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How’s this for employment conditions?

Written By: - Date published: 1:00 pm, May 24th, 2011 - 33 comments
Categories: capitalism, employment, workers' rights - Tags: ,

Here’s a stunning headline from the Herald on the glamour of working at SkyCity casino:

Flea collars for SkyCity staff

Perhaps next they could introduce compulsory de-lousing baths at the end of each shift?

33 comments on “How’s this for employment conditions? ”

  1. McFlock 1

    Good god – to heck with allergy issues, isn’t that a blood-transfer disease issue? All it needs is the right disease/vector combination – like malaria or the plague.

    Do they provide flea-repellent to “gamers” as well? Or do the fleas not bite the money?

    • Lanthanide 1.1

      Never actually been to a casino, but unless people were standing and socialising, wouldn’t they usually be sitting or walking from place to place, and therefore not standing still on the carpet in the same spot like some staff would do?

      • lprent 1.1.1

        I have been there once (for Lyn’s doco). The staff probably move more than the punters that I have seen. The punters seemed to me to be more attached to their slots and tables than I am to my screens – and that is saying something.

        • Lanthanide 1.1.1.1

          But were the punters standing on the carpet directly, or sitting? Or a mix?

          • McFlock 1.1.1.1.1

            The one time I was at Dunedin Casino, there was standing around some of the games, sitting at the card games, and the option of sitting at the pokies (generally one foot on floor, arse on stool style “seating”).

            And given that fleas jump, I’m not sure that direct floor contact is a huge risk magnifier – especially if seats have cloth upholstery.

            Basically you’re probably looking at comparable duration in the premises, comparable behaviour, and yet different hazard minimisation practices between employees and customers.

    • NickS 1.2

      I didn’t even think of that when I read it this morning…

      Though human fleas are apparently a bloody crap vector for most blood born diseases (google hunt):
      http://course1.winona.edu/kbates/_private/Pulex%20irritans.htm

      The pathogen actually needs to be adapted to how fleas feed (like Yersinia pestis) in order to be transmitted with any degree of certainty, although rarely they can act as vectors due to Murphy’s Law. Also, pathogenic Yersinia pestis actually has a very restrict range and due to the rapid onset of symptoms it’s a very low probability event, but due to the high traffic through the casino, it’s not low enough that this isn’t a potentially significant public health risk.

      Anyhow, I think it’s not so much the lost takings, but the PR disaster it would have caused that kept Sky City from dealing with the problem. Now that it’s out in the media, maybe the bad publicity will finally force them to do what they should have done at the first sign of a flea infestation. Or a court case.

  2. ChrisH 2

    This is just unbelievable. Does a government public health regulator (gasp) have to intervene? Another adverse world headline about gone-to-the-dogs NZ in the making?

  3. Peter Rabbit 3

    Staff at Middlemoore Hospital have to deal with the exact same issue (and solution), though its still better than the old Auckland Childrens hospital where it was common to find roaches crawling over the children while they slept (especially the burn victims as they were place on a water bed which the roaches loved to nest in).

  4. Colonial Viper 4

    Wow the corporate promise of these casinos being such high class places lol

  5. ianmac 5

    Surely fleas are only there when dogs/cats are present. Perhaps they have dogs there to sniff out the suckers.

  6. Jerome 6

    Sky City – pure class.

  7. Brett 7

    Been like it for years.
    It’s the clientèle that bring them in.

    • McFlock 7.1

      high rollers?

      • Brett 7.1.1

        Mainly come from the islanders, who don’t de flea their dogs.

        • McFlock 7.1.1.1

          wow. You really went there. Bad karma, my son.

          • Brett 7.1.1.1.1

            I don’t mean too insinuate all islanders are flea ridden either.

            • McFlock 7.1.1.1.1.1

              Collateral insinuation, then. It’s still off. The suggestion seems to be that only Islanders have fleas (not to mention that it also assumes only dogs have fleas. That’s just incorrect, not Wrong with a capital W).
               

  8. MrSmith 8

    Sorry I couldn’t stop myself

    “If you lay down with dogs you’re going to get fleas”

  9. Jan 9

    check this out from Question Time from May 12 from a question from Darien Fenton to Paula Bennett about job advertisements on the Work and Income NZ “Find a Job” website.

    IN answer to Darien’s question “Is she aware that the Find a Job website is currently advertising jobs paying below minimum wage, piece-rate work, jobs being paid on a rate per square metre, and even a job for a traditional Chinese medical practitioner at minimum wage”

    Paula Bennett said “I suppose the difference between this side of the House and the other side is that this side thinks that any job is a good job”
    http://www.parliament.nz/en-NZ/PB/Business/QOA/9/5/2/49HansQ_20110512_00000009-9-Find-a-Job-Website-Vacancies-Employment.htm

    I wish I was quoting out of context. But worse is to follow. Heather Roy follows up with a ‘patsy question’ asking whether a young person would be better off being paid less than the minimum youth wage rather than being on unemployment benefit. After some demurring Paula agrees that the opportunity “sounds quite good”. Ie she encourages the idea that employers should aim to offer jobs at below her own government’s minimum wage legislation.

    Basically with this lot there are no minimum standards for employees it would seem.

  10. chris73 10

    Says quite a bit about the type of people that go to casinos…

  11. Gazza 11

    Your quite right there chris73, if it is in some form the reason for the flea’s comes from certain environments or groups it would explain why poverty is prevalent in area’s of Auckland (self inflicted by all counts) among certain ethnic groups.
    Not to be racialistic but it is about the practice of different cultures when colonising to still follow what they did in their previous country of origin then pass it on to further generations IE: the living together with animals in unsanitary conditions, also their are known races who are more prone to excessive gambling than the general population.

  12. Colonial Viper 12

    Says quite a bit about people that go to casinos?

    Says quite a bit about who casino corporations make their money off.

    Poor lower socioeconomic people.

    Bloody awful, so much for Sky’s protestations that they were there to pull in rich tourists. What a rort.

    • chris73 12.1

      Having fleas is not a rich/poor arguement, its people just too lazy to wash and clean themselves (or not bothering to look after their pets)

      • McFlock 12.1.1

        unless the water company has limited their pressure because they can’t pay their bills.

  13. Charlie Parker 13

    An increase in minimum wage will help lower socio-economic immigrant gamblers to rid themselves of fleas or maybe they’ll just spend more time at the casino, buy a bigger dog and bring in tics too. It’s hard to say, and not important, because yay for increased minimum wage! Now with added flea-busting power!

  14. infused 14

    Actually talk to someone who works there to see how much of a shit stir this story is.

  15. Gazza 16

    Red Rosa seems to have gone way off track on the original discussion, fail to see where flea’s & gambling turn into fish.
    Maybe it is because you can see the trawlers from the Sky tower.

  16. Rats and mice have fleas. That’s how the plaque spread in Europe. Maybe the casino has a vermin problem.

  17. Fleas are quite common among humans . Only needs one person in a crowded room for most to go home lousy and scratching. Most families have had their kids come home lousy .Poor and crowded housing has the little buggers jumping all over the place . Washing the infected hair in medicated solution soon cleans it up. However in packed unhealthy houses especially with cats and dogs the situation can become very serious and unhealthy. Clean ,crowded and healthy people do not spread fleas and their relations crabs . Unfortunatly a lot of people through no fault of their own do live in such conditions even in Aotearoa. That’s where we should be spending money not on world sports events . Houses
    that have had cats in them will always have fleas. They hibernate in carpets and come out in force in spring .

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