||Issue No. 209||20 February 2004|
Regions To Be Cheerful
Interview: Trading in Principle
Unions: While We Were Away
Politics: Follow the Leader
Bad Boss: Safety Recidivist Fingered
Economics: Casualisation Shrouded In Myths
History: Worker Control Harco Style
Review: Other Side Of The Harbour
A Casual Affair
Latham Is A Bad Man
The corporate responsibility you are looking for is switched off or not available
Bob Mansfield was once on the board of Optus when it was teetering on the brink. Obviously the ability to run a telco into the ground eminently qualifies him to run Telstra.
Telstra's plans to take over the Fairfax media company came to light this week, causing some embarrassment for the parties concerned.
It's a scary thought of what life would be like with Telstra running Fairfax. Apart from the obvious increase in media diversity, would this also mean that the Sydney Morning Herald would arrive three weeks late?
What the hell is Telstra doing trying to get its hands on everything around the country that isn't nailed down?
The company can't even get something as basic as running a reliable phone system right. Many who use what laughably passes as their broadband service will attest to this.
We've all heard the allegations of the sick and the elderly suffering unreliable phone services. We've seen the thousands of jobs disappear from what was once a national institution. We all know what it is like to give up three or four hours waiting to speak to a human being if we have a problem with the organisation.
And who is sitting at the top of this steaming pile? Bob Mansfield - the one time senior McDonalds' manager has brought the principles of corporate fast food to an essential service.
Bob is the chairman of the outfit that has no qualms about exporting our IT jobs offshore, after all that is in the best interests of shareholders. Well, some of them anyway.
How about the majority of public shareholders Bob is supposed to represent?
There once was a quaint notion that those at the top accepted responsibility for failures in an organisation.
Our Tool Of The Week has been described as a 'True Business Leader', which may or may not be a compliment.
Bob's presentations are apparently always "Performed" in an entertaining manner. How about entertaining us with a phone system that works and a bit of social responsibility Bob?
The Prime Minister's amusing response highlighted the hopeless position Mansfield is in. Howard railed that the collapse of this deal pointed out the foolishness of having 49% of the telco privatised. He's spot on - something as essential as a national telecommunications system should be 100% in the hands of the people, so it can do the job it was meant to do.
Instead we get a ham-fisted pro-privatisation show courtesy of a bunch of good time Charlies led by our Tool Of The Week. A man who is prepared to thumb his nose at the Australian public - who, after all, own the bloody company - in order to satisfy his own ego and bank balance.
For Mansfield to boldly set off on some corporate adventure is a classic example of the sort of ideological drones that infest Australia's business world.
Once again Corporate Australian has treated the Australian public like something you'd scrape off the bottom of your shoe.
The Australian public do not want a telecommunications carrier that cleans and slices while it dices. They expect Telstra to do the job it set up for - delivering telecommunications services at affordable prices to all Australians.
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