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Pagani: love that workforce casualisation

Written By: - Date published: 9:15 am, March 10th, 2012 - 136 comments
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Josie Pagani  has this to say about casualisation and the POAL dispute:

On Sean Plunket’s ZB show today. Talking about the ports. ‘Casualisation’ scares us because it sounds like short hand for bad hours, low pay and no annual leave. It sounds like life in the early industrial revolution pre-unions. In some jobs it is. The only reason we have a 40 hr week and weekends is because unions fought for us. But I’ve spent my political life as a working mum, calling for more flexibility. And flexibility has to work both ways. Sad that by the time MUNZ accepted this (why did it take them so long?), the Ports wouldn’t budge. They should have. Lesson from this – if casual labour is the future, we have to work out how to protect the advances made for working people, while accepting that future. Nurses union did it. So did the pilots in the USA.

Too many logical fallacies there to begin to address, but Pagani seems to be doing a cover of Roger Douglas’s Hits of the 80s Songbook classic “If you don’t do it to yourself, they’ll do it to You anyway”.

That’s a bit like saying that if you are at war, the best thing to do is to shoot 1 in every 5 of your troops, that way you’ll be safer and your enemies will then stop trying to kill you.

Good one Pagani. No surprises why Labour’s strategy is incoherent – at least if you assume Labour is supposed to be a voice for workers’ interests. Going by the responses her comments are receiving from Labour activists and at least one MP it seems that thankfully some people in Labour still understand the meaning of the Party’s name.

136 comments on “Pagani: love that workforce casualisation”

  1. dancerwaitakere 1

    A need for a re-think of the quality of our candidates/provincial candidates?

    I think so.

  2. is this josie ‘let’s just not give the poor any more money!’ pagani..?

    these are the current thinkers/forces within labour..?

    if so..you are knackered…

    ..and if you don’t come up with a coherent vision/plan to repair..

    ..and just stay nat-lite/more of the same re-packaged….

    ..harawira will take yr traditional/poor-base..

    ..the greens will take yr green base..

    ..and peters will mop up yr nationalist/racist components..

    ..that won’t leave much for you to squabble with national over..eh..?

    ..(just the paganis of this world will be left for you..eh..?..)

    ..to help avoid this disasterous outcome..

    ..shouldn’t the paganis be sent away somewhere far away..?

    ..as soon as possible..?

    ..a study trip..?

    ..maybe..?

    ..phil-at-whoar.

  3. rosy 3

    The comments on Josie’s Facebook page that this post is linked to say it all. Worth reading – especially the first one. (I’m not sure of the protocol around the copying a FB comment, with/without the author’s name). Go read.

  4. Te Reo Putake 4

    “Good one Pagani. No surprises why Labour’s strategy is incoherent – at least if you assume Labour is supposed to be a voice for workers’ interests.”
     
    You’re a tad incoherent yourself, sprout. Josie Pagani doesn’t set Labour’s strategy, any more than you do.

    • but she and her husband are representitives of the neo-libs within labour..

      ..those who enthusiastically supported the ignoring/neglect of the poor of the clark years…

      ..as just one example of that wrong road taken..

      phil-at-whoar.

    • Yeah i guess you’re right tvor, absolutely no connection between team pagani and labour’s ‘strategy’ whatsoever

      • Te Reo Putake 4.2.1

        Spot on, sprout. The words of an individual Labour party member, spoken on her personal site, have nothing to do with Labour’s strategy. And they should not be used to mount an attack on Labour, unless you have evidence that they mirror Labour’s strategy. Which you don’t.

  5. locus 5

    deleted comment

  6. Bill 6

    ‘Broken legs’ scare us because it sounds like short hand for being crippled and in pain. It sounds like life would become much more difficult. In some cases it is. The only reason we can walk is because we have two good legs. But I’ve spent my life calling for more flexibility. And flexibility has to work both ways regardless of the limitations of joints. If broken legs is the future, we have to work out how to mitigate any inconvenience that might cause, while accepting that future. Nurses have had their legs broken. So have pilots in the USA. So, if you’d just like to step this way then drag yourself over the floor to that queue over there where you can pick up crutches on very reasonable hire purchase terms.

    • :) Says it all.

      if casual labour is the future, we have to work out how to protect the advances made for working people, while accepting that future.

      Josie Pagani is obviously a follower of the creed that developments in the economy are the outcome of natural, inevitable forces rather than the outcome of the clash of interests.

      Perhaps she means that ordinary working people have no power and so they should get used to it.

      But, then, that is out of sync with her beliefs that ‘gains’ such as the 40 hour week came about “because unions fought for us”. That is, because, together, working people do have power.

      And, why does ‘flexibility’ have to “cut both ways”? If one way of cutting it makes people’s lives better and one way makes them worse then I would have thought it best just to cut it one way.

      • Georgecom 6.1.1

        Agree with your analysis.

        Yeah, we got things like time off and time to spend with our families because workers got organised and campaigned hard for it.

        But then if the future is flexibilities we have to accept it huh? If the narrative of neo-liberal global capital is flexibility and casualisation in the name of ‘competition’ then we should realise there is nothing we can do. We just allow it to be done to us as the world bends or is bent to the neo-liberal discourse.

        Or maybe we actually think about doing something better.

        As for Paganis statement about calling for more flexibility. yes, as a mother she may have been calling for greater flexibility to allow her to participate in the workforce. She wanted some concession to suit her particular family situation.

        Bit different I would suggest when it is the POA, acting out that neo-liberal discourse of competitiveness, wanting to make work less conducive to families lives. Wanting to make it more tenuous and more on call. Wonder how Pagani would have enjoyed being at home with kids and being summoned to work whenever her boss required her and being left on the side lines when not needed. I wonder if THAT flexibility would have worked for her.

        In a world where our not too distant future might be quite different, where neo-liberalism shows increasing tensions and instability and where things like growth are in question, flexibility might be needed. It won’t be the neo-liberal narrative that we will need however. It is flexi-security to fit the needs of people, to guarantee income in a time when work may need to be more evenly spread, even negotiated.

        Maybe thats what Pagani meant. If so, I suggest she did a pretty bad job of explaining it.

  7. Peter Martin 7

    Pagani has long been in the thick of Labour. And it does seem she is National lite, despite her rather weak protestations to the contrary.
    If, as Pablo in Kiwipolitico , suggests that: ‘the bottom line of any political economy resolves around the question of accumulation versus distribution’ then Pagani certainly lives in the accumulation camp. I’m not sure how this serves the best interests of the constituency that she hopes to represent…

  8. Olwyn 8

    That Josie Pagani thinks these things under the present circumstances is disgraceful, especially her doing the old “conflate the flexible needs of the working mum with complete casualisation” routine. I say under the present circumstances because in Douglas’s day she would have still had leeway for pointing to a future happy-ever-after. It wasn’t going to happen, but until that became clear the excuse might have looked viable. Not any more, though, now that the results have come in. Josie Pagani’s raison d’être appears to be to ensure that her political engagements do not get in the way of her being invited to the nicer cocktail parties.

    • Anne 8.1

      Josie Pagani’s raison d’être appears to be to ensure that her political engagements do not get in the way of her being invited to the nicer cocktail parties.

      Yes. I recall hearing of a certain BBQ at Matthew Hooton’s place just after the election.

