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Posts Tagged ‘workers rights’

Dictators and the horror they cause are not to be belittled, yet there is more than one way a dictatorship can be fostered.  An Oligarchy is defined by Wikipedia as: “a form of power structure in which power effectively rests with a small number of people.”

In business such a structure can breach all the rules and regulations the workplace has in place and destroy the lives of these who are not part of the “power structure”. There is a well-known business in Queensland which is run by such a tyrannical Oligarchy, ruining many of the lives of those who work there, simply because they can. To make matters even more putrid, the Union, our esteemed Labor Union, is incapable of effectively doing anything to help these people or stop the dictators. Are we Labor supporters??

How do I know? I have an inside source. Someone who is being systematically torn asunder by underhanded tactics after over a decade of loyal service. They are not protected by any fair or reasonable working regulations since the company will not employ permanent staff, and casuals have no rights. That’s correct, casual staff have no rights in this business. Despite working through a twenty-four hour shift rotation, accepting any ‘shit’ shifts the permanent admin staff don’t want to do, especially at Christmas, if the hierarchy decide they want to ‘get rid of’ a staff member they simply cut their hours or make their working life such a traumatic and unpleasant experience, that eventually they break and leave. No annual leave, or other entitlements to pay, the company can do as they like. When was the last time you went without a family Christmas for ten years?

We’ve come a long way in our working democracy haven’t we?

Here is a scenario. Young worker, employed part-time as they work through University. Slowly working through the quagmire of late shifts, abuse from drunks, rarely enough staff, and let’s not forget the floods in recent years –  management didn’t go to work during the floods, even though the building was partially under water, however, the part-time, junior staff, all on casual pay, were pressured to go to work because…… the cars were running. (That’s a hint). I heard a story of staff being ferried by tinny to the work premises because of the flood water.

If the staff show promise they are given extra work, more involved duties, but no extra pay. Oh No, couldn’t do that, and despite a relatively long and very loyal tenure, no permanent position! (Ten years in one position is relatively long these days). Stress and pressure can effect anyone, at any time. Add a couple of deaths in the family, long hours of study and increasing pressure from work…. is it so far-fetched that the strain could become too much?

So, despite doing what is in effect two people’s work, this person is still a casual and is slowly breaking after a decade without a break. (Don’t forget, no holiday pay or sick pay for casual staff). On asking for an assistant, which the Union, (God Bless their cotton socks) has said is required, their hours are cut to ease the stress. They still have to complete the same amount of work in less time. Let’s try a repeat request a few months later…. more hours lost and the same amount of work.

Is this what we’ve come down to? If a company can ignore the Union, and every other Government Department (and I’m not a Union fan) and treat our workers like third world country employees, what the hell was all the struggle for when Unionism was born?

The Oligarchy, in their ultimate bastardry, decide to put on a new staff member, someone who happens to be a friend of one of the permanent Admin staff. This is code for, “it doesn’t matter how bad they are, they have a job for life.” The existing staff have no voice and less respect from management.

Now the scene has changed. The stressed and loyal employee has to train the very person who will eventually force them out of their job, and all with the connivance and approval of the dictator at the top (Mr P.). Is this going to reduce the stress this person is enduring?  No.  They are reduced to surviving on anxiety relievers, until they can find another job… if they can in today’s market.

Is being made a nervous wreck allowed in today’s marketplace? Apparently so, because there is nothing any regulatory body can do to this company.  It’s a private company, a ‘family’ business.

Can this person sue them for discrimination because they are ultimately being replaced, due to unrelieved stress, when they have trained this usurper? NO! They have no rights, at least not until they are unemployed and in a worse position than they are at present. Even at this point there is still no real pathway for redress.

To say I am disgusted with this story is an understatement. This company should have every department related to fair working conditions, Union bloody regulations and Anti Discrimination using hob nailed boots all over their collective heads and tails! Yet at present I am proscribed from going further until the final piece of this bastardry is complete. All  I will say is this. If you have a choice of transport when in need of a relief vehicle, think of two colours and not a cowardly one.

image from australia.shopsafe.com.au

Doing my part for unfair working conditions.

Ciao, Susan

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