Once upon a time, long long ago in a Sunburnt Country it was considered acceptable to perve on young mothers and their even younger daughters. In fact the misogynistic – and let’s be honest, downright paedophilic – behavior was promoted, so broadly so that paeans to its practice were broadcast during commercial breaks on prime-time TV.
The Commonwealth Sex Discrimination Act of 1984 thankfully put a stop to that, and a million rape cases and the harrowing tales told by children in courts and at the Child Abuse Royal Commission have highlighted exactly how wrong advertisers once were in inducing the denizens of the Wide Brown Land to believe that such a disgraceful practice was simply the Australian way.
Once upon a time, long long ago in the same Sunburnt Country a worker had to be a member of a trade union if they wanted to hold a job too. If they didn’t sign the script that was put before them by their boss that authorised a transfer of a few bucks from their wages into the union coffers then they could take the high road to the dole office, and the low road to impoverished squalor, and unless they were Kiwi’s claiming the rock and roll benefit in two countries while they caught waves and sucked cones, the worker did what they were told and signed the union membership form that was put before them.
Some would say it was as good thing. After all, non-unionists share in the benefits of awards secured by the unions so it can be argued that those who refuse to join their workmates in the union were freeloaders getting something for nothing, something to which they are not really entitled and that, therefore, they should be made to contribute to the cost by being obliged to join a union.
The United Nation however disagreed. In fact the whole world did, because unlike contentious modern day resolutions such as that condemning the State of Syria (Russia and China vetoed that one), or establishing an international criminal tribunal into the MH17 ‘air disaster’ in the Ukraine (Russia – who was responsible for shooting down the Malaysian Airlines plane and thus murdering 38 Australians – vetoed that one, surprise surprise), the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) was passed in 1948 without any dissent dissent whatsoever.
A bloke whose old man was named Alois Shicklgruber had a fair bit to do with it.
You see back in the dark ages, when your grandparents were doing what dinkum Aussies do and heeding the call of colonial powers to head abroad and shed blood for some rich c*nt living in a palace that they’d won centuries before after sending prior brainwashed slaves into battle on their behalf, there arose a fascist dictatorship that elected to conscript the average punter to their cause not through clever media manipulated tales of glory and images and of pretty folk wearing tiaras and designer frocks, but rather via tales of racist inequity and demands for vengeance by blood and steel.
This particular fascist regime was led by the son of Shicklgruber, who had prior to the kid’s birth changed his name to Hiedler, but had suffered the indignity of the registry office mis-spelling it as Hitler. The kid’s Christian name (ha ha) was Adolf, and the mob that he grew up to lead became known to the world as the Nazis. The actual English translation of their name was the National Socialist German Worker’s Party, but like the name Hitler it was a misnomer, for they were anything but.
Democratic or socialist that is. Or a party of the workers. Quite to the contrary, the Nazi’s were simply a Hansonite sect led by weirdo perverts and drug addicted c*nts who by the use of widespread jailings, deportations, wholesale crime, gratuitous violence and outright mass murder imposed their will on the populations of their proclaimed nation, although their One Nation then was a bit like Australia’s today. Amorphous.
Anyway, to cut a long story short Hitler and his piss-weak underlings got cocky after knocking off the even more piss-weak Frogs – who, like they continue to do today in soccer and Rugby and tennis and every other form of modern combat, rolled over without a yelp and then banged their chest while hidden well underground – and overstretched, taking on a real tough guy in the form of Stalin and getting torched, literally and figuratively. Believe what you want about the myth of the big talking but useless drunken lecher Churchill, but it was Uncle Joe who won the war, and don’t you worry about that.
After they’d hung the spineless Nazi’s who were even more cowardly than the jellyfish like Hitler who hung themselves, the world leaders had a chilled vodka or two and decided that this mandatory membership of rum outfits like Adolf was not the go, and given that Uncle Joe was laying doggo at the time, the fellas who ran the world passed the Universal Declaration on Human Rights, which in among a whole heap of other bullsh*t – ‘everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution’; try and tell little Johnny Howard or the Rabbit that – declared at Article 20 that everyone bastard had the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association, and that no bugger may be compelled to join an association.