  9. Brad 9

    Has anyone informed you lot and many of the unions you support that it is no longer 1984? The world has moved forward since then and you’re all being left behind with your out-dated, archaic model

    • Olwyn 9.1

      Work place relations are not acts of nature, like earthquakes and thunderstorms, and even with acts of nature, people try to find ways of mitigating the damage that they do. “Things have changed” because the financial and corporate sector have the upper hand, and feel free to wield it immorally, so as to make some people’s lives insecure and wretched. Their having of the upper hand is open to challenge, and so is their immoral wielding of it. People who do not accept that “this is just the way things are” are not dinosaurs. In some instances they are people whose spirit is not yet broken. In other instances they are people who are not yet morally bankrupt, apart from the love they bear for their cat.

    • lefty 9.2

      Has anyone informed you lot and many of the unions you support that it is no longer 1984? The world has moved forward since then and you’re all being left behind with your out-dated, archaic model

      In terms of rights at work, including relative pay, the world has moved backwards since 1984.

      And why exactly should we accept more stress, less time with our families, longer hours and being treated with absolute contempt by bosses who get richer and richer all the time we go backwards?

      • burt 9.2.1

        In terms of rights at work, including relative pay, the world has moved backwards since 1984.

        If you live in la la land where a job is for life – then sure things have gone backwards. In the real world… things change…. entire occupations come and go…. it’s called life and the best way to get on is to enjoy and embrace it. Not stand in one place and continually moan that it’s not like it use to be in the good old days.

        • Puddleglum 9.2.1.1

          In the real world… things change…. entire occupations come and go…. it’s called life and the best way to get on is to enjoy and embrace it.

          No burt, it’s not life. History shows that rapid turnover of ‘things’ and “entire occupations” is a very recent phenomenon closely associated with new economic arrangements that were almost always imposed using force upon people who fought tooth and nail to resist them.

          Now you might think that all that violent imposition was worth it (you know, modern amenities and luxuries are worth sacrificing many millions of people’s lives and usurping, in blatantly unjust ways, their freedom and autonomy) but people at the time didn’t – and many still don’t.

          That’s what this modern life really is, burt: a battle between those with power and those without. It’s been turned into that by people through history who saw advantage in using force, coercion and deception to remake the world in ways that were to their advantage (hence the 1980s reforms).

          Sad, but true.

          • burt 9.2.1.1.1

            Puddleglum

            You can’t get half anthropological. The first ape that stood upright, he mocked a few millennia’s of status quo. I wonder what very recent phenomenon his tribe blamed it on.

    • muzza 9.3

      Yes Brad the world has moved forward , and looks like an amazing place. Do you even follow global affairs, or are you the weekend sub in of the paid right troll briagde, because really mate, your comment is simply rediculous!

      • burt 9.3.1

        muzza

        That’s a fine personal attach. Well done.

        I guess Brad told some home truths… something lefty dip shits don’t like hearing. Well here’s another one. Socialism always fails and fucks up the economy. But hey if you can point to some enduring implementations of socialism then fill your boots – list away.

        Start that list directly below the list of POAL workers that have (overall) been well served by MUNZ.

        • Draco T Bastard 9.3.1.1

          It’s capitalism that always fails even when it’s worst deprivations have been offset slightly by socialism.

        • phillip ure.. 9.3.1.2

          if what you say is correct..there..young spurt..

          (are you the same spurt who bottom-dwells at kiwiblog..?..)

          ..why are the socialist countries of south america doing so well..?

          ..and why are countries far more equal than nz..(what you would call ‘socialist’..)

          ..why are their people happier..?

          ..why were they largely immune to the neo-lib-financial-meltdown..?

          ..d’yareckon..?

          ..just a couple of questions there young spurt..

          ..that pretty much blow away yr shouting of rightwing slogans..eh..?..

          ..do you lot ever get past that..?..the slogan-shouting..?

          ..i find it impossible to get an intelligent debate from the right..

          ..and i have tried..at kiwiblog..and at that mr oils’ place..

          ..nothing/zip/zero/nada..

          ..all you/they have is cliched/simplistic-slogans leavened with ad homs..

          ..eh..?

          ..totally bereft of any signs of intelligence…a pulse ..even..

          phil-at-whoar.

        • mik e 9.3.1.3

          BS Burt All neo liberal states in the US are in recession i.e. depression .Only the socialist states are growing.
          All right wing governments in Europe are in recession except for Germany which have adopted a socialist stimulation packages the rest of the world all countries only those countries that are stimulating their economies are growing, Keynesian economics.

        • Georgecom 9.3.1.4

          Burt, go and have a good study of 2008. Reflect on neo-liberalism and the western capital system almost grinding to a stand still. Reflect on the anemic economic growth since. Reflect on the past quarter century under neo-liberal capitalism where a few get significantly richer, a large number stand still and a large number fall behind. Have a look around you at the problems in our eco-system that have come to fruition during the period of neo-liberal capitalism.

          Tell me again what has ‘failed’ and ‘fucked up’.

          Rob

          • KJT 9.3.1.4.1

            A comment on this in Alternet.
             
            The facts are the more socialist the State, in the USA, the better they are doing.
            http://www.alternet.org/visions/154338/Ayn_Rand_Worshippers_Should_Face_Facts%3A_Blue_States_Are_the_Providers%2C_Red_States_Are_the_Parasites/
             
            “”After all: it’s now a stone fact that the blue states and cities are the country’s real wealth creators. That’s why we pay more taxes, and are able to send that money to the red states in the first place. We’re working our butts off, being economically productive, going to college, raising good kids, supporting reality-based schools, keeping our marriages together, tending to our busy and diverse cities, and generally Playing By The Rules. And the fates have smiled on us in rough proportion to the degree that we’ve invested in our own common good.
            So we’ve got every right to get good and angry about the fact that, by and large, the people who are getting our money are so damned ungrateful — not to mention so ridiculously eager to spend it on stuff we don’t approve of. We didn’t ship them our hard-earned tax dollars to see them squandered on worse-than-useless abstinence-only education, textbooks that teach creationism, crisis-pregnancy misinformation centers, subsidies for GMO crops and oil companies, and so on. And we sure as hell didn’t expect to be rewarded for our productivity and generosity with a rising tide of spittle-flecked insanity about how we’re just a bunch of immoral, godless, drug-soaked, sex-crazed, evil America-hating traitors who can’t wait to hand the country over to the Islamists and the Communists.””.
             
            Just like the rest of the world. The ones with high wages, high taxes and comprehensive State social insurance systems are doing the best. the ones that have cut wages, cut employment conditions, cut taxes to the rich, (legally like us, or illegally like Greece) and embraced “free market dogma”, are doing the worst.

            • RedLogix 9.3.1.4.1.1

              That’s a great link KJT. I wish I could write with 1/10th the clarity and force of this author.

              • ahem..!..red logix…while not claiming any proprietary-rights..

                ..i wd note i had this red/blue-piece back on the first of the month…

                ..(merely noting how often i am first with the best…eh..?..)

                phil-at-whoar.

                • burt

                  You have so much more time than most of us who are working to support you. It’s good to see you use it wisely.

                  • prism

                    @burt
                    How do you get so much time to set up scents for the standard hounds to run after? How do you fit this into your day? I can’t get what I need to do done and blog as well, except in small doses. Do you have a wealthy daddy like Whale Oil?

    • Bill 9.4

      There’s a valid implicit point there (one I don’t think Brad would dream of articulating) concerning “outdated, archaic models’

      Unions adopted a very rigid heirarchical structure. One that, among other references, mimmicked the structure of the workplace.

