Calling a Spade a Spade
Tollgate workers are on strike today, following a wage dispute between the union SATAWU and five tollgate operators. One of the operators, Trans-Africa Consortium, is using scab labour [emphasis added by the Impossibilist] at its toll gates on the N1 and N4 between Pretoria and Rustenburg, known as the Bakwena Highway.
By way of commentary, Impossibilist finds it necessary only to ask: "could you imagine a BBC website using that term, ever?"
I certainly can't imagine the mainstream press using it in my neck of the woods. Back in January, the KOLR "news team" in Springfield, Missouri reported on a hospital workers' strike in St. Louis--and their report included an 800 number for would-be "replacement workers" to contact a staffing agency recruiting scabs for St. John's! I emailed the station's news director [firstname.lastname@example.org]
Back in November 1998, the AFL-CIO organized a demonstration against Wal-Mart in Bentonville. The newspaper I read, the Morning News of Northwest Arkansas, did a fairly decent story that quoted local people both for and against, including people from several area union locals (even a couple of guys from my union who showed up at the demo). The hacks at the KFSM Channel 5 "local news team," on the other hand, did a fluff piece in which all local people quoted were supportive of Wal-Mart (with some denunciations of "outsiders" and demands that they "go back where they came from" if they didn't love Mega-Lo-Mart as much as "we" did). All the demonstrators quoted, on the other hand, were from out of state. In other words, a contrived "hometown folks" vs. "outside agitators" story. I contacted KFSM several times to let them know how much contempt I held them in for their whoring, but received no response.