It was most interesting to see this little piece (transcript here) although I have never been a fan of the American industrial relations landscape. I think that their tipping culture does make a substantial difference in some low paid jobs like that held by Iris Flores’s daughter at the very low $2.50 an hour. Any way I just loved the end of the piece where the imported talent were telling the South Australian Premier just how good things are here in OZ when it comes to working conditions.
HEATHER EWART: Once they hit South Australia, they’re getting into full swing, and Allen White tells the South Australian Premier he should realise just how lucky he is.
ALLEN WHITE: Here is great, though, ’cause you can go to the doctor without any problems you don’t have to worry about your bills being paid. Everybody gets fair wage and vacation time paid.
HEATHER EWART: This is starting to become a recurring theme. The more Australian workers they meet, the more the Americans decide they’re way worse off in comparison.
IRIS FLORES: They say the US is supposed to be the land of milk and honey, but I see the milk and honey in Australia.
ALLEN WHITE: You get a certain amount of someone when you’re on vacation, this and that. This is unbelievable. Yeah. I am surprised, yes ma’am.
HEATHER EWART: Do you think Australians should be grateful for what they have?
DOLORES MCCOY: Yes, they should and they should fight to keep it.
HEATHER EWART: The visitors return to the US at the weekend, with a fresh determination to fight for a better deal for themselves.
It’s perhaps not quite one of the key effects the ACTU had in mind at the start of this trip, but there are now three more Americans in love with Australia.
I am by no stretch of the imagination a fan of the governments “Work Choices” but I suspect that for most people stunts like this by the ACTU will go over like a lead balloon. Well at least some of the ACTU ‘s war chest has been used for a good purpose; the three very hard working Americans have had a nice tour of this wide brown land and they will go home and sing it’s praises long and loud.
Hey, hang on a minute, isn’t that what Tourism Australia want to achieve?