Jude Collins

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

We are the bully boys


LONDON - JUNE 26:  Customers leave an ASDA superstore with their goods on June 26, 2006 in London, England.  Thousands of Asda depot workers are due to strike for five days later this month in a dispute over union rights.  (Photo by Bruno Vincent/Getty Images)

Asda is a big corporate bully. That ws my first reaction to the news that an employee had been sacked for telling some people playing music in the store car park that they should be playing ‘The Sash’. The employee makes a joke, the management don’t like the joke, the employee gets fired – a typical  muscle-display by a big employer in lean times.

That was at first. Then I began to think: who’s bullying who here?  If the employee was serious -  was trying to push people into playing music that suited his tastes rather than theirs – then he was completely out of order. He may not have liked the music but it was none of his business to suggest an alternative, especially if he was a store employee. If he wasn’t serious, as some reports suggest, and it was a ‘jocular remark’,  then it’s probably time he was taught that sectarian banter isn’t funny. Not then, not now, not ever.

Yesterday  some locals blocked entry to the store, demanding the man’s reinstatement. Billy Hutchinosn, the former PUP MLA for North Belfast, says the man shouldn’t have been sacked. “He is a well-liked person, he is a bit of a character. People going to Asda love going to his till.You can’t sack people for this sort of behaviour’.

Oh yes you can, Billy, and being a bit of a character or well-liked makes no difference.  You want my suggestion? Do the generous thing and take him back, but with a clear warning that a single sectarian peep out of him or anyone else and they’re out on their ear permanently. Because right now, the bullying is by those picketing Asda rather than the store itself. 


7 comments:

  1. http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/local-national/asda-reinstates-sash-remark-employee-but-denies-bowing-to-protest-14881787.html

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  2. http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/local-national/asda-worker-shot-catholic-brothers-in-the-head-14882346.html

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  3. Thanks Jude and hoboroad for highlighting the facts of the case. Perhaps this is (yet) another example of what "parity of esteem" in the GFA means in the real world.

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  4. Following this story here in the USA it's always interesting to interpret the BBC's use of Protestant, Orange Order, Sectarian,Nationalist and Catholic. I've already gleaned that sectarian is a proxy for white trash - as in a sectarian neighborhood. Catholic means lawless Provo. Orange Order is the next logical step after the Boy Scouts, a fine organization which perpetuates multiple values to which as loyal subjects we should all aspire. Nationalists would be bomb toting, bank robbing fenians, bent on the destruction of Brittania's empire. Interesting that here in the USA there is no Orange Order though there used to be, AOH is fairly common and every city or town of any size has an Irish Pub (99% of them faux) none of which play the Sash. I've never heard it nor particuarly want to, but after seeing MP Hutchinson interviewed it came as no surprise that the employee (salt of the earth) was a thug. MP Hutchinson came off as shall we say " a bit unpolished" but probably reflective of the area he represents. We'll trade you The Reverend Jesse Jackson for The Reverend Ian Paisley neither seem to have a strong command of the English language, much less any other. Same modus operendi though. nice to view NI through other than BBC's eyes. I'll add this blog to favorites.

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  5. http://www.u.tv/News/DUP-MPs-support-Asda-employee-over-sash-row/3fb380c9-8c6f-4aa2-b262-3b6407f266cd

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  6. I think the Farm Stores brand originally consisted of a small number of food only products, largely frozen such as frozen chips and a small range of ready meals, this range later expanded to include fresh food.

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