Once upon a time all that businesses concerned themselves with was creating high quality products, customer satisfaction and making a profit. However the modern business, perhaps have been beaten by the left for so long about corporate greed has now embraced the concept of corporate social responsibility. This means that corporations aim to demonstrate they care about contributing to the betterment of society and give back to the community.
Of course the easiest way for a corporation to do this is to virtue signal on the social justice cause of the day. This was no more prevalent than during the same sex marriage survey where nearly every major corporation backed the yes campaign which included the release of promotional products which had yes branding.
Now that same sex marriage is now law in Australia corporations are now looking for the next social justice cause they can campaign on to show how much they care about creating a better Australia and helping the oppressed. That cause could be changing the date of Australia Day. We previously reported on the Australian brewery Spakke which prints social justice causes on all their products, one of which was the change the date campaign.
The cultural left (who it seems the corporations now take their cues from), feeling empowered by the same sex marriage vote (even though the two issues are entirely separate believe this is next big symbolic change they can achieve.
The past week has seen the Greens launch a campaign to change the date, the mainstream media has been holding Australia Day debates and invasion day protests are planned for our major cities.
This is on top of the assaults we have seen on our national day over the past year with three Inner Melbourne councils decided to cancel their Australia Day festivities and the ABC’s youth radio station Triple J moving its Hottest 100 music countdown from Australia Day.
One business owner to officially jump on the change the date bandwagon is Ben Beath, co-founder of digital agency Loud & Clear based in Melbourne. He is offering his staff an extra day off work if they decided to ignore the public holiday on January 26th and turn up to work as a protest.
Beath said that this incentive to work on Australia Day was taken up 80 per cent of staff last year and claimed there was no pressure on staff to work on Australia Day. Many of the people campaigning to change the date have been accused of hypocrisy for still taking the public holiday off, so at least Beath here is walking the talk.
However his claim that that there is no pressure on staff to work on Australia Day is debatable. Certainly if 80% of the company’s employees decide to work then there would certainly put pressure on the other 20% who may want to celebrate Australia Day to turn up to work.
Added to that those employees who take Australia Day off could find themselves subject to workplace bullying and harassment from other workers who accuse them of not being culturally sensitive or even racist.
It can also be argued that offering those employees who work on Australia Day an extra day off could count as discrimination on the basis of political opinion. If you don’t agree with the boss’s politics then you are punished by being made to work an extra day.
Though if the workers of this company feel that their rights at work are being violated by this policy don’t count on the trade unions to support your right celebrate a nationally recognized public holiday. Many members of the union movement support the change the date campaign and are taking part in invasion day protests.
Labor’s employment spokesperson Brendan O’Connor stated that employers and employees could “all sorts of arrangements” as long as they didn’t contravene workplace laws. I didn’t know all of a sudden Labor supported workplace flexibility.
The overall problem when politics is mixed into the workplace is an employee can see their freedom to hold their own political views and even engage in political campaigning stifled if it goes against the political position the company they work for has decided to take.
This would have certainly been the feeling of some workers at the corporations backing the same sex marriage campaign such as those at Westpac where an employee group at the bank sent out an email to all staff urging them to vote yes or they would be threatening the mental health of LGBT people.
Let us hope not that the next step in the assault on Australia Day is having the major corporations back the change the date campaign. Though given that Australia Day is still supported by 85% of Australians corporations may find that backing such a campaign may not bring it the plaudits or customer goodwill it was expecting.