Recently the sombre news broke in Australia that the Fair Work Commission will cruelly slash penalty rates on Sundays and holidays for those in retail, hospitality and pharmacy work. It has been described as a “war on the young and on the poor”, shocking political pundits and workers alike.
But while the Commission claims they made the decision to make it easier and cheaper for businesses to operate on Sundays, experts* believe it is more likely inspired by the recent hiring of an unpaid customer service dog at a gas station in Brazil.
The pup was adopted by Sabrina Plannerer after she found him abandoned at the construction site of her soon-to-be gas station in the town of Mogi das Cruzes in Brazil. She wasted no time getting him vaccinated and de-wormed before recruiting him in customer service as a greeter.
While this might seem like a heartfelt story about a sweet dog, don’t let the adorable hat, enormous grin and cute little badge fool you. This dog is symptomatic of successive governments eroding workers rights in favour of low cost robots and canines.
Here’s the evidence:
- Forced to spend 24 hours a day living and working at the service station
- Only paid in pats, belly rubs and toys
- Often not referred to by his name but as “buddy” in a condescending and childish tone of voice
- Once shamed after defecating in the confectionary aisle
- Forced to sleep on the job
- Not given adequate mental health leave for crippling insecurity about whether he’s a good boy or not
With the erosion of such basic workers rights across the human to animal spectrum, is it any wonder workers in Australia are facing the same humiliating cuts? Surely this has set a dangerous precedent and we ignored it at our own peril.
The Australian Commission claims it spent two years and heard evidence from 140 witnesses and around 6000 written submissions before making its decision. But it is believed this was merely a smokescreen, with their decision being primarily inspired by the success of this unpaid pooch.
It is feared the recent penalty rate cuts could be the start of a slippery slope, leading to a future where dogs not only greet us at service stations, but serve us at restaurants, drive our buses and greet us at H&M.
Hm okay never mind that sounds fantastic.
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