Tony Abbott slams woke workplace Australia Day boycott, as companies make public holiday optional

Former prime minister Tony Abbott has unleashed a scathing attack on “woke CEOs,” as more companies give employees the option to work on Australia Day.

His objections come as Telstra, Channel 10 and Woodside Energy have allowed staff to take an alternative day off in place of the controversial January 26 public holiday.

However, speaking to The Australian, Mr Abbott denounced the trend.

“It’s wrong when woke CEOs start playing politics through their businesses,” he said.

Want to stream your news? Flash lets you stream 25+ news channels in 1 place. New to Flash? Try 1 month free. Offer available for a limited time only >

Mr Abbott said that businesses should respect Australia Day as the country’s national day, and said if the decision was backed by the prime minister, then it should also be observed by businesses.

Although Anthony Albanese lifted rules which previously forced local councils to hold citizenship ceremonies exclusively on January 26, he confirmed in September that there are no plans to move Australia Day from January 26.

“When everyone from the PM down says that Australia Day is our national day and should be respected, that should be the attitude of public companies,” Mr Abbott said.

“Sure, there were downsides as well as upsides to British settlement but anyone who’s proud of our country should gladly mark the day when modern Australia began.”

Companies that have distanced themselves from the controversial date have noted its “turbulent history” for Indigenous Australians.

Announcing the company-wide decision to no longer refer to January 26 as Australia Day, co-leads of Paramount Australia and New Zealand, Beverley McGarvey and Jarrod Villani wrote it was “not a day of celebration” for First Nations people.

“We recognise that January 26 evokes different emotions for our employees across the business, and we are receptive to employees who do not feel comfortable taking this day as a public holiday,” an email to staff read.

“Whether you choose to work on January 26 or take the public holiday, we ask that you reflect and respect the different perspectives and viewpoints of all Australians.”

In recent years, January 26 has also been called Invasion Day or Survival Day by Indigenous Australians, with ‘Abolish the Date’ supporters staging protests and rallies.

While sovereignty was never ceded by First Nations people, January 26 marks the beginning of British colonisation in Australia, when Sir Arthur Phillip arrived in Sydney Cove in 1788.

Previously speaking to, Labor MP and proud member of the Wiradjuri nation Linda Burney said that while there has been a massive shift in attitude towards the date, she doesn’t believe the date will be changed.

She also said that while having “a national day” was important, the date needed to be reflective of something “all people can truly celebrate”.

“I am firmly of the view that if the decision was being made today, the 26th of January would not be the date chosen, because I think Australia is moving progressively to want to know the full story of this country,” she said.

However, she also acknowledges that “change is incremental”.

“It’s slow and it’s usually hard fought,” she says.

“It’s really important that we have a national conversation about this together and that to me, is extremely powerful.”

Read related topics:Tony Abbott

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *