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The Standard

Bill to protect workers from labour-hire vultures

Written By: - Date published: 1:44 pm, June 24th, 2008 - 102 comments
Categories: labour, nz first, wages, workers' rights - Tags:

Labour, with the support of New Zealand First, has developed a bill based on Darien Fenton’s private members’ bill that will ensure tens of thousands of workers are no longer ripped off by ‘triangular employment’ situations, whereby their effective employer contracts out the actual employment of staff to a labour hire company.

It works like this: The labour hire companies cheaply and quickly provide businesses with labour that they can dispose of whenever they choose. The labour hire company makes a mint by charging out their workers for twice the rate that gets passed on to the worker. As the worker, you usually get minimum wage, the labour hire company makes $12 an hour off you, and your job can disappear at a moment’s notice. It really is the sharp end of surplus value.

The Bill will ensure that workers in triangular employment situations get the same work rights (including such basics as sick pay), the same wages, and same conditions as other workers in the same job, which many of them miss out on currently.

Business New Zealand, always a friend of the ordinary Kiwi, is complaining that these provisions to ensure workers get their basic rights will put the labour hire companies out of business. Good. The labour hire companies are scum. They take advantage of desperate workers and undermine workers’ rights by offering businesses a cheap way to get around labour law. My personal experiences and the horrific stories of other workers being exploited by labour hire companies make me think any law that sticks it to them and protects workers is good for the people of New Zealand.

Expect the Bill to pass with support from Labour, NZF, the Greens, the Maori Party. National will continue their perfect record of always voting against workers’ rights.

102 comments on “Bill to protect workers from labour-hire vultures”

  1. Dark Watcher 2

    Sure and leave workers without jobs and back on benefits where you socialists can control them better. The left doesn’t care about the poor you care about your own power.

    Flexible labour markets mean more freedom and more jobs and that’s why you’re afraid of them.

  2. mike 3

    Our company uses a lot of casuals through temp agencies as it fits our need to cover peaks and troughs.
    The staff are usually students who can’t commit to fultime employment or unskilled young people.

    Sure there are some firms that abuse the system but you can count on good old nanny state Labour to govern to the lowest denominator and ban them all.

  3. Yeah Dark watcher. that would be why the unemployment rate has dropped even while workers’ wages, especially the minimum wage have gone up since 1999 and workers’ right have been strengthened.

    unemployment benefit numbers

    minimum wage

    UB numbers vs minimumwage

    [Tane: Dude, you were caught in the spam filter.]
    [damn nanny state spam filter. SP]
    [lprent: the spam filter has a thing about links. It is annoying because it is a behaviour I want to encourage.]

  4. Tane 5

    Mike, if you’re giving them the same terms and conditions as permanent staff then it won’t affect you. Of course, if you’re using them as cheap labour to undermine the terms and conditions of your regular workforce then you’re out of luck.

    Once again the right will oppose another piece of legislation aimed at lifting wages, and once again their supposed concern about low wages will be revealed as utterly hollow.

  5. rjs131 6

    It may come as a shock to your SP but sometimes businesses require extra labour and extra help to cover periods of high demand. Until the ability to read into the future becomes more readily available then sometimes casual labour is required. Are you expecting that businesses will have to interview and hire staff just so they can work on call and at short notice??

    i also await the student unions support of this move. When i was at uni, both myself and other students could rely on these companies to get work almost immediately.

    But i guess you would rather businesses, a bit like the railways in 80s have staff sitting around doing bugger all just so when demand requires they are all ready to go.

  6. Tim 7

    Sorry, I don’t see how this bill will create unemployment. The demand for labour will still be there.

    “Flexible labour markets mean more freedom and more jobs and that’s why you’re afraid of them.” – I don’t understand where you’re coming from here. The less flexible labour market from 2000 onwards has led us to record low unemployment. Flexible labour markets do not benefit workers, even indirectly.

    Mike – the idea is not to ban labour hire companies, it is to ensure that workers working for labour hire companies get the same deal as others doing the work they do.

    I don’t see a valid argument against the bill from either of you.

  7. rjs131. Auckland uni students’ association has announced support for the move.

    My personal preference would be for WINZ to operate a version of a labour-hire company that would pay better rates, give income guarantees, and offer cheaper rates to business – in return for better notice of termination, for example. Effectively a temporary job centre, like Student Job Search (which is govt owned). A non-profit government org could easily out compete these buggers who make a killing at present.

  8. Matthew Pilott 9

    When someone can give a reason why temporary workers shouldn’t get work rights I’ll think about a reply. Until then, there’s not a lot of point responding to the babble that has resulted.

    Here’s a hint – the law won’t ban labour hire or temping companies. Work through that if you guys can.

  9. rjs131 10

    is that the same david do that is prominent within the labour party?

    No doubt such good work will mean darien fenton will win in helensville

  10. randal 11

    flexible labour markets is just tory code for daily labour peonage and exploiting those on the lowest rung of the socio-economic ladder. i.e. extreme right wing dominate for pleasure and exploit for profit mentality. you betcha

  11. higherstandard 12

    Haven’t seen the bill but it sounds reasonable as long as it’s sensible and not OTT

    What is not reasonable is the assertions in the post that

    “The labour hire companies are scum.”

    …ensure tens of thousands of workers are no longer ripped off”

    We use bureau medical and support staff frequently within DHBs – from my understanding most of these people they much prefer working via the bureau than as an employee of the DHB.

    [yeah, well you might not think those statements are reasonable but when was the last time you were a fruit worker in the Hawkes Bay or a labourer in Wellington? SP]

  12. Anything that affords these most vulnerable workers more protection at work is a bloody wonderful thing. They’ve suffered ever since the ECA came in, although the vastly more positive labour market conditions of the past 8 or so years have helped.

    But the law has yet to be drafted. While it is given a “level 4 priority’ (i.e. is to be sent to select committee this year), the chances of it being passed before the election can’t be that good.

    I’m not sure that the proposed law incorporates all of Fenton’s Bill or what shape Darien’s Bill is in, but it may be more expeditious for the government simply to adopt that.

    Edit: Hell, I agree with HS! Maybe there is some room for bipartisanship in IR after all — just like the old days.

  13. ants 14

    If the workers don’t like their job conditions, the solution is to simply get a better job. The government shouldn’t be interfering.

    [and, one more, ants solves the world’s problems in one fell swoop. Aren’t we lucky ants is here to provide the answers? SP]

  14. Tim 15

    Higherstandard – I think the difference is that locums and other health bureau staff get paid the same if not higher rates than the people who they work with.

    There’s nothing wrong in principle with casual employment, it suits many employees as well as businesses, but in many industries it is used as a device to erode work rights.

    What you’ll find in low-paid industries is that employers contract out labour that could be done by directly employed people to avoid paying the collective agreement rates and to avoid other work rights, such as personal grievances. If you’re from a labour hire company you frequently get paid a lot less than your directly employed colleagues and your employment is deliberately kept less secure to give you (and the directly employed workers) less power on the job.

  15. Tane 16

    If the workers don’t like their job conditions, the solution is to simply get a better job.

    Or you can stand up and fight to improve your conditions instead of running away like a coward every time you get treated badly. That way you’re not just improving your own conditions, you’re improving them for everybody.

  16. higherstandard 17

    Tim

    We also have a very large pool of temps on the administrative side – The Drake etc type of bureau staff they seem fine as does the agency we get them through.

    There are undoubtedly bad employers out there but I believe they are in the minority – Clinton always seems to take a very black and white view of employers as all evil and that staff are all hard done by this is of course incorrect and as facile as the Labour is good National is bad (or vice versa) views on political blogs.

  17. Bill 18

    Bloodsuckers going down…all good! One of the problems with employment agencies has been that when a worker’s employment rights are violated they can’t seek redress.

    The place of work is not the employer, the agency is. But then it wasn’t the agency that violated the worker’s employment rights. End result is workers left twisting in the breeze. With a possible ‘disappearance’ of further work opportunities from said agency.

    There is nothing to prevent companies hiring casual staff or temporary fixed term staff.

    It’s ridiculous that casuals and temps are paid less than others doing the same job. Casuals have no certainty of work on a day to day basis and temps have no medium term security.

    Rather then ensuring equal pay, the proposed bill should be legislating extra compensation for these workers.

    But hey. Something is better than nothing

  18. Matthew Pilott 19

    HS, I agree with you too. But then I had a good experience with a temping company at one stage (my pay rate was higher than those in an equivalent full-time position, to make up for me not getting leave and so on. So the company I know is decent wouldn’t be affected. I can’t speak for the other companies though, and can imagine some of them aren’t so decent).

    I suspect that, as with most cases, the good employers won’t suffer and the bad ones will. Sure, someone will say that many employers already do this, and so on, but that’s the whole point – some don’t. If a bill like this will drastically affect the unscrupulous and not be a detriment to those that are decent employers, then it will have been drafted correctly.

  19. ak 20

    HS: We also have a very large pool of temps on the administrative side – The Drake etc type of bureau staff they seem fine…

    Codswallop. Ever spoken to any of them? Medical locums and scarce skilled people (Matthew?) are in an entirely different fish kettle to your typical lower-paid worker. The latter are almost always paid less for the same work and have zero job security and other work-related benefits compared to “permanent” staff. Which is why they are forced to sign “agreements” not to discuss their pay with anyone (sometimes fo r the rest of their lives!)

    Worse, though, is the principle here: the agency parasites continue to leech their hourly slice off these workers – often for years – for practically nil input. No wonder the tories love this system – money for free off the sweat of the plebs.

    staff are all hard done by this is of course incorrect and as facile as the Labour is good National is bad (or vice versa) views on political blogs.
    (Admit it: it’s you, burt!)

  20. Hello there,
    Apparently my name has popped up in the comments section, which is always gratifying to see.
    For the record, we do support this move:
    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/ED0806/S00065.htm
    and I am not a member of the Labour Party, so I have a long way to go before I knock Helen Clark off her perch!

  21. Bill 22

    ak – there is not anything that would have any standing in law to prevent somebody discussing their wage. However, in a climate of fear and intimidation far too many people would ‘accept’ gagging orders of the type you refer to.

    Which brings us to the point of how to overcome fear and intimidation in the workplace.

    It will not be overcome by legislation, no matter how thorough the legislation might be.

    It might be ameliorated by knowledge, but knowledgeable people can be intimidated too.

    Good old fashioned union mentality…’fuck with me and you fuck with us all’…that would do it! But how to imbue in people a good effective gang mentality when every worker gain is coming through parliamentary legislation ( 4 weeks annual, min wage increases…etc),striking is effectively outlawed and everything is bound in ‘Good Faith'; a ‘civilised whipping stick’?

  22. pinetree 23

    Quick question fellas…

    ….why has it taken the current Government 9 years to bring this Bill to light?

    ….should I draw the conclusion that Labour has ‘supported’ the status quo for near on 3 terms….?

    I use these types of companies on occasion (although largely at the more skilled end of the sector), and I do so not for any particular cost reasons, but moreso due to …

    1) resource predictability – taking away the pain that is acurately estimating peaks/troughs in my company’s output (variable, sales driven)
    2) risk – management of cash in a business where margin is fairly tight and there is sometimes not quite the revenue to tip into additional committment around FT staff etc

    …overall, I take issue with the “scum” comments, but that might be the differences in sector…..I see no big issues with the Bill…..hell, I can think of a number of other areas where I’d rather see the Govt help lower my cost of doing business….

  23. Matthew Pilott 24

    pinetree – sometimes I think it would be easier if the govt did nothing in their last year to avoid such questions! They can’t get everything done in any one given period of time, it’s like asking if they were happy without Kiwisaver. Probably not, but they hadn’t got it done for a few years.

  24. I’m with a Steve!

    Put the bastards out of business!

  25. higherstandard 26

    Ak

    “Codswallop. Ever spoken to any of them? ”

    Yes the receptionist and secretary in my private practice is from a temp agency as is one of our secretaries on the ward at the moment as I said they are both happier temping than being employed by either my private practice or the DHB.

    Your comment that “agency parasites continue to leech their hourly slice off these workers – often for years – for practically nil input. No wonder the tories love this system – money for free off the sweat of the plebs.” is rather pathetic and fairly much sums up my views on the fixed political positions people will take about one side being absolutely correct and the other side being indisputably wrong.

    Tiger if “we put the b’stards out of business” the situation in our DHBs would be perilous within a week.

  26. I have always had good experiences of temp agencies.

  27. pinetree 28

    Matthew – you’re probably right…

    …but this stuff is Labour bread and butter, and I struggle with a “you nasty Nats” ending when it’s been the case on their watch for 9 years…

    Anyhow – I only popped on to see if IrishBill had answered a question I had posed a few weeks back, about Labour’s stated policy (and detail) on ‘strategic’ asset sales, use of public/private partnerships and re-nationalisation of former SOEs….

  28. ak 29

    Dear Dr.HS,

    I commend your oft-repeated and heartfelt desire for less extreme partisanship in this forum, and in the interests of fostering sound rational debate and eliciting elucidation and general education, humbly pray that you might find time to answer the following few queries:

    as I said they are both happier temping than being employed by either my private practice or the DHB.

    Could you explain exactly why they are “happier” please?

    one of our secretaries on the ward

    Could you explain exactly what a “secretary on the ward” does (and what kind of “ward” please?

    if “we put the b’stards out of business’ the situation in our DHBs would be perilous within a week.

    Can you tell us why please?

    And could you please inform us (approximately will do) how many FTEs in your or any other DHB are employed via agencies?

    And finally, Dr., could you tell us why the statement; “agency parasites continue to leech their hourly slice off these workers – often for years – for practically nil input.” is “rather pathetic”?

    Thanking you in anticipation Dr,

    I remain your humble and pathetic servant,

    ak

  29. burt 30

    The only real concern I have about this is what is the real intent, how well is it drafted to capture that intent and how severe will the consequences be if it’s got major stuff ups in it like much of what we have seen recently.

    For example, if it’s designed to only enforce ‘employer/employee’ relationship rewards onto min wage workers or all casual workers engaged via a third party. For example would a freelance civil engineer be caught by the provisions of the act when working on contract for a civil engineering firm on a client engagement? Would the company wanting a few months worth of civil engineering resource be required to pay that engineers sick pay, holiday pay etc? Would a locum Dr. suddenly have a change of status because they are working through a ‘locum agency’ ?

    Is the the end of casual contracting as we know it? If it is then some airline had better put a few extra flights on between NZ and Aussie each day as a lot of pissed off professionals will be leaving.

  30. “Put the bastards out of business!”

    Is that the Tiger or Vulture in you that makes you spurt such insanity?

  31. As I asked you the other night Dad, what do you do for a living?

  32. Bill 33

    Too many posts seem to ‘not quite get it’

    1. ALL casual workers are already paid holiday pay. (8% of their take home pay.)

    2. ALL Fixed Term Employees are already paid holiday pay (8% of take home pay)

    3. Some fixed term employees get sick leave

    4. No-body employed through an agency can seek redress when their employment rights are violated.

    5. Agencies take a commission that sometimes amounts to more than what the employee they have provided is paid.

    6. A decent Bill would ONLY equalise pay and close the loophole whereby employment law can be disregarded with impunity.

    7. An end to agencies? Not if WINZ plays the part of the agency. And wouldn’t it be nice to think that WINZ would cease to provide casual and temp employees to proven shit employers?

  33. higherstandard 34

    AK

    In answer to your queries.

    “Could you explain exactly why they are “happier’ please?”

    I’m sure the reasons are many and varied in the case of the temp in private practice it was job flexibility (read can take all school holidays off to be with the kids). In the DHB setting with nursing and secretarial staff in particular their is a vast difference in reasons for temping ranging from foreigners on their OE to staff receiving better financial returns via agency to prefering the lifestyle to being in between other jobs etc etc

    Could you explain exactly what a “secretary on the ward’ does (and what kind of “ward’ please?

    We utilise secretaries primarily to write up our notes, arrange our out patient clinics (contact patients letter and phone and ensure we have their file notes during clinic – i.e. organise us from our chaos)

    if “we put the b’stards out of business’ the situation in our DHBs would be perilous within a week.Can you tell us why please?

