You've found Father McKenzie. But are you really looking for Eleanor Rigby?

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Workchoices: Rather too pro-choice for my liking

Maybe the intercession of the Blessed Che and the Holy Martyrs of Tolpuddle is called for after all. Can there be anything more un-Australian than sacking someone for having a beer or two over lunch?

'... the Industrial Relations Commission upheld the sacking of a supermarket manager for having two beers at lunchtime... violating the "zero tolerance" policy on drinking in working hours enforced by Woolworths, which owns Safeway.

Mr [Tony] Selak, 36, admitted having two glasses of beer over lunch in May, but argued that the policy should not apply to managers, who did not operate equipment or machinery. He said he was drinking only to help create a more relaxed environment in which he could convince a valuable employee, who was thinking of resigning, to stay with the company.

But Commissioner Gareth Grainger found Woolworths's decision to sack Mr Selak, who had worked for the company for 18 years, was "not harsh, unjust or unreasonable"...'
- Andrew West, " Eat, drink and risk getting the sack after lunch," Sydney Morning Herald (13 November 2007)
If that's this Gareth Grainger, then such newfound zeal for upholding dismissal at will - for treating every breach of the employment contract, however trivial, as a potential "hanging offence" - sits very oddly with his known support for other not-terribly-productive connossieurs of alcohol holding down well-remunerated jobs for life.

GK Chesterton, phone your office! I call on Tim Blair and Mark Steyn to take a break from eulogising George Jones and George Jonas to condemn this creeping Sharia-fication of the Aussie working lunch.

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