Barbed Wire. Militant April 1998

Labour Hire

Patrick Stevedore’s clever idea of using one company to shift containers and another to employ the dockers who actually do the work is a great idea.

In the Butcher Shop

“Can I have 2 kilos of pork please?”
“Here you are. That'll be $20”
“Thanks very much, bye!”
“Excuse me! You haven’t paid”
“Oh! that was my secretary that was buying it for me, he’s awful like that. I don’t know how you'll get him to pay. I'm the one that’s eating it. See you next week.”

At Work

“G’ morning boss!”
“Why are you sitting there drinking Gaita-Ade when there’s all those crates to shift?”
“Oh, those crates have to be shifted by my sub-contractor, I'm afraid. I contracted all the work out”
“Well, don’t think you're going to get paid then!”
“Oh, I've paid myself 3 months in advance already”
“How can you do that, you thief?”
“The salaries officer contracted out the cash desk to his subby as well and that character is really generous, gave the salaries officer three months pay in advance, too. I think we'd better have a talk to these subbies”

On the picket Line

“Take that you scab!” [WHAM!]
“Arrest that thug!”
“Oi! That wasn’t me, that was my hired thug that punched the scab. You'll have to arrest him. Meanwhile do you mind if I take your head [Phhwwwiffp!] I'm an anthropologist and I need your head for the collection aimed at preserving funny heads for posterity.”

John Howard’s idea of appointing Senator Parer, the owner of millions of dollars worth of interests in the coal industry, in charge of the country’s energy policy has set a good precedent, too.

When the workers eventually get the chance to appoint the government, I think we could put Chopper Reid in total charge of an enquiry into graft among MPs.

I think the pastoral and mining industries need a reorganisation, and who better to lead this reorganisation than Yvonne Margarula, the senior representative of the Mira people of Kakadu?

This Liberal government has thought up a lot of good precedents actually. What about a 12 months “sunset clause” on claims to ownership of all the Banks and major corporations in the country? Hell, why give them 12 months, a 12 hour “sunset” clause would be too generous.