Dear Rebel Worker,
Seeing your paper cheered me up enormously. The main news where I work at Holden Pt.Melb. is that the Company doesn't want to pay the last 2% of the last Enterprise Bargaining Agreement (EBA). It was possible to see this coming weeks ago, at the last communication meeting, when management told us productivity was down, waste was up and sales were down and we had all better pull our socks up. This was followed in some areas by a petty crackdown on tea break times and the like. Back in the 1950's, JAC Brown wrote the "Social Psychology of Industry", which explains that harassment of workers does not in fact help productivity, but obviously Holden management hasn't read it.
Anyway, in return for the 2% management wants yet more control of when programmed days off are taken, than they already have and also want production workers to do various jobs reserved in theory for trades workers. Where has this can lead was shown in 1994 at the Kraft Factory round the corner from Holden, then the metal trades workers were retrenched and replaced at one end with skilled up production workers and at the other end with outside contractors. This area is one of potential conflict of interest between trades and production workers and the arrogant attitudes of some trades workers is not helpful.
I will help keep you informed of developments.
Q: "How many fitters are needed to change a light bulb?"
A: "None! That's an electrician's job."