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Tobacco Company Workplace Nomination Outrage

24 November 2009

Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) NZ and Te Reo Marama

Best workplace nomination for Tobacco Company an outrage

Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) and Te Reo Marama are calling for the immediate withdrawal of tobacco company, British American Tobacco (BAT) as a finalist for the JRA Best Workplaces Awards.

ASH director, Ben Youdan says the nomination is nothing but a cynical corporate social responsibility stunt by BAT.

“This is a classical move by the tobacco industry to present itself as a normal business. They no longer succeed in making smoking appear normal, so they’re putting effort in to making themselves seem like a respectable corporate entity,” said Mr Youdan.

“One out of two BAT customers dies from smoking. Working for them is being a merchant of death, and trying to polish that with awards for being a great workplace is a pathetic attempt to mask this reality from their employees,” said Mr Youdan.

British American Tobacco (NZ) has been nominated for an award in the Small-Medium Workplace category.

Employees’ rate their organisation based on a range of measures, including communication, culture and values, common purpose, learning and development, and reward and recognition.

Te Reo Marama director Shane Bradbrook says that a company that produces a deadly product shouldn’t be inline for positive recognition.

“What an appalling decision to include a tobacco company as a nominee for a workplace award. This is a company responsible for producing an addictive product that causes illness and premature death.” said Mr Bradbrook.

“We call for this nomination to be withdrawn immediately. It is an affront that JRA believes that this award nomination should be even given to such a counter-productive company that brings no public benefit to this country,” concludes Mr Bradbrook.

The winners of the JRA Best Workplaces Survey will be announced on 26 November.


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