In other words, a punter can elect to be in a union, or not in a union.
Plain and simple. Full stop.
Except in Queensland.
Well the United Nations didn’t declare that, but the bird who runs the Pineapple State but is rarely seen or heard did.
I refer of course to Pannacotta Whatevayousay, the Pineapple Premier in hiding , especially when it comes to contentious legislation like the right of a woman to choose whether to give birth to a sprog spawned by a rapist, or whether to sack a Cabinet Minister who can’t reach around far enough to scratch his own arse, or make the trains not only run on time but at all, because he’s got so many property developers scratching the said orifice that he’d need arms longer than Kareem Abdul-Jabar to pull the feat off.
F*ck the UDHR, says Pannacotta. This is what a worker’s rights are in this scalding hot tropical wonderland east of the desert, according to the core (of my heart, my country) State Government Entities Certified Agreement (the emphasis is mine, but stick with me, there’s a reason):
In the event of any disagreement between the parties as to the interpretation or implementation of this Agreement, the following procedures shall apply:
(a) The matter is to be discussed by the employee’s union representative and/or the employee(s) concerned (where appropriate) and the immediate supervisor in the first instance. The discussion should take place within 24 hours and the procedure should not extend beyond 7 days.
(b) If the matter is not resolved as per (a) above, it shall be referred by the union representative and/or the employee(s) to the appropriate management representative who shall arrange a conference of the parties to discuss the matter. This process should not extend beyond 7 days; 21
(c) If the matter remains unresolved it may be referred by the employee and/or his/her union representative to the CCF for discussion and appropriate action. This process should not exceed 14 days.
It doesn’t say the employee and/or their representative.
It says the employee and/or his/her union representative.
Ignore for the moment the sexist terminology – her comes before his in the order of the English language – A, E, I, O, U – and instead focus on the words EMPLOYEE and/or their UNION REPRESENTATIVE.
Something’s missing isn’t it?
What if the employee isn’t a member of a union?
This is what. It’s taken direct from the published and practiced Human Resources policy of Queensland Health, the largest government department in the Pineapple State. Once again the emphasis is mine.
Queensland Health is to implement strategies to actively address allegations of sexual harassment or workplace harassment.
A party to a grievance is entitled to representation by a relevant registered industrial union of employees at all stages of the grievance process.
A party to a grievance under Directive 11/07 – Grievance Resolution may not be represented by a lawyer, other than a lawyer who is an employee of a relevant industrial association.
So an employee who is a member of a union can be represented by a lawyer – albeit in the case of the ineptly named The Services Union, by a lawyer who couldn’t cut it in private practice – yet an employee who isn’t a member of a union is denied legal representation, even if they happen to have engaged who could run
Since when did a working person’s right to justice depend on their membership of an organisation? Since the son of Mr Shicklgruber came to power in Germany in 1933 I guess.
But the practice was outlawed in Queensland in 1991, twenty-six years ago, although some would say it was 46 years overdue, or a lifetime even. You can make your own judgement about that, but this is what the law has said about the matter for the past two score and six years.
Trade union activity means a number of things, the principal one being an individual’s right to become, or not to become, a member of a trade union, and to not be discriminated against for making that election, whichever of the options it may be.
I’m just an indigent mug punter and third-rate blogger from Geebung (see article to follow), not a big shot lawyer or a politician, but in my humble opinion telling a worker who has been done wrong by their boss that they can have The Lawyer Who Couldn’t Cut It In Private Practice or one of his fellow faux-lefty lawyers as their mouthpiece if they hold a union ticket, but that they can’t have Geoffrey Roberston QC as their mouthpiece if they don’t, is discrimination any day of the week.
In fact I would go as far as to suggest that it’s a no-brainer.
Work might set you free, but the Queensland Government won’t.Not unless you join the union anyway.
Heute Queensland, morgen die Welt!
Today the Pineapple Land, tomorrow the world.
First they came for the individual workers, and I did not speak out—
Because I was a member of a union.
Then they came for the Non-Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for you, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not you.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me
(With apologies to Martin Niemoller)