Saw this on The Hand Mirror earlier:
Thus I’m helping to raise funds – for the campaign, and for the families. There are queues of union members outside the Maritime Union office door in the morning to apply for hardship, literally to feed their kids, and I can tell you honestly that they look to me like they hate having to do that, hate having to rely on other people to get the necessities of life. Now they are no longer on strike, having voted to go back to work last Thursday, but they are still not getting paid, thanks to an intransigent employer who they are taking back to court today.
I was musing on the ’51 strikes mainly, and how the port workers were using their position to hold the country’s farmers for ransom, and how they actually made the farmers so angry that they went into town and broke the strike.
Then I was thinking about how the port workers take home large pay packets (average $91,480) with no higher education required, often being paid many hours that they don’t in fact work. I was also musing on the history of violence in port disputes and the way that the Auckland workers seem disinterested in improving on that.
Then, while I was making a snack, I noticed the photo on our fridge door of the child we sponsor.
Rather than telling you about our child, I though I’d have a look at the World Vision site. This was on the profile of the first child I clicked:
Issues facing children:
- As the main component of Niger’s population (31 per cent in total) the youth (15 to 35 years old) are left to themselves and prey to a multidimensional crisis characterised by unemployment, under-employment, illiteracy, begging, migration, various diseases (especially HIV and AIDS) and low participation in development programmes.
- Despite the adoption of a national child protection policy in 1999, many children are still marginalised and live under particularly difficult circumstances.
- Health and nutrition indicators show progress; however, they are generally very low.
- In respect of child development, various programmes and policies have helped to improve school attendance, especially for girls (from 33.3 per cent in 2001-02 to 44 per cent in 2005-06 in primary education).
- Street children are being exploited and is involved in child labour practices (about 15 per cent of the total population).
- Almost half of the Niger’s girl population are victims of early marriages.
- Niger is considered to be one the most perilous places in the world to give birth and the 2008 under-5 mortality rate was 167 per 1000 live births.
I don’t think I need elaborate the point too much. Suffice to say, if you’re earning $100,000 per year by virtue of your union’s ability to bully, you should be taking a cut of that money and putting it aside for the times when someone decides to stand up to you – because there are actually people in the world who deserve charity, and you are not one of them.