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AFFCO to extend lockout to avoid holiday pay

Written By: - Date published: 7:02 am, April 4th, 2012 - 81 comments
Categories: boycott, class war, workers' rights - Tags: , ,

Talley’s has sunk to a new low in the AFFCO lockout. Not content with trying to starve out 1,000 workers and force them to accept 20% pay cuts, Talley’s-owned AFFCO meatworks are planning to lockout hundreds more workers on the Easter statutory holidays – just to save on paying its workers holiday leave. It’s a despicable, and hopefully illegal, move.

The workers’ union, National Meat Workers’, is completely taken aback by this underhanded move. The legal situation is unclear because no employer seems to have sunken this low before. My reading of the Employment Relations Act is there are only two grounds for locking out workers (or striking) – as part of collective negotiations and on health and safety grounds.

Unless the courts want to open the door for companies everywhere to nullify statutory holidays by locking out their workers whenever one comes around, the law should be interpreted to prevent companies locking out workers specifically on statutory holidays.

On top of this, AFFCO is refusing to talk with the union until April 12 in a strategy to force workers on to individual contracts. That’s a violation of our right to freedom of association under the Bill of Rights Act and the ERA.

Talley’s has form for this kind of behaviour. You can let Talley’s know what you think of them by boycotting their product lines until they conclude a fair deal and let the workers back to work.

More importantly, you can support the AFFCO workers by donating – phone 0900 LOCKOUT and you’ll donate five dollars to the Meatworker’s lockout fund. Details for an online donation are: Kiwibank: account name: NZCTU DISPUTES FUND account number: 38 9007 0894028 08 Reference: AFFCO

81 comments on “AFFCO to extend lockout to avoid holiday pay”

  1. Dr Terry 1

    For some of the workers Talleys are, additionally, violating the entire spiritual significance of the Easter Season. This might seem a “small matter” but it is not insignificant.

  2. just saying 2

    Has anyone gotten through on the 0900 line?
    Orcon is telling me I can’t be put through, and was yesterday too.

    • Olwyn 2.1

      Yes, I had that problem with Orcon as well. I tried ringing them, then I got sick of waiting for an answer and rang through successfully on my cell phone.

      • Draco T Bastard 2.1.1

        They’re on Twitter (@Orcon) so I usually just send them a tweet when I have such a problem.

    • Draco T Bastard 2.2

      Orcon blocks 0900 numbers by default. You have to contact them to get it removed.

  3. james111 3

    Has anyone looked at the latest meat pricing schedules for export meat? ie Legs of Lamb bone in under $8.00 per kg Lamb Shoulder Chops $5.00 per kg. Even though the Supermarkets have been ripping us off and charging us $27 kg on legs of lamb.
    The price of meat for export has dropped markedly in the last 12 months. More than 20% Talleys profit if any will be going down. The World market has changed sometimes workers have to get real and accept paycuts for the works to stay open. Change will be forced up on them whether they like it or not just like the Wharfiesthat problem hasnt gone away. Competitive pressures dictate whether an Affco works or the Port can stay operational.Some times the workers and particularly the Unions need to get real. A framer cant charge the same price year on year for his produce if their is an over supply and the Markets arent buying. A business cant run for long if the overhead cost is the same and the Sales Revenue doesnt cover the cost of Sales. Quite simple maths really get more efficent, more lean, cut costs or close.

    • joe90 3.1

      Oh fuck off, Talleys are looking to maintain their margins by taking the schedule differences out of the workers pockets.

      • james111 3.1.1

        Simple maths if the Sales revenues arent greater than cost to buy and run the plant then why keep it open? Just so the workers can keep the same antiquated conditions. I will pose this little thought for you to get your head around.

        I believe that Talleys are saving money at the moment by keeping the works shut because they were running at a loss
        They can do that until the end of July when the beef season kicks in. With the current export schedule prices on Lambs they will be losing money. If the workers wont change why would you keep the works open? I know Talleys have the grunt to hold out until mid July can the workers?

