Thursday, February 26, 2004

Rehame rebuts “sweatshop" tag?

It now turns out that the grist going round a few months backs about media monitoring company Rehame was out by a long way – the pay sub-contractors apparently get is not the $7 an hour I suggested, but $4 an hour.

Peter Maher, Rehame’s owner, doesn’t directly deny this figure in a report in today’s Oz*. In any case, the union (MEAA) has the idea that Rehame’s sub-contractors should be getting $15-16 an hour. Subtracting the standard 20% premium for casual labour, this works out to $12 an hour as a normal employee (one with leave entitlements, etc). Say what?

The whole thing stinks, then and the union is being way half-arsed. If Rehame’s employees were NESB 50-somethings, the union would be mounting a hammer-and-tongs industrial campaign. But because they’re (mostly) GenX, highly literate uni graduates, the union apparently regards anything that pays more than the dole (which is $4.50 an hour, assuming a 40 hour “working” week) as a win for its constituents.

* Sheena Maclean, “Monitor rebuts sweatshop tag” The Australian “Media and Marketing” 26 February 2004 (no URL)

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