A quick note on the Hobbit and labour stability

Written By: - Date published: 8:07 am, October 22nd, 2010 - 83 comments
Categories: employment - Tags:

I mentioned this in an earlier post but I think it’s worth repeating:

If Peter Jackson needs stable industrial relations on the Hobbit all he needs to do is employ his workers as employees (probably a mix of full-time, fixed-term and casual). Preferably on a collective agreement.

Under NZ law it is illegal to take industrial action during the term of an employment agreement and there are serious penalties for taking illegal industrial action for both the union and the workers (such as having to pay the costs incurred by the action which would not be small beer on a massive film production).

I doubt the actors would mind having the protections of employment law (such as sick-leave and holiday pay) either.

And any worker that wanted to be a contractor could still be one.

That was an option right from the start and it would provide stability and protection for both parties under our very stable and certain employment law. I’d love to know why the producers haven’t chosen to go this way if labour stability is the most important factor in the Hobbit staying here.

83 comments on “A quick note on the Hobbit and labour stability”

  1. lprent 1

    I suspect it is because they’re having problems getting the tax breaks they’d like. So they’re using an anti- union line to curry favor with an anti- union government. It simply doesn’t make sense any other way

    • ZeeBop 1.1

      Why are contractors cheaper if they are paid more? Because they take on the risks not the employer.
      What’s I suppose is not surprising since the business elites keep telling each other lies, is the business
      leaders don’t understand their business, that employees are an asset and understanding an asset is
      even more essential in these growing unstable economic times.
      Contractors on the first LoR movies could borrow on credit cards, could look at rising homeprices
      to justify taking on the extra risk of working for Peter Jackson.
      Now this is no longer the case, the economy cannot lean over as far as it did to support movies,
      or rather the citizens who work on the movie can’t.
      So I don’t know what reality the media, politicians and business elites are living in but they really
      should get out of their lofty towers!
      If not the Hobbit, then some other industry, the trend for employees demanding better conditions
      at work because the right have run the world economy into the fall is going to continue, you broke
      it Mr Rightwing you live with the consequences.
      Now we could be smart like Germany, Japan, and get better worker-employer relations that
      don’t peddle dirty laundry in public, but that would mean having laws which allow for negoiatiation.
      Brownlow says National will move to clarify the law, so its clear unions don’t have the ability
      to sit down and talk behind closed doors, LOL, yeah, that will solve matters.
      The movies will be made int he countries that move first and can solve the present crisis of
      contracters taking on risks that formerly they could afford to take.

      • pollywog 1.1.1

        I was offered the chance to become an employee on the local councils books or invoice plus gst when first contacted to provide services for some art festival work months ago.

        at the last minute and days before the festival started, the offer to become an employee was rescinded… why ???

        because of all the inductions and admin paperwork needed to cover their arse to employ me that would have seen them pay me, and probabaly a lot of others if i’d set aprecedent, for a weeks wages to do nothing but sit around twiddling thumbs.

        Arts ventures/events run on tight budgets, based on ‘bums on seats’, no matter if its a few thousand or half a billion. There really is not much fat to be trimmed cos everything is a risk and there are alot of hidden variables, like the weather for instance that can affect ticket sales and a decent turnout.

        The only thing i got written into my contract was they cover and manage the risk on their liability insurance in case something really bad happened resulting in injury or worse. Sure, i’ll take every step to ensure shit goes to plan but if it hits the fan, ain’t no way they’re hangin my arse out to dry, even if am a contractor.

        So do i think i deserve a performance based bonus if the gig turns a profit ?…not really, cos i’m getting paid what i agreed to no matter what, even if the gig fails.

        Should i have tried to get a bonus written into my contract beforehand…yeah right. How do you think that would have gone down ?

  2. Anthony C 2

    Haha and it has begun.

    John Key now needs to ‘look at’ labour laws because Warners are ‘worried’ about them.

    How predictable.

  3. Carol 3

    Helen Kelly was just on Nat Rad. She doesn’t understand Key/Brownlee’s propoasl to change employment law. She says that the issue is resolved so the law doesn’t need to be changed. And she doesn’t see that the proposed changes are relevant to the situation, and would just worsen the situation for actors.