        If Talleys are smart and I know they are they will open for the Beef Season ,and shut for the Lamb season if they see no movement from the workers simple economics really

      • joe90 3.1.2

        Yeah, they’re so smart that there’s been no action at the Affco owned abbatoirs because if they lose their share of that market they know they’ll never get it back.

        btw: here’s what I wrote last year about Talley’s tactics.

        Talley’s are using the same divide and rule tactics at the Imlay works. The slaughter boards are doing okay but the real strife is in the boning rooms as new workers are targeted to sign individual contracts with confidentiality clauses to maintain secrecy about wage rates.
        Not sure of the exact numbers but mostly women and youngsters are being targeted and I think about 30% of the boning room workers are on individual contracts.

        Talley’s were also going to use re-hiring after seasonal lay-offs to by removing seniority practices but the courts overturned their decision.

        Nation wide Talley’s are chipping away with the aim of having enough people on individual contracts to be able to lock out unionised workers.

        • framu

          also – arent talleys the crew who tried to argue that an incident in their car park didnt come under their workplace accident insurance, and should be met by ACC?

          – after negotiating a deal with ACC that let talleys create their own accident cover scheme (which applied to the whole premises)

          james: – “I believe that Talleys are saving money at the moment by keeping the works shut”

          dont meatworks already operate on a “when theres stock we work” scenario?

          • james111

            yes they do and there is stock around at the moment and Affco isnt open because the killing costs are to high compared with the Sales Revenues being generated. You can stil lbe open and run at a loss because your costs are to high. Talleys are saying we aint going to do that anymore ,and why would you if it was your business?

            • framu

              do you know anything about talleys history and reputation?

              “You can stil lbe open and run at a loss because your costs are to high. Talleys are saying we aint going to do that anymore ”

              are their costs high all the time?
              or is this seasonal?

              – if its a new price environment that will stay for good – why is it the workers who get cuts?
              what about cuts to profit and excec pay rates.
              what about investment in capital and technology to improve productivity?

              why are you making economic excuses for a family that has a pretty sordid history of putting the boot in to maintain their own cash flow?

            • dave brownz

              Well this is bullshit. The Union should demand that Talley’s opens their books to show what their real costs are. 
              If they can’t run it at a profit, then let the workers try. If Talley’s threatens to close down, call their bluff. 
              Instead of picketing outside workers should be occupying and working the sites under their own control. 
              Meat is too important a commodity to be left to union busting owners.
              Meat production should be socialised and run by the class that does all the work.
              Talley’s are demanding slave labour, so the slaves need to revolt.

    • EagleWarrior 3.2

      Are Talley’s bosses leading by example and cutting their incomes by 20% if so, then I agree. If not, then the workers have every right to fight for their rights.

    • Kotahi Tane Huna 3.3

      Yes, fuck off James, these workers made a $21M profit for Talley’s last year.

      • Descendant Of Smith 3.3.1

        James the (endearing) thing about you is that you are an expert on everything and have substance on nothing all at the same time.

        I bet you’ve never worked in a freezing works – bet you’ve never had to cut heads off sheep, stick your hands into shitty entrails, shoot cattle in the head, have blood and bone fly around you as a beast is chainsawed……

        But nope now you are an expert.

        What’s most appalling about you in these recent exchange is your issuing of homo-phobic comments as an insult.

        The fact that you think that calling someone gay is an insult says a lot about you.

        Also you need to understand what brown-nosing is – here found you a T-shirt


        • james 111

          Thanks for your sarcastic comments. What I love about people like yourself is how totally unbalanced you are. You made mention that I am Homophobic if you read joe90 comments about me liking rich mans bottoms you would see why I responded that way.
          No I am not Homophobic, nor am I gay. If you are a pillow biter and I have offended you then I Apologise .My comments were aimed at Joe 90 who started the personal crap.

          I have never had the pleasure of working in a works. I have had many years of commercial experience though at General Manager level. Enough to know that companies have to make profits to survive. Companies have to satisfy Shareholders to survive. This is an area that the Union movement seems to struggle with.

