Friday, March 26, 2004

Go Matt!

Following the effective demise of the Alliance, Matt McCarten went back to organising unions. Through Unite, he's been trying to organise people at the very bottom of the job market - people who are minimum-wage and casualised, like hotel cleaners. Now he's setting his sights on the biggie: fast food.

It will be an interesting shitfight, to say the least. In the US, the fast-food chains are ferociously anti-union; they depend on paying people minimum wage for their profitability. Usually when faced with a unionisation campaign, they just fire anyone who seems sympathetic and threaten to close up shop (and start up again on the opposite side of the street). Because we have actual employment laws in this country, they won't be able to do that. But I expect they'll still fight tooth and nail to resist any attempt to gain a collective agreement.

Anyway, good on Matt for trying, and here's hoping he succeeds.