    DHBs often operate at or close to capacity especially at certain times of the year (this is why elective surgery and clinics effectively cease over the XMAS period) – as you know we have staff shortages in many DHBs wherein the shortfall is made up via temporary staff they are a vital component without which the system would be stretched in some cases beyond breaking point. Health workers are susceptible to ailments as are everyone else when we go down with a influenza or other infectious ailments the worst thing we could do is turn up at work once again temp staff are priceless in these situations.

    “And could you please inform us (approximately will do) how many FTEs in your or any other DHB are employed via agencies?”

    No idea

    “And finally, Dr., could you tell us why the statement; “agency parasites continue to leech their hourly slice off these workers – often for years – for practically nil input.’ is “rather pathetic’?”

    Pathetic because in my experience of temp workers and their employers it appears to be demonstrably untrue.

  34. Draco TB 35

    My only experience with these types of institutions starts and finishes with reading the contract. One clause said (paraphrasing) “If you get a job with somebody that you have previously worked for through us over the previous 3 months then you agree to pay us 100 hours of your wages”. Yep, they wrote a contract so that if you got a job through your own efforts you would have to pay them 2 and a half weeks (on a standard 40 hour week) of your income. This is the type of legalized theft that is allowed in our capitalist system (This isn’t the only contract I’ve read like this). When I contacted the appropriate minister in this government I was told that it was my choice to sign or not. Needless to say – I didn’t, I went on the UB instead.

  35. burt 36

    HS

    Go easy on them, some people still think a job is for life and that all anybody really wants is a permanent job.

  36. burt 37

    Draco TB

    Needless to say – I didn’t, I went on the UB instead.

    Brilliant – you turned down a job and took a benefit. More people should do that if they don’t like the working conditions, then the working conditions would change. It’s just a pity not everybody has the same principals (or choices) as you did.

  37. Ever worked as a temp HS? Thought not. Fu*k off back to under your rock. I’ve seen factories in which temps have been doing 60 or 70 hour weeks at time one when time one meant minimum wage. If workers complain they get sent down the road and get some other chump in. If you’ve ever had to work like that and just suck up the dangerous conditions, suck up having no breaks and suck up not knowing how much longer you’re going to have income for then you’d have some compassion.

    As you clearly don’t I’ll reiterate. Fu*k off back to under your rock you nasty little bigot. And for fu*k’s sake stop pretending you’re a surgeon. With an IQ like yours you couldn’t operate a fu*kin yoyo…

  38. Oh my, sod’s not a happy chappy.
    Must go, as the hood just stole me firewood truck.

  39. burt 40

    Robinsod

    Can you answer the question, is this bill designed to cover all casual labour situations or is it supposedly targeting min/low wage working conditions? If it’s targeted how will we have any confidence in that targeting after the fiasco we have seen with the EFA and it’s unintended consequences?

    Also you really need to take your Ritalin, even if the organisations HS speaks of employee 10 people on a core of 3 permanent staff, his point about the shops closing down is still valid. Have you any fricken idea how hard it already is to find a Dr and get an appointment? Perhaps you already know, seems like you were out of Ritalin last time you were banned and you still are.

  40. Is getting a bit past your bedtime. Night Peter :-) .

  41. ak 42

    Many thanks HS: as I suspected, your experience of temp workers has been exclusively from the viewpoint of an employer and with specialised “scarce” occupations. As other commenters have noted, there is a place for agencies in such circumstances where the need for temporary staff is systemic.
    And you admit you have no idea how many FTEs are temps at any DHB – sort of negates your assertion that the “situation would be perilous within a week” if the agencies disappeared don’t you think? I suspect the figure is far lower than you imply.

    My own experience comprises dealing with many low-paid, unskilled and semi-skilled workers over decades, and the fact that I have a relative who started (and continues to own) one of these very agencies way back (early 70s from memory).

    I can unreservedly assure you HS, that in my and many thousands of others’ experience, the statement; agency parasites continue to leech their hourly slice off these workers – often for years – for practically nil input. is (sadly) most demonstrably accurate.

  42. ak 43

    burt: It’s just a pity not everybody has the same principals (or choices) as you did.

    and judging by your spelling, obviously it’s lucky not everyone had the principals you did….

    (heh – you’ve been waiting months to “ritalin” sod, havent ya burt!)

  43. burt 44

    ak

    agency parasites continue to leech their hourly slice off these workers – often for years – for practically nil input. is (sadly) most demonstrably accurate.

    You are absolutely correct, people in these situations should negotiate open disclosure and a declining margin in predefined step(s). EG: It halves on the first renewal. However min/low wage workers will not always have that luxury and if professionals don’t take care of it themselves then it’s their loss.

    Is this bill well targeted or is it just destroying the concept of ‘independent contractor’ as it sweeps through the marketplace?

  44. higherstandard 45

    s0d

    Yes worked as a locum many times in my younger years.

    If you have seen the factories where you assert these practices are going on why don’t you report them and why don’t the workers at said factories move to alternate employment as the posters here have pointed out more than once unemployment is at very low levels in NZ and it’s an employees market.

    And I’d suggest you clear out your mouth you are beginning to sound like Randal which is a very poor look.

    Lynn can you censure Sod and perhaps give him another couple of weeks off at his own blog I don’t see why I need to be accused of bigotry, lying and told to f off on the basis of my comments on this post

  45. ak 46

    Is this bill well targeted or is it just destroying the concept of ‘independent contractor’ as it sweeps through the marketplace?

    (heh – settle, petal, there isn’t a commie conspiracy under every rock burt! nigh nigh bud)

  46. Razorlight 47

    Steve

    I very rarely agree with your partisan approach to todays problems but WINZ operating in the way you decribe is something I would strongly support.

  47. burt 48

    Razorlight

    Would you strongly support that if it had a virtual monopoly on casual labour?

  48. Burt – fu*k off and come back when you know what you are talking about. Specialist temps already get paid over the odds – anyone temping scarce or skilled positions won’t be disadvantaged by this bill. It’s the cowboys who will take a hammering. I’ll tell you a wee story mate from first had experience. Chicken factories (including the name brands) hire huge numbers of temps so that the unions on site can’t gain enough strength to negotiate decent conditions. When you turn up at the ***** factory as a temp they hand you a pair of overalls and a hairnet and then make you hump chicken guts around. There is no H & S training as that would be uneconomic for temp staff. Most of the temps end up with campylobacter but they don’t get quick treatment because that costs money and they don’t take time off work because that costs money they don’t have too.

    That disease goes around and around in circles as people infect and reinfect their surroundings and each other and when you as a consumer don’t cook your chicken right or you cut some fruit on the board you cut the chicken on without washing it properly you catch campylobacter too. But while you are sh*tting blood you can take comfort in the fact you have helped the company keep the wage costs down.

    I’m gonna cut you some slack and assume you are just too privileged to have had to come face to face with the sort of shit most temps deal with Burt. If you’re not then you need to check your moral compass and figure out where along the trail you became scum.

  49. Pascal's bookie 50

    HS, take some smelling salts and have a wee lie down. Poor wee dear.

    Fact is you often assume that the working conditions at your (alledged) place of employment are replicated everywhere. By this I mean that when ever workers rights come up you ask whether or not they are really needed because the folk you work with are doing fine.

    This is a pretty silly argument to be making, or rather it is a silly question because your workplace is not typical of the types of workplaces that need worker protection. It is a pretty obviously stupid error that you make a lot. Which is why people that work to protect vulnerable workers get het up, and wonder about your level of stupidness.

    And you never did apologise properly for calling r0b a liar, (in fact you studiously avoided doing so in the manner of the slimiest of politicians) so I wouldn’t throw that particular stone.

    ni’night

  50. burt 51

    Robinsod

    Burt – fu*k off and come back when you know what you are talking about. Specialist temps already get paid over the odds

    No shit! But they do not get holiday pay or sick leave from their clients. This is the point dip shit, keep up. I don’t give a shit if a contract Dr being paid $400/hr is getting whacked $100 in agency margin, it’s obviously worth it for them or they wouldn’t do it. Can I make this any clearer?

    I have no drama with enforcing minimum standards, I do have a problem with one size fits all employment law. Are you getting the difference or should I clarify myself further?

    I’ll ask again – is this bill designed to cover all casual labour situations or is it supposedly targeting min/low wage working conditions? … from an enforcement of sick pay, holiday pay and other benefits that broadly differentiate employees from contractors?