          • Te Reo Putake

            “No I am not Homophobic, nor am I gay. If you are a pillow biter… ”
            So you’re a homophobe as well as being a racist, Jim Jim. And unable to even defend yourself without confirming the fact. How did you get to be a GM if you are so thick? Oh, wait, that’s a qualification in the NZ business world, isn’t it?

            • james 111

              Te Reo
              What have you done in your life to drive the Economy forward in NZ ? Or have you always been fed off the State titty ? What are your meritorious achievements?

              • Te Reo Putake

                I’ve moved the economy forward most days of my working life by ensuring money goes to those who produce the nation’s wealth.

                • james 111

                  So you are paid by the State or Union Titty thought so, and have never earnt a dollar off your own back for the Country. It shows in your comments. Always a grudge on your shoulder the government or the World owes you a living without necessarily having to work for it. Certainly no pathway to success. However a direction that causes a person to get into envy politics mode all the time. Why you fall deeper in the mire of envy others are out there creating their own success and increasing their wealth.

                  • Te Reo Putake

                    And yet I am successful, and contribute to the success of others, while you remain a deluded bigot who hates the majority of the people of our country. You’re a gripper, Jim Jim. Sad but true.

                  • It’s supposedly a ‘free market’ here in New Zealand, James.

                    If we, the consumers want to boycott Talleys, that’s our prerogative.

                    If we want to help Talleys workers in their struggle for fairness, decent pay, and job security – again, our prerogative.

                    And if we want to mount a nationwide boycott of Talleys products – consider me in! My wee bit to help locked out AFFCO Talleys workers… http://fmacskasy.wordpress.com/2012/04/06/help-talleys-affco-workers/

                    Plus also written to the Talley’s HO, suggesting that this is not going to help their branding. Boycotting Talleys is going to give them a kick up the arse they’ll never forget!!

                    Next bit: phone the 0900 number to make a few donations.

                    And next bit after all; the next Labour-led government will have to look at how companies have been abusing lockouts, and amend lengislation. I’ll be only too happy to assist with amendments to the Employment Relations Act after 2014 (or sooner, judging by the shakiness of Dear Leader’s administration).

          • Kotahi Tane Huna

            And in All those years No-one ever Told you that random Capitalisation Is a sign Of illiteracy? How did you make it to general manager level? Or did you start there straight out of business school?

            Illiterate, racist and homophobic – three sure-fire ways to lose clients.

            As a one-time buyer of engineering services I was always amazed at the odd sales rep we’d get who thought that bigotry was a winning pitch, and happy to work for a boss who would cheerfully show them the door.

            The illiteracy can probably be remedied though.

          • Descendant Of Smith

            You miss the point and you don’t have a clue what balanced or unbalanced is.

            Note the following:

            1. I never said you were homo-phobic I said your comments were
            2. Joe90 refers to brown-nosing or ass-licking – as in having your nose so far up the managers backside it is brown. You immediately jumped to conclusions that it was something to do with homosexuality and sex. That reflects either your ignorance or your world view or both.
            3. You responded by calling people homo-sexual as if that is an insult. Clearly in your mind it is – as is apparently calling someone a unionist or a public servant.
            4. You continue to do this by apologising to me in case I’m a “pillow-biter” which is another homo-sexual slur. BTW I had to look that one up cause I hadn’t come across that one before.

            I would say on balance there is now pretty good evidence that you are both homo-phobic, ignorant and a bigot.

    • DH 3.4

      Ahem. The price of meat has little to do with the cost of processing it. That export price reduction translates into an equivalent reduction in price paid to the farmers for their livestock, just as farmers get more when the price goes up. Quite simple economics really.

      If workers were to be paid less when prices fall I’m sure james111 would agree they should also get paid more when prices go back up. Not.

