Union Songs

The Eight-Hour Day

A song by John Warner ©1998
Tune: Bluey Brink

Come all you workers and hear what I say,
They're trying to plunder the eight-hour day,
Won by our forbears in a bloody campaign,
So rise up and be in the struggle again.

So stand up united, let no one betray
Our right and our children's - the eight-hour day.

Individual contracts were made for the fool,
If business divides us then business can rule,
If we let the government back what they say,
It's a twelve-hour shift and no penalty pay.

This system they're making's a ticket to hell,
Working weekends and Christmas and New Year as well,
No time for the needs of our children and wives,
If we let productivity measure our lives.

It's a user-pay's system as I have heard tell,
They're using us hard, so they'd better pay well,
Business and government walk hand in fist
And it's only in union we can resist.

So come all you workers and fight this abuse,
Let overtime hours be our right to choose,
Fight to regain a fair penalty pay,
And grip like a bulldog the eight-hour day.


Many thanks to John Warner for permission to use this song.
John writes. I heard an ABC programme which dealt with the erosion of the 8 hour day principle via individual contracts and "Flexibility" arrangements. I think the 8 hour day concept must be stated explicitly as a standard from which we must refuse to budge and that all work done beyond that point be at the choice of the worker and paid with meaningful penalty rates to compensate for time lost to rest and recreation with the family.

Visit John's website at http://www.folkjohnwarner.com

Find more John Warner songs on this site. Visit John on the web at: www.folkjohnwarner.com

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