Pots and kettles

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Trigg Beach July 2015, where I used to take the dogs, and swim. They loved it. How I wish I could do that now. © PJ Croft 2016  Sony RX10

“Franchisees are still taking 7-Eleven workers to ATMs to withdraw and pay back wages, and some have resorted to violence and intimidation to deter underpayment claims, a Senate committee has heard.” The Guardian 6/2/16

http://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2016/feb/05/7-eleven-workers-beaten-and-forced-to-pay-back-wages-senate-inquiry-hears

This is an extraordinary story of management exploitation of workers who are on student visas and were threatened, I repeat threatened, to accept terrible working conditions on pain of being fired and losing their visas. The owners of the company, in the Guardian’s photo, are extremely wealthy men. They knew what was going on. The ugly story is still coming out, nearly a year after ABC 4-Corners exposed it.

This is Australian business at work. These are the managers that Liberal governments tell us have their workers’ interests at heart. These Liberal governments and politicians tell us we don’t need unions and that unions are corrupt.

Well, I say, it is Australian business and Australian management that is corrupt, much more than a few union leaders. As the economy turns down, more and more cases of management corruption are coming to light.

Another case is that resource companies have lost a legal fight, run by a union, where, when making workers redundant in the downturn, instead of giving the legally required number of weeks notice of the redundancy, the companies have been using workers’ accrued annual leave in the redundancy notice period. For example, where five weeks’ notice might be required by the award or EBA, and the employee is owed three weeks’ annual leave, then the company says, right, you are taking those three weeks annual leave as part of the redundancy notice and we only have to pay you two weeks’ extra pay as redundancy pay. The companies lost the case and the unions are now going to force them to pay the full amounts owing to redundant workers.

Fine upstanding managements, yes? Unions are not needed, no? Bullshit.

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I neglected to mention yesterday that the ANZ Bank lost a court case recently saying that exorbitant late fees on credit card accounts are not on. The ANZ Bank are looking at paying back large amounts to affected customers. Another example of big bank rip-offs.

I got an email from that pillar of rectitude, the Commonwealth Bank the next day.

Peter, say goodbye to credit card late fees.

When life gets busy, it’s easy to let a credit card repayment slip. Setting up AutoPay in NetBank means one less thing to remember every month, as it remembers your repayments for you.

The email heading gives the impression that CBA won’t charge late payment fees. But what they really mean is that if I set up an automatic payment, I won’t be charged these extortionate fees, which will still be payable if I forget. Oh yes, I will still be charged late fees. Yet another slippery move by this slippery bank.

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Well, day three of the heat wave and it hasn’t really started yet. Last Thursday 35, Friday 36, today 35, tomorrow 40, Monday 42, Tuesday 42, Wednesday 41, Thursday 40, Friday 36… Almost unprecedented. Only once before have we had four successive days of 40C or above, in 1930. Phew. I think I’ll head to Bali to cool off.

Thank goodness this house is so well designed. I can’t say I’ve ever found it too hot to sleep, and I never have the air con on at night. Fans are all I need most of the time.

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I had a look for Ford Probes for sale yesterday, and there are only six on the market, and none of them is a 1997 model. Most were 1994s, the first year of production. One looks quite well looked after and is white (my preference), but it’s missing the rear spoiler. Odd. Being a sports car, I shouldn’t want an automatic, but you get used to an auto. Only 135,000Km! They only want $1,800 oops, $3,800. It’s a private sale in South Australia. All the others are up around 235,000Kms and don’t look well maintained.

I have the feeling the good ones are being snapped up by people like me who see the value. It will pay to be vigilant.

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Another view of Trigg Beach from slightly further north. Fremantle in the distance. That rocky promontory in the middle distance is Trigg Island.  OLYMPUS E-PL2 300mm (e) July 2012 © PJ Croft 2016

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Jindalee Beach (my beach) April 2015. Those are the wooden stairs that I climb. How I wish I could go into that surf. There’d be no help if I got into trouble. Panasonic FZ70 © PJ Croft 2016

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