Companies expand and companies contract. That’s capitalism, and it’s hard to get too angry at Toyota’s decision to sack 350 workers given the high Aussie dollar which makes it incredibly tough to sell Aussie-made cars overseas, and especially compared to the greedy banks, who dispense with families’ livelihoods in order to make huge profits even bigger.
That said, there were several ugly things about the sacking of 350 workers from Toyota’s Altona plant this week.
One was the officious way Toyota did the deed, humiliating long-serving workers with heavy-handed security guards which union leaders likened to “Nazis”. Then there was Tony Abbott, who showed zero sympathy to the workers or their families by harnessing the moment as a platform to say how the auto industry would be even worse off under the “caaaaarbon tax”.
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Today is national Go Home On Time Day.
In a classic Looney Tunes cartoon of the 1950s, Ralph E. Wolf and Sam Sheepdog would clock on at the same time every day at the sheep meadow. When their shift ended, Ralph would stop trying to abduct Sam’s precious sheep and they would both clock off again. Their work done for the day, Ralph and Sam would exchange pleasant chit chat and trot home.
If this kind of thing seems quaint today, perhaps it is because the boundaries between work and life are increasingly blurred. Many of us don’t only do our jobs, we are our jobs – regardless of what time it is or where we happen to be.
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By now you may be aware of the offensively Draconian nanny state mandate handed down this week to the fine employees of BHP Billiton.
The memo entitled, Mine Kampf: BHP’s Office Environment Standard And Glorious Five Year Plan, outlines a thousand and one workplace bugbears that the BHP politburo have declared no longer negotiable, punishable presumably, by pain of performance review.
It’s a grossly heavy-handed document, undermining the worth of the employees who deserve respect not only for making BHP the success story it is, but also just for being humble and honourable members of the human race. And it would be an indefensibly deplorable document of foolscap fascism, if it were not for one tiny problem: as a rule, you people are f#$king disgusting.
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