Hello Cruel World
Saturday, November 10, 2007
Back to the 'Fifties again
The path down which so many of us worry 'WorkChoices' leads — part of a story about working in the USA ('Tales From Kafka Station', below, from the Undulant Fever blog).
This is one of the reasons I get so croggled that there's an idea that one would vote for the Liberal Party (of Australia)'s policies "because I'm worried about my (grand)children". I actually saw someone write this in a printed newspaper during the previous election. His (yes, it was a male) whole argument in his letter led, as I read it, to one point; except the final sentence was the exact opposite of what I thought. The mental sensation was very like being abruptly spun around physically.
Apart from the harmful things that those policies (or sometimes the lack of any policy) do to the environment, which will detrimentally effect those following generations, they affect society in a way that is of detriment to the majority of people in it, in things like working conditions for instance. Again, I'll repeat that it's not the 1950s that John Howard is reviving, it's the 1850s.
undulantfever.blogspot.com/ 2007/ 10/ tales-from-kafka-station.html
Tales From Kafka StationIn Australia, following the British law, most official employment in the nineteenth century, gradually changing through the twentieth, was under the Master & Servant Act. Many of the concepts were very similar to so-called 'modern' work ideas; stripping away the 'playing-field-levelling' and protections built up with so much time & struggle.
But I think the major part of it may be that this is part of a tendency among Big Business (not just the Postal Service) that's been growing for years, to deliver -- subtly or blatantly -- a message to employees that "Your Life Belongs To US!"
Forced overtime. Cancelled days off. Restrictions on use of leave time. And all growing more and more frequent, more and more the "standard" model of a working environment, more and more what American workers expect to find in the workplace, more and more what's considered normal.
What I was told in that office was just a step away from actually being forbidden to see a doctor on my day off, because in the eyes of management, every day of an employee's life belongs to them.
That's not an employee/management situation.
The name for that is slavery.
"Much of the labour law which has evolved in the 20th century … stems from an experience-based perception that the market constraint is not a sufficient protection." – Keith Hancock, senior deputy president (1992-1997), Australian Industrial Relations Commission
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