Monday, March 29, 2004

The gaming industry - not letting its curtains fade

The end of daylight saving gives most people a bonus - an extra hour of sleep. However, spare a thought for the thousands of workers who were on the job at Melbourne's casino at 1:59 am on Sunday morning. When the clock hit 2:00 am Sunday, it also hit 1:00 am, as a result of the law's deeming of the exact moment daylight saving takes effect from. These workers do not get paid anything for working this extra hour. According to the casino, this is because they didn't - shift hours are measured only by reference to the legal time at the start and end of each shift (and very few night shifts end at 2:00 am, or earlier, of course).

Sophistry? Certainly; but I would have thought "low-down and scum-sucking" would be better words to describe the actions of a hugely-profitable employer that expects its employees to work for free for one hour each year.

But appeals to reason and basic human decency are not exactly the gaming industry's strong point. Today we have this reminder of the extent of the industry's influence and power of degradation. The headline "Once you start censoring, you just can't stop" is way too mild. What has happened is not "censorship" - as in the overreach of power by petty bureaucrats - but a fundamentalist, wholesale rewriting of history, such as happens in the classrooms of Saudi Arabia.

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