Saturday, August 7, 2010

The Hungry Mile to Barangaroo

The Hungry Mile to Barangaroo

When Australia's population was small and migrant workers were not seen anywhere as near as much as being the enemies of local workers, people of Sydney used to line up for manual jobs, at the waterfront area now named Barangaroo. This is a prestigious and a beautiful area. Most of these men seeking any sort of work there, used to go home hungry. Only a lucky few got picked by the bosses, and all for a pittance as payment. Now the good people of Sydney have remarketed and renamed the former "Hungry Mile" to "Barangaroo". They did so not to recognize and honor the recalcitrant wife of Bennelong, but to cover up the shameful past.

Today, this marginalization and scapegoating is alive and well. Some workers of certain race and background look for a target and love to blame migrants and overseas students for their powerlessness, poverty and misery. These misguided persons can be tracked to many places including "ozcabs" and "Ozcabbie".

During the 30's the bosses used to prevent taxi workers from joining a union and since that year, no taxi drivers had been reinstated following an unfair dismissal; even including the recent Hatrick vs Fleet Taxi Training Centre.

Under the leadership of Ted McBeaty the lawful and valid Taxi Driver Entitlement under the Law was lodged. However, the corrupt Harry Quinn gang, who followed McBeaty shoved and betrayed the taxi workers, as described in The NSW TWU's Crime against Taxi Drivers. As a consequence, most drivers then voted with their feet and the leadership of the NSW Transport Workers Union responded further by backstabbing taxi drivers a few more times. This backstabbing by Quinn had far reaching and historical ramifications.

Taxi drivers like Chris (Fijian origin), Mike Hatrick, Faruque Ahmed, Emil Haraszti, Tony Denton and few more joined the TWU with a new promise and a greater interest to move forward. Chris lost his job campaigning for the TWU and the union did nothing for him. The union under the leadership of Steve Hutchins brutally sold out taxi drivers again, similar to that mentioned previously. This new and blatant sellout is narrated in Ghost and Gas – No Conspiracies.

However due to the valiant effort of the above mentioned taxi drivers, some of the conditions of taxi drivers including workplace safety were improved. Nonetheless the TWU leadership remained the same. They were then and are now the visible enemy of taxi drivers. During the rough and tough days, Michael Jools, Ross Nelson, Jimmy West and people like them were not even in existence in the movement for positive change.

Jools joined in much later and he used the NSW Taxi Drivers Association for his own financial advantage. This left huge damage to our movement. The record and contribution of Geoff Coates is not a positive one for a number of reasons. This is evidenced in part by the following:

In response to CC Connor Must Resign , he wrote;


Your email July 5 '09 2:52 am. I find disgusting. Having attended as many, if not more, than your Hearings before CC Connor I have never found CC Connor to have a `bias'. Your calling of Connor to `step aside' is a disgrace and complete embarrassment to me.

I would think Committee of N.S.W. TDA will consider your statement and expel you from Membership. Your written views do nothing for image of N.S.W. TDA

Yours sincerely,

Geoff Coates

One can include many, many anti-worker comments of Geoff's. His overall commentary and his style is offensive.

When Ted Hirsch arrived on the scene he started well. He commenced by doing the job quite well, albeit with some teething problems. However, recently he changed dramatically for the worse. He become self centered, non-cooperative, argumentative, dictatorial and refused to communicate with other committee members. He attempted to capture and to claim ownership of the bailee taxi driver movement He even went one step further in his opportunistic and destructive manner and style.

Faruque was asking him to become acquainted with the ACCC case and the AIRC matter. For some reason he ignored Faruque. At this point Annie encouraged Faruque and she said, "I trust you Faruque, please attend at the AIRC hearing and do whatever you think appropriate for the benefit of taxi drivers".

At that AIRC hearing, Faruque made an impromptu electronic submission. The opportunistic Jools then made a submission in that matter and he spoke to the judges involved. Unfortunately, he was quickly marginalised and silenced. Faruque then stood up and delivered his materials in his own style. Even as he did so, he was worried about the notorious use of the phrase, "objection your honour", by the other participants present at that hearing. However, he managed to include the prime components of his claims and eventually the honorable judges were much more sympathetic and considerate towards him. They also gave permission for him to make a more detailed submission later.

Ted then took advantage of the situation and he identified himself with Faruque and the NSW TDA. He asked permission from the judges to also make a NSW TDA submission in addition to Faruque's. The judges agreed to that after a short consultation.

Mike, Faruque and Tony had extensive discussions with Ted. They also provided him with some authentic and valid research materials with a view to assist Ted to allow him to write a good submission to the AIRC. In fact Ted made a good submission. Although the submission could have been much, much better had he continued to discuss further with the above mentioned people. For reasons not known, suddenly Ted closed down communication and made the AIRC submission in a most undemocratic, dictatorial and unacceptable fashion.

Following this and during the time of the Harbor Cruise (27th July 2009), he then presented the Squeaky Wheel to some members of the committee. Most committee members objected to Ted's version and they suggested a number of different ideas and materials to include. Ted ignored most of those ideas and points. For reasons only known to him, he created a newer and different version of the Squeaky Wheel which was without any consultation with anyone. He also forwarded the Squeaky Wheel to the printer despite Anne's outcry and her urgent message objecting to do this. Faruque was then alerted about some offensive and ill-motivated contents concerning one committee member. He knew the reason for such a dirty move by Ted. Naturally, Faruque posted a message to the Exec asking Ted not to print and post his undemocratic and dictatorial version of Squeaky Wheel. Alas Ted ignored them all together.

After reading Faruque's message Ted instigated and became engaged in an hour long, convoluted and deliberately argumentative conversation with Faruque. No one else was sure about his attitude and direction. Ted became distant and evasive. It became very clear that all in all Ted was and is disruptive and destructive.

After this costly and time consuming exercise Faruque now thinks Ted's previous approach to Annie to betray and to stab Faruque in the back, which she declined, sparked Ted into further and frenzied action to turn on her and flame and vilify Annie herself.

Now, the committee and membership are welcome to examine and make their own decision.

Faruque Ahmed

Media Manager

NSW Taxi Drivers Association

Mobile: 041 091 4118, Email: union_faruque@...

Wednesday, August 05, 2009