February 23, 2017

Horse 2232 - Work Harder, Get Paid Less, And Don't Expect A House - You Povvo Scum!

That's the message which came through loud and clear from today's newspapers. In this new world of personal responsibility, Australia's biggest problems are that low income workers get paid too much; so we'd better absolutely make sure that they get beaten into line.

Boy, what an outrageous thing to say. Fancy thinking you need money to buy a home. What a disgrace — off with his toffee-nosed head!
His crime, of course, was being correct. You do need to be paid well to buy a home. That’s a fact.
And it’s a fact we have to live with. Contrary to popular belief, the world doesn’t owe you a living — and nor does it owe you a house. It certainly doesn’t owe you a house in the inner city.
If you get your head into gear, you might even get a well-paying job.
- Caleb Bond, The Daily Telegraph, 23rd Feb 2017.

Hear that? Once again The Daily Telegraph is yelling at poor people to stop being poor. "If you get your head into gear, you might even get a well-paying job." says Caleb Bond. It's your fault that you can't afford a house. Stop being poor and get a proper job. Obviously you don't work hard enough. Maybe you should think about working harder, you povvo scum. Maybe try working harder at the weekend too. Except that if you do work harder...

Hundreds of thousands of Australians who work on Sundays will have their take-home pay slashed after a landmark ruling by the national workplace umpire.
Full-time and part-time workers in retail will have their Sunday penalty rates dropped from 200 per cent to 150 per cent of their standard hourly rate, while casuals will go from 200 per cent to 175 per cent.
Hospitality employees will face a reduction in Sunday pay from 175 per cent to 150 per cent, while casual hospitality workers' pay will remain unchanged.
- The Sydney Morning Herald, 23rd Feb 2017.

Oh dear.

Okay, okay, okay. Maybe the Daily Telegraph is specifically raging against casual and part-time workers. This doesn't apply to all workers does it?

Wage growth slowed to its weakest level on record in 2016, weighed down by the private sector.
Total hourly rates of pay, excluding bonuses, rose 0.5 per cent in the December quarter, taking the annual rate to 1.9 per cent, according to the latest Australian Bureau of Statistics Wage Price Index.
That is the lowest annual rate growth since records began in 1998.
- Adelaide Advertiser, 22nd Feb 2017.

Oh boy.

Let's tie all of this together. The Daily Telegraph is continuing to yell at poor people to suck it up. If they can't afford a house, maybe they should just work harder. If they do decide to work harder, the Fair Work Commission has just announced that penalty rates for the lowest paid workers should be cut. On top of this, the annual rate growth of wages is the annual rate growth since 1998 and had been steadily falling since real wages peaked in the late 1970s.

Does anyone see something fundamentally wrong here?

In my experience, people don't go to work on Sundays because of greed. The majority of people that you see working on Sundays do so because they're trying to make ends meet; people who work on Sundays are more likely to be students, or single parents, recent migrants, or maybe the owner/operators of small businesses. In general the people who do work on Sundays, are more vulnerable when it comes to bargaining power for wages and conditions, and as we've found out at places like Domino's, Grill'd, 7-Eleven, Bakers Delight or such places, more likely to be the victims of outright wage theft. Today's ruling from the Fair Work Commission may as well have endorsed that outright; saying "well done!" to businesses who will now legally be allowed to pay their employees less.

In the world of the Daily Telegraph, there is a direct correlation between how much you are paid and how hard you work. If it is your job cleaning  toilets, standing at a checkout for several hours or running between tables at a café or restaurant, then. clearly you don't work very hard. Obviously it is self evident that any abuse that you might get from customers or the unpleasantness of cleaning vomit from the floor or perhaps facing the possibility of being stabbed by unsavoury elements of society is par for the course and someone in an air-conditioned office who is earning thirty or a hundred times the amount that you do is working harder than you.

Once upon a time is was said that if you worked hard and you do your best, you can do anything. Guess what, even if you worked as hard as you possibly could, the chances are that the house that you live in, even if you are renting, earnt more money than you did in the past five years. If you work hard and are stupid enough to do real work, not only is the reward for for labour shrinking but now it appears as though government policy could actively work against you as well.

There is a lesson to be learnt here. Stop being poor. Just stop it. If you do have a job on Sunday that happens to be traditionally seen as inconvenient, then guess what? You need to stop whinging and be grateful that you have a job at all. We're perfectly sure that we can find someone even more vulnerable than you who is prepared to work for even less wages and conditions because they don't know any better.

Someone much wiser than I once said that where your treasure lies, there your heart will be also. A ruling like this from the Fair Work Commission says that whoever has treasure is justified in not having a heart precisely because they have more treasure. If this is representative of us as a nation then quite frankly it doesn't surprise me in the slightest. We are the country who say in the national anthem "for those who've come across the seas, we've boundless plains to share" and then finds said people before dumping them on an ill-equipped prison island in the Pacific. This ruling doesn't surprise me because this is who we are, Australia.

I work for a firm in Mosman; which has on occasions topped the list of highest average incomes for the country. This is a single s?uburb municipal council area that refuses to join the council immediately to the west of them, for fear of councillors having to share offices with the povvo scum of North Sydney Council. While having lunch in the town square, I have witnessed the utter disdain for wait staff that customers exhibit in this part of the world. I have heard the phrase "do you know who I am?" said on more than one occasion. These same customers are more likely to be in positions of management themselves and unless they specifically happen to be in Human Resources, they're just as likely to demand lower wages be paid to their own staff.

From a fundamental viewpoint, what this ruling from the Fair Work Commission says is that labour isn't something which is as valued as it once was. This recommendation says that we don't view the inconvenience caused by working on Sunday as as valuable as  it used to be. If you are asked to work on Sunday or if you need to in order to make ends meet, than that's your fault. "Contrary to popular belief, the world doesn’t owe you a living" and don't expect one either, you povvo scum.

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