There has been a lot of hand ringing about the revelations last week about the underpayment of salaries by the George Calombaris companies. George Calobaris of Master Chef Fame that is.
Absolutely positively this is bad. But some of the most vocal critics really need to have a good look at themselves before getting on their soap boxes. Here for example is the latest from Jenna Price:
The wage thief must now be forced to sing for his supper. Just before the show opens, get Calombaris on the telly, dressed in blacks, urging viewers to join their unions. Get fellow judge Gary Mehigan to set out every single breach of workers’ rights the ombudsman found. Every time a single mum didn’t get her full pay. Every time a newly arrived migrant got ripped off, all $8 million worth.
Very neat how Price managed to throw in the “single mum” and “newly arrived migrant” as the only ones wronged as if this was the case and as if Price would know. Nothing like a bit of intersectional bias into journalism from a “journalism academic”. But TAFKAS does not seem to recall such hair lighting following the wage thefts by union officials such as Michael Williamson or Derick Belan. What about some of the deals done by unions, such as the AWU at entities such as Chiquita Mushrooms.
TAFKAS also does not recall Price demanding any of the leaders of the AWU sing for their supper?
According to the Wikipedia, theft is:
the taking of another person’s property or services without that person’s permission or consent with the intent to deprive the rightful owner of it.
Note absence of reference to a crime. But if theft is not a crime does that make it ok? Does it make it hunky dory?
What if the theft is the act of taking a proportion of a person’s salary by force, without the person’s permission with the intent to deprive the rightful owner of it? What if such taking is permitted by an act of parliament? Is legally taking something by force theft? Hell yes it is.
The Australian constitution requires that the Commonwealth takes property from any state or any person, it must do so on just terms. But why is not the spoils of ones labor not not considered property requiring just terms?
Just because a particular type of theft has been legalised does not mean it is not theft.
And Ms Price, perhaps someone who is the beneficiary of the legalised theft of wages should be a bit more modest and circumspect in their opinions.