      The hierachical structure of the workplace ensures that a clique (owners and their management) stays in more or less complete control of what is happening. In the workplace, heirarchy allows orders to be issued and blocks democratic participation.

      The same applies to any organisation with hierarchical structures. And it applies because an asymmetry of power is promoted by any and all heirarchical structures.

      In days past, some leftists taking their cue from authoritarian theory, argued that the power asymmetry could be over come by schemes of democratic centralism. But the fact is that democratic centralism does not and can not work because each step along the way from the periphery to the center applies a degree of censorship. And it has to be that way or else the people (or clique) at the center would be innundated with information and unable to make any decisions. Over time, the process of censorship acts to filter out information that doesn’t agree with the ‘party line’ and the decision makers create a self justifying/self reinforcing environment of information flow…and the clique loses touch with those it claims to represent.

      Assuming that unions have finally dumped their Lninist mind set and no longer see as feasable or even desirable any ascension to power via capturing the structures of organisations (and finally the states’ apparatus), then they have to sit down and have a long hard look at their organisational structure.

      Do they want to slog it out in an environment geared to advantage the more powerful heirarchy where they will forever be the David desperately hurling pebbles at the Goliath? Are the personnel within unions merely content to create personal lifeboats on a sinking Athenia?

      Or do unions want to one among a number of effective mechanisms for much needed social progress?

      As claimed at the beginning of the comment, heirarchy promotes and protects the control of the many by the few. And no matter the professed ideals of ‘the few’, we know bureaucratic cronyism and graft is to heirarchy as heat and cold are to temperature.

      • just saying 9.4.1

        ♪We Travel A Equals or Not At All ♪ live at occupy Wall Street

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iX6RLd8asCQ

      • burt 9.4.2

        Bill

        Over time, the process of censorship acts to filter out information that doesn’t agree with the ‘party line’ and the decision makers create a self justifying/self reinforcing environment of information flow…and the clique loses touch with those it claims to represent.

        What follows from that is pretty much textbook empire crumbling.

        Well said Bill.

      • Populuxe1 9.4.3

        Absolutely. I like the security of a union, but there are good unions and bad unions, and some are really stuck in a hierarchical model where some are more equal than others in calling the shots. I’m Gen X and it chafes with me, I can see it really irritating the much more independent Gen Y and Millennials even more. Admittedly this may relate to the type of industry involved, but I don’t think it’s a concern that should be dismissed out of hand.

    • Georgecom 9.5

      Brad, nor is it 2007. Those days ended in 2008. Better get used to a new reality, one where the neo-liberal discourse of competition capital and its call for greater worker flexibility and casualisation is meeting its limits and showing signs of fraying.

  10. KJT 10

    “With friends like this, who needs enemies”.
     
    Don’t have to look far to find out why Labour has had no credibility, since 1984.

  11. Josie Pagani 11

    As I wrote on my Facebook page –

    I was clear in my comment. I am not advocating casualisation. I’m asking how we protect working conditions that we have fought for over decades. The very things that Labour and unions stand for – good working conditions. Decent hours, annual leave, sick pay. – and yes flexibility.

    I’m looking to see how others have managed it. I’m also saying that MUNZ did offer flexibility and the ports should have accepted the offer.

    Many people have been badly affected by contracting, sub-contracting, and labour hire companies, and therefore we need to make sure they have access to protection as well.

    The point is, those developments are happening, and we need to ask how the protections can be extended to the people affected. We can’t just say it shouldn’t happen, and walk away when it does.

    I don’t accept that it is always anti-worker. Some people benefit from contractor and flexibility arrangements – I’ve been one of them. I’ve also been on the wrong side of them. To say you’re against any use of contracting doesn’t help us win the argument that people who need to be protected should be.

    • RedLogix 11.1

      Well yes Josie. Credit for coming here and standing up for what you wrote. But still I think Bill at comment 6.0 above more or less nails it.

      Like you I accept that the working world is changing dramatically and that some aspects of the old blue collar/cloth cap union model no longer gets traction.

      At the same time employers are agressively seeking to casualise/contracting out wherever possible because they see it as a lazy way of cutting input costs and transferring significant H&S risk off their books.

      Having gotten away with it on the Hobbit dispute and now at PoAL … there will be a dramatic ramping up of this trend over the next three years as employers seek to utilise the window of an employer friendly government to cement in these changes.

      Once achieved they will be very hard to undo. This is pretty much the experience in the UK where there has been a huge casualisation of work over the last few decades.

      If you truly oppose this trend then you need to articulate a strategy to oppose it… not appease it.

    • Bill 11.2

      The point is, those developments are happening, and we need to ask how the protections can be extended to the people affected. We can’t just say it shouldn’t happen, and walk away when it does.

      Which basically reads as ‘roll over’ and hope the sight of your big puppy eyes will make everything okay…that ‘they’ll’ grant back some of the protections whose very abolishment was what motivated them in the first place.

      You’re not even advocating for any engagement, resistence or fight. You’re advocating unquestioning abeyance on the basis that ‘it’s just the way things are’ when in fact it’s simply the way some economic actors would prefer it to be.

      There is no immutable law in operation. There have simply been instances where undesirable conditions have been successfully imposed. That perspective, unlike your acceptance of casualisation as a fait accompli, creates a space where options can be explored and where better or more succesful counter strategies to thwart the imposition of such conditions can be formulated.

      • Populuxe1 11.2.1

        However, it would be sensible to have a contingency approach in the event that the Neolibs possibly do clobber us. Just in case.

    • Olwyn 11.3

      The people who benefit from these contractual arrangements are normally people who choose them – not people who have contractual arrangements inflicted on them. There is a big difference between a business consultant and a cleaner where the benefits of contracts are concerned.

    • Blue 11.4

      You’ve sipped of the koolaid, Josie. Yes, there is a massive drive towards casualisation of the workforce coming. It’s closing in from all sides, and you seem to want to greet it with a smile and a ‘how can I help you?’

      But the trend is not coming from workers wanting more flexibility to be with their families. It’s coming from employers who want it all their own way – i.e. hours to suit them, not you. Nothing’s changed, Josie.

      There are only a few ‘contractors’ who are powerful enough in their skill set to dictate terms to an employer. The majority of ‘contractors’ will always be people who were forced into it against their will and serve on the whim of their masters.

      As for your answer ‘how can we protect them?’, the simple answer is that you can’t. That’s what a ‘contractor’ is. Someone with no employment protections. That’s why employers want them.

      It’s a future of uncertainty, with no idea how many hours you will be working a week, a fear of going out or making plans in case you are called in at a moment’s notice, a fear of getting sick, of being unable to get a mortgage because you have no stable employment. And you know that if you can’t come in and do what is required, they will simply call someone else. And they may not call you ever again. Workers as competing units with no solidarity and no bargaining power.

      It is nothing less than dissolution of everything Labour has ever fought for and a return to the bad old days.

      Labour politicians are elected to stand up for those who are downtrodden in our community. If you start selling them out because you have accepted that the big boys are just too powerful to take on, then there is no point in you being there.

      • Vicky32 11.4.1

        It’s a future of uncertainty, with no idea how many hours you will be working a week, a fear of going out or making plans in case you are called in at a moment’s notice, a fear of getting sick, of being unable to get a mortgage because you have no stable employment. And you know that if you can’t come in and do what is required, they will simply call someone else. And they may not call you ever again. Workers as competing units with no solidarity and no bargaining power.

