The Guardian • Issue #2068


  • The Guardian
  • Issue #2068
Quill and ink .

Bias and bullying

The two-page spread in Murdoch’s SA Advertiser of Monday 21st August with the big-font headline “CFMEU ‘BULLYING’ WORKERS” made interesting reading. Writer Riley Walter reports that [unnamed] industry workers claim “the powerful John Setka led CFMEU is using ‘intimidatory’ tactics to force workers on Adelaide construction sites to join the union.”

And not only, “and threatening builders with losing future work if they refuse.” One worker goes on to claim that “his employer had been told by CFMEU delegates the company wouldn’t win tenders for future projects because it wouldn’t force employees to join the union.” And further that “you won’t be able to tender for that job because we’ll make sure you don’t get on that job and if you do get on we’re going to give the builder trouble.”

This anonymous worker further claims that the CFMEU had shut down construction of Adelaide’s biggest office building in King William Street 49 times over 12 months.

And since our enterprising capitalist daily reminds its readers that “we’re for you” it took up the cudgels on the behalf of the unfortunate bullied workers.

“If these claims are proved authorities must forcefully stamp out such behaviour,” its editorial asserts. “All workers have a right to feel safe at work and be free to join whatever organisation they want.”

Of course workers want to feel safe at work. The Advertiser reports the figure of 49 shut downs and leaves it to imply that they were all irresponsible. The question must be asked, “How many were due to safety breaches?” No deaths or serious injuries were reported on that site during that 12 month period, for which the union must not only be thanked – construction workers need to realise that the union is there for them and not to be parasites and expect to reap the benefits of CFMEU membership for free.

As for the union threats to the builder’s ability to tender for a job. This is a ridiculous claim. Something is wrong with the process clear of any union influence and the reporter didn’t do his job without bias if he didn’t check but left it with an implied and unjustified bad tick for the union.

Bob Saltis – Adelaide

Slogan nonsense

I read the Guardian very often. I am a Greek-Australian who lives in Greece since 1993 and I am a member of the Greek Communist Party.

Today I saw an article (Guardian online issue “Revolving doors of greed” #2066 21/08/2023) with the title of “Revolving doors of greed” with a picture of a beautiful young lady holding a paper banner with the slogan” people over profits.”

People over profits? What does it really mean?

In few words, the followers of the slogan “people over profits” are not asking for the abolition of capitalism, they are not questioning the profit itself, and thus the whole profit production system, they are simply asking for a … more humane capitalism, a demand which is nothing but a sheer nonsense and a blatant absurdity.

Please be careful what you publish.

Vassilis Laringakis


[Editor’s note: Point taken. We certainly do not want to settle for a ‘more humane capitalism.’]

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