    • Bunji 3.1

      As someone who has in the past been employed as a ‘contractor’ when clearly an employee, the last thing those laws need is loosening!
      Employers can (and are) already taking advantage of such laws to avoid worker rights to such things as sick days & sick pay, holidays (stats and annual leave), ACC & kiwisaver payments etc etc. Those laws need tightening, not loosening. The 3 foot 6 contractor who won his case to be an employee… it was because he was an employee. You might as well rip up all worker rights and minimum standards if you’re going to loosen those laws further. Which I’m sure National would be pleased to do…

  4. What I am really interested in is what say Jackson has in the location for the film. He is in some sort of partnership with Warner, he must have some sort of say in where the film is located.

    And Weta digital must be doing the processing work no matter what.

    Is this a giant beat up or what?

    • Bunji 4.1

      Weta Digital will still be doing the digital processing, so a huge chunk of the money will still be coming here. But the emotional tie of seeing NZ scenery on screen is a big pull for a lot of NZers…

      But as Robyn Malcolm said, the amount of money they’re talking about is about the same as the coffee budget, so it does reek of a beat up to get more subsidies from the government… And it’s working well for Warners, they appear to have NZ over a barrel and not be taking any of the blame.

    • Crashcart 4.2

      He is the producer. They are the Money. He can say to them “I want to make this movie in NZ”. They can say “go ahead but it do it with someone elses money”. Not really a 50/50 split in the end.

    • Gosman 4.4

      So Mickysavage, still sticking to the line that Helen Kelly deserves an apology for being called a liar?

      “The statement said reports the union boycott was lifted a number of days ago, and that Warners was asked to delay this announcement, were false.”

      Hmmmm…. as far as I can tell that is pretty much Warner Bros calling Helen Kelly a liar.

      So now we have Warner Bros, Peter Jackson, Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens, and Gerry Brownlee calling Helen a liar.

      Whose backing her again? Where’s the Labour party on this one?

      • Pascal's bookie 4.4.1

        Err, they are denying a claim that’s not being made by Kelly.

        Note they say ‘reports’. Which reports? Some reports that “Warners was asked to delay this announcement”.

        Kelly said in a comment at PAS that she has emails that Russel could look at (they are not for publication) saying that Warners wanted to work on a media release strategy. So who is claiming that Warners were asked to delay the announcement?

        Looks to me like there is plenty of blame to go around, much confusion, and plenty more oppurtunism. The business oppurtunism, from both sides, is to be expected, the political opurtunism is very unhelpful. Particularly to my friends and neighbours.

        Fact is, there have been many fuckups from many people. That’s to be expected when passionate people get scared. Shame no one stepped up the plate with some leadership to take some of the heat out of the things before the eleventh hour. But here we are, with the PM saying laws can be changed so Warners shouldn’t have anything to fear on that front, while English is quoted in the DomPost saying the same laws needn’t be changed. Like I said, fuckups all round and lot’s of people need to get their shit together.

      • mickysavage 4.4.2

        “The statement said reports the union boycott was lifted a number of days ago, and that Warners was asked to delay this announcement, were false.”

        Hmmmm…. as far as I can tell that is pretty much Warner Bros calling Helen Kelly a liar.

        And check out Radio New Zealand. The emails have been released showing that Warner was told last weekend the blacklist would be lifted.

        Better start practising that apology Gman.

  5. Anthony C 5

    Bah, I’m throwing my chips in with Gordon Campbell and saying it’s in the bag for NZ, my indicator is that John Key and his advisors are so PR smart that they would never risk him getting his hands dirty if there was a chance of things going bad – he’d leave it for English to handle if it was.

    • Carol 5.1

      And now Warners in coming out and making a statement against the NZ unions. It’s clearly using NZ as an example to movie unions everywhere. Key must be SOOOO pleased that he and Warners are on the same union-bashing page.

      I have always been a little wary of the implications of making Hollywood movies in NZ. But, so far it has been a matter of the implicit US & Hollywood values in Jackson’s blockbusters. Now it seems we have the US studio corporate approach to industrial relations being visited upon us. So I am beginning to wonder, is it worth it? We should be looking to a whole new approach to movie making. There are other potential partner countries out there, with values I’d be more comofrtable with.