        This has been my experience for the past 3 and a half years. I am not in the market for a mortgage, but I can’t of course, get other things… This year has been the worst so far, I have had no work since last December. It’s got to the point that I will accept a 3 month full-time contract (if it’s actually offered, as was hinted a few days back) whereas once I’d have said ’3 months? Do one, that’s not long enough…)

    • dancerwaitakere 11.5

      Actually Josie, your biggest mistake was that you equated the flexibility desired by the cushy middle-upper class with the kind of casualisation that results in a SERIOUS altering of a working class families bottom line.

      This kind of arrogance shows how little you understand about the ‘proletariat’ and those who Labour is supposed to be defending. When the hours that these people work are cut, that means that these people DO NOT have a source of income.

      You show that you are not Labour because being Labour is about standing with those, in complete solidarity, who are going without pay for them and their families in an effort to achieve better working conditions for them and all of their colleagues.

      • burt 11.5.1

        I agree. Some on the left need to understand that fighting for the union is not one-in-the-same as fighting for the best interests of the workers. As we have seen with the POAL dispute. The MUNZ reps still have their jobs… while they organise and get militant about stopping workers from taking up what will probably be the best offer they have on the table at this time.

        Parasites…

        • bbfloyd 11.5.1.1

          leave the pathological hatred of anything not national out berty…. it detracts from a necessary debate, and simply informs more about the type of blind bigotry that working people now face than any relevant viewpoint…..

          • burt 11.5.1.1.1

            National – a dinosaur major party that has a vested interest in NZ politics being a two horse popularity contest… why the hell would I support them anymore than I would support the other self serving dinosaur – Labour ?

            bbfloyd… One day… Well I hope one day… you will wake up and notice that not everyone who’s not a Labour supporter is a National supporter. I know it’s hard to imagine a world slightly more complex than slogans of left v right – but it’s a real world that some of us live in.

    • QoT 11.6

      Nice attempted backpedal, Josie. You explicitly equated “casualisation” and the “flexibility” which working mothers like yourself have struggled for. In the context of the POAL issue, they are patently not the same fucking thing. They’re not in the same fucking realm. Now, an experience Labour person like yourself should already understand this, but I’ll try to use short words in case it’s not clear:

      “Casualisation” is when the bosses strip workers of secure hours and secure pay.

      “Flexibility” is when workers and bosses cooperate around things like school holidays and early or late starts.

      Can you figure out which of these is actually a progressive situation and which one is the same old crap that fucks people over? There may be a small prize!

    • newsense 11.7

      I’m not hearing a clear comment.

      I’m hearing that instead of fighting casualisation you are running a wishy-washy campaign for flexibility.

      Also as we’ve been hearing a lot from Labour ‘we have to think about…’ Please don’t come back to the public until the thinking is done. At the moment you’re trying eel hunt by muddying the water and making it difficult for everyone else.

  12. DH 12

    Pretty sad to see how far Labour has fallen. I’ve been mostly employer in my working life and I’m vastly more pro-worker than this Labour party. Casualisation just inserts an extra layer in the employment scene; the contractor has to make a buck and that comes at the expense of the workers.

    If it isn’t halted before it goes to far then it will end up as modern day slave trading. Workers will eventually have no choice but to sign up with contractors as casual workers and they’ll be bought & sold like cattle. The labour-hire contractors will get rich, the ex-employers will evade all the responsibilities of employment law, and the workers will get shafted.

    It’s the ultimate insult to the labour movement; business profiting from the sale of labour.

    • burt 12.1

      Pretty sad to see how far Labour has fallen.

      No way, its awesome. The self serving centrist populist party has done it’s dash. It’s over.

      It’s the ultimate insult to the labour movement

      Yes the Labour party is exactly that – NZ needs a ‘workers rights’ party in parliament… but it’s not getting that via the self serving Labour party.

    • bbfloyd 12.2

      add to that what kind of quality of output can be expected from those same “casualised” workers….as someone who entered the workforce at a time when a tradesman was valued, and respected, not only for their work ethics, but their comprehensive skill sets… it has been demoralising to watch, and work with, tradesmen/women bereft of even basic common sense…

      loyalty seems to have been the first casualty of the push for quick profits over sustainability…. unfortunately, without the trust that used to be taken for granted(in small businesses at least) the motivation to produce quality work, and tradespeople, has fallen away into nonexistence…..

      it has become such a major issue in the building industry that i have gathered a set of regular customers simply because they know they can rely on my work, and trust the advice i give them to be sensible….. not a hard thing to do you would think…… but finding honest, competent tradesmen is becoming more like finding a needle in a haystack it seems…..

      i sometimes wonder how we ever got it together to create what was the most forward thinking social/economic structure in the western world when we keep electing people who exist simply to maintain the privileges of rank and titles…….must have been horrendous back in the thirties for the population to turn to real leadership…. even for a short time….

      • DH 12.2.1

        Yeah, that’s another issue. To begin with output would be similar because they’d be hiring an existing workforce as casual workers but as the experienced workers left the workforce you’d get a gradual deterioration in output. Contractors wouldn’t be keen on training people because that costs money which translates into a higher tender price. It would all end up as lowest common denominator stuff.

        Agree on the tradesmen angle. I never hire tradesmen unless they’re recommended by someone I know & trust. Was a time you could just pick them at random out of the yellow pages… not any more.

        • just saying 12.2.1.1

          I never hire tradesmen unless they’re recommended by someone I know & trust. Was a time you could just pick them at random out of the yellow pages… not any more.

          Talking about this a lot with friends lately.

          It extends to everything capitalism has to offer. I had a long term problem with my internet, made a gazillion calls to tech support, and was told to try the exact same things. Eventually I rang a trusted private techie who solved the problem immediately. When I told my teclo I was wrong, I was told that ‘technical support’ isn’t actually staffed by trained technicians, just people off the street who follow a script. My internet had been at dial-up speed and my phone had been playing up for months (turned out the wrong wire had been used by a contractor, in an upgrade at the pole).

          It keeps trust between people in the same communities low, and hostility high. Those poor untrained bastards must be yelled at hourly, by frustrated people who have already been waiting on hold for more than an hour. The only winners are the owners and shareholders

          • RedLogix 12.2.1.1.1

            Well as an organisation we learned long ago that by far the best value for money from contractors was to pick one or two and develop a long-term stable relationship with them.

            Takes some work and competency to get this relationship right… which is why the majority of lazy retards who call themselves employers in this country can’t manage it.

  13. burt 13

    It sounds like life in the early industrial revolution pre-unions.

    What emotive clap trap.

    It sounds like life in the world today… Sorry unions you don’t run the show anymore…. get over it.

    Adapt or be no more than a historic phase in the evolution of working life.

    • bbfloyd 13.1

      you really can’t be that stupid berty… can you? do you enjoy showing yourself up as an utter mediocrity with a petulant mindset?

      • burt 13.1.1

        Keep fighting to keep the POAL workers from accepting jobs bbfloyd. It’s something you might be good at.

  14. burt 14

    Listening to the rhetoric of the unions is actually quite depressing at the moment. POAL has done what it has done. Why is it now a battle to the death for the unions using the workers as pawns in their fight.

    The union should be helping the workers engage in individual contracts that serve the workers in the environment they now find themselves in…. If the union can’t provide any value in that role then there are plenty of other organisations that will.

    MUNZ could have been one of the workforce suppliers…. They could have made good money and been strong advocates for the workers… if they just accepted that their role had changed with the changes of the world.

