Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Union March Blacktown.

My banner.

Well in typical fashion, I left my SLR at home so had to use the phone camera.....sheesh.

There's a report from the Sydney Morning Herald here.


I Managed to get a parking space not too far away from the rally meeting point and promptly noticed A LOT of people heading towards the Blacktown showgrounds. There were all sorts, teachers, scientists, storemen and packers, construction workers, firemen, cops, construction workers, electricians and factory workers. Then it was to the showground past the fringe socialist groups handing out leaflets for extra numbers, "No thanks mate" seemed to be the standard response.

Then over the rise to be greeted by around 10,000 workers in the main showground arena. I found my group with their banners of the LHMU I was promptly handed one of the banners which I held high and proud throughout the rally.

People of ilks kept pouring in. Estimates of 20,000-30,000 were thrown around, once everyone was there. I'd say it was close having been to a few sports events with similar numbers.

Then a few speeches. One from the unions(New South Wales) secretary explaining how the rally was being held in Blacktown as it awas a conservative party marginal seat with a working class background. The rally was a sign of the numbers of people not happy with Mr Howard's Work Choices legislation, which from all accounts (I look to the USA) as to fairly ream average working people. Pressure on marginal seats seems to be the union's tactic.

There were a few other short speeches including one by some poor bastard gasping for breath from asbestosis who once worked for James Hardie and was claiming compensation with union support. Another from a child care worker sacked within 4 days of the Work Choices legislation coming to be.

And then for the slow march around Blacktown. It was rowdy in places subdued in others and a great day of solidarity.

About sums it up. No water cannons, riots, fires, upturned cars or anything like that. Just some ordinary average people taking it to the street.

So what is this all about? I suppose the best synopsis I can give that the Labor party in opposition receives quite a bit of monetary support from the union movement. If workers are forced to negotiate directly with employers or with the help of lawyers (without union involvement which is already the case with Australian Workplace Agreement legislation at the moment), the unions become redundant. Thus the Labor party becomes more impotent than it already is.

The perfect conservative dictatorship with corporation support.

Oh and here's how News Corp set the tone at their make your comments section.

UNIONS are trying to reignite community animosity towards the Federal Government’s Work Choices IR laws with mass rallies around the country today. Do you think the protests will have any impact? Have you been affected by the new workplace laws?

My favourite comment so far is

Private Citizen

The greatest irony is us arguing this on a News Limited blog. After all Rupert Murdoch practically started individual contracts when he shut down his Fleet Street Presses and only hired staff who sign individual contracts at their Wopping plant. locking out the unions.
Is News Limited still suffering from “Wopping” bias? Have a look how they phrase the blog question, read the editorials and decide.
I wonder what penalty rates a blog moderator gets at news limited?

I don't think that comment will last long given the NEWS comments section states

Although we try to run feedback just as it is received, we reserve the right to edit or delete any and all material. All posts are moderated.

Feedback will be rejected if it does not add to a debate, is offensive, repetitious, or contains clear errors of fact.


  • Their blog's ruggedly individualistic, self-made corporate welfare queen of a server is inaccessible at the time of this comment. That's not very entrepreneurial, if you ask me.

    By Blogger J Alva Scruggs, at 10:09 pm  

  • Seems to be working now Scruggs. I think you may have tried it when NEWS Corp was having a staff change on the treadmill that supplies the electricity.

    They're only good for 16 hours or so.

    By Blogger Johnno, at 4:22 am  

  • Well I am glad to hear about the march, and solidarity, whatever the outcome. Here in the states, the people are so bamboozled, so brain addled, that they march in favour of their own enslavement (right to the shopping malls). I would say that over half the people I know are knee-jerk anti-labor. To them, brought up on fifties anti-communist frothing at the mouth, the only thing a union is good for, is intimidation and mob like murders. Most of the musicians in the musicians union, have no idea of its history and record (it is one of the oldest unions in the US). I will admit, being run by musicians, it does have an air of complete ineptitude, but like so many democratic institutions, a union is as good as what you put into it.

    Anyone who still, has the gumption to take it to the streets, I say good on you.

    By Blogger Peter (the other), at 9:03 am  

  • Thankyou Peter. I just re-read my impressions and it sounds like a 5th graders excursion report! I'm not the best on these things.

    Thanks for the link, it was a good read and a great example of what a union can do for the people it represents. No mention of mp3 technology but I'd say they would be working out these things at the moment.

    By Blogger Johnno, at 8:05 pm  

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