  51. higherstandard 52

    PB

    Perhaps you need to take a look at my post way back yonder on this thread.

    “There are undoubtedly bad employers out there but I believe they are in the minority – Clinton always seems to take a very black and white view of employers as all evil and that staff are all hard done by this is of course incorrect and as facile as the Labour is good National is bad (or vice versa) views on political blogs.”

    As per the point Burt makes if the law captures the poor employers and protects the vulnerable fine – if it’s as poorly conceived and written as the EFA one could expect chaos

    captcha – mob mentality (how very apt)

  52. Razorlight 53

    No Burt

    I wouldn’t support them being a virtual Monopoly. I just think it would be a good way of WINZ getting long term unemployed into at the very least, casual work.

    Not quite work for the dole, but as close as we will get in the current political climate.

  53. burt 54

    Robinsod

    Also, with the govt pulling moves like disallowing the Junior Dr’s the same level of pay rises they have enjoyed themselves, you had better to use to the idea of more contract specialists being paid over the odds.

    The odds are set low, not the contractors overpaid – why can’t you lefties get this?

  54. burt 55

    Razorlight

    I would agree with them having a more active role in that area. Companies like Grunt Labour have preferential deals with the ATO in Australia. They take a standard rate of tax at source and they take minimum margins. Forcing them to pay sick pay and holiday pay to all casual workers would be wasteful churn. The margins would need to increase to support the extra administrative overhead and money that’s currently going into workers pockets would be spent on administration and compliance. Paper would be consumed and take home wages reduced.

    Sure, smack the filth operators, but do that by providing a better option. No good will come of simple legislation that punishes valid and ethical operations, burying them in paper work and reducing the money available to productive workers.

  55. burt 56

    Steve P.

    If we are talking about enforcing payment of sick leave and holiday pay then what about employer contributions to KiwiSaver?

    Can you tell us more about the mechanics of the bill?

  56. Matthew Pilott 57

    Burt, all you’ve done is guess that the bill will affect a few people it’s not meant to, and then ask whether this is true. Over and over and over and over…

    If you’re worried, go and find out. Write a letter to Fenton if you actually care, but please stop whining on here about it!

    How, for god’s sake, is a bill that gives proper rights to temps, going to “[destroy] the concept of ‘independent contractor’ as it sweeps through the marketplace?

    If they are independent contractors and can negotiate a good wage, how is legislating for leave provisions going to affect that?

    Honestly, you take tangent to a new level.

  57. Tim 58

    There seems to be a lot of misunderstanding on this thread. Business NZ has misrepresented the provisions of the bill.

    The bill will allow labour hire employees to enjoy the terms of any collective agreement on site and to seek redress against the principal if treated poorly. Currently, they have few protections and it’s not a case of them “choosing” that sort of employment, it’s a device used to drive down labour costs to the detriment of all employees.

    The bill is also going to allow labour inspectors to make rulings on whether someone is a casual or permanent employee. Business NZ’s attempt to portray this as a decision on a contract of service v. contract for services is a load of rubbish. Similarly, the bill is not trying to give casual workers the same rights as permanent workers. It’s also going to include a code of practice to help guide employers on the difference. Maybe Business NZ should read the bill before commenting next time, but that’s not really their job. Their job is to oppose any piece of pro-worker legislation while demonstrating faux concern for workers. Disingenuous.

  58. Ed 59

    I am aware of a case where a worker working for a labour hire company was ‘employed’ in a factory (at of course an hourly rate at a minimum wage). Most workers in the factory were in that way, and staff numbers went up or down frequently as orders were filled / new orders came in. The problem was that the training was poor and due to that poor training the worker I know was injured due to that inadequate training (it was the fault of another worker but that is irrelevant). ACC paid for time off for the injury, but employment ceased. I did wonder which company would be regarded as the employer for ACC purposes – I suspect the labour hire company. One impact of that would be to give the factory little incentive to provide a safe workplace and to properly train short term workers.

  59. monkey-boy 60

    Well, I used to train kiwi workers in literacy HoS and communications skills and the majority of them were ESOL so it was interesting. There was no discrimination over whether part, or full-time workers received training, I suspect in part because the Government assisted in the funding of this regardless of the workers’ status. The company used a lot of Part-time workers simply because they planned to close-down, and ditch them when it was convenient. Some of these people were kept on for years – at least long enough to complet many Unit Standards, and – failed to enjoy some of the basic protections their full-time brothers and sisters enjoyed. But the Union still got the cash injection via the training scheme funding from the Govt. (funny that). The disparity included a severe impact on Part-timers’ rights to any redundency payments.
    They still had kids to feed though when the job ended.
    This was all done with the complete knowledge of, and collusion with the union in question.
    I applaud the good motives of the unions, also the involvemnt of the employers in this.
    Throughout the good times, when employment was secure(ish) the left-leaning government and unions sat on their hands. Now, when the downturn is imminent, and many more may face the axe, suddenly we have this feel-good legislation to make the unions feel validated to spend money, time and people power to lobby on Labour’s behalf? That’s a neat way to circumvent the limitations on spending Labour imposed on unions with their ‘shot in their own foot’ EFA Legislation eh?
    I agree with this Bill I am just a little disappointed that people had to wait for nearly nine years or months before a potential Labour election loss to have it mooted.
    Still, on the bright side, it will make an excellent stick with which to beat National with during this very crucial election year.
    Too little (no pun intended) Too Late?

  60. I agree with this Bill I am just a little disappointed that people had to wait for nearly nine years or months before a potential Labour election loss to have it mooted.

    I’m with you on that. This is something that should have been dealt with in 2000. If it makes you feel any better the unions have been pushing hard for this for the last 8 years. I think the right often overestimate the influence the union movement has on Labour!

  61. What next? IT Professionals and management contractors no longer allowed to contract (or unable to because they have to get holiday pay and sick leave like happened in the UK)

    If you *choose* to use an agency, then shop around for one that treats you right. If it is so hard, why are there now only 17,465 unemployed in New Zealand? Or is there a false statistic here?

    You can’t have it both ways.

    They still have rights, you will note all contractors have an arbitration clause in their contracts. All contracts have out clauses for both parties. If you are a labourer, and your contract doesn’t have these, change agencies.

    If these people are not understanding their contracts, or signing something they have not read, then it is their own fault if they are getting screwed.

    Many companies need short term resource, both labour and professional services. This change will simply restrict production even more, and it is already one of the lowest in OECD. Why? Because NZ workers are basically unskilled and lazy.

    If you want to earn the same as someone who has bothered to get trade qualifications, then guess what, you have to get off your butt and do something about it. Your choice, not the employers. If people want better wages, they need to be more productive, and that is all about upskilling.

    Everyone is self-employed, as soon as people realize that, this attitude of mediocrity that has seeped into NZ work culture will go away.

  62. We’re talking about labour hire companies who supply what are essentailly day labourers to firms, not recruitment companies for IT, medical, and other professional contractors.

    “This change will simple restrict production even more, and it is already one of the lowest in OECD. Why? Because NZ workers are basically unskilled and lazy.”

    Three sentences, three incorrect assetions, well done.

  63. Tane 64

    If you *choose* to use an agency, then shop around for one that treats you right… If you are a labourer, and your contract doesn’t have these, change agencies.

    Karl Rohde, “Entrepreneur – Father – Life Coach – Budget Advisor”, you fail to understand the inherent imbalance of power in the employment relationship.

    Here’s a hint – one side owns the means of production, the other doesn’t. Work your way from there.

  64. “inherent imbalance of power”

    Sorry, I wholly disagree with this. Having worked in a factory for 5 years; being the lowest paid in the factory at the time, why am I not there now?

    Because I got off my sorry butt and did something about it. Was it easy? No. Was it life changing? Yes.

    Everything in life is about personal choice, except for random occurrences – but that’s out of your sphere of control.

    Do you go home and sit in front of the TV after working in the factory, or do you spend 2 hours studying so that you can get your trade certificate in six months time.

    Don’t tell me you are too tired to study, or don’t have the skills to study. That’s just a cop-out.