    • lprent 14.1

      You’re implying a sense of good faith that was completely missing from the Ports of Auckland. When I see you advocating that the management crew at the port and the board and the bloody silly arseholes at the ACIL who put in the 12%, then I may listen to you.

      Perhaps you could point to a single instance where the ports management displayed good faith or even a willingness to negoitiate? After all every other point was agreed to last year.

      Until then I’d have to say that you’re just being a hypocrite.

      In fact just to give you an example of the issue. You have a couple of days to detail where the port conceded anything in the negotiations about the new agreement or I will lock you out permanently.

      If you find this action unacceptable and arbitrary, well so do the workers and unionists.

      • burt 14.1.1

        Yeah, a hypocrite would put the individuals ahead of the MUNZ… you astound me sometimes lprent…..

        It’s not about MUNZ & POAL … it’s about circa 300 jobs. These are people not chips in a poker game.

        [lprent: You now have 4 comments left. Oh gee I shifted the goal posts (twice). ]

      • burt 14.1.2

        In fact just to give you an example of the issue. You have a couple of days to detail where the port conceded anything in the negotiations about the new agreement or I will lock you out permanently.

        It’s your house lprent. Lock me out if you can’t take different opinions in your debate. Hell just go like NRT and get too piss weak to take any criticism of your views and turn all comment off.

        Don’t be a prat lprent. Locking me out is very much a tanty…. have a tanty if you must but one thing is sure… it makes you look like a baby.

        [lprent: What do you mean? I put a condition up for you to remain here and told you to comply with it. Exactly what you're saying that the dock workers should have done. You don't like the tactic huh? ]

      • burt 14.1.3

        You have a couple of days to detail where the port conceded anything in the negotiations about the new agreement or I will lock you out permanently.

        I’ll start by listing the concessions MUNZ made;

        *Start*

        *End*

        Oh shit – 300 people lost their job over one single issue that wasn’t in the best interests of the union.

        [lprent: That wasn't what I asked for. Just like when MUNZ put up several concessions about more flexible working and PoA didn't even bother to deal with them. 2 left. ]

      • burt 14.1.4

        If you find this action unacceptable and arbitrary, well so do the workers and unionists.

        You say POAL actions are unacceptable… yet you seem to want to follow them as an example on your own site.

        Delete this comment lprent and stop being a dork. You are better than this.

        [lprent: That is better. At least you're getting the point about what the PoA's tactics amounted to. 1 left. ]

      • burt 14.1.5

        lprent

        You’re implying a sense of good faith that was completely missing from the Ports of Auckland.

        It’s entirely possible that the port has played a textbook restructure process and achieved their goal.

        I don’t dispute that from the perspective of the workers that sucks.

        I do however contest that; If it’s been done with sufficient process to withstand an employment court hearing that MUNZ ( acting as proxy for circa 300 workers) also played that game to the end.

        If I accept that the workers mandated MUNZ to do that then I’m forced into assuming there are 300 people in Auckland who stand prepared to be out of work rather than change their employment arrangements.

        That astounds me!

        What astounds me more though is that they themselves will now fight each other over working or not working under the new terms.

        • lprent 14.1.5.1

          You mean not wanting to have a job where there are no significiant protections about terms of employment? Where the pay packet is dependent on having irregular hours at the beck and call of a idiotic pumped up dickhead with little or no experience in the task.

          They aren’t alone. I have taken two contracts since 1992. One terminated after a month as they failed to find a market for a prototype. The other still owes me $10k in unpaid invoices for no reason than they ran out of development money as they kept changing design.

          Like the corporate contacts I took in the early 90′s I didn’t get anything finished in those projects. They were completely unsatisfactory. And they placed unreasonable demands on my time where I was working very long hours and weekends because people couldn’t plan.

          If someone isn’t willing to provide decent employment conditions then I don’t want to work for them. In all likelihood they will turn out to be incompetent, not pay, and waste my time in never actually rolling out the project. Quite simply in my experience employers wanting casual contracts are mostly displaying that they really aren’t committed to the task and they have a really bad and self defeating attitude about people.

          • burt 14.1.5.1.1

            You mean not wanting to have a job where there are no significiant protections about terms of employment?

            That’s like saying I don’t want a fridge and pantry with enough food for two weeks – it must be stocked for the rest of my life or I’m going on a hunger strike – NOW!

            Sure we would all like to know that it’s safe and secure ‘forever’ – but is that a realistic expectation in the world right now ?

            • Kotahi Tane Huna 14.1.5.1.1.1

              “Sure we would all like to know that it’s safe and secure ‘forever’ – but is that a realistic expectation in the world right now?”

              No, but it’s utterly irrelevant to lprent’s comment, which made no such suggestion.

              Low intelligence really is a gateway condition for conservatism!

              • burt

                Kotahi Tane Huna

                The main portion of the comment from lprent was him lamenting his bad experiences with contracting. I’m a long term IT contractor, I could post pages of comments describing various contracts I have worked on and systems that have been delivered while engaged on those contracts but that’s just a pissing contest with lprent – that would get us nowhere.

                If you can’t see that that there is a strong element of cutting of your nose to spite your face (at the individual level) in this POAL v MUNZ fiasco then I think you have forgotten what people work for – to pay the bills and maintain lifestyle – not to further a broader ideological goal of their chosen masters…

                • lprent

                  Fine if you are content to be a useless corporate drone writing meaningless code that was there mostly to keep middle managers looking busy. Bloody useless if you want your code to be used.

                  My point that I never got anything done on contract. Being employed by small companies gets my code out and used amongst tens to hundred’s of thousands of people. I expect my code to be used, and to carry on being used for decades. I like being proud of my work.

                  Sure it is possible to have good IT contracts. But generally you just have to lower your expectations about what you want to achieve. To treat work as being a robot sock puppet controlled by middle managers working for a wage. In fact in short, exactly what you argue that everyone should do including wharfies.

                  Guess that is your life. It isn’t mine. I steer clear of anyone who does drone that way.

                  • RedLogix

                    Same experience myself. Contracted to my current employer for several years and got some isolated bits and bobs done, but not until I came on board was I able to design and drive major system-wide changes.

                    • lprent

                      Makes a hell of difference. I did a lot of contracting early on. But it was unsatisfactory because you did everything on a ineffectual short term basis. Couldn’t do any structural shifts.

                    • burt

                      RedLogix

                      Many times in the past you have eluded to key success factors in human endeavours being team work. A point that I don’t think I have ever argued with you.

                      My experience is that when participation in a team is primarily predicated on ideological concepts related to the technicality of employment status that effective teams are almost impossible to form.

                      I’ve battled many managers over simple issues like excluding contractors from team meetings. If the managers want effective teams then the first thing they need to do is put the organisational politics to one side and focus on what the teams are established to do. They are established to work together, to communicate and focus on outcomes – not bicker over who’s an employee and who’s a contractor and which is best.

                      Furthermore, in the concept of achieving real change (as a team might be formed to do) the people with the least motivation to be successful are the defenders of status quo. It’s seldom the contractors are these people – if they are then the organisation is truly rooted.

                  • burt

                    lprent

                    Without wanting to start another war;

                    Can you please think about this statement you made.

                    To treat work as being a robot sock puppet controlled by middle managers working for a wage.

                    This is pointing to the problem being the ‘wage workers’ (the non casual staff) being the issue, not the contract workers under them.

                    There is a lot to explore here, I’m not trying to wind you up.

