Nice try

A suit from the Retailers’ Association attempts to out-Aussie those “chucking a sickie” today:

The Retailers Association said those who falsely claimed illness were “un-Australian bums”…

“Those staff who throw a sickie to selfishly score themselves a four-day weekend have no concept of mateship and the Australian way of not leaving your mates to do your heavy lifting for you, while you slink off to the beach or the pub,” said Mr Driscoll in a statement.

“Many workplaces around Australia will experience some of their staff who have just disappeared, thrown rosters into chaos and at the end of it all left their workmates to have to work harder tending cash registers, filling the shelves or waiting on the tables.

“If they turn their backs on their mates they are bums.”

Other un-Australian things include the Retailers’ Association’s attitude to employee rights, including fair wages, holidays, and protections against unfair dismissal – and the shamelessness of businesses trying to turn workers against each other.

Still, you’ve got to admire the chutzpah.

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21 responses to “Nice try

  1. Dear oh dreary dear, and here’s me thinking uncle Kevin was gonna stop all this persecution of the workers.Yea just like he and our own Peter the Green GThe “Anzacs” will not be pleased with all this extra leisure time the plebes want to celebrate Australia day will they?They didn’t leave their mates at Gallipoli for a four day break.

  2. Dunno what happened there?I was going to say he that’s Rudd and our own Peter the Green Garrett was gonna stop whaling, get Copenhagen rolling they was gonna do everything.

    But I can see the retailers point of view, I mean if they can’t get full production on Monday and flog another plastic bucket, we’ll all be rooned I tell ya rooned.

  3. Seriously, why are values like those considered exclusively Australian? It’s not as if there aren’t not-dickheads in other countries…unless that’s what they’re trying to tell us? :S

  4. Easy to say if you weren’t the one who had to work the shift for the guy or girl who rung in sick.

    It’s not hard to do a bit of forward planning to have a 4 day weekend. Last-minuters shit me. Also you know that they are lying, so why believe them any other time?

  5. “Easy to say if you weren’t the one who had to work the shift for the guy or girl who rung in sick.”

    Don’t they have other staff they can call in when someone’s sick? Employers shouldn’t be making staff do the work of an absent staff member anyway – they should get someone in to replace them for that day.

  6. Where from Jeremy? We employ 2 full time and 4 part time staff. If one rings in sick we have to do without or call one of our other staff. There’s no magic pool of replacement workers we can call on, we just have to hope another staff member can and will fill in.

  7. Around my way there was bugger-all happening in the shops on Monday anyway. Why do retailers all seem to assume that if they are open they will be making heaps of money? What were all the things that had to be bought on Monday and couldn’t be bought on Wednesday?

  8. “Where from Jeremy? We employ 2 full time and 4 part time staff. If one rings in sick we have to do without or call one of our other staff. There’s no magic pool of replacement workers we can call on, we just have to hope another staff member can and will fill in.”

    You clearly need to hire more staff. You get that they can be sick at any time – even genuinely! – and it’s not fair on the other workers for you to expect them to “fill in” for someone else’s job, right?

  9. You never see the business lobby ever complain about the millions of hours in unpaid overtime do you? Funny that.

    The media swallowed entirely whatever they said on this issue.

  10. Thanks for the patronising answer. Why on earth didn’t I think of hiring more staff? Now the current staff can work less hours to accommodate these extra employees (who will probably want to work – not sure they’ll just wait around to get some hours when someone is “genuinely” sick). Brilliant, I’m sure they won’t mind that. How many do you think I need?

    I really do understand that people get sick, and we deal with it as best we can while trying to run a retail business and do the right thing by our workers. I also try not to stereotype people from one blog comment, hard as it can be.

  11. I’m sick of some people calling shit they don’t like un-Australian.

    Do you know whats un-Australian?

    The Amazon rainforest.

    And the moon.

    In fact if anything could be defined as “typically Australian” its taking a sickie on Monday if there is a public holiday on Tuesday.

    Its probably one of the things that made this country great.

    As for “letting your mates down”.

    Your mates are people who you drop anything for to help out if they were in trouble, people you might put your life on the line for if the situation arose. Who’d do the same for you…

    They are not the people you work with. (Although some people are mates with the people they work with, work doesn’t create friendship, being alive does.)

    This is just offensive political rhetoric from the Retailers Ass, in line with 15 years of right wing bullshit trying to associate “Australian values” with serving the economy.

    Back in the 90s they used to say we (working aussies, didn’t work hard enough, took too much time off and didn’t pull our weight in the economy.

    Now Australians work more unpaid overtime than anywhere else on earth (how many jobs does that cost), and one of the underlying assumptions of our culture (at least via MSM sources) is that business is more important than life.

    Many of those Australians working longer and harder than ever are not doing as well financially as their parents, who worked less hours and were able to afford things like reasonably priced homes and education… as well as two cars a couple of telly’s and a video.

    Thats been one of the real shifts in Australian life over the last 15 years. So perhaps the retailers backsides are right.

    Maybe wanting a day off is un-Australian now.

    Is that the sort of Australia we want?

    (PS Hi Jeremy, good to see you are still blogging along. Hope the vegetarianism thing is still chugging along.)