      Warners, get offa my island!”

      • Colonial Viper 5.1.1

        Time to step up and say that it is not OK for foreign corporates to be blackmailing NZ workers.

  6. Gosman 6

    Seems Helen Kelly is a lying Unionist.

    Warner Bros has just released a statement that the Blacklist was only removed last night and that they weren’t sitting on the media release for this as she claimed yesterday.

    I wonder if Helen Kelly will get public backing from any member of the Labour Party.

    • Carol 6.1

      Why do you assume kelly is lying? Warners seems to have been duplicitous, IMO.

      • Gosman 6.1.1

        Sure, and so are Peter Jackson, Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens, Richard Taylor, and members of the National led Government.

        But these are evil capitalists so of course THEY lie. Whereas Helen Kelly is a saintly Unionist who can’t lie because it isn’t in her DNA.

        Perhaps Helen Kelly could sue Warner Bros for besmirching her reputation.

        • Colonial Viper 6.1.1.1

          Gosman, they are evil capitalists, and yes they lie.

          BP, Enron, Merck, even Peter Jackson had to call in the hot shot legal team to get his monies worth from a studio.

          What are you, naive?

    • Joe Bloggs 6.2

      Right on Comrade Gosman!

      Simon Whipp – hater and wrecker

      MEAA – haters and wreckers

      AE – haters and wreckers

      CTU and Helen Kelly – liars, haters and wreckers

      The workers – stabbed in the back by their own union

      Where is Simon Whipp by the way? Why isn’t he fronting up?

      • Colonial Viper 6.2.1

        Bloggs

        Jackson and the US corporates are blackmailing the entire country and you are backing them against NZ workers trying to get minimum terms and conditions.

        Shame on you.

    • Gosman you should get a job. You must have well and truly broken the Standard record for posts in 24 hours.

      I did not see your righteous indignation when this Government decided to pay out $1.7b of our money to South Centerbury Finance.

      But offered the chance to do a bit of union bashing and you are in there boots and all.

      Actors Equity is a tiny union trying to improve the plight of its workers. That is what unions do.

      Helen Kelly has been dragged into this at the last minute and is trying to give AE a bit of support.

      If this much effort went into the actual negotiations this would have been resolved weeks ago.

      • Gosman 6.3.1

        Backing away from your support of Helen Kelly now I see Mickysavage. Very wise move.

        • Anthony C 6.3.1.1

          Helen Kelly has the emails, pretty sure she’s already offered Russell Brown the chance to view them…

        • mickysavage 6.3.1.2

          No I am not backing away from supporting Helen Kelly.

          I think that Helen performs admirably.

          The trouble is you RWNJs are whipping up a bit of hysteria without actually analysing the situation.

          Contractual negotiations happen all the time. Normally there is a bit of give and take and some sort of meeting in the middle happens.

          Suppliers of goods and services naturally have the power to say that unless their price is met they will not agree.

          Workers should also have this power but as soon as they threaten to withhold their labour the sky starts to fall in.

          This hysteria you are trying to whip up reminds me of the hysteria about communism that we had to endure 30 years ago.

    • sdm 6.4

      When in a hole, one should stop digging.

      So Gosman, am I right in thinking

      1) Warners cant negotiate with the union, as individual contractors cant have collective representation
      2) There is now a divorce between what the workers want, and the union delegates
      3) The tax break line is just union spin, not supported by any facts
      4) Productions was underway/money had been spent on sets etc, and it was only when the union stopped playing ball that the brakes were applied

    • William 6.5

      And in the midday news RNZ are reporting that their reporter has been shown the emails concerned, and Warner Brothers were certainly aware of the lifting of the ban last weekend, just as Helen Kelly has claimed.

  7. Gosman 7

    Where is the Labour party on the issue of Helen Kelly’s performance on this one?

    Posts asking this question on Red Alert get deleted without explanation.

    What is the Labour Party trying to run from?

    • sdm 7.1

      The Labour party and the union movement are so interlinked that Labour knows the public backlash will be so horrific if we lose the film that it will hurt them badly.