            • lprent 14.1.5.1.1.2

              Nope. Existing employment law has notice periods and all those protections for workers and employers. None of them stop either employers getting rid of employees or employees getting rid of employers. You just have to follow the rules.

              The casual basis that the PoA is after holds protections only for the employers. There are no significiant protections for employees that cannot be abrogated at a moments notice. Like how much the employee will earn in a month or if they watch kids sport this weekend. Perfect environment for dickhead managers.

              Which is why PoA is about to find out that might is wrong. Screw them…

  15. burt 15

    And my 4th comment.

    It’s your call lprent. Ban me forever and I’ll stay away. I’ll respect it’s your site and your rules. See that’s what adults do.

    I can’t make the rules in your house… MUNZ should have noticed that as well.

    [lprent: And that is effectively a 'might is right' answer. I'm afraid that argument is exactly why I'm involved in politics. I don't like it. Now I suspect you're beginning to understand why the Ports of Auckland management and the ownership chain are now in my sights - including Maersk.

    I want the latter gone from NZ ports as being a corruption of the body politic. And I want to identify exactly who the management idiots were who decided that they'd arbitrarily push the union off site. They don't deserve to live here. They need targeting as being despicable arseholes for entering a negotiation where is was clear from the start that they weren't interested in negoitiating in good faith.

    The rules aren't set by P0A. They are set in the legislation. Complete with that good faith bargaining provision that I think the PoA violated.

    Oh and the example is now over. I think you figured out why I'm irritated with your comments earlier. You are welcome to comment, because I'm not the frigging PoA. ]

  16. Fortran 16

    A little patience is required for the next 2 years. I know its 28 months, but that is a short time to get really organised.
    The left with Labour in the lead will be the next Government. The Greens will support us, but we need to have them onside asap. We cannot get there without them though.
    Winston is already on board with little persuasion (a bauble or so will do).
    The Maori party will not exist.
    Mana will be one Hone.
    Then we can sort out such as the POAL (and many others) in a meaningful way.

    • Colonial Viper 16.1

      Fortran pretending to be one of us Left Wingers now?

    • are you going to continue the mistake made by goff..?

      ..that mistake that cost him the election..?

      ..dismiss harawira..?

      ..more fool you..eh..?

      ..if labour don’t come up with a realistic plan to help fix the shit that has been poured on the poorest by both them and national..

      ..harawira will mop that constituency up…

      ..he is the only one talking the policies labour should be talking..

      ..has that penny still not dropped for you..?

      ..phil-at-whoar.

  17. burt 17

    lprent

    So what’s the status. You locking me out forever or not ?

    [lprent: I thought I was clear in the note on the last comment after I got coffee and re-edited it (my first pass natural language whilst coding tends to be cryptic).

    But I'm not the PoA management. I don't make arbitrary decisions about other people then spend months ACTing like a hypocrite pretending I had not. I don't like the 'might makes right' argument you were using - fastest known way to destroy a productive community. I just used demonstrated to you the effects of applying that here.

    You're free to comment. ]

  18. Colonial Viper 18

    Many commercial pilots in the USA are on under US$30,000 pa: in fact there are many passenger liner pilots in the US who work part time jobs away from airports just to make ends meet.

    Yes the 747 pilots for the big airlines can be on good money but they are a small minority of the workforce.

    Pagani has no idea does she.

    • Bill 18.1

      Nope

    • Draco T Bastard 18.2

      Saw a doco that had US pilots on about US$19k/annum with around US$150k to US$200k student loans that they couldn’t afford to pay off. There are a lot more people who want to fly planes than there are planes in the sky and so rates are driven downward and, of course, they can’t afford another student loan to change careers.

  19. millsy 19

    Labour are just like the Black Caps. Just when you think they are going to turn a corner, they turn out to be completely and utterly useless.

    Truth be told, the Auckland Council should just flog off PoA ASAP.

    From where I am sitting, it seems that the one of the purposes of having things like ports in public ownership is to set high standards in wages and conditions for workers, if a publicly owned company is going to drive down wages and conditions then there is really no point to it being publicly owned is it?

    I find it fitting that one of the stevedoring contractors are AWF. I also note that their biggest period of growth was when Labour was in power, having people working insecure casual jobs for companies like AWF enabled them to make employment figures look good.

  20. Draco T Bastard 20

    I’m not against more flexible work hours. In fact I’m all for it but there needs to be some changes to the present employment rules that puts all the power in the hands of the employer:-

    1.) A Universal Income that prevents any body dropping into poverty.
    2.) Outlawing of labour hire firms. These are just ticket clippers that make life more complex and thus more costly while adding zilch to the community.
    3.) Mortgages to have a predetermined number of payments of a fixed amount. The amount paid would be the fixed amount or 20% of the home owners income, whichever is the lesser. This would apply to rents as well. No body should ever be in a position to lose their home if they didn’t have enough work that week due to circumstances beyond their control.
    4.) The employer pays for travel to and from the place of work. If someone is travelling for work for one person then it’s time that they’re not working for someone else and so that time needs to be paid for.

    • rosy 20.1

      Agree, Draco.

      I think one of the outcomes that has been forgotten in this debate is that reliance on WFF by port workers will probably increase. In effect this means the taxpayer will be subsidising another employer’s wages bill so families can make ends meet.

    • burt 20.2

      So you will agree to more flexible working hours if we completely overhaul the economic ground rules we live by. Yeah…. that’s a realistic approach to get on in a changing world.

      When you establish ‘Draco Land’ as a separate sovereign entity please let us all know, I’m sure I would enjoy living there.

      • Draco T Bastard 20.2.1

        The present ground rules aren’t working and never have so it seems that changing them is the best option.

  21. Draco T Bastard 21

    Pablo over at Kiwipolitico has a good write-up of what we’re seeing happening here in NZ ATM.

    • RedLogix 21.1

      Yes… worth a read. The last few paragraphs are interesting.

      Such a system has long been noticed and understood by the materialist school of class conflict. It is called the Asiatic Mode of Production, which relies on super-exploitation of human labor for accumulation gains. Given that New Zealand’s original market ideologues borrowed some of their policy prescriptions from the Chicago School of monetarist economics (later conceptually distorted in the word neoliberalism) as widely applied by capitalist authoritarians in the 1970s and 1980s, it seems that their heirs have borrowed from the Chinese or Singaporean models, which are also heavily reliant on authoritarian political and social controls. This shift in preferred macroeconomic models makes perfect sense when we consider the move, shared by both major parties, to focus NZ’s diplomatic and trade relations on Asia and the Middle East, where democratic “niceties” are in short supply and where capitalists are largely unencumbered by human rights, much less labor rights or worker’s substantive rights to a share of the benefits of production.

      Sadly I see this as pretty much our future; with only a small minority of New Zealanders who are either willing or able to resist it. Indeed there seem to be a whole bunch racing forward to embrace it.

  22. burt 22

    If I were the union…..

    Assumptions;

    1. Average of $90K year for port worker. (please it’s example only – lets not fight over it)

    2. Change is imminent and seemingly unstoppable.

    3. Work has a seasonal nature and fluctuates so assume 9 months of full employment over a 12 month period. (I’m assuming the port wants a more flexible workforce, so this assumption helps the worker when acknowledged as below…)

    Annual salary $90,000

    Plus 1/3 loading as it’s earner in 9 of 12 months. ( + 30,000 )
    Plus 15% holiday/sick entitlement ( + $13,500 )
    Plus annual training allowance ( ? $5,000 )
    Plus ‘agency costs’ for the contract worker. ($10,000 ~ $5/hour – would it be that low ?)
    Plus insurance and related expenses of being self employed ($10,000)

    Total; $158,500

    Now that’s got to be derived by working 2/3 of a full employment year so assume that 32 weeks working 40 hours. The hourly rate is ~ $120/hour. That’s the ballpark real cost to maintain status quo income, hours, training, etc.

