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89 Canberra restaurants mistreating their staff

By johnboy 10 October 2006 34

The litany of shame goes on for Canberra’s restauranteurs.

The ABC informs us that the Office of Workplace Services now beleives that 89 (up from 61) Canberra restaurants have breached workplace laws.

Sadly I can’t find a list of the offenders.

On a related note I was actually in Zeff’s last night getting take-away (hey where else do i get a good chicken caesar?) and it was like a circle of hell (crowd noise, staff shouting at customers, customers jostling to get to the counter), reminding me why I so rarely go.

What’s Your opinion?

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89 Canberra restaurants mistreating their staff
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VYBerlinaV8 9:35 am 13 Oct 06

I guess my opinion about this has been formed over a number of years during which I have worked a range of jobs (from Woolies butchery cleaner to IT professional in a suit, and lots in between). One thing I have noticed is that the people who often complain about workers rights are also the first to whinge about interest rate hikes and jobs being sent offshore. Unfortunately, these things are all linked. If we tell employers that the market for staff will find its own level, but don’t let them help set that level, then the cost of staff goes up and up. Other prices go up because people have more $$ to spend, and interest rates inevitably follow. This is what is happening in Australia at the moment.

Like I said earlier, I don’t think there is a simple answer to all of this. But allowing foreign workers to take some of the steam out of the job market can’t be a bad thing.

My advice to those folk (such as the snow workers) who appear to be getting screwed, is to find another job. There are well paying jobs going all over the place, you sometimes have to look outside the cities and traditional ‘playgrounds’, though.

I know this post sounds a bit preachy, but I can’t really think of any other way to put it. The reality is that we are in a labour shortage. One way or another, business owners WILL find a way through it. Why not give them a framework that suits lots of us, rather than letting them find their own way, which will suit only a few?

ant 9:07 pm 12 Oct 06

Relying on foreign labour, and using it to subvert australian rules about conditions and pay is a bad thing. The yanks have had it for years, mostly with the Mexicans, and it’s causing massive problems. And some industries have used it here for years, the current gov’t has made it easier by getting rid of the need to do a labour market test. Employers can sponsor foreign workers without proving that they need them. The Ski industry has made good use of it; heaps of aussies pay to do their hiring clinics every year, but the resorts can bring in foreign staff. A person from a 3rd country I worked with in the US came here in such a way: they had NO formal instructing qualifications. And yet hordes of australians pay hundreds to “get in”, and quite a few don’t. many more are hired part-time, but of course their expenses to live in the snowfields are the same. This is just one example. The only expenses the employer has is the paper work to apply to sponsor the labour. The workers pay their own way here.

Mr Evil 3:53 pm 12 Oct 06

The unemployed should be out building roads with picks and shovels; or maybe digging trenches to protect us from North Korea when they go ballistic!

Mr_Shab 3:36 pm 12 Oct 06

…or just cut to the chase and go for the soundtrack to “Where the Boys Aren’t Vol.27”.

Mr_Shab 3:35 pm 12 Oct 06

The soundtrack to “The L-Word”?

caf 2:58 pm 12 Oct 06

VYBerlinaV8: So what beat _do_ you dance to while you’re polishing a giant golden lesbian love statue, under the lash? A sultry latin rhythm? Perhaps a disco classic?

Mr_Shab 1:49 pm 12 Oct 06

Like I said – the system we’ve got is 9/10ths of the way there.

Better wages than they get back home is a big enough incentive for foreign workers already.

It should be the responsibility of the business that hires them to get them into the country – not of government through yet more regulation.

The expense of importing the labour is a big enough incentive to look locally first. If businesses can’t find local labour, then they have to pony up to bring it in. It’s then imcumbent on government to have a “sponsored worker” visa, or similar, to facilitate this.

VYBerlinaV8 1:30 pm 12 Oct 06

Oh, and I still think we should find a way of favouring local labour, while still helping others to get here. How? Screwed if I know, but then I never claimed to have an educated opinion about this!

VYBerlinaV8 1:29 pm 12 Oct 06

I think society’s fuck-ups (thanks for the term, Mr_Shab!) should be placed into a zoo where they are put through their paces doing various bizarre challenges for food rewards. We can then sell tickets, especially to tourists, and use that to fund their upkeep.

Give me a wooden chair, a whip and 4 hours alone – I’ll have those useless fucks dancing to a different beat!

Mr_Shab 11:41 am 12 Oct 06

And I think no matter how hard you try, some people will always be fuck-ups who have to be on the dole. I’d rather a percentage of my tax dollar went towards keeping these people AWAY from workplaces, where they will only ever be a millstone around a business’s neck.

I reckon that it’s a better overall use of resources to keep a bad, lazy, poisonous or just plain stupid person away from work, rather than having them lower the productivity of 10 otherwise productive workers.

All you Pubes out there: think how much easier life would be if you could kick out every malingerer on “Special Projects” and whack them on the dole? How d’you reckon would that affect productivity?

Mr_Shab 11:36 am 12 Oct 06

Why choke the system with yet more regulation and compliance, VY? Things are bad enough for business as they are. Besides, the systems we have in place are 9/10 th’s of the way there.

Pay foreign workers the same as Aussies. The market is pretty good at sorting out how many workers you need to import to make up a shortfall of local workers. If a company needs more workers than it can get in Australia, it can bring them in (subject to what DIMA have to say, I guess).

Don’t make foreign workers cheaper, or they will be more attractive than local workers and an even easier target for exploitation (don’t want to work for starvation wages and in an absence of OHS systems? Uppity darkie oik! You don’t know how good you’ve got it! Back to Bumfuckistan with you!)

VYBerlinaV8 10:12 am 12 Oct 06

Mr_Shab, I do agree with a number of the points you have made, especially the one about shit-kickers not doing any better financially than being on the dole. That leads to a culture of laziness and mediocrity.

The point I was making about the American auto industry is that until recently, big companies like Ford and GM spent more on health care than they did on steel. That would scare me if I were a shareholder (which I’m not – their performance sucks).

As far as importing labour, it think it can be made to work as long as there are controls around how it is done (with associated compliance processes and measures). I’m not sure how the overall system would need to be ‘tuned’, other than that employers would need to face restrictions on imported labour, and it would need to be matched (proportionally) by the use of local labour. I do think it could be made to work.

The real question is what we do with our buddy Wayne the borderline alcoholic retard. Any large scale approach will be potentially ineffective, due to the highly individual nature of the problems these people face. But it shouldn’t stop us from trying.

Mr_Shab 4:11 pm 11 Oct 06

..and that should have been “…dodgy EMPLOYERS using imported labour to distort the market…”

Mr_Shab 4:10 pm 11 Oct 06

Bahahaha! Touche, Mr Evil.

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