By Simone Oudot
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Additional info for Guide to Correspondence in French: A Practical Guide to Social and Commercial Correspondence
134) In this respect, AIDS has merely accentuated and focused concerns about the regulation of the body that are already apparent in many organizations, especially those where the appearance, functioning, visibility and physicality of employees are perceived to be crucial to the commercial or professional function of the enterprise, for example, medical and social care work, food preparation and serving, etc. AIDS, Threat and Organization The threatening discourses of HIV and AIDS mesh easily with the vocabularies of the work organization, especially the private business, where similar metaphors of war, attack, and battle against competitors are commonly evoked and which, in turn, demand the need for defensive strategies and tactics (Shaw, 1990; Knights and Morgan, 1990).
Since a substantial proportion of people who are HIV positive may go on to develop AIDS, we cannot take the economic risk of employing anyone who is known to have tested positively. The Swiss insurance company, La Neuchateloise, requires future employees to be tested, on the grounds that employees are insured by the company itself and the costs incurred by people with AIDS are very high. A similar policy on the grounds of high insurance costs is in force in a British subsidiary of Texaco. (Panos, 1990, p.
The EOC obtained evidence from two senior doctors which suggested that there was no health risk to passengers. (Harris, 1990, p. 94) Nonetheless, documented instances of this crude defensive response in the UK are not legion, although it seems likely that official reporting significantly understates the actual cases. Thus, despite the existence of certain legal safeguards, discrimination against those affected by HIV/ AIDS is not difficult for many employers. On the one hand, UK employment law effectively removes protection from those who have not been employed with the same employer for two or more years or are engaged in parttime work and, as such, is likely to place greater limitations on younger employees—that is, those most likely to have contracted HIV—who may be changing jobs frequently or just entering the labour market.