    Why haven’t the union offered a workforce to be scheduled against a more flexible roster with that as a going rate for trained and workplace certified workers ? People who slog out more hours will be humming and people who want to work only 6 months of the year will still be on an effective $60/k year.

    It will be interesting to see how the figures finally land in the hands of the individuals.

    • McFlock 22.1

      More idiotic than normal.
         
      The $90k propoganda figure included holiday pay, training allowance, etc. And insurance is a cost to be subtracted, not added. And the port wanted to break the union, so why would it enter into contracts with them or unionised workers?
           
      Waste of time.

      • burt 22.1.1

        sprout: comment deleted. with nearly 25% of the comments on this post at time of writing coming from you, you’ve wasted enough space on this thread. i am much less reasonable when moderating my posts than lprent.

        • burt 22.1.1.1

          Dear sprout

          Have enough other people posted comments now ? Have you calmed down sufficiently to cope with me responding to other posters ?

          (rather than in response to lprent’s request for multiple comments)

          sprout: i’m prefectly calm thanks burt and yes, you’ve given it a bit of a rest so go ahead. unless you want to be an arsehole in which case i’m happy to ban you. your call.

          • burt 22.1.1.1.1

            sprout

            I’m not trying to be an arsehole, but it seems that being objective about the situation as it sits here and now is somewhat inflaming people with strong ideological opinions of how it should be.

  23. Hateatea 23

    Ask all the shopworkers who would like to work full time and are only offered part time hours what they feel about casualisation, Josie.

    It is a much different thing for professionals to work flexibly than it is for minimum wage workers and it is time some of our politicos came and spent a few months at the flaxroots instead of the world of privilege that they occupy.

    • RedLogix 23.1

      It is a much different thing for professionals to work flexibly

      That’s because most of them belong to very powerful unions like the Bar or Medical Associations….

      • Hateatea 23.1.1

        ‘That’s because most of them belong to very powerful unions like the Bar or Medical Associations’

        Too true :-)

  24. QoT 24

    Got to add, I’m also very happy to see Darien Fenton on Pagani’s FB putting her straight.

  25. Georgecom 25

    Three comments.

    First there has been some attack on Labour Party thinking and exactly where it lies in the wake of Paganis comments. Fortunately some of Labours policies are more articulate. I enjoyed hearing some of the things David Cunliffe was espousing before the last election. They were a good start on creating an actual alternative to the exhausted thinking we currently have in power.

    Second, a good comment was made above regarding the difference between flexibility and casualisation. There are many sorts of flexibilities. Digital technology allows for flexibility of working and leisure in new settings and new ways. Thats beneficial flexibility when used correctly.

    What POA (and talleys in the meatworks for that matter) are trying to ram through isn’t that sort of flexibility. Its class battle type flexibility. Its bending the world or making the world bend to the neo-liberal narrative of competition and market confidence. Its bending the workforce of these particular enterprises to fit in with the neo-liberal mode of capital accumulation. Never mind that POA are publicly owned. It is playing the global neo-liberal capital tune and expecting the workforce to dance along.

    The flexibilities that are tacitly tied in with Paganis statements about being a working mum include important human rights. I’d think of flexible work hours for working parents as an example. Yes, important and yes, human rights. But, I am not at all certain they are a counter to the neo-liberal discourse. Seems to me the flexibilities we need to be talking about here are ones which cut the ties between the discourse of the necessity to work, on capitals terms, and social inclusion. Something that does not reduce work to a simple market transaction heavily weighted in the favour of global capital. Where peoples basic security of income is secured outside of the labour market and they have some choices regarding work, whether to or not, how much and where they work. Something toward the opposite end of the spectrum than Pauls Bennetts workfare of delivering cheap ‘work ready’ units of production. Something along the lines of a universal basic income like Gareth Morgan is espousing.

    Finally, as for some of the (seeming) apologists for neo-liberalism, like Burt. Wake up. Neo-liberalism has failed to meet its economic, social and environmental obligations.

    • burt 25.1

      Georgecom

      You seem to have missed that I’m not fawning for any particular ideology. I’m not pretending the bigger picture has to be one way or another. I’m not finding case studies that match my world view and throwing my toys out when others disagree with the one and only way I insist it must be.

      I’m looking at it from the perspective of circa 300 people who have apparently chosen to walk away from a job rather than have the working conditions changed.

      Sure POAL could be described as; “playing the global neo-liberal capital tune and expecting the workforce to dance along.”

      But you could also equally describe the union as; “playing the global socialist tune and expecting the employer to dance along.”

      But that ‘classification’ to one side; It takes two parties to create a complete breakdown in negotiations. This key issue (both parties are belligerent) seems to be forgotten by the angry commentators to blinded by their own ideology and their insistence that their way is right and must not change.

      • locus 25.1.1

        “Two parties required to create a breakdown in negotiations” What an astute observation.

        The ‘key issue’ is NOT two parties to create a complete breakdown in negotiation The key issue is that the POA intended right from the outset of negotiations to break the union and casualise the workforce. This view is not the view of “angry commentators blinded by their own ideology….” but is the view of more and more people across the political spectrum. Even Metro magazine has pointed this out

        • Kotahi Tane Huna 25.1.1.1

          locus, you are being mean – you know how facts upset RWNJs, but there you go, rudely displaying them with no regard for poor burt’s feelings. Shame on you ;)

          • burt 25.1.1.1.1

            Yeah, I’m being so irrational calling everyone names and tying to poke them into pigeon holes that comply with my world view…. yeah I’m so emotional about this compared to others….

        • burt 25.1.1.2

          locus

          IF POAL has played the restructure in a textbook employment law fashion then MUNZ were negligent with regard to the best interests of the port workers – they were serving their bigger ideology goal of unionism.

          That makes the workers pawns in an ideological battle, possibly willing pawns – but still pawns.

          • Kotahi Tane Huna 25.1.1.2.1

            …and if POAL has played the restructure in a typical arrogant low-life fashion your whole comment falls over.

            • burt 25.1.1.2.1.1

              No argument, and if an employment court tips them out then fine… so be it.

              I’m sorry my perspective is that the players need to operate under the laws of the land – not the goals of their ideology.

              • Kotahi Tane Huna

                Well there’s your problem – what sort of fool employer/employee relies on the “laws of the land” every time they have an issue?

                Minimum wage is “the law of the land” – many employers have stated they would feel ashamed to insult their workers with it. Ninety day fire-at-will is the “law of the land” and only a fool would take advantage of it.
                Personal grievances are the “law of the land” but employees who pursue them find it hurts their future prospects.

                Fair wages and conditions are not an “ideology”. Do you think that making a strong argument consists of simply changing the meaning of words to suit yourself?

                • burt

                  We vote for political parties to manage the laws of the land… unfortunately outside of that we are bound to live with them – it’s the cost of having a democracy. The tyranny of the majority.

                  what sort of fool employer/employee relies on the “laws of the land” every time they have an issue?

                  Well… every single one of them that produces or signs an employment contract – which is mandated as necessary.