      • Gosman 7.1.1

        Hey sdm,

        Are you the same sdm that posts occasionally on Tumeke and has some interesting discussions with Mr Bradbury (when I say interesting I mean your posts are interesting whereas his are just rants)?

        • sdm 7.1.1.1

          That would be me yes…but that has become a bit of a bore…..

          • Gosman 7.1.1.1.1

            Yes arguments there tend to be a bit repetitive. I’m banned from posting on any of his threads anyway. Seems he doesn’t like my style. However I know his feloow blogger Phoebe and can sneak in a couple of comments on her posts so long as I don’t threaten his ego too much.

    • lprent 7.2

      In my recollection Labour usually doesn’t comment much on industrial disputes as a party (as a government they sometimes do). This gets castigation from all sides, the left, unionists, employers, and the right. But having the political parties involved in industrial action is tantamount to adding gasoline to a lighted match.

      Even the famously anti-union National party is usually pretty circumspect. They too have castigation from all sides.

      Why are you wanting to change a long-standing convention? And for what reason do you want to change it? I have to say that you seem to almost epitomize a short-term thinker when it comes to politics. Eternally reactive and operating without thought.

      • Gosman 7.2.1

        Ummmmm…. they seemed quite keen to jump on the ‘Fairness at work’ campaign that the CTU is organising though.

        I’d suggest it is not correct to claim they don’t involve themselves with industrial disputes when they are in opposition.

        • lprent 7.2.1.1

          There is a quite a strong political difference between getting involved with a general trade unionism political effort like the “fairness at work” campaign, and getting involved in the minutiae of a current industrial dispute.

          You were wanting them to get involved in an actual industrial dispute where interference by political parties is likely to escalate the dispute far beyond its basic scope…. But as I’ve said, you don’t seem to distinguish such subtle distinctions.

      • Joe Bloggs 7.2.2

        That’s an astute observation, Lynn, at least on the surface…

        But there’s another, deeper reason behind the Labour Party silence.

        This issue with The Hobbit is not just a bit of crudely managed sabotage by an Aussie interloper; it’s the latest round in a fight between Phil Goff and Andrew Little/Helen Kelly for domination of the ideological left.

        This nasty little struggle has been brewing for the past year as Little/Kelly have become more frustrated at the lack of effective leadership from Goff. That’s been a key catalyst behind the recent increase in militancy amongst teachers and radiographers, Housing NZ, ACC – the unions flexing a bit of muscle in the leadership vaccuum on the political wing of the Labour movement, posturing to the workers amidst the painful recovery from one of the worst recessions ever experienced in the NZ economy.

        However this is unravelling for the unionists with increasing public condemnation of their bully-boy tactics.

        If striking teachers were as passionate about the success of their students as they are about the success of their pay increase claims then they wouldn’t be striking just as students prepare for the end of year exams.

        If a small minority of actors were as passionate about their industry as they are about lining their own pockets then they would never have condoned the action against the Hobbit.

        Unfortunately when teachers and actors step outside of their professions into the union’s playground, they become easy prey for the likes of Little and Kelly; malleable putty to be molded and manipulated. In both cases, to be used as brute muscle in an effort to build the kudos and mana of Little and Kelly.

        Why endanger the livelihoods of thousands of the workers they represent? Why screw an entire creative industry that’s put NZ on the map?

        Well if it works then Goff’s a goner and the unionists take centre stage.

        Unfortunately that house of cards is coming tumbling down around Kelly’s ears right now as the folly of backing the MEAA boycott becomes more eveident.

        The spin-off from public loathing for the poor AE members who were so ill-treated by their own unions will end up being aimed at the teachers as well.

        Those are serious nails in both Little’s and Kelly’s coffins and that’s why Goff’s out shaking hands with Shrek or driving round the back blocks of Canterbury or wherever the fuck he’s hiding.

        Do nothing and let Little/Kelly sink themselves in the quicksand of public odium. Good move Phil!

        • mickysavage 7.2.2.1

          This issue with The Hobbit is not just a bit of crudely managed sabotage by an Aussie interloper; it’s the latest round in a fight between Phil Goff and Andrew Little/Helen Kelly for domination of the ideological left.

          Hahahahahahaha

          This is about as reality based as the Hobbit itself.

