||Issue No. 178||16 May 2003|
Interview: Staying Alive
Bad Boss: The Ultimate Piss Off
Industrial: Last Drinks
National Focus: Around the States
Politics: Radical Surgery
Education: The Price of Missing Out
Legal: If At First You Don't Succeed
History: Massive Attack
Culture: What's Right
Review: If He Should Fall
Poetry: If I Were a Rich Man
Satire: IMF Ensures Iraq Institutes Market Based Looting
The Locker Room
In Defence of Tom
Clerks Put Boot In
The Rail Infrastructure Corporation clerks, who have no contact with the general public, believe management have gone over the top in imposing a corporate dress code.
But they've now fired back, with the Australian Services Union calling on members to report report senior managers who do not conform with their own corporate dress standard (ie: full business suits and matching co-ordinates).
"Having verified corporate breaches, the ASU can insist the offending executives be sent home - without pay - fully conforming with the strict dress code conditions as they intend to impose on our members," the ASU's Trevor Naylor says.
The workers are also organising a "mufti" day where we will be requesting members to come to work in their humblest jeans and daggiest joggers.
Naylor says RIC's draconian dress code recalls a bygone age when rail employees were treated as 'humble servants' subject to severe discipline for minor offences.
To add some spice to their campaign, the clerks have issued their own Dickensian suggestions for RIC's next EBA claim.
"TO ALL EMPLOYEES ...
1. Goodliness, cleanliness and punctuality are the necessities of good business.
2. This firm has reduced hours of work and clerical staff will now only have to be present between the hours of 7am and 6pm on week days.
3. Daily prayers will be held each morning in the main office. The clerical staff will be present.
4. Clothing must be worn of a sober nature. The clerical staff will not disport themselves in raiment of bright colours nor will they wear hose, unless in good repair.
5. Overshoes and topcoats may not be worn in the office, but scarves and head gear may be worn in inclement weather.
6. A stove is provided for the benefit of the clerical staff: coal and wood must be kept in the locker. It is recommended that each member of the clerical staff brings four pounds of coal each day during cold weather.
7. No member of staff may leave the room without permission from Mr. Rogers. The calls of nature are permitted without permission and clerical staff may use the garden below the second gate. This area must be kept in order.
8. No talking is allowed during business hours.
9. The craving for tobacco, wines or spirits is a human weakness and is forbidden to all members of the clerical staff.
10. Now that the hours of business have been drastically reduced, the partaking of food is allowed between 11.30am and noon, but work on no account ceases.
11. Members of the clerical staff will provide their own pens. A new sharpener is available on application to Mr. Rogers.
12. Mr. Rogers will nominate a senior clerk to be responsible for the cleanliness of the main office and private office. All boys and juniors will report to him 40 min. before prayers and will remain after closing hours for similar work. Brushes, brooms, scrubbing brushes and soap are provided by the owners.
13. The new increased weekly wages are: Juniors boys to 11 years, 1s 4d, boys to 14 years, 2s 1d; juniors 4s 8d; clerks 10s 9d; senior clerks after 15 years' service with owners 21s.
"..the owners recognise the generosity of the new labour laws, but will expect a great rise in output of work to compensate for these near-Utopian conditions.."
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