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Thursday, September 30, 2004


Relative progress

In Sam Wood’s 1941 film ‘The Devil and Miss Jones’, J.P. Merrick, the villainous department store owner, dismisses the complaints and demands of union organisers by saying, “why don’t they make themselves so indispensable that they can’t be fired”.

In Digby Jones’ (no relation) 2004 speech, he says, “the only protection people need in a tight labour market with skills shortages is to be so adaptable, trained and valuable that no employer would dare let them go or treat them badly”. He continues, demonstrating some nerve, to say that the unions “just don’t get it! They are doing no more than marching valiantly towards 1970”.

Well, that’s thirty years progress, comparatively speaking.

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