          • Joe Bloggs 7.2.2.1.1

            well of course working on the fringe as you do, Greg, you wouldn’t have seen the signs….

        • lprent 7.2.2.2

          I think that you’re vastly over-rating the influence of Labour on the formation of industrial disputes.

          Wages or lack thereof drives industrial disputes far more than any other factors, because that is what drives the support for the disputes from union members. It has far more to do with the government wanting to hold wage increases in their budget down below the CPI. Which is why most of these disputes are coming from government paid areas because an ideologue, Bill English, is trying to hold the wages purse closed.

        • KJT 7.2.2.3

          And the extension of the dispute to this term had nothing to do with the Government calling Teachers back to the table for an offer and then making a derisory one??

          Same as rail ferry management always kept things going and then dumped on the negotiations just before school holidays.

          Management dirty tactics school 101.

  8. Jum 8

    It is time for New Zealanders to stand up and say this is our country, Australia and America. We have unions here because they protect workers’ (and unemployed I might add) rights. We need to all stand behind a simple request. “We would like to discuss our terms and conditions”. So much for the rights of individuals under this autocratic fascist pondscum of a government.

    • Joe Bloggs 8.1

      Earth to Jum, Earth to Jum, Jackson is not running a chain of Nike sweatshops paying 9 year old girls $1 a day to stitch shoes together. He’s built an industry with his efforts and the unions are tearing it down for essentially selfish reasons.

      • Colonial Viper 8.1.1

        Jackson isn’t the hero here. He’s a turncoat just like Saruman, he’s backing the big money not the actors who helped make him a success, and he is doing it to extract more money out of the NZ taxpayer.

        Selfishness? Frame up a picture of Warner and Jackson hand in hand.

        NZ workers are worth a few hundred thousand dollars more on a production worth over $500M.

      • Jum 8.1.2

        Jackson was only ever working on his own behalf. Clark and Labour went out of their way to mainstream film here. Mallard kept an active eye on events across the great cultural divide to America. This pondscum of a government did not bother to keep a weather eye on America because they did not care about New Zealand’s access to decent workers’ rights. What stupid people NZers are that they can’t see that this is a giant con job by American wealth and NZ wealth to destroy unions in NZ.

  9. Carol 9

    A pretty full statement was posted by Helen Kelly here on Hard News blog:

    http://publicaddress.net/system/topic,2769,hard-news-anatomy-of-a-shambles.sm?i=120#forum-replies
    Posted at 3:15PM on 21 Oct 10.
    Extracts:

    On the boycott/bombshell. Equity has tried with a number of production companies to negotiate the terms and conditions for performers. They have all resisted with extrememly agressive responses. Tried to talk to the Hobbit as well. Turns out the Hobbit was no different except we had an amazing display of international solidarity – performers around the world that enjoy union representation and negotiations (Warners are in a 6 week negotiation with SAG as we speak), extended their solidarity to NZ performers to enjoy the same. Those foreign actors contracted to the Hobbit will be on union negotiated contracts and will be union members – luxury!…

    Apparently the banners “lift the boycott” were ready and printed for the impromptu protest last night. Some addressing the meeting new the boycott had been lifted. I have emails from Warners dated Monday I can show you if you would like to come and see them (they are confidential – but I can show you in person).

    Damaged the union movement – only if people like you dont check your facts.

    Helen

    There’s also a post on the same page, from Graham Dunster (agent for many Auckland actors, including some stars):

    Extract:

    And what about The Hobbit?

    For a variety of reasons the board of NZ Equity decided in a telephone conference over the weekend to recommend that overseas performer unions remove any form of advice to their members not to work on The Hobbit.

    This resolution was conveyed to Warner Bros via the Screen Actors Guild. At the request of parties in the USA this decision was not made public. It had been hoped an agreed media strategy could occur.

    NZ Equity, at the time, provided a copy of the release it proposed to make to the media. This was provided via Warner Bros to the production and at the production’s request the union yesterday agreed to change the language the union had proposed to include in the release.

    NZ Equity had agreed not to release the information to the public until all parties were ready to do so.

    However, in light of last night’s developments in Wellington, we thought it prudent that this information be made known as a matter of urgency.

