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Thread: Tripping through the minefield.

  1. #1
    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    Tripping through the minefield.

    Not to sure whether to laugh or cry after reading this story on Fin24.
    Cape Town - Depending on the context in which it is said, the remark "'n Boer maak 'n plan, but an Indian is born with a plan", might evoke a chuckle, annoyance or even anger, but seldom indifference.
    In some cases it could cost someone his or her job, according to the on-line labour relations service Labourwise.

    Labourwise quotes a recent arbitration case of Mahas v Smiths Manufacturing, where the presiding commissioner had to deal with the fate of a manager who had been dismissed for allegedly making racially inflammatory remarks.

    The background of this case is as follows.

    During a meeting with employees Mr Mahas, a dispatch manager, was addressing a number of workers. After addressing a particular problem he made the comment "'n Boer maak 'n plan, but an Indian is born with a plan".

    Although Mahas had made no reference to black workers, it became apparent that his utterances were not well received when a black worker questioned why he (Mahas) had referred to himself as an Indian instead, apparently, as a South African. According to Mahas he meant no offence.

    Unfortunately matters became even worse when Mahas tried to explain himself.

    He mentioned that race classification is still prevalent in official forms and referred to the requirements of the Employment Equity Act.

    According to the evidence of some witnesses, he allegedly went further by stating that even the employer's clocking system is racially "batched" as the number with which the clock numbers start, differs, namely a white person with no. 8, an indian no. 7, coloured no. 6 and black no. 2.

    The workers understood this as an indication by Mahas that according to national statistics the intelligence of blacks was inferior to that of the other racial groups.

    The employer then charged Mahas with racial discrimination in that he had made remarks of an inflammatory nature. He was dismissed.

    The Arbitrator found that there was no evidence to show that Mahas had at any stage suggested that the Company rated black workers to be intellectually inferior.

    There appeared to be confusion between his initial utterances about the ingenuity of indians and the number batching of clock cards.

    The Arbitrator remarked that the matter should have been properly investigated before demanding from Mahas to answer to allegations of racism.

    He also found that the disciplinary procedure had been unfair. Mahas was reinstated with retrospective effect.

    The case illustrates how extremely sensitive racial issues in the workplace can be and how easily misunderstandings could arise.

    The case also illustrates the importance of a proper investigation before disciplinary charges of any kind are brought against an employee.

  2. #2
    Full Member AndreMorgenrood's Avatar
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    What this article made me think of

    Today we mourn the passing of a beloved old friend, Common Sense, who has been with us for many years. No one knows for sure how old he was since
    his birth records were long ago lost in bureaucratic red tape.

    He will be remembered as having cultivated such valuable lessons as knowing
    when to come in out of the rain, why the early bird gets the worm, life isn't always fair, and maybe it was my fault. Common Sense lived by simple, sound financial policies (don't spend more than you earn) and reliable parenting strategies (adults, not children, are in charge).

    His health began to deteriorate rapidly when well intentioned but overbearing regulations were set in place. Reports of a six-year- old boy charged with sexual harassment for kissing a classmate; teens suspended from school for using mouthwash after lunch; and a teacher fired for reprimanding an unruly student, only worsened his condition.

    Common Sense lost ground when parents attacked teachers for doing the job they themselves failed to do in disciplining their unruly children.

    It declined even further when schools were required to get parental consent to administer Asprin, sun lotion or a Sticking Plaster to a student - but could not inform the parents when a student became pregnant and wanted to have an abortion.

    Common Sense lost the will to live as the Ten Commandments became
    contraband, churches became businesses, and criminals received better
    treatment than their victims.

    Common Sense took a beating when you couldn't defend yourself from a
    burglar in your own home and the burglar can sue you for assault.

    Common Sense finally gave up the will to live after a woman failed to realize that a steaming cup of coffee was hot. She spilled a little in her lap, and was promptly awarded a huge settlement.

    Common Sense was preceded in death by his parents, Truth and Trust; his wife, Discretion; his daughter, Responsibility; and his son, Reason.

    He is survived by three stepbrothers; I Know My Rights, Someone Else is to Blame, and I'm A Victim. Not many attended his funeral because so few realized he was gone.

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