  12. You wouldn’t read about it…I need one of my spare staff today! The guy we pay $60,000 to manage our shop is having the day off to clean his carpets (apparently this couldn’t be done on a Friday or Saturday when he is actually off work) and failed to get someone to cover for him. You know, managing kind of stuff.

    But he did text him to come and work today. Once. Didn’t get any reply. Oh well…

    There are shitty employees and shitty employers and everyone has plenty of anecdotes to back their view up. It’s not as simple as employers = bad, employees = good. The ARA are too political, and pretty out of touch, but not all retailers are greedy bloodsuckers out to get workers.

  13. “Now Australians work more unpaid overtime than anywhere else on earth (how many jobs does that cost), and one of the underlying assumptions of our culture (at least via MSM sources) is that business is more important than life.”

    overtime does seem to be an aussie thing. In europe, its considered a sign of inefficiency to be working past finish time…

  14. There is a pretty simple way of fixing the problem.

    The Australia day long weekend !

    Make the holiday fall on either a Monday or a Friday.

  15. Jeremy – as someone who is partly responsible for managing a business that employs over 200 people I am disappointed by your comments above.

    Angie’s complaints are completely fair, and your suggestion that she hire extra staff simply to cover her business when the regular staff are sick is, frankly, ridiculous.

    You get that there’s no such thing as an employee who only works when another employee calls in sick, right? A temp might one solution, but if it is a skilled position then they’re not an option.

    As much as I abhor the manipulative ‘unAustralian’ and ‘letting your mates down’ propoganda, I agree that those who take fake sick-leave are selfishly leaving others to shoulder the burden of their work.

  16. That should be “a temp might be one solution”.

  17. “There are shitty employees and shitty employers and everyone has plenty of anecdotes to back their view up. It’s not as simple as employers = bad, employees = good. The ARA are too political, and pretty out of touch, but not all retailers are greedy bloodsuckers out to get workers.” – Angie

    Angie there are plenty of small businesses, with a few employees in Australia where things work really well. Ultimately tho these seem to work because the relationship between boss and worker is also balanced by one between two people.

    Its not the same as a friendship, necessarily, but often it seems these relationships develop into friendships after the work one ends. I notice it where I live which is a rural area, cos ultimately everyone ends up one degree of seperation from everyone else.

    That seems to be the key. If people relate to one another as people they are likely to be more accommodating in their business relationships, cos they have another form of relationship going on. Of course some employers exploit this, but then so do some employees, but successful small businesses where this sort of relationship works seem to have more respect and consideration between people than is often assumed of the employee/employer relationship.

    It seems to work for small businesses, and local businesses in rural areas, probably cos of the fact that people know each other as people outside their business relationships. This doesn’t happen in urban areas as much, tho it seemed to more in the past.

    (I’m not talking about all employee/employer relationships, just some.)

    In those situations then what the RA spokesperson said was probably appropriate, but that sort of relationship is actually based on something deeper than an employee/employer relationship.

    I think businesses where that sort of relationship exists don’t need to hear that sort of thing said, and those that do don’t have the environments appropriate to the comments.

    That respect goes both ways too – I’d expect more of the guy you referred to if I was in your position too, but also – communication is always a two way street.

    And it only works between “equals”. IE in a hierarchy you are more likely to be told what you want to hear if you have power, regardless of whether it reflects whats accurately going on.

    If you have “power” over someone the info they feed you will be tainted by the way they perceive that info will effect you and how you treat them. Especially if you are the sort of person who likes results not excuses. (I’m not accusing you of this but it is my experience.)

    By the same token its not always easy to hear what people are actually saying if you think the other concerns you have are more important. (And they well be more important.)

    Anyway the upshot of this is its alot easier for good communication to happen if the relationship between employer and employee has more than a boss/worker hierarchy as its basis.

    But all this should be obvious I spose.

  18. Northern Exposure

    No no no! Employers are wardens of a terrifying prison we’re paid to go to! One must constantly do whatever one can to defy him, Cool Hand Luke style! If I take a sick day, they should be ready for that, at every minute of every day I’m employed by them.
    And emplyees, especially the ones who are in unions (Unions! I ask you!) should be treated with contempt. Unwashed, uneducated, bloody plebs! Always after a “fair go” (whatever that means), I mean honestly, what’s a business owner to do?

  19. I’m lucky, I like my job, I haven’t taken one unjustified sickie in my current job, people who say they are going to rock up and then don’t are pricks if they aren’t genuinely sick.

    Some days I don’t feel like coming (not often) but I come anyway because they pay me to come to work.

    Nobody in my department tossed a sickie, plenty took the day off, they booked leave in advance.

  20. Northern Exposure

    Since I took my current Job, I haven’t missed a single day in 2 years. I enjoy coming to work, I like work. Which is one reason why I’m always so annoyed with baby boomers calling us lazy, I wonder how many hours they’d work a year in the 60’s, compared to us these days. I somehow reckon they wouldnt come within a sparrows…utensil.

  21. It seems that your perspective dependens on whether you are responsible for others or just responsible for yourself…the fore mentioned has a lot more responsibility attached. As always.

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