    “Do not wait; the time will never be “just right.” Start where you stand, and work with whatever tools you may have at your command, and better tools will be found as you go along.”
    – Napoleon Hill

  65. Re: Steve Pierson:

    We are ranked 22 out of the 29 measured OECD countries for GDP output per hour worked. Norway being the highest, and Mexico being the lowest.

    That is a strong indication of “productivity”, and shows a very lacklustre performance by the workforce.

    It comes down to an unskilled core workforce. And that is the responsibility of the individual; not the employer, and certainly not the government.

    Libraries are free. Self-education is free. Mediocrity is a cancer.

  66. Matthew Pilott 67

    Libraries are free. Self-education is free. Mediocrity is a cancer.

    So is the assumption that everyone who isn’t in a good situation can think positive thoughts, read “the secret” and do better because they will it to happen.

    So is being happy to advocate a position where someone leaving such a situation will leave it to someone else to suffer through, without wanting to make it better.

    So is realising that some jobs are unskilled by definition, yet being satisfied that they have terrible conditions – lack of empathy is a more virulent cancer than mediocrity.

  67. I worked in a factory 20 years ago – “the secret” didn’t come out that far back. Andrew Carnegie however, did exist, as did Napoleon Hill and various other people who all have a common thread to their approach to life – self esteem and respect is of utmost importance, and passing the buck is simply not acceptable.

    Can’t think of better role models for most young people today, in fact many people of my generation could learn a lot from it as well.

    It still comes down to attitude. No one in a country like NZ is stopped from changing their lot in life, but they are the ones that have to take the first step. Expecting someone else to do it for them is puerile. If that is a lack of empathy, then we are doomed.

    By saying “I can do better than this”; the person who steps in your shoes after you sees they to can do it as well.

    I can’t see how wanting a personally empowered community is showing a lack of empathy. I want to see people work hard and get remunerated for that hard work. I want to see NZ lead the world in research and development of new technologies. Most of all I want to see a work force with some self-esteem rather than cowering behind legislation that probably won’t fix their situation long term.

    If you do what you have always done, you get what you have always got.

  68. Matthew Pilott 69

    The ‘the secret’ comment was in jest.

    The rest wasn’t. Your attitude that someone who isn’t in a good situation can improve it is all fine and well to a limited degree (it ignores circumstance and is a gross generalisation), I take no issue though, because that’s not what this is about. You neglect to mention that there will always be people left in those jobs others fight to get out of – and you show no interest in helping them.

    If we’re all ‘empowered’ someone’s still got to shovel the shit, right?

    Yours personal ethos does nothing to encourage a strong community.

  69. Tane 70

    Karl Rohde, “Entrepreneur – Father – Life Coach – Budget Advisor’, makes the mistake of assuming that ‘anyone can beat the odds’ means ‘everyone can beat the odds’.

    The inconvenient truth is that even if everyone in society put their social and class circumstances behind them, did night school and got all manner of skills and qualifications, someone would still have to empty our rubbish bins and clean shit off our old people. The capitalist system, and the Karl Rohdeses who inhabit its managerial class, rely for their existence on a pliant labour force doing menial work for crap pay.

    Karl Rohde wants to pretend we can all be lords and none of us serfs. In doing so he shows a complete ignorance of the very system he worships.

  70. As a parent of a young boy, I try to empower him to make choices. Sometimes he gets it all wrong, but that’s life. One thing it does give him is self esteem, confidence and respect. With those, he can achieve anything he wants to. Personal choice.

    Sorry, I have trouble expressing my ethos, but I only have 5th form English.

    Andrew Carnegie summed it up much better than I ever could:

    Man does not live by bread alone. I have known millionaires starving for lack of the nutriment which alone can sustain all that is human in man, and I know workmen, and many so-called poor men, who revel in luxuries beyond the power of those millionaires to reach. It is the mind that makes the body rich. There is no class so pitiably wretched as that which possesses money and nothing else. Money can only be the useful drudge of things immeasurably higher than itself. Exalted beyond this, as it sometimes is, it remains Caliban still and still plays the beast. My aspirations take a higher flight. Mine be it to have contributed to the enlightenment and the joys of the mind, to the things of the spirit, to all that tends to bring into the lives of the toilers of Pittsburgh sweetness and light. I hold this the noblest possible use of wealth.

    Instead of covering the problem with legislation, teach the people that they can do better. Give them the self esteem to look for something better, to be better, to do better. Their definition of better will be unique to them.

    I am particularly lucky, I see my son most mornings, and in his three years have missed maybe a handful of good nights. Am I rich, financially no. But I consider myself wealthy beyond all the money in the world to have changed my life so that I can do that and pretty much live the way I want to live.

    I would rather teach someone that they too can do that for whatever it is they value, and if they don’t want to be taught, that is their choice.

  71. Matthew Pilott 72

    This really is a great example of talking at cross-purposes.

    It does come down to attitude Karl, and yours is “devil take the hindmost”. Some of us don’t want those who made the wrong choices, or made the tough choices that they had to, to be left behind.

    Some of us aren’t prepared to accept such mediocrity.

  72. As for Tane’s comments about me being a capitalist, I vote Green and Labour, always have as long as I can remember. Self empowerment is not a capitalist attitude, it has nothing to do with money at all.

    Picking up bins can be solved with technology, as can driving the dump truck and digging a ditch for foundations of an office block.

    In fact, I would say there is very little in the way of manual labour that won’t be replace with technology in the next 50-60 years.

    What then happens to the “serfs” who didn’t up skill? Will they then be complaining that technology put them out of work? You betcha they will. And they will have their hand out.

    My father died of Alzheimers and my mother of old age depression. People who clean shit off old people, they are so underpaid it is unbelievable. Shows a complete lack of focus from the government.

    They don’t care about people who really can’t help themselves. And that is where the real lack of empathy is.

  73. teach the people that they can do better. Give them the self esteem to look for something better, to be better, to do better. Their definition of better will be unique to them.

    Who the fu*k is this??? Tony fu*kn Robbins??? Dude do I get a free set of steak knives or something for having to read your bullsh*t??? Or is that only if I ring in the next 30 minutes…

  74. Matthew Pilott 75

    People who clean shit off old people, they are so underpaid it is unbelievable. Shows a complete lack of focus from the government.

    Why don’t thay take some responsibility and educate themselves? Get out of that job and on to better things…

    I know that’s not what you mean by the comment, but there’s a massive contradiction in what you’ve just said.

  75. “People who clean shit off old people, they are so underpaid it is unbelievable. Shows a complete lack of focus from the government.’

    Why don’t thay take some responsibility and educate themselves? Get out of that job and on to better things

    I know that’s not what you mean by the comment, but there’s a massive contradiction in what you’ve just said.

    Simple; they are directly helping someone, and believe it needs to be done. As I said, not everyone values money as their highest priority. No contradiction there.

    Robinsod, is your name S. Robinsod? Go watch a few episodes of Black Adder, you’ll get it eventually.

  76. Matthew Pilott 77

    Also, take a look at:

    $71 million boost for residential aged care in 2005 as one example from many, of not caring.

  77. Tane 78

    Karl, it’s not your fifth form English that’s the problem, it’s the fact you’ve picked up a few platitudes from Tony Robbins and mistaken it for a philosophy.

    Instead of covering the problem with legislation, teach the people that they can do better. Give them the self esteem to look for something better, to be better, to do better. Their definition of better will be unique to them.

    Good advice from a father to a son, but a bad basis for public policy. Someone has to do the menial, low-paid and often dangerous work. How do you think we should treat them as a society?

  78. Matt – you’re looking at this all wrong. You need to visualise your success, to embrace your full potential and Karl can show you how! All it takes is three easy payments…

  79. Tane 80

    Simple; they are directly helping someone, and believe it needs to be done. As I said, not everyone values money. No contradiction.

    No Karl Rohdes, they aren’t doing it for love. They’re doing it because they need money to feed their kids and put a roof over their head. Go ask a caregiver with three kids to support on $12 an hour if she cares about money.

  80. Matthew Pilott 81

    Simple; they are directly helping someone, and believe it needs to be done. As I said, not everyone values money. No contradiction.

    So now it’s ok to call for regulation to help people, where they can’t make some personal choice to improve their situation?

    Still no contradiction registering?

