Matt Treacy continues looking at the Keelings controversy.
In 2017 a Google employee in California, James Damore, was sacked for writing an internal memo in which he criticised the company’s obsession with gender equality above giving jobs to the best.
Google has long countered any hint of union organization. It hires the modern equivalents of the Pinkerton Detectives to quash any moves to organize within the company.
Labour costs are a major factor in the accounts of large corporations. If they increase significantly they erode profits, dividends, share prices and company valuation. Hence the need for good old union bustin’.
Last week a leaked internal document from Amazon Whole Foods, which employs 95,000, revealed the latest surreal technological anti-union device. It is a “mapping” mechanism which monitors all internal communications and staffing. The document concluded that the threat of unionization was greatest in company sections with “lower diversity.” (Business Insider, April 21)
Keelings and others operate and exploit “diversity” on a less sophisticated but nonetheless effective level. The best way to divide a workforce is to pay different rates for basically the same work. Which depends on the capacity to recruit workers prepared to accept the lower rates. Enter the agencies.Or gang bosses as they used to be known.
It is an age old tactic and one that used to act as a trigger for unions and the left. Now, like snake oil salesmen the bosses need only throw in meaningless phrases like “diversity” and “multi-culturalism” to strike the unions and left dumb like the proverbial rabbit in the headlights; gazing wide eyed and bushy tailed while the carrots and spuds for the stew are prepared.
As noted in our Keelings piece, it helps greatly when former union bureaucrats like carpet-bagging Sinn Féin TD Louise O’Reilly seem to be telling the rabbits that it is all for their own good. There wasn’t a word in the TD’s statement on the Keelings controversy about ensuring the Irish minimum wage was paid to whoever picked the fruit.
O’Reilly like many Sinn Féiners has fully internalised the gospel of the Woke.
Like her ideological forebears in the Communist Party and Workers Party tradition of union sinecures, she has probably never actually worked in any of the jobs “her” members did. Becoming a union official no longer required shop floor experience; only a penny ante degree and the sponsorship of whatever party the aspirant was a member.
O’Reilly was helped by being from a family which took union jobs in the same way as another family might be ‘Murphy and Sons – Housepainters’. Switching party was sometimes a vital element in keeping ones job and at times meant being in more than one party at a time. The CPI had, and probably still have, this down to an art form. In 1992 they had two prominent members elected as Labour TDs. Sinn Féin have been their main target since the 1990s.
With such “fighters” in their corner the Irish proletariat has nothing to lose but their subconscious racism and other lingering vestiges of a backward reactionary obscurantist past. Gone are the days when scabs were “thrun into the Liffey.”
Finally, the claim by supporters of Keelings that Irish people are lazy bastards who won’t work is an old tactic. The Irish Farmers Union made the same claim in the early 1920s when they were terrorizing the farm workers of north county Dublin with the assistance of the Free State army and their own gangs of shotgun wielding enforcers.
It has also been pointed out to me in response to the Keelings piece and the “wont work” claim that in east Anglia the major pickers offer contracts to people living locally that require them to move into camps.
We are back in the world of John Steinbeck’s In Dubious Battle and the Grapes of Wrath.
Except that back then the left was not like Orville the Duck sitting on the boss’s knee relaying whatever he said.
Matt Treacy is a writer and a former republican prisoner.