Monday, October 22, 2007

Billionaire calls for slave labour

Owner of the retail chain Harvey Norman, billionaire boss Gerry Harvey, has called for a two-tier wage system to allow employers to pay foreign guest workers up to 50% less than their Australian counterparts.

He wants foreign workers on fixed visas to form a second tier to the labour market.

This creep, who earned $896,879.00 in salary and other entitlements from Harvey Norman (or $2457.00 each day of the year), wants a system that is more open to exploitation and oppression than the current Section 457 scheme, which is bad enough.

He said, “When you get unemployment down to four per cent, to three per cent, to two per cent, business can’t get the labour. I’ve got horse studs and it’s difficult to get staff.”

Oh, the problems of the filthy rich!

Like the scum that sits on the top of a pond, the rich sit on the top of society.

Lauded by some for his business acumen, Harvey is a major franchiser who has to do little for a fair part of his earnings.

He is a major buyer of property, believing that “property ownership is integral to the successful operation of the retailing and franchising system” (2007 Annual Report, p. 4).

This enables him to charge rent to other people who have to move his stock off the shelves. As one commentator has noted, “…he knows how much they (the franchisees) all make and can increase the rents to match the takings. He squeezes them from both ends…in the rents and the profits.

Harvey Norman franchise outlets grew from 155 in 2003 to 192 in 2007 whilst those owned directly by his company increased from 28 to 53 over the same period.

Over the same period, the value of retail sales per franchised store increased from $18.7m to $23.4m, whilst that of company-owned stores remained steady at $25m.
Thus, while the latter had a head start, the former are growing in sales at a faster rate.

Despite going public and crying about how difficult it is for the parasite class to get really cheap labour, Harvey was rather more upbeat in his 2007 Annual report.

There he wrote that Harvey Norman had experienced “a record result for the year ended 30 June 2007”.

“Harvey Norman is committed to growth and is extremely well-placed to take advantage of emerging opportunities…Our strong financial position and low gearing places us in an excellent position to capitalize on any competitor failure in the market place.”

Harvey admitted that “You won’t get politicians saying what I’m saying, but privately they know this sort of thing is a reality in the future.”

Anyone feel a boycott coming on….?

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