    Here’s another for you: $46 million more for injured New Zealanders

  81. Matthew Pilott 82

    Matt – you’re looking at this all wrong. You need to visualise your success, to embrace your full potential and Karl can show you how! All it takes is three easy payments

    I was worried you’d find this thread…! (in the nicest possible way, ‘sod)

  82. Bro – I can’t believe I missed it! Looks like Karl’s visulised himself skiving off from work early today though. I wonder if he power-walked home…

  83. Nope; someone who is sick doesn’t have control over that. Someone who is in an accident probably didn’t have control over that.

    Society is responsible for helping them. Same as people who are now retired and have paid their tax all their lives or contributed to society in other ways.

    As for $46 million over 4 years… ummm… wow. I am sure the aid workers won’t spend it all at once.

    One could say the government is as bad as the labour hire companies in this instance. They don’t value the young, sick or elderly. They just pretend to.

    And National will just make it worse.

    But as for unskilled workers… that is still their choice.

  84. Tane 85

    Karl. You say:

    As for Tane’s comments about me being a capitalist, I vote Green and Labour, always have as long as I can remember. Self empowerment is not a capitalist attitude, it has nothing to do with money at all.

    Yet you spout social darwinist crap and your website says:

    VOTE RODNEY HIDE ELECTION 2008

    Que?

  85. Matthew Pilott 86

    As for $46 million over 4 years ummm wow. I am sure the aid workers won’t spend it all at once.

    One could say the government is as bad as the labour hire companies in this instance. They don’t value the young, sick or elderly. They just pretend to.

    I gather it was news to you, this $46m. So are you the type to complain about something, without looking at what’s actually happened? Given you’re taking that one example in isolation I assume so. Kinda goes against all your empowerment talk, I guess that’s all it is…

    Here’s some advice, knowledge is power – go get some before complaining. I’ll resist the urge to quote Pokemon and talk about my Power Level.

    As for your last comment, one could indeed say that. From a position of ignorance, one could say gosh darn near anything. Labour are not perfect, but have a record throughout their term of passing legislation that aids and assists in this area. Of course there’s still a long way to go, and they could have done better – but they can always do better.

  86. And he’s still going… You’re just an energiser bunny today Karl – did you OD on your muscle mass builder? Or perhaps on your tooth-whitener…

    See everybody this dogged repetition of badly thought out arguments could be yours if you just follow the Karl Rohde six step journey to personal self-fulfillment…

    Ring 0800 Dull Libertarian right now and we’ll throw in the Karl Rohde guide to success and self delusion for half, yes HALF, price…

    Order now stocks are limited…

  87. How about this for an idea. Someone offers to go see these unskilled workers. Learn their jobs, learns what they want, understand what the labour hire companies are offering their clients.

    The unskilled workers are being ripped off. Lets say the labour hire company is charging out the worker at $30.00 an hour, but paying them $12.00. That quite a bit of fat (not as much as some of you think though).

    It takes a single manager plus admin person to manage 30 staff.

    Manager, $55k/pa; Admin, $40k/pa; Other overheads like drivers, vans etc probaby couple of hundred thousand dollars a year. Then there is marketing; but that gets outsourced.

    If someone showed those 30 staff how to put a co-operative together, they would no longer be on minimum wage. They would control their own life, they could put in place an education program to help up-skill, and bring in fresh staff and so on.

    Eventually they would end up with a more skilled workforce and could go to higher paying contracts.

    The profits would be shared.

    They would have better working conditions, better pay, and they would be in competition with the existing hire companies.

    They would attract better quality staff because they could pay more. The quality delivered to clients would be higher, and they would get a reputation for quality service.

    All hypothetical, not libertarianism, not capitalist.

    But the bottom line is they take ownership. It doesn’t require more legislation, it requires action. If the government was serious (any government); instead of putting money into the legislation, they put the money into education.

    And guess what, I will offer to work these 30 people for free to get this venture off the ground. I will even help teach basic computer skills and budgeting; and see if there are government grants and work with the right people to get it happening.

    But that means I might prove you moaners wrong about personal choice and you might discover that finding 30 people willing to take a risk is gonna be pretty hard.

    But the offer is there; some of you have contacts in the labour hire market. Instead of moaning, why don’t you take action.

    And yeah Robinsod, I don’t stop. I just get more focused until something gives.

  88. Tane:

    “VOTE RODNEY HIDE ELECTION 2008″

    If you bothered to read, it was an attack on the electoral finance act.

    No – I am not voting Rodney.

    And yes, I knew about the 46mil and the 71mil and was completely underwhelmed. I was being sarcastic.

  89. And yeah Robinsod, I don’t stop. I just get more focused until something gives.

    Gives what? Free steak knives? Put me down for a set.

  90. “Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats.”
    – H.L. Mencken

    Your fetish with steak knives reminded me of this.

  91. roger nome 92

    Karl Rohde:

    Yes, everyone can be financially independent, society doesn’t exist, everyone is born with equal opportunity, and you’re a freaking moron.

  92. Excellent, Roger Nome, so you are going to help 30 people get into their own business then, or just come out with negative drivel.

    “Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.”
    – Mark Twain

  93. roger nome 94

    oh god, now with the Mark Twain quips as gospel.

    The trouble with your Pollyanna Libertarianism is that it just doesn’t reflect reality. People are born into differing degrees of advantage, be it through inherited wealth, intelligence, energy, or just plain freedom from physical or mental illness/disability. It’s a childish view of the life, which if implemented on a society-wide level would just lead to more suffering, poverty and misery as the gaps between rich and poor widen exponentially, and poverty becomes more cyclical and entrenched.

    Reality is just so much more complex than your silly reductive little paradigm, which is usually preached by the dull, and/or perennially privileged who are unable, or unwilling to take a more nuanced and balanced view of society/economic life.

  94. Walter Ego 95

    That was bitchin’ Karl. They hurled themselves against you like flotsam against a light house, and still you shone.

  95. bill brown 96

    Now that’s funny!

  96. People are born into differing degrees of advantage, be it through inherited wealth, intelligence, energy, or just plain freedom from physical or mental illness/disability.

    I agree with the illness/disability – definitely up to society to look after them. As well as orphans, elderly and people temporarily down on their luck.

    However, the people, such as yourself who preach that aspects of society are stuck in cyclical and entrenched state always seem to want to keep them there when someone else comes along and offers real help.

    Seems no one actually wants to make a difference except by blanket changes that chucks the baby out with the bathwater. It doesn’t make people feel better about themselves, or increase their productivity or opportunities.

    As for Mark Twain, perhaps you better read his biography. One reason I consider him to be a great man is the following:

    “Who are the oppressors? The few: the King, the capitalist, and a handful of other overseers and superintendents. Who are the oppressed? The many: the nations of the earth; the valuable personages; the workers; they that make the bread that the soft-handed and idle eat.”

    I believe people can be empowered to be untouchable by the few, the King, the capitalist.

    How? Education, self-esteem, confidence and empowerment.

    In no way, shape, or form is that Libertarianism.

    Have to fall back on a proverb; because it sums it up so well.

    “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.”

    My proposal for a co-operative to take on the “labour-hire vultures” leans more towards “from each according to his ability, to each according to his need”.

    Where it differs is that you must still do the best that you can to improve what you do and what you can be. Can’t have a bunch of car assembly workers sitting around getting drunk on Vodka.

    Education is the key. But as someone else once said, I have never let my schooling interfere with my education.

  97. Hmmm… I don’t hide who I am.

    To the person who has levelled personal “anonymous” abuse through my blog’s contact page – I am in IT, have about 9 years in Internet consulting; guess what – I can track your IP – which I can trace to your ISP and then redirect to the appropriate people.

    Since I have actually had death/violence threats for my opinions before, not too phased by your meaningless drivel. After all my comparisons of Adolf Hitler and Brian Tamaki were pretty emotive and ignorant Destiny goons had to react the only way they know how and call me at my private unlisted number.

    But as this is the only place I have expressed certain view points I know it was a reader of this blog. How about you put your balls where your mouth is (or fingers in this case) and actually respond in an open forum where your points can be discussed?

    And in response to your assumption; I am not jewish! And no – I am not a National supporter, nor do I have it in for Unions; although I believe they can be more constructive.

