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Throw another shrimp on the barbee, as they say in Australia. Or do they?

Aussie ad has Irish crying '50s-style discrimination

The ad stated, "Bricklayer needed ASAP. $250 a day, no part-time workers and NO IRISH," and it has created more than its share of publicity (mostly negative) in Ireland, a quick Google search reveals.
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Tourists from Britain, Ireland and New Zealand partake in the inaugural Breakfast On The Beach event at Sydney's Bondi Beach on October 23, 2011. (TORSTEN BLACKWOOD/AFP/Getty Images)

The ad stated, "Bricklayer needed ASAP. $250 a day, no part-time workers and NO IRISH."

And just in time for St Patrick's Day, it has more than a little unwelcome (from Down Under's point of view) publicity in Ireland, a quick Google search reveals. 

It was posted on the Gumtree website — Australia's version of Craigslist — by an employer in Perth.

It sparked immediate reader outrage, with the Irish Independent writing that it was "in language reminiscent of the discrimination against the Irish in British cities in the 1950s."

The man who placed the ad, since withdrawn, who gave his name to the Independent as "Simon," reportedly defended his position, saying he was sick of Irish people applying for jobs they were not qualified to do.

"I have no trouble with Irish people," he told the Independent. "But I’ve had to fire a number of people. I’ve had lots of Irish people say they have experience bricklaying but come over and have no clue how to lay bricks.

"I’m very busy and don’t have time to be watching over them."

A shame for Simon, because as workers go in Australia, the Irish are apparently pretty plentiful. 

According to a recent report in the Fairfax media, citing Department of Immigration and Citizenship figures, the economic downturn in Europe has led to a surge of Irish people emigrating or applying for working visas in Australia. 

The article says there's been a 68 percent increase in Irish visa grants for last financial year over the previous one.

And let's face it, immigrant workers are often the hungriest for such immediate, tough and no-strings-attached work.

Back to the furor.

A spokesman for the Australian embassy told the Independent online: “The Government has an unwavering commitment to a multicultural Australia and greatly welcomes the contribution made by people of all backgrounds, regardless of origin, gender, or color, to Australia's culture, society, and prosperity.”

He said Australia had no tolerance for racism and discrimination reflected in a broad range of anti-discrimination legislation.

A spokesman for the Australian embassy told the Independent online: "The Government has an unwavering commitment to a multicultural Australia and greatly welcomes the contribution made by people of all backgrounds, regardless of origin, gender, or color, to Australia's culture, society, and prosperity."

He said Australia had no tolerance for racism and discrimination reflected in a broad range of anti-discrimination legislation.

Australia's Race Discrimination Commissioner, Helen Szoke, meantime, told News.com.au that the ad was a clear cut case of discrimination.

"Section 16 of the Race Discrimination Act states that an advertisement could be understood as being unlawful if it treats people unfavorably on the basis of race," she said.

"This is a pretty clear-cut case. It’s a clear exclusion of Irish people both in the advertising and in the employment practice – so there would seem there are grounds for lodging a complaint."

She continued: "But it’s also unhealthy. With a job like bricklaying it’s pretty easy to ascertain what the requirements of the job are without being abusive on the basis of race."

Ya think?

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-blogs/down-under/irish-advertisement-bricklayer-racism-discrimination-race