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store owner in front of empty store

Big Business Gets it Wrong Down Under but Community Gets it Right!

Beware Bernie Brookes of messing with an inclusive community that cares! Australians have rallied together to boycott Myer, Australia’s largest department store, after the CEO’s offensive comments on May 1st.

store owner in front of empty store
Photo from Simon Kneebone

While discussing a 0.5% tax levy increase on behalf of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) at an investment seminar; Mr. Brookes made the unfortunate observation that the estimated average of $350 per year the change would account for in Australian homes, “is something they would have spent [at Myers].” (news.com)

Instead of being happy about the increased security and options this would provide for thousands of Australians, he appeared to be concerned about his company’s bottom line. He also conveniently seemed to forget that many of his customers are people living with disabilities, love someone with a disability, or are employed supporting a person with a disability.

In a social media savvy age, Twitter and Facebook comments have been harsh, particularly in light of Brookes’s own multi-million dollar salary.

Support Rally
Photo from Independent Australia

The company has apologized but comments on Facebook have dubbed it a ‘non apology apology.’ (news.com)

“Myer’s social media woes over NDIS comments are set to continue as more than (36,000) people sign a petition calling for the department store chain to set disability hiring quotas.” (theage.com)

The online petition on change.org, which was started by disability commissioner Graeme Innes, calls for Myer to show support for Australians with disability by ”committing to an employment target of 10 per cent of people with disability by the end of 2015”.

Bravo Australia!


Inclusion Blog Post

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