    On page 8 of the discussion Graham, says in practice actors on independent contracts are only partly treated as independent contractors, but also get treated as employees eg for claiming work expenses.

    • Gosman 9.1

      Warner Bros has disputed Helen Kelly’s recollection of the ban lifting. In fact they claimed it was false i.e. She was telling untruths (whether knowingly or unknowingly).

      • Pascal's bookie 9.1.1

        Scroll up. They dispute claims that they were asked to delay the release, which is not the claim Kelly is making.

  10. duh 10

    “”While we have been attempting to receive an unconditional retraction of the improper ‘Do Not Work Orders’ for almost a month, NZ Equity/MEAA continued to demand, as a condition of the retractions, that we participate in union negotiations with the independent contractor performers, which negotiations are illegal in the opinion of the New Zealand Attorney General.

    “We have refused to do so, and will continue to refuse to do so.”

    So the unions are DEMANDING that Warners do something ILLEGAL.

    But Im sure you all know better than the AG.

  11. James 11

    OMG: you still don’t even slightly understand this do you?

    Unless every singly actor is employed as employees, then you still have instability problem, because there are some independent contractors who can potentially call another boycott.

    Obviously that’s not going to happen because plenty prefer their tax refunds over holiday pay, etc.

    It’s really not that hard. I’m embarrassed you don’t get it.

  12. James 12

    And that you honestly reposted it because you thought it was such an important point? That’s just… well, like I said – embarrassing.

    • IrishBill 12.1

      I understand it a lot better than you. Your witless sarcasm isn’t an argument. If you’ve got an argument make it. Otherwise go be a smarmy prick elsewhere.

      And to address your point about independent contractors. Jackson could easily say “we’ll only engage you as employees” if he wanted. Which is pretty much what he’s done previously to get workers on as independent contractors.

      That would give him the stability that he claims is at issue here.

  13. James 13

    SOME, IF NOT MOST, NEW ZEALAND ACTORS WANT TO BE CLASSED AS INDEPENDENT CONTRACTORS!!

    They want the tax incentives instead because it makes much more sound financial sense to them.

    And that somehow doesn’t count? Your plan is for Peter Jackson to FORCE them to be employees even if they don’t want to be?

    Brilliant plan. Can’t see how that could go wrong. Probably the main stream media just won’t pick up on it because they’re all too right wing or not as smart as you.

    Like I said – embarrassing.

    • IrishBill 13.1

      Between the full caps and the pointless sarcasm I’m starting to wonder if you’re even a grown-up.

      Most of the contractors I know would be happy to be fixed-term employees. So I figure you’re making shit up. On the other hand Jackson seems happy to force a lot of people to be contractors but that doesn’t seem to worry you at all.

      • Chess Player 13.1.1

        Opposite for me. Can’t think of any fellow professional contractor/consultant that would trade their independence for fixed terming unless they got really desperate.

    • Colonial Viper 13.2

      What are you speaking for yourself now as an aspiring actor?

  14. James 14

    Yes, it was naive me to think that writing in caps might make you understand the point better.

    But sure, if you want to go with the argument that: if most of the contractors you know want to be fixed term employees it MUST mean ALL the actors in this dispute want to, then knock yourself out.

    It’s really hard not to be sarcastic when you say such silly things. I’m really trying though. [that’s not sarcasm].

    • IrishBill 14.1

      You’re arguing that all of them want to be contractors. Way to shoot yourself in the foot (again) bucko.

    • burt 14.2

      James

      Of course they all want to be employees, unionised employees as well. They all want the same wages and conditions and they all want to pretend that they all offer the same value and services to their employers. Just like factory workers from the 1800’s – which is where this one size fits all workers rights crap comes from.

  15. James 15

    Irishbill, Oh god. Where did I ever say ALL of them wanted to be independent contractors?

    I can’t think of anything else I can say in response except if you can’t understand my point you’re a complete idiot.

    I’m an independent contractor and it would be stupid for me to be an employee because my tax expenses would be far higher than holiday pay or anything extra collective bargaining could get me. It’s the same situation for many of the actors.