                  You seem to want the world your way…. well so does everyone else. It is like it is now because of the silly old thing we call ‘democracy’ – live with it or fuck off – it’s not my fault – I’m just the messenger of reason here.

                  • Kotahi Tane Huna

                    What a surprise, you don’t understand my point.

                    Intelligent people resolve disputes without recourse to lawyers.

                    • burt

                      Intelligent people resolve disputes without recourse to lawyers.

                      Yes I also thought that Labour party employment legislation that created a boom for employment lawyers was a bit silly.

                    • Kotahi Tane Huna

                      Yes I also thought that you would find yourself unable to concede the point, and would introduce a puerile irrelevance instead.

                    • burt

                      Kotahi Tane Huna

                      Well what other response is there to a simple statement like;

                      Intelligent people resolve disputes without recourse to lawyers.

                      If that statement were true then either the world is full of stupid people (in which case deal with the fact I’m one of them) or shit just isn’t as simple as you want it to be. In which case you are also one of the stupid people and I are myself dealing with that without denigrating you.

                      I don’t think you need to attack me… but enjoy it if that is all you can do given your perception that lawyers are for stupid people while also bagging POAL for not following due legal process and crowing about how MUNZ are legally in the right re: good faith bargaining…

                      Keep pointing me at legislation and telling me lawyers are for idiots… You rock.

                    • Kotahi Tane Huna

                      OK, I rephrase: it is preferable to resolve disputes without recourse to the courts, as any lawyer will affirm.

                • burt

                  Fair wages and conditions are not an “ideology”. Do you think that making a strong argument consists of simply changing the meaning of words to suit yourself?

                  I’m not the one ignoring employment law…. come on Kotahi Tane Huna, it’s not about me.

                  • Kotahi Tane Huna

                    The only people ignoring employment law – which requires good faith bargaining – are POAL. I look forward to your demanding that they “live with it or fuck off.”

                    • burt

                      The process as ‘valid’ in the legislation is the key here, not your or my perception of good faith.

                      Good faith is a notion, it is demonstrated by following process. I’m sorry I can’t re-write the employment law myself to give it a stronger focus over and above the reliance on due process. I really would like to have that control but I don’t.

                    • Kotahi Tane Huna

                      There’s nothing notional about it. Is it too much to ask that you perform simple kindergarten tasks like fact checking before you press the “submit comment” button? Stupid question: fact checking is the last thing you can afford.

                    • burt

                      Kotahi Tane Huna

                      Perhaps you can battle this out with lprent. He just posted this;

                      Emphasis added….

                      Nope. Existing employment law has notice periods and all those protections for workers and employers. None of them stop either employers getting rid of employees or employees getting rid of employers. You just have to follow the rules.

                    • RedLogix

                      Entering a collective negotiation round while at the same time openly talking about contracting out and inviting expressions of interest from prospective contractors… is NOT good faith.

                      Black and white burt.

                    • Kotahi Tane Huna

                      No, Burt, the law of the land requires good faith negotiations, which are clearly defined. Why don’t you learn to live with it or fuck off?

                    • burt

                      RedLogix

                      Black and white burt.

                      Then the expectation is that an employment court will find in favour of MUNZ ?

                      On one level I hope you are absolutely correct, that it is as simple as that and the “play by numbers” nature of employment legislation is not the overriding factor here.

                      On another level, I think that if circa 300 workers want to take on a company, knowing the risks and the worst case scenarios, then it’s not my place to demand they get their way (or not).

                      I wish them well in their fight, I seriously do. It takes a brave person to risk their livelihood on principles.

                  • Kotahi Tane Huna

                    On another level, I think that if Burt wants to take on a strawman position and make shit up so that he can refute it to himself and give himself a big pat on the back, who am I to stand in the way?

      • Georgecom 25.1.2

        Burt. Your statement about a “global socialist tune’ is off the mark. The neo-liberal discourse IS the dominant global economic blueprint. It is the embeded hegemonic orthodoxy. There is no dominant socialist narrative. So no, its not like for like.

        As for 2 parties; the union has made concessions to POAL for increased flexibility in work practices and rosters. POA acknowledged they went a long way to meeting POA demands.

        So, the correct position from here is for POA to cancel plans for any job losses and head back into good faith negotiations to settle a collective agreement with what each party places on the table. I would imagine that a constructive stance from POA will see MUNZ doing the same.

        • burt 25.1.2.1

          Georgecom

          I think your position here is helping your argument even less. You seem to be saying that the unions are swimming against the tide and expecting to change the world….

          That’s not the case at all. If anything the unions have had their hay-day, they have historically called the shots and have had long periods where their existence was assured by legislated compulsory unionism.

          I’m struggling to see how you can reconcile the past with the present, how you can say neo-liberal discourse IS the dominant global economic blueprint and at the same time defend the unions standing their ‘historic’ ground. Standing on their historic ground and in doing so putting 300 people out of work.

          • locus 25.1.2.1.1

            You still haven’t read the Metro article have you …. or was it too ideological for you to see that the ‘modern’ world does not tolerate employers who believe they have a right to take a ‘scorched earth’ approach to industrial relations.

            Here’s what Wilson had to say about POAL using language I think you may understand: 19th century attitudes of employers to industrial relations have had their heyday, they historically called the shots and their existence was assured by lack of employment law.

          • Georgecom 25.1.2.1.2

            Burt, the reason that you state “I think your position here is helping your argument even less” is because you are misconstruing what I have written.

            Neo-liberalism IS the dominant global hegemonic discourse. The neo-liberal blueprint is the orthodoxy in country after country. There is no alternative ‘ism’ at this point, although there is a crying need for one.

            The MUNZ union is attempting to blunt at least some of the pointy neo-liberal stick poking them.

            The statement about standing their ‘historic ground’ are your words, not mine. I have no trouble understandng the nature of the present POA dispute. I suggest your framing of things as ‘historic ground’, ‘past and present’ is one reason you are having trouble with your understanding. The Neo-liberal project is contemporary, its impact on working people is current.

            The group attempting to put people out of work is POA.

            Its not a complicated chain of events dude.

  26. adam 26

    Think IMF, WTO, WB, ‘neo-liberalism’,’transmission belts’ ‘deregulation’, ‘trans national capitalist class’ (TNCC) Trans-national state (TNS).Global circuits of accumulation (globalised free trade) instead of national circuits of accumulation (keynesism).
    The inter-relatedness of the above keep us locked into a system that is playing through and putting us back to where we began (which is huge social and economic inequity) except now with added environmental problems and population explosions.
    I’m sick of Labour’s ‘Softly Softly’ approach to labour relations. Helen Clark has failed the labour movement (she had 9 years to get it right for god sake). What in hell is the use of having an Employment Relations Act with no legally binding decision making process factored in???????? and Len Brown and David Shearer are just corporate lackey’s getting their dosh, and talking the talk and playing the same game all over again. (Bring on Andrew Little BEFORE it’s too late!
    It’s time to see who is prepared to take serious legislative action, or failing that, revolution and all that that entails. 

  27. Tenfoot Bella 27

    I would just like to share with you my recollection of ‘casualised ‘ employment. My father was a merchant seaman in the 1960′s. He was paid only when he was on board ship, when he returned home he had to line up for the next ship and during that time was not paiD.
    One of the results of this that even as a returned service man he was not considered eligible for a mortgage from State Advances – as his income was too uncertain!
    As a strong unionist he would also find he was not hired on some vessels.
    He also had to sue his employer when he was injured in a storm – but that’s another story.

    Talk about back to the future.

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