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Issue #1914      May 11, 2020

SOUTH AUSTRALIAN BOSSES COULD HEAVE WORKERS ONTO THE BARBIE FOR A SLOW PAINFUL EXISTENCE

The coronavirus pandemic has pushed our economy further along its downward spiral which began before this pandemic. It’s a time when the public is demanding action from its leaders and wants them to squeeze out every drop of an economic and social antidote to lessen the pain of the lockdown.

Political commentators have repeated the claim “who would have believed the federal Coalition government would have pushed so much money into propping up the economy?” But why wouldn’t they prop up expiring Capitalism?

The old differences between Liberal and Labor state and territory leaders have become insignificant because the cost of obstruction is too high at this time (typical political opportunism in play).

Both PM Morrison and SA Premier Marshall are already sending signals that they aren’t intending on wasting a good crisis and are said to be working on plans for structural change. The window is wide open for attacks on working conditions, wages, and making workers’ pay for the financial crisis.

ALL OPTIONS ON THE TABLE IN SA TO DRIVE RECOVERY FOR WHO?

The SA-based Australian Industry Transformation Institute predicts the economy will take years to recover and will be felt over the next four years. The old motto of “business as usual” will not be sufficient to avoid this being a long and protracted calamity for the state. SA jobless rate is tipped to top out at 13.3 per cent by the middle of this year. Karl Marx said, “Unemployment creates greater pools of desperate surplus Labor.” Capitalism couldn’t care less about the predicament workers face at this time; it’s all about the primary profit and corporate power. The corporate sector have big plans to restart the economy with all options on the table to make workers’ pay.

WHAT’S ON THE TABLE WHICH WILL OVERWHELM WORKERS’ LIVES?

The most damaging issues for workers on the table include:

  • The Civil Construction Federation SA wants the state government to consider selling off SA Water to private interests to garner an estimated $13 billion. South Australians have long suffered from privatisation and outsourcing of public-owned facilities such as electricity, banks, and public transport. Most residents are saying “enough is enough.”
  • Australian Hotels Association SA branch wants an overhaul of Australia’s Industrial Relations reform from a one size fits all approach to one that ensures workers in different parts of the country are paid in line with their local economies. The disparities between city workers’ and country workers’ wages was settled back in the early ’60s. The employers in SA wanted to increase the difference threefold and used the evidence from a manger from Mannum, a Murry River town, claiming it’s cheaper to live in the country than the city. They used the contention that workers could collect free firewood, catch fish from the river, and trap rabbits. The Arbitration Court rightly threw out the claim and abolished the city-country differential as discriminating against country workers.
  • Labor opposition leader Peter Malinauskas has already put forward a number of ideas which includes waiving state government fees and charges, waiving council rates, and establishing a multi-million dollar industry fund. Waiving government fees and charges? Who is going to pay for the industry fund? Waiving council rates is just passing the parcel from the state government onto local councils to share the incompetence of the capitalist system to deal with this crisis.

WILL THERE BE ANOTHER DEADLY PANDEMIC?

Inevitably we will see future pandemics because capitalism has an entrenched hunger for profits from exploiting our natural environmental resources. Capitalism, to survive, must continue to expand its grip on the economy and by increased population it hopes will increase the market for their goods and services. The deforestation is a key factor of capitalism’s expansion of farming land at the expense of forests and bushland, increased infrastructure, and city infill all play a part in the appalling handling of our natural world. They treat flora and fauna as a means of increasing profits.

Human encroachment and environmental degradation in all its forms are the cause of zoonosis diseases which scientists know little about. Zoonotic diseases are increasing because of the disturbance of habitats, most people will recall previous zoonotic diseases such as SARS, MERS, Ebola, Avian flu and swine flu. It’s only a matter of time before another deadly animal crossover to human disease emerges because of the systematic destruction of the environment. Governments must be held accountable because they are the subservient servants of capitalism.

Workers have a tremendous task ahead of them to prevent federal and state governments, making workers’ pay for this recent pandemic, and they must endeavour to prevent further environmental vandalism of our continent.

Next article – WHAT SORT OF WORLD DO WE WANT WHEN THE PANDEMIC IS OVER?

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