    (for the other members of this community – sorry to the rest of you – there is always one rotten apple)

    [lprent: Why bother putting it on here? Just send details and/or a link to me via e-mail (it is in the Contacts above). It is trivial to run an IP against the database and I can take much more direct action if it is any commentator here. I hate that kind of crap.

    All of the people here are aware of tracing IP’s. I use it on trolls all of the time whilst banning them. That is why I think it is unlikely to be one of our contributors – they aren’t that stupid. It could be a lurker in which case I’ll dig out whatever info I have to help lay a complaint to the ISP.

    Mind you, all of that being said – you are pretty irritating – I tend to skip your comments when scanning because you often sound like you are talking to yourself.]

  98. Ah… the power of the sysop. Reminds me of the good old BBS days when men were men, and monkeys danced in carnivals on street corners in pink tutus.

    I put it here because I was wondering how the hell they thought I might be Jewish and pro-National. Seems an appropriate place. Had hoped they might fess up and actually come out with some real arguments.

    The name Karl Rohde is about an un-Jewish as you can get.

    Anyway – ’nuff said.

    And I would prefer to be irritating than the alternative; most of my generation would vote with their feet, but never squeak a word of complaint.

    And exactly what is wrong with talking to one’s self? Some of the greatest minds in history did it regularly.

    [lprent: I didn’t say it was bad behavior (that tends to have a short residency here). I said it was irritating, but that just means skip scanning. The anon’s tend to never ‘fess up – you usually have to track them back to their lair and educate them. I’m prohibited by law from educating their systems that ways that I used to.]

  99. Matthew Pilott 100

    Karl, I didn’t see your post until this morning. Great idea and I hope you get the chance to have a bash. You might have trouble finding people who will be interested though, given that it’s essentially a gamble, and despite your admonitions people can’t just go about improving their lot, as it always comes with risks and people do, after all, have to provide for their families and such. Intersting that you conceed it’s not actually about ‘personal choice’, ‘ownership’, ‘empowerment’ or ‘opportunity’, though, it is about risk.

    Interesting that we’re the moaners here, and not you. Apart from one constructive post you’ve been moaning for quite some time. Dressing it up with quotes and positive language doesn’t change the message, unfortunately. And at the end of the day, what you want to do might or might not help 30 people. What we’ve been on about isn’t so limited in scope.

    And you also are in a prepetual state of denial about society – I think Tane summed it up very will with his comment that you make “the mistake of assuming that ‘anyone can beat the odds’ means ‘everyone can beat the odds’“.

  100. What we’ve been on about isn’t so limited in scope.

    That is completely incorrect. The only things that will occur from the proposed legislation is a) the workers will remain unskilled and vulnerable; b) they may be out of a job because the firms in question decide the cash cow is no longer worth it and reduce their workforce to balance it.

    At least trying to get them to upskill and take control so they are not so vulnerable is moving forward and not sideways.

    As for conceding it is about risk; risk is a big part of all growth. Doesn’t detract from the fact if you teach people to be self-sufficient and valuable from an employment perspective they feel better about themselves, they are less likely to be put into vulnerable positions and they will get paid more.

    I also dispute that I am moaning. I am pushing an ideology that I strongly believe will assist the vulnerable workers and the country as a whole to become more wealthy as a nation. A wealthy nation is better able to support it’s vulnerable members. We are no longer a wealthy nation, and have not been for a very long time.

    Just giving them a pay rise does not protect them long term. And they are already entitled to holiday pay as casual workers. As for sick leave; that is an issue across 90% of the workforce – employers such as myself who give unlimited sick leave are few and far between in this country.

    Anyway – the offer of assistance is there; happy to spend time with a group of people who to want take action. But I am not holding my breath that even 10 can be found.

  101. I am still waiting on my 30 people who don’t want to be treated like shit by the “labour-hire vultures”.

    You can contact me via my blog.

    I will even start with just 10 of you.

    Oh… too busy watching American Idol… maybe next year then.

