||Issue No. 287||28 October 2005|
A Sick Set of Laws
Interview: Under Fire
Politics: And the Winners Are ...
Economics: The Common Wealth
History: Walking for Justice
International: Deja Vu
Legal: The Rights Stuff
Review: That Cinderella Fella
Poetry: Is Howard Kidding?
The Locker Room
PM's Fatal Flush
Sign of the Times
Labor's Love Lost
Johnny Fails Comprehension Test
In this exclusive story, Workers Online, lifts the lid on what punters are really telling John Howard about his plot to rewrite the workplace rulebook.
Courtesy of a "Telstra Database Client Report", we can reveal it was an interesting day, if not a busy one, at Workchoices call centres around Australia on Thursday, October 20.
The Comments Report, standard practice in the call centre industry to give "clients" a feel for their "customers", shows the miserable quantity of calls was more than made up for in quality.
Telstra's first recorded comment for the day was logged at 8.37am.
"She wanted to join a union" was the terse message forwarded to Kevin Andrews' underlings at the Department of Employment and Workplace Relations.
Unfortunately, Telstra does not tell us what efforts were made to facilitate the "client's" requirement.
But, for Andrews, it would only get worse.
8:55 "Protest at the advertising cost involved with WorkChoices."
9.36 "Enquiring about the no-disadvantage test."
10.25 "Unhappy with the changes, felt like he was uninformed."
By 11.10 the punters were getting serious: "A man just rung and asked me to write this, from a card-carrying Liberal. This will put us in the wilderness for at least 20 years. The impact of this will be to kick the Liberal Government out."
The next recording wasn't made until 12.06: "Disgruntled caller was upset with the proposed changes."
The 13.07 provided some welcome relief: "Caller selling advertising. Directed to deal with DEWR direct."
Then, normal service resumed:
"I find the amount of money being spent on this advertising campaign is totally disgraceful."
"Larry objects to our tax dollars being spent on this campaign."
"The caller says the info is misleading because is reads it reads as if you will have a choice ..."
"I do understand that IR has evolved over the last 100 years and I believe there should be an independent enquiry .."
"Customer complained there are too many ads on the TV."
"Caller is not happy with the reforms."
"This money should be going to Pakistan instead of wasting it on this bullshit.'
By 19:23 the television-watching demographic was jumping on the blower:
"Customer wished to leave a comment. I just want to say too much money is being spent on propaganda and also make a note of the fact it shouldn't be spent on advertising but, instead, should be put towards people getting jobs. I'm sick and tired of seeing it ..."
19:56 "caller was not happy."
21:06 "Is the Liberal Party trying to insult the intelligence of the average working person with this saturation advertising?"
21:11 "reducing the duration of the ads does not reduce the insult."
21.32 "Protecting existing awards will mean nothing in years to come if those awards are undercut by the under class you are creating."
21:37 "Man was angry about it being done with taxpayers' money."
21:40 "Caller feels the government is spending way too much money on the ads promoting the WR reform (i.e. every time he watches tele he sees them. He believes that the money should go to mental health and people in need. Caller was very nice though.)
22:07 "Mrs Helen .... Ph (...) would like to register the comment she thinks it is outrageous that the government is funding this advertising campaign and paying call centre staff to man telephones until 10pm."
With that, apparently, the lines went silent.
On the very same day, Howard was telling ABC Radio listeners that his information indicated his workplace change campaign was working.
He said research showed the hearts-and-minds campaign had been "successful".
At least, he can't accuse Workers Online of reading his mail.
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