Union Songs

The Contract

A song by Eric Bogle©Larrikin Publications 1996

You say you dont need the union son
You can do it all your self
You will sign the bosses contract
And the union can go to hell
You say they'll treat you fair and honest
The bad old days are a closed book
Well if you realy believe that son
You more glaiket than you look

Bad old ways, bad old days
One begets the other
The struggles of the past, of the working class
You had to stick together
That our unity was our only key
To unlock poverty's chains
While divide and rule was the bosses tool
And son that hasnae changed

You say the unions are just dinosaurs
Or a dead past hanging on
And that they've served a purpose in their day
But that noo their days long gone
But what we stood for then we stand for noo
Tell me son is it oot of date
They want a fair days pay for a fair days work
And food on you childrens plate

So go and sign your contract son
If you think you stand to gain
But mind you read the small print first
Before you write your name
And then you'd better keep your fingers crossed
The bosses profits dinnea fall
For then a thousand bloody contracts
They wont save you from the dole


Glaiket means stupid.

Thanks to Eric Bogle for permission to add this song to the Union Songs web site.

Eric wrote "The Contract" specially for the STUC (Scottish Trades Union Congress) Centenary CD "If It Wisnea For The Union" (CDTRAX 5005 - Greentrax Recordings 1996)

The song is particluarly appropriate today (in 1998) for the struggle in the mining industry in Australia where unions are locked in battle with the multinationals like Rio Tinto and BHP and their puppets who sit in government cooking up laws to destroy unions.

In 2005 with the Federal Government campaign to gut the arbitration system throughout Australia (also celebrating a centenary), and replace it with sytem of secret contracts (Australian Workplace Agreements: AWAs) the song assured a new lease of life.

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