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    KiwiRail must immediately stop further Chinese engineers from working here until they can guarantee they are being paid the New Zealand minimum wage, Labour’s MP for Hutt South Trevor Mallard says. The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment today released… ...
    1 day ago
  • Better consultation needed on Christchurch asset sales
    The Christchurch City Council (CCC) should be promoting wide and genuine public consultation on its draft ten year budget and plan given the serious implications for the city’s future of its proposed asset sales, outlined in the plan. Instead, it… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    1 day ago
  • ‘Healthy Families’ a good start but not enough to tackle obesity relate...
    Today the Government is making a the meal out of the launch of its ‘Healthy Families’ package to promote ‘healthier decisions’ and ‘changing mindsets’ over nutrition, physical activity and obesity. Great! The programme is based on a successful model from… ...
    GreensBy Kevin Hague MP
    1 day ago
  • ‘Healthy Families’ a good start but not enough to tackle obesity relate...
    Today the Government is making a the meal out of the launch of its ‘Healthy Families’ package to promote ‘healthier decisions’ and ‘changing mindsets’ over nutrition, physical activity and obesity. Great! The programme is based on a successful model from… ...
    GreensBy Kevin Hague MP
    1 day ago
  • No more sweet talk on obesity
    The Government should be looking at broader measures to combat obesity rather than re-hashing pre-announced initiatives, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says.  “While it is encouraging to see the Government finally waking from its slumber and restoring a focus on… ...
    1 day ago
  • Government two-faced on zero-hour contracts
    The Government should look to ban zero-hour contracts in its own back yard before getting too high and mighty about other employers using them, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “Information collated by Labour shows at least three district health… ...
    1 day ago
  • Scrutiny of battlefield deaths should continue
    As New Zealand troops head to Iraq under a shroud of secrecy, the Government is pushing ahead with legislation to remove independent scrutiny of incidents where Kiwi soldiers are killed in hostile action overseas, Labour’s Defence spokesperson Phil Goff says.… ...
    1 day ago
  • Damp-free homes a right for tenants
    Labour is urging tenants to use a little known rule which gives them the right to live in damp-free rental homes. Otago University researchers have today highlighted the Housing Improvement Regulations 1947 as a way tenants can force landlords to… ...
    2 days ago
  • National must take action on speculators
    The Government must take action on property speculators who are damaging the housing market and shutting families and young people out of the home ownership dream, Labour Leader Andrew Little says.  “There are a number of options the Government could… ...
    2 days ago
  • Milk price halves: A $7b economic black hole
    Global milk prices have halved since the peak last year, creating an economic black hole of almost $7 billion that will suck in regions reliant on dairy, crucial industries and the Government’s books, says Labour’s Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson. “The… ...
    2 days ago
  • Kitchen plan set to swallow up health boards’ funds
    The financial impacts of implementing a proposal to outsource hospital food, forced on them by a crown-owned company which is now facing an auditor-general’s inquiry, are being felt by district health boards across the country, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King… ...
    3 days ago
  • Reserve Bank scathing of Government
    The Reserve Bank’s most scathing critique to date of National’s inability to handle the housing crisis shows the Bank is sick of having to pick up the pieces, Labour Leader Andrew Little says.  “John Key continues to deny there is… ...
    3 days ago
  • Time for McDonald’s to upsize work hours
    Labour is calling on McDonald’s to have more respect for their workers and offer them more guaranteed work hours. McDonald’s is proposing to guarantee its workers 80 per cent of their rostered hours, Labour’s spokesperson for Labour Issues Iain Lees-Galloway… ...
    3 days ago
  • Brownlee misses the boat on asbestos
    Gerry Brownlee has once again missed an opportunity to improve the lives of Cantabrians post-earthquakes, Labour’s Canterbury Earthquake Recovery spokesperson Ruth Dyson says. A new report from the Royal Society of New Zealand and the Prime Minister’s Chief Science Adviser,… ...
    3 days ago
  • Government must come clean on troop deployment and protections
    New Zealanders deserve more than to hear about their troops’ deployment overseas from Australian media, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “News from Australia that Kiwi troops are on their way to Iraq this week is another example of the culture… ...
    3 days ago
  • Cancer prevention calls gain momentum
    Research showing bowel cancer treatment sucks up more public health dollars than other cancers once again highlights the need for a national screening programme, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. A study by Otago University, which found colon cancer is… ...
    3 days ago
  • Burger King shows zero-hour contracts not needed
    The abandonment of zero-hour contracts by Burger King is further evidence good employers do not need to use them, Labour’s spokesperson on Labour Issues Iain Lees-Galloway says. "Congratulations to the Unite Union and Burger King for settling an employment agreement… ...
    4 days ago
  • Kiwis deserve more than reheats
    The Government looks set to rely on regurgitated announcements for this year’s Budget if today’s speech is anything to go by, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “National has been building up to this Budget for seven long years, promising a… ...
    4 days ago
  • Landlords not cashing in on insulation schemes
    The fact so few landlords have taken up the generous taxpayer subsidy for retrofitting shows it is time to legislate minimum standards, says Labour’s Associate Housing spokesperson Poto Williams. “Many landlords aren’t using Government insulation schemes because they don’t want… ...
    4 days ago
  • Zero excuses, end zero hour contracts now
    It’s time Workplace Relations Minister Michael Woodhouse cut the weasel words and banned zero hour contracts, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “Michael Woodhouse today acknowledged zero hour contracts are unfair. ...
    4 days ago
  • We’ve reached Peak Key with ‘artificial target’
    John Key’s attempt to redefine his cornerstone promise of two election campaigns as an artificial target suggests his other promises are works of fiction, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “For seven years and two election campaigns, John Key has… ...
    4 days ago
  • Top 10 need to know facts on climate change
    All the numbers and stats around climate change can be confusing, so we’ve put together a handy list of the top 10 numbers about climate change that we should all know- and then do something about. You can sign up here to… ...
    GreensBy Frog
    1 week ago
  • Campbell Live a bastion of investigative journalism
    The announcement that current affairs programme Campbell Live is under review and may be axed has sparked outrage from the New Zealand public, for good reason, says Labour’s Broadcasting Spokesperson Clare Curran. “Investigative journalism is a precious resource in today’s… ...
    1 week ago
  • Ground Zero for ‘disastrous’ contracts
    Yesterday the Green Party called on the Government to follow the leadership of Restaurant Brands and ditch zero-hour contracts. Currently it looks like the Government is a large part of the zero-hours problem. It allows these types of “non-jobs” to… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    1 week ago
  • Trust in National will disappear with deficit
    Bill English is set to break his promise to get the books back in the black this year and lose the trust of Kiwis who have had to do it too hard for too long, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant… ...
    1 week ago
  • Dorothy Jelicich passes away
    It is with sincere sadness that the Labour Party conveys its sympathies and condolences to the bereaved family of Dorothy Jelicich who passed away last night at the age of 87 years, says the MP for Mangere, Su’a William Sio.… ...
    1 week ago
  • Government leaves aquaculture industry at sea
    If the Government had acted in its first term, the Sanford mussel processing plant would not have to close, says Labour’s Fisheries spokesperson Rino Tirikatene. “Sanford is considering closure after a decline in the natural supply of spat. This is… ...
    1 week ago
  • Maggie –it’s time to roll your sleeves up
      It’s time for the Minister of Conservation Maggie Barry to listen to the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment  and start untangling the mess around  New Zealand’s stewardship land, says Labour’s Conservation spokesperson Ruth Dyson.  “The Commissioner has called for… ...
    1 week ago
  • Gutting of prison jobs a gift to private prison provider
    Today’s announcement that sections of three prisons are to be closed is the thin end of the wedge for the privatisation of the country’s prison service, says Labour’s  Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis.  It's estimated that 260 prison officers will lose… ...
    1 week ago
  • Joyce must rule out revising export target
    Steven Joyce must rule out a second revision of the Government’s export target in six months and stop trying to massage statistics when he fails to meet his goals, says Labour’s Economic Development spokesperson David Clark. “National set a target… ...
    1 week ago
  • Caregiver law passed in haste now a fail
    The Government’s response to supporting family caregivers is mean spirited and designed to fail, says Labour’s Disability Issues Spokesperson Ruth Dyson.  “Figures released by the Ministry of Health show that only a tiny percentage of the eligible families have applied… ...
    1 week ago
  • Clear message handed to nuclear states
    MPs Phil Goff, Shane Reti and Marama Fox are due to meet with diplomats from the United Kingdom, Russia, the United States, China and France tomorrow to hand deliver a letter calling for their countries to disarm their nuclear weapons.… ...
    1 week ago
  • Parity is no party for export businesses
    The extent of the damage done by the high dollar to New Zealand businesses is larger than many think as shown by a dramatic decrease in exports to Australia as our dollar rises, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “When the… ...
    1 week ago
  • Nats’ limited thinking stifling innovation
    Businesses trying to innovate and create better products are being let down by this Government with an industry expert saying Steven Joyce’s mini-tax credits will have almost no impact, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Andrew Dickeson, director of taxation… ...
    1 week ago
  • Vanishing Nature: A must-read for all New Zealanders
    The Environmental Defence Society’s new book Vanishing Nature – facing New Zealand’s biodiversity crisis, should be read by every New Zealander concerned about our native plants and wildlife and striking natural landscapes; and particularly by Government Ministers before Budget Day… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    1 week ago
  • The CYF review – an exercise in predetermination?
    Child Youth and Family (CYF) has a troublesome history of underperformance and botched care and protection cases, the most recent being its abject failure, along with the Police, to address the Roastbusters sexual abuse allegations with any semblance of professionalism.… ...
    GreensBy Metiria Turei MP
    1 week ago
  • Time to act to protect Hector’s Dolphins
    The death of a Hector’s Dolphin in a set net must lead to action from the Minister of Conservation, Ruth Dyson, Labour’s Conservation Spokesperson said today. “Despite the fact that the Akaroa Harbour has been a Marine Mammal Sanctuary since… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Double-laning Darby and Joan disputed
    The Prime Minister’s by-election promise to double lane the road between Northland’s iconic Darby and Joan kauri trees has been contradicted by officials, Labour’s spokesperson Phil Twyford says. The NZ Transport Agency has told a media outlet that not all… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Parity: Cheaper trips but lower incomes
    The Kiwi dollar’s near-parity with the Australian means some tourists will have cheaper Gold Coast holidays but New Zealand incomes will stay lower for longer, making it harder for many to afford the trip, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson.… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • English’s state house flog off plans exposed
    Labour is calling on Bill English to confirm or deny a claim the Government is exploring a mass sell-off of state housing to tenants. Property magnate Bob Jones writes in a newspaper column published today that the Minister responsible for… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Extension of work scheme urged for disaster relief
    The Government is being urged to extend the Regional Seasonal Employment (RSE) scheme to help families in the most severely-damaged islands of Vanuatu, following Cyclone Pam. “Allowing a further 300 people to take up seasonal employment in New Zealand under… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Nuclear deal with Iran should be just the start
    A deal struck by Iran and major powers to ensure the Iranian facilities producing nuclear material are not used for the purpose of constructing nuclear weapons has been a long time coming, Labour’s Disarmament spokesperson Phil Goff says. “Undoubtedly Iran’s… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Green Aoraki Newsletter March 2015
    Attachmentsmarch2015_web.pdf - 1.4 MB ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister needs to do his homework
    Nathan Guy needs to do his homework, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “Answering questions in Parliament today on the dairy sector, the Primary Industries Minister denied John Key wants to float Fonterra. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister needs to put the kibosh on dirty diesel
    State-Owned Enterprises Minister Todd McClay has to get a grip on the KiwiRail board and put the kibosh on its crazy plan for dirty diesel on the main trunk line, Labour’s Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford says. It has been revealed… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Louise Nicholas Day: Work still to do
    This is a summary of a speech I gave in honour of Louise Nicholas Day on March 31 The IPCA report showed us basic mistakes are still able to be made within a specialist unit. The Police Commissioner said there… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    2 weeks ago
  • The meanness and pettiness of Nats in power
    Last night, Parliament debated NZ First MP Tracey Martin’s Bill to ensure children in the long term care of family members were able to access a clothing allowance currently only available to children in foster care. Many of these children… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Defence Force’s Hotshots given cold shoulder
    The latest victim of the Government’s cost-cutting drive looks set to be an organisation that has provided vital services and support to defence force staff and their families for 67 years, Labour’s Defence spokesperson Phil Goff says. “Labour understands Gerry… ...
    2 weeks ago

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