On the SDA deal

Niall Clugston writes: Re. “Rundle: SDA has betrayed workers, union movement, Australia” (Friday). According to Guy “Gandhi” Rundle, “In the interim, the best thing that could happen would be for Socialist Alternative to have a couple dozen of its many young recruits go deep cover into Coles and Woolies.” Is this supposed to be a pastiche of Thomas Pynchon? Now we know where the cocaine from the Walkleys went.

Ian Hunt writes: Guy is right to deplore a deal that should not have have been put to members and was subsequently disallowed by a full bench of FWA. I have been a unionist all my working life of more than 50 years and I am a life union member. I am not tempted to turn my back on unions by this or the far more appalling payment of business style salaries and bonuses to senior officials of the HSU. The thing is, most unions serve their members more or less well and with more or less rank and file say in their Union. Cutting off the SDA from the ALP or calling in Socialist Alternative, as Guy suggests, seems to ignore the fact that the ALP is the closest thing to a party of the working class in Australia, however embarrassingly often it has fallen short of living up to that, and infiltration by another party seems a bit deceptive of rank and file members. The best thing to happen, Guy, is to strengthen rank and file say in what their unions do, which was relatively easy in my union and not impossible in many others.

Peter Fray

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