We don’t need unions, do we?

Union is strength cropCleaners treated unfairly by 38% of contractors, says ombudsman

The cleaning industry employs about 99,000 people, and its workforce is susceptible to exploitation. More than 55% are women, and 65% are over 40 years old. [The Guardian 12/3/15]

But … but … but … Liberal governments tell us we don’t need unions, that we can deal directly with our employers and they’ll treat us fairly.

Oh yeah?

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I’ve just bought my fourth espresso capsule coffee maker in less than two years. I’ve said before that two machines I bought from Woolworths at $49 each failed within about three months. I got my money back both times, so at least it didn’t cost me. Except that I was left with a packet or two of unused capsules that don’t fit any other machine.

Coles then had a similar machine, but of different make, on special for $49 too. I bought one about 8 months ago. It was working fine, then a couple of weeks ago it stopped with a flashing error LED and nothing would clear it. I tried to take it apart but it wasn’t designed to be dismantled, seeming to be solidly glued together. I had to give up and threw it out. Forty nine dollars down the drain, and three unusable boxes of capsules!

Now I’ve bought a fourth machine, again from Coles, again $49.50. It also uses different capsules! All the capsules for these different brands of machine are different. We’ll see how this one goes, but I’m keeping the receipt and if it fails, I’ll be taking it back for a refund.

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My latest box of model railway goodies arrived this morning from the UK. It includes two locos, both second hand ones from Hattons stock. One works, but one doesn’t.

I don’t want to have to send it back, but I can’t see how to dismantle it at the moment. These are quite expensive items even second hand. This one was £54 = $105 ! So here we go again, having to return faulty goods.

As well, I have to package up and send an OCZ brand solid state hard drive back to the makers, in Taiwan! It failed completely last October, dead as a doorknob, right at the end of doing the reunion organisation. That was not funny.

I’m not having much luck, am I?

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001I’ve nearly completed my next Photobook, Volume 1 of the History of the Croft family, the WA branch anyway. This incorporates all the old photos I’ve inherited from Dad and Uncle Darcey of their early Sydney and Mona Vale days.

013 023Who dat dere? Cute, wasn’t I?

I’m calling for caption information from the eastern states cousins to fill in the gaps. Nearly finished. Then Volume 2 will be from 1950 onwards, with our early lives at Bruce Rock, Cunderdin, Wundowie, Rockingham and so on.

It will necessarily include many shots of my siblings, but as they are no longer with me, they will be unable to have any input into the book or the captions. They’ll never see the book either. It’s a pity in the sense that our history will stop here. Their offspring will not inherit anything. They’ve never shown any interest in our old family photos. I’m the only one who ever took any serious photos and they’ll die with me. The Croft family history in WA stops here, with me. Pity.

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