Offering a uniquely Australian perspective on the US Presidential election

A Union with Business

Thursday 23 July, 2009
It’s a struggle for CEOs in the current business climate. Profit seems to be an ever more elusive goal and the federal government isn’t helping. Julia wants workers paid more, Wayne doesn’t want them redundant, Kevin has run out of stimulus, customers wont pay a cent more than half-price and … Read More
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It’s a struggle for CEOs in the current business climate. Profit seems to be an ever more elusive goal and the federal government isn’t helping.

Julia wants workers paid more, Wayne doesn’t want them redundant, Kevin has run out of stimulus, customers wont pay a cent more than half-price and Penny is poised to plant a huge carbon footprint all over the bottom line.

The Federal Labor Government has many fine qualities but it wouldn’t get a pass in business studies. One of its outstanding wp-content/uploads is a remarkable pool of talent for running unions; in fact it is arguably more qualified to run a union than run the country.

Parliamentary insiders were hardly surprised therefore to hear mutterings in the members bar that the post neo-liberal way ahead for business should be the adoption of management techniques pioneered by the unions.

There is no question that in recent years the unions have been absolutely brilliant at explaining how successful they were at the same time as their membership was declining rapidly. They were also highly successful at explaining why organisations employing their members were an absolute disgrace despite the fact they were making record profits..

There are inestimable benefits for CEOs through managing things the union way. They could bring a whole new era to industrial relations by agreeing to union pay claims before they are made. And just think how thrilled shareholders would be when told their annual dividend was a donation to the Labor Party made on their behalf.

By converting employees to card-carrying members CEOs could effect huge savings in payroll tax payments and recruiting the right people would become so much easier with a three strikes and you’re in policy.

Of course no one is advocating that business should follow the union model to the letter. It would be utterly inappropriate to introduce ‘go-slow’s and ‘stop work meetings’ into management work practices where they’ve traditionally been called golf-days and lunch .

Once they had adopted the union model CEOs would find the incessant day to day pressures of driving sales and profits would evaporate. They would quickly learn how to live happily with debt and deficit and like Wayne become entirely relaxed about not being debt-free until 2022. Those who have lately come to regard their organisations as much like their wives would soon come to see them again as much more like their mistresses.

CEOs who embrace this revolutionary concept would be able to apply management techniques successfully proven through union best practice. Problems with difficult customers and suppliers could be expeditiously addressed through demonstrations and picketing outside their premises with verbal abuse and rioting ready to be deployed in cases of unacceptable provocation.

Arguably the most tantalising prospect for a CEO would be the opening up of the union succession programme to the federal ministry and even the PM’s office. All it takes is a bit of branch stacking and suddenly an ex-CEO has the power to change the course of a nation from work choices to fair work to fair redundancy.

With Kevin, Julia, Wayne, Penny and Sharan Burrow on their team the potential for CEOs would be mind-blowing. The only other thing they could possibly need is someone to advise on how to cope when the economy turns round and they are in danger of making a profit.

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