HUGE profits, get HUGE handouts, and are backing the Fed’s 100 percent for corporate tax cuts. The bottom line for Labor in this country is a race to the bottom. The fruit of Economic Rationalism. CEO salaries skyrocket. For wage earners… Insecurity.
We live in a proto Dickensian era of fear and insecurity, and it hollows us out. Still, if youre utterly useless and sociopathically inclined there’s a well-paid career if your wiling to play the game. Though you may lose touch with humanity along the way.
It’s called politics.