Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Fake sign language interpreter crashes Nelson Mandela service

While the world remembers Nelson Mandela, one man was taking the mickey at his memorial.

Something didn’t seem quite right about the sign language interpreter who stood to the side of the various speakers, ‘interpreting’ what they were saying for the benefit of South Africa’s Deaf population.
The ‘interpreter’ signed in a strange repetitive rhythm – his signs appearing to come in threes or fours, occasionally swinging his shoulders, as if he was signing along with an intermittent beat.

 In one of the most bizarre Deaf stories of recent years, it appears that there really was something wrong – because, according to Deaf South Africans, the interpreter was a fake.

Which meant that – if true – on a day when the world saluted a man who fought oppression, a guy stood on stage and effectively oppressed another minority – Deaf people, by making a mockery of our language.

And, during the service, rather than remembering Mandela, many South Africans (and others from around the world) who were either Deaf, or work with Deaf people, were expressing their outrage.

Credit:  The Limping Chicken

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Auckland White Pages distribution falls from 494,000 to 21,000

For the last 15 years (approx) I've used the on-line White Pages whenever I wanted to find a phone number. During that time I've come to regard looking up listings in the phone books that appeared at my home every year or so as a quaint anachronism. This year no White Pages appeared and I wasn't worried at all but I was happy to hear that you could still request them. In this article the NBR reports that only 21,000 people actually requested a copy of the White Pages
[One] reading would be few inhabitants of the super city were aware of the opt-in programme. Either way, anecdotal evidence suggests few will miss the door stop directory.

One person who tried to opt-in to the White Pages told NBR it wasn't easy. She phoned Yellow Pages Group, but was told the opt-in process had to be onliine. She found the online form asked a number of what she considered intrusive questions, including asking her to supply her email.

Of course requiring people to apply for the directory on-line excludes the people who don't have the Internet, and I would guess that the majority of the people who would use the printed White Pages would be people who don't have easy access to the Internet.

Friday, May 31, 2013

"Indian" wage of $4-an-hour in Auckland Restaurants claimed

An investigation has been launched by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment into an Auckland restaurant chain following complaints that workers are being paid less than $4-an-hour.

The investigation, led by the Ministry’s Labour Inspectorate, was launched after the Ministry received a significant number of individual complaints, with some workers alleging they get paid the “Indian salary” of $265-a-week for up to 70 hours’ work.

The complaints also include allegations of:
  • Workers not being paid any entitlements, such as holiday pay, public holiday payments or sick leave
  • Workers being required to pay between $10,000 and $20,000 in order to remain in their job while they obtain residence
  • Overcrowding conditions in accommodation provided for workers and illegal wage deductions for this accommodation


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