The collapse of The Satellite Group — the first publicly listed “pink dollar” company in the world — highlights the sharp class divisions in the gay and lesbian community. In 1999, Satellite blasted onto the scene, buying up 80 percent of Australia’s queer press — including the national magazine, Outrage — and establishing a media monopoly that would make Kerry Packer and Rupert Murdoch blush. By July 2000, the 25 million dollars raised in the public float was gone. In November the company crashed spectacularly, ceasing publication. The driving forces behind Satellite — founder and former managing director, Greg Fisher, and former majority shareholder and director, Jonathan Broster — are under investigation by the Australian Securities and Investment Commission, which alleges they used their positions to “gain an advantage for themselves by causing $1.9 million to be paid from The Satellite Group to companies related to them personally.”
A boss is a boss. Satellite’s burn-up shows that capitalism, pink or otherwise, is capitalism! Fifty employees lost their jobs, as did many who worked as contractors. There are no funds to pay out their entitlements, and even their superannuation contributions seem to be missing! Classless “queer solidarity” is bogus: queer toil and creativity creates the pink dollars lining the pockets of those with fancy lifestyles.
Organise! Within weeks, several new queer papers hit the streets, which is good news for the community. Better news would be an increase in the membership of the Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance. Queer media workers must join the union and fight to ensure queer issues are recognised as union issues by solidarising with other workers and joining the fight for job security and better pay and conditions.