    And even if that wasn’t the case, don’t you think the Actor’s could make up their own goddamn minds whether they want to be employees or not? Show me a single quote from the Union or even the CTU or MEAA where it says they want to be classed as employees not independent contractors? There isn’t one. They don’t.

    But clearly you don’t care what they think, you’d rather just decide what’s in their best interests for them.

    Which is exactly the kind of mentality that is killing the Labour/Union movement.

    What a waste of time it is to even try and engage with you.

    @Burt, yeah well this argument must be coming from some other time because it’s certainly got nothing to do with the reality of the moment.

  16. James 16

    don’t worry mate, I do very well thanks very much 🙂

    • Colonial Viper 16.1

      I hear all the RWNJs do very well in their own imaginations.

      Haven’t you figured out that to NAT you’re just cheap expendable labour?

      • Chess Player 16.1.1

        You’re sounding really jealous

        • Colonial Viper 16.1.1.1

          You’re not a RWNJ regurgitating the politics of envy are you?

          • Chess Player 16.1.1.1.1

            Not sure what you mean by RWNJ….is that code for something?

            But I don’t see why you have to deride someone who has a different opinion to you. Why do you feel the need to term someone as “cheap expendable labour”? You know nothing of his situation…

    • IrishBill 16.2

      I’m guessing not well enough to employ anybody or you’d probably have a better understanding of how it works.

      • Chess Player 16.2.1

        So, based on some of these comments, I’m guessing that IB and CV are violently against anyone being independent.

        Not sure why that is, perhaps they could explain.

        • IrishBill 16.2.1.1

          I’ve no problem with people being independent contractors as long as it is by choice. I’m in no hurry whatsoever to have to draw up an employment agreement when I hire a plumber or a sparkie. However when jobs clearly meet the definition of employment but are pushed into a the independent contractor box to dis-empower the worker then I’m against it.

  17. James 17

    Not only am I well off, but I have built myself into a position to subcontract quite a few people, who are paid very well too. Some are members of unions and I have very good relations with those unions, and I am a union member also. Which is why I have a far better understanding of this than you, mate.

    Hilariously I’m very leftist too.

    But apparently in your eyes being well off, or being an independent contractor makes you a right wing nut job or cheap expendable labour.

    Kind of explains why you’re wasting your lives on this ludicrous and completely ineffective forum. For myself, half an hour or so has been more than enough.

    • Chess Player 17.1

      Me too – I can still get a few more highly billable hours done before I enjoy Labour Day – LOL

    • IrishBill 17.2

      Your subcontractors are union members? Really? How does that work?

    • Colonial Viper 17.3

      James you know that being “very leftist” means that you normally wouldn’t brag about how financially successful you are because leftys don’t get their personal ego and identity from their wallets?

      Oh unless you’re not a lefty at all, just a liar.

    • The Voice of Reason 17.4

      Nah, James. Unions exist to negotiate collectively. They do not negotiate individually, so it looks like you made that bit up. So what’s the situation, really? And why would you be in a union? Doesn’t sound dinkum.

      The funny thing about the arrangement you claim for yourself is how similar it is to the situation AE are looking for. Why can you and your subbies get it, but actors can’t?

  18. James 18

    You deleted my reply? Seriously? And you’re not even slightly ashamed?

    Incredible.

  19. peterlepaysan 19

    [deleted as being irrelevent to the discussion and purely a personal attack. Example below. ]

    Go back to Ireland IrishBill. Ireland needs you more than we need you..

    [lprent: You’re heading straight towards getting yet another troll ban for being an idiot. ]

    • IrishBill 19.1

      Thanks but I quite like New Zealand. If the tax break issue is conspiratorial then why do both the finance minister and the prime minister say they’re looking at increasing the tax break? Or are they conspiracy theorists too?

      [lprent: It wasn’t worth responding to. I zapped the contents of the comment. That is one slow learner bearing in mind the number of times I’ve been forced to ban him in various guises… ]

  20. peterlepaysan 20

    Actually I have only written two posts (I think). None of of them more than querulous.

  21. wasi 21

    it`s simply an ideologically driven divide and rule/break up the collective/take out the safety-in-numbers issue…like so many of the policies pursued by this reactionary govt…..

    employees=collective bargaining =bad

    contractor=indepent negotiation=good

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