Dec 19, 2017

Rundle: in the Christmas trenches with the Retail and Fast Food Workers Union

As retail workers go through Christmas hell, a group of Retail and Fast Food Workers Union organisers are hitting the aisles to take names under the nose of management.

Guy Rundle — Correspondent-at-large

Guy Rundle


Early evening, Carlton, when we hit the joint. We piled out of the car near the supermarket entrance, clogged with Christmas shoppers, banging trolleys, yowling kids. Michael, the leader, gave the place a once-over.

“You go this way,” he said to Jon, a young dark-haired man. “Blair you head there. I’ll go by the deli, see how far we get.” Christmas music crackled over the system — Jingle Bells, All I want for Christmas is you — on slow hell rotation, the candies and crackers in bright red and green, aisles and aisles of them, dizzying, disorienting. “Let’s go.”

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19 thoughts on “Rundle: in the Christmas trenches with the Retail and Fast Food Workers Union

  1. zut alors

    These guys have a thankless task, good on them. The worst aspect would be the carols-on-loop…

    O, Come All Ye Faithful (Shoppers).

  2. AR

    That was very, very unsettling grundle. More power to your ink stained digits.
    I benefit, like so many others, from this system.
    “Those Who Walk away from Omelas”.

  3. rhwombat

    Inspiring, GR. Thanks.

  4. Nudiefish

    Glad that somebody is doing this important work.

  5. The Curmudgeon

    And the ALP maintains affiliation with this SDA mob. And affiliations are how Labor doesn’t lose touch with ordinary workers. What a joke.

    1. AR

      And also how atheist, marriage spurning Gillard kow-towed to the Bullock.

  6. campidg

    Thinking about the supermarket duopoly, what are peoples thoughts on how the future should look
    : status quo with continued downward pressure on staff and suppliers? The same with more regulation? Monopoly busting legislation favouring the independants? Coops as in Japan? State ownership as
    in Scandanavia (I think)?

    1. Hoojakafoopy

      Co-ops are the best! Better food, better scale, better lighting, diverse music (haven’t heard any Xmas carols) BYO packaging, the staff seem generally happier and have the support of volunteers.. I much prefer shopping at my local co-op to being in Coles or Woollies, where I make a B-line for what I’m after & get out as quick as possible, as if on a hostage rescue mission.

      1. Bob the builder

        Exactly how the shops are designed (except once on your B-line, the aim is to get you distracted and buy stuff you didn’t intent to) – maximum spend per hour.

  7. Woodstock

    Congratulations to them.It’s this sort of activity we need to see more often. Good question re ALP continued affiliation with this truely horrible union.

  8. Daniel

    Rundle should write novels, probably historical fiction is his forte. I suppose there is some point to all this twaddle, but it’s not good journalism.

    1. Brian Abbey

      Hands up all those readers who prefer ‘good journalism’, whatever Daniel thinks that is – he’s left us to guess, with no clues to be found in his own contribution. Now hands up those who prefer learning about what is going on all around them, stripped bare of bland managerial assurances, ALP Right waffle, sniffy notes from superior minds and lousy music loops.

      1. Lorraine Paul

        Daniel, you are a stooge! I can smell a stooge from their unwashed clothes to their foul breath. They only smell a little better than a scab. The difference between a stooge and a scab is that stooges don’t often get paid. They love to feel that they are on the winning side. In former days they would be called the ‘lumpenproletariat’. Nowadays, the lumpenproletariat aren’t often the criminal element; instead they wear suits and think that they are protecting their way of life from the ‘workers’. Famous Lumpenproletariats include, Mark Latham, Alan Jones, Rupert Murdoch, any one of the ‘shock jocks’, Derryn Hinch, Andrew Blot (not a typo), Pauline Hanson, Michaela Cash. I don’t count in the likes of Abbott, Dutton, Abetz and co, because they have entirely different agendas, although, no less evil.

        Unfortunately, there are also quite a few on the ALP side of Fed and State Parliaments. As Brian says above, they all belong to the ‘ALP Right’. I don’t need to name and shame them, they do that to themselves. Same are even Zionists and Zionist sympathisers who are no different from the Apartheid lovers of the past!

        1. AR

          You might want, or maybe not want but but need, to check what Marx/Engels meant by lumpenproletariat – it is not what you appear to think.

    2. Coral SeeNQ

      Daniel. I think if you can use a union to bash a union its so great. Its like in any good war, you get a mate to bash a mate, oldest trick in the book. I don’t know about SDA being the boss’s union’ but I do recognize a boss’s journalist. They get a union to bash a union

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