[LINK] US porn 'scandal'

Rick Welykochy rick at praxis.com.au
Fri Jan 30 14:11:37 AEDT 2009

Richard Chirgwin wrote:

> Rick,
> Leaving aside the specifics of *what* the employee is doing (reading ./
> or gambling or porn or shopping or checking the BOM to see if the rain's
> coming ... etc), this might be regarded as lopsided.
> Plenty of employers have no compunction whatever about invading their
> staff's time at home; asking people for unpaid overtime; and fostering a
> culture that says "going home before midnight is for wimps"; so why
> should there be zero reciprocity regarding use of the Internet on
> company premises?

Ah, now you are bringing out the unionist in me.

In several jobs I've had, such demands were made on us IT staff. I stepped
in and intervened and negotiated.

Quid pro quo was the rule. If we worked overtime, we were either
given a bonus or time off in lieu. (I resigned from one job when
bonus time came around and I was not adequately compensated. Workplace
agreements are necessary to enforce this stuff.)

If we staff worked past 6:00pm dinner and drinks were provided.

And women were given free cab fare to get home later in the evening,
since in one particular case we were in an unsavoury area of the city.

My direct response: never accept unpaid overtime. Always insist on
fare compensation. You are making your employer rich, not vice versa.

The quid pro quo: you work during work hours.

And don't overlook work breaks. These have been in place for dozens of
years. The smoko, the morning tea. During these times it is fine to
do whatever you please. I would use the break to by a snack, catch up
on goss, that kind of stuff. Then you have a paid/unpaid lunchbreak.

Admittedly I have been an independent analyst and advisor for more than
ten years now, so am out of touch with current workplace practices.

But from what I hear, people are indeed working much more unpaid
overtime, taking *UNPAID* lunch breaks and getting no tea breaks. As
for working on public hols, let's not even go there.

I attribute the changes to John Howard's "work choices". The employee is
given the "choice" to sack you if you refuse to work for peanuts in
third world conditions.


Rick Welykochy || Praxis Services

"There are no significant bugs in our released software that any
  significant number of users want fixed. "
      -- Bill Gates  (1995)

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