The week that was

April 24, 1991

By Kevin Healy

What a disgrace that decision in the Industrial Relations Commission this week! Although, in passing, I wonder why we need a forum where the employers and those greedy workers fight out their claims, since we all know that we share the same interests.

If only we'd all pull our fingers out and work towards greater profits, then we'd all be better off through the trickle down effect. Some bosses don't just let it trickle down on the higher productivity workers — they piss all over them.

Anyway, what a dreadful decision: they gave a wage rise. A wage rise! At a time like this, when the economy's in so much trouble. Don't those selfish unions who run this country know that just a little bit more sacrifice, tighten the belts just another notch or two, and — bingo — paradise! The workers will be rolling in it. Or, as one very responsible employer said this week, the workers deserve to be rolling in it.

And a few employers have lost their marbles. The employer bodies said this wage increase was a good decision. As if Justice Barry Madman would show any bias towards the employers — after all, he was appointed big chief by our great and beloved PM Nuclear Hawke himself, who fought his guts out for the workers before he decided he could fight his guts out even more for the workers by being prime minister.

And see where that silly Martin Cliche and Billy Killthem reckoned the decision would kill the Accord and stop their attempts to make workers lots better off by lowering their living standards.

"This decision is a disgrace. We will have to consider whether we will accept it", Martin said. "We will not accept it — until Wednesday or Thursday, when we will negotiate with the government to lower wages even more."

"How can we responsibly convince workers they must accept sensible and responsible wage outcomes if the umpire acts like a bloody umpire?", Bill complained.

The employers said it would be really clever if the workers received higher incomes by the government providing tax cuts and cutting services and government spending to pay for them. "We'll accept that as long as we don't have to pay taxes", they promised.

An interesting telly report that Hurts workers had been showing abnormalities in tests, but the company doctor told them they were all clear, and Hurts had told them this material they were using was for making lollies or something. Quite proper of Hurts to say they will sue anyone who suggests otherwise. It's a very responsible company, and no-one has even thanked it for employing workers with abnormalities.

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