On the Fairfax strikes

Matthew Cummins writes: Re: “Fairfax tells staff it is about to fire: be nicer to scabs” (Wednesday)

It is really amazing that the top management of a major paper doesn’t get the cultural strength of worker hatred of those who break a strike. A scab places her own job and short term income ahead of her own and colleagues’ longer term security and wage. The strength of unionism is the only force which stands between poverty and dignity. Just cast an eye at some of our northern neighbours to see where weakened unionism gets the mass of the population. Bosses do not pay living wages through the goodness of their board. Their willingness to drive wages towards destitution is only matched by their willingness to vote $million packages for themselves.

So when you choose to weaken the union’s stance you effectively contribute to your fellow workers’ impoverishment. At the extreme you take food from their family’s mouths. ‘Scab’ is too kind. Thief, traitor, quisling, even murderer, are all correct depictions of what you do when you break the only bargaining power a worker has. The absurdity of this particular directive from Fairfax is heightened by the absolute failure of successive managements to protect the business. They rail against strikers but have so run the business down that they need to sack large proportions of their staff! Staff who fail to support their fellows commit a massive social crime. That’s why they are called scabs.

On drug testing for welfare recipients

Wayne Robinson writes: Re. “Destroying the joint: drug testing welfare recipients will be expensive and won’t work” (Wednesday)

Of course dole bludgers should be drug tested. If Australia repeats the New Zealand experience, with 22 positive tests costing around $50,000 each, then it would save money with dole cheats being stripped of the exorbitant unemployment benefits of over $50,000 a year. The unemployed, in particular the young unemployed, need to learn that they’re scum.

If anything, it will make us rich old white men happy at the thought that the young continue to be persecuted relentlessly.

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Peter Fray
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