By Cindy O’Connor
Austerity is rubbish. Even when capitalism is broke, penniless and teetering we have the elites seeking to protect their privilege under the cloak of “civilizing capitalism”.
Austerity is the same old rubbish rehashed. Every time union reps here in Australia start collectively bargaining for wages and conditions they hear the same old poor mouth antics. Bosses are forever claiming that “times are tough”, “that pay claims are irresponsible”, and, ” if we agree to that we will have to sack half the members on site”. Yep even with our mining boom all the bosses claim with a straight face that times are tough. Hmm then maybe it is time for a mining tax.
Austerity is being used as an excuse to short change teachers, nurses, public sector, private sector, low paid, high paid workers. If you are a worker in a negotiation you just expect to be told it’s your turn again to bail out the big end of town.
Austerity is the new jargon for corporate greed. Workers in organised industries see straight through it. So Let’s give the last word on austerity to two anonymous shop stewards here in Australia:
“…hard times, need wage restraint…where were you when we were paying $14 bucks to put a banana* in our kids’ lunch boxes? We ‘re not the greedy ones – we’re just making sure the gap doesn’t grow any wider between our pays and yours. ”
“Why are bosses so stupid? No matter how much profit we make them they still try and make as many of us take a redundancy or a dud deal. If it were raining dollar coins they’d still end up covered in their own rubbish”
* Australian banana crops were wiped out and we had to import bananas and it sent CPI (consumer price index) / cost of living totally out of kilter
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