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John Passant

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February 2009



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My interview Razor Sharp 18 February
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace on Razor Sharp on Tuesday 18 February. (0)

My interview Razor Sharp 11 February 2014
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace on Razor Sharp this morning. The Royal Commission, car industry and age of entitlement get a lot of the coverage. (0)

Razor Sharp 4 February 2014
Me on 4 February 2014 on Razor Sharp with Sharon Firebrace. (0)

Time for a House Un-Australian Activities Committee?
Tony Abbott thinks the Australian Broadcasting Corporation is Un-Australian. I am looking forward to his government setting up the House Un-Australian Activities Committee. (1)

Make Gina Rinehart work for her dole

Sick kids and paying upfront


Save Medicare

Demonstrate in defence of Medicare at Sydney Town Hall 1 pm Saturday 4 January (0)

Me on Razor Sharp this morning
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace this morning for Razor Sharp. It happens every Tuesday. (0)

I am not surprised
I think we are being unfair to this Abbott ‘no surprises’ Government. I am not surprised. (0)

Send Barnaby to Indonesia
It is a pity that Barnaby Joyce, a man of tact, diplomacy, nuance and subtlety, isn’t going to Indonesia to fix things up. I know I am disappointed that Barnaby is missing out on this great opportunity, and I am sure the Indonesians feel the same way. [Sarcasm alert.] (0)



Pacific Brands – turn anger into action

Workers around Australia are justifiably angry about Pacific Brands.

They are angry that it has sacked 1850 fellow workers. And they are angry that the company’s 13 executives received total pay last year of $15 million – double the year before. 

This $15 million is almost exactly the amount we taxpayers have given Pacific Brands.

And get this. The company rewarded its executives at the same time they first began to plot sacking thousands and moving production offshore. Maybe the bosses’ wage increases were for developing the plans to destroy the lives of 1850 workers.

The time has come to turn anger into action. Bravo to the Transport Workers’ Union, the Maritime Union of Australia and the Rail Tram and Bus Union for deciding to ban moving any Pacific Brand machinery from Australia.

Unfortunately the TWU has said it will keep that ban in place until PB repays the $17 million in grants we taxpayers have given it. Wrong. The TWU should keep the present bans in place until the company re-hires all its workers. 

And it should ban the movement of all Pacific Brands goods until the 1850 jobs are safe – either through forcing PB to change its plans or forcing Rudd to nationalise the company.


In any event it is not clear how powerful a threat the ban on moving machinery will be. PB may just cut its losses and sell the machinery for very little or abandon it and rebuild in China and other countries.

One of the company’s workers told Joel Fitzgibbon, her local member and the Minister for Defence in Kevin Rudd’s ‘Labor’ Government, to nationalise the company and save their jobs.

He huffed and puffed about executive salaries.

I have a solution for all this false indignation from politicians and others about executive salaries.  Support large real wage increases for workers. The bosses would then have less money to give themselves huge pay increases.

Of course the profit bludgers and their Labor supporters won’t accept wage increase for their workers. Slimy politicians and the trade union princes and princesses will use the indecent sums all executives get to divert attention away from the fact that Rudd, Barrow and their ilk will do nothing, absolutely nothing, to save Pacific Brand jobs. Unless workers force them to.

Only strike action by all Pacific Brand employees – the 1850 sacked and the remaining 7000 – can save the seemingly ‘doomed’ jobs and wipe the smile from the greedy. All Pacific Brand workers could occupy their workplaces until PB agrees to stay, or the Government nationalises them, without any job losses.

And Sharan Burrow, instead of the sideshow about the obscene pay company directors receive, should organise the big battalions of the union movement to black ban PB until it guarantees that all workers will keep their jobs. Or until Rudd Labor agrees to nationalise the company and secure every job.

The TWU could lead the way by banning the movement of any Pacific Brands goods within Australia, effective immediately. What about it TWU?

The main game is with Pacific Brand workers. Only strikes and occupations have any chance of saving your jobs.

And if you did strike and occupy, hundreds of thousands of workers across Australia would support you industrially until you won.



Comment from Abigail Petit
Time February 28, 2009 at 6:26 pm


Comment from kittylitter
Time March 1, 2009 at 3:13 pm

Hi John
I’m a bit of a lurker to your site and enjoy reading and learning from you. I linked to this post of yours on blogocracy (because I agree with you) and it is getting a few comments, thought you’d like to know.

tom of melbourne sarcastically says:
That’s a very well researched and reasoned article Kittylitter

Would you care to comment John (if you’re interested or could even be bothered)?
Cheers KL

Comment from John
Time March 1, 2009 at 3:54 pm

Thanks kittylitter.

I have posted a response there. I hope you enjoy my site. Feel free to post comments agreeing (or disagreeing) with me too!

It can be politically lonely sitting here in Canberra wondering if anyone is reading let alone agreeing with me!

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