Monday, September 13, 2010

Some vignettes of working class life.

Just a couple of stories DH heard this week.

Case 1.

Started chatting with a saleswoman at one our biggest electronic retailers, who shall remain unnamed. Let's call them HN. On her feet from 10.30 till 7pm, with just 30 mins off work and no tea break. She has just left an abusive husband, and moved into a flat at $280 a week with her two primary school aged kids.
Has a 1.5 hour commute each way.

Her wages? $15.75 and hour.

Case 2.

A building worker in his 50's. No job security. Contracting. Very fit for his age, but worried about what will happen if he can't keep going. Would like to be more involved in his community but too exhausted at the end of the day. Does a lot of driving. Is terrorised by speed cameras, and now mobile cameras. Can't relax - a momentary lapse or two, and he could lose his livelihood.

Meanwhile over there in the Ministry of Social Inclusion, Tanya Plibersek's new portfolio, you might think that it's all about being nice to people, and designing brochures about how not to diss people with disabilities. Not at all. It's all about how to pressgang Aussies into similar low paid stressful jobs.

Apparently, the underlying principle of Social Inclusion is "Arbeit Macht Frei"

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