Parable of the Labourers in the Vineyard Drama

The Vineyard Workers Protest

New National Employment Standards for Vineyard workers

Union Rep: Order! Order! Everyone’s attention please.

As from today 18th September 2011, this Fairer Work Information Statement

is to be provided to all of our colleagues as soon as possible.

All new or casual employees will receive this Statement and ABIDE BY ITS RULES!

We’ve called it the New National Employment Standards for Vineyard workers.

As from today we are insisting upon ‘Five minimum workplace entitlements’ to

be handed to the Master forthwith:

1 A maximum standard working day of 8 hours, not 12, for full-time employees,

plus ‘reasonable’ additional hours.

2 A good day’s wage for a good day’s work.

3 Public holidays and the entitlement to be paid for ordinary hours on those days.

4 Notice of termination and redundancy pay will be provided.

5 (Raised voice) AND AS FROM TODAY, NO CASUAL EMPLOYEES, COMING

IN AT LAST MINUTE (OR AT ANY OTHER HAPHAZARD TIME OF THE DAY)

WILL BENEFIT FROM THE SAME SAID DAY’S WAGES AS THAT OF FULL-TIME

EMPLOYEES.

Are we as brothers and members of the union, in agreement with this statement?

All: (Loud shout of support)

Master’s secretary: Can I just say as the Master’s secretary, that you must think carefully

before handing this statement into the Master. Before you all began work yesterday,

you all agreed to work for the said wage. That wage was in your contract, which you all

signed. You accepted this pay at the end of the day.

Now the master is an exceedingly generous man, that’s all. Doesn’t he have a right to do

what he likes with his own money? I think you need to be careful in the wording of your

statement, or you may find that notice of termination and redundancy pay you’ve requested

may come sooner than you think!

Union Rep stares at the secretary for a few seconds and storms off stage, grumbling and

tearing the statement up.