      • james111 3.4.1

        Aheem The price you get for meat on the World Market has alot to do with processing if you sell it on the World market like Affco do.
        They dont just process they export and sell meat as well , so it has everything to do with it and will be factored into their P&L account

        • DH

          No mate, it does not. Meat is not sold in the international market on a cost-plus basis. It is priced by supply & demand which is the polar opposite of cost-plus. Reducing wages merely cuts the costs of the processor and increases their profits, the processing cost does not affect the selling price of meat.

          Talleys would only be suffering on a cost issue if their local competitors were processing meat cheaper than them. I don’t recall there being any suggestion such is the case.

    • Draco T Bastard 3.5

      It’s not the workers that are taking the risk. If profits are falling then it’s the shareholders and management that should be taking cuts.

    • stacey 3.6

      i have to say that maybe a fair enough comment in your mind however we all know for a fact that talleys have a reputation not only as one of the richest families in new zealand but also for ensuring their workers look after them not them looking after their workers i was one of there employees and now am at home with my beautiful daughter and will never ever return thank god my baby and i could never have lived on the wages they pay.Social welfare even told me that it was not work them sending us new starters(staff) cause they paid them more to stay at home you do the maths now.

  4. vto 5

    The Talley families are becoming a household name in the same way that Fay and Richwhite have become.

    Imagine living like that ……

    All for the sake of a ferrari. How cheap.

    • james111 5.1

      We shouldnt get into envy politics that is something the Labour party majors in.

      I celebrate wealthy People .Just like Helen liked Owen Glen and glady accepted donnations until the Winston affair when Owen decided not help people that had lied to him.

      We need welathy people to create jobs for those that arent as fortunate. The world has always been like it, and will always be like it.
      Every man made effort to try and redistrbute wealth in the world to those that havent any idea to how to create in the first place has failed.

      Basically because of corruption ,and greed two of the worst countries in the world for corruption and greed happen to be two of the biggest socialist countries in the world Russia & China. Where the select of the elect party members really look after each other ,and boy dont they do well!

      • tc 5.1.1

        Hilarious, that comedy routine with lines like ‘We need welathy people to create jobs for those that arent as fortunate ‘ is just rocking along dude.
        Don’t forget to work in some gags about your personal transport pods that solve the public transport issues as well as a good comedian should have a range of topics.

      • joe90 5.1.2

        I reckon lil Jimmy has a thing about rich peoples bottoms.

      • Draco T Bastard 5.1.3

        We need welathy people to create jobs for those that arent as fortunate.

        The rich have never created jobs. In fact, I suspect that they destroy them as a matter of course so as to increase the wealth that they have.


      • Vicky32 5.1.4

        We need wealthy people to create jobs for those that arent as fortunate.

        And yet, they’re not doing that! Any ideas why?


  5. james111 6

    tc no problem dude have another suck of the green stuff dude! Lifes a bitch especially if you have to work for your money isnt it dude? Lets just rubbish those that have worked hard and earnt money through their own hard work because they must be evil dude. You better get back to your play station now

    • Descendant Of Smith 6.1

      “those that have earned money through other peoples hard work”

      Fixed it for you.

    • framu 6.2

      ” have another suck of the green stuff dude”

      wtf are you on about? – whats the relevance?

      “Lifes a bitch especially if you have to work for your money isnt it dude”

      in case youve forgotten – we are talking about people who do exactly that – and being asked to do it for less

      why do you hate workers so much james? – are you envious of their ability to help their employer make a profit?

  6. Rosie 7

    I’ve been boycotting Talleys ever since I read about their involvement in the 2005 National party election campaign in Nicky Hager’s “The Hollow Men”. The other two reasons I boycott them is the quality of their products is poor with little attention being paid to basic hygiene standards during the production process and on top of that they are known for the contempt they show towards their workers, especially in regard to health and safety, pay, conditions and union busting. I figure that if I make efforts to make ethical purchases then this must start with supporting NZ workers.

    As pointed out above attempting to force workers to transition from a collective agreement on to an individual one breaches our Employment Relations Act. It also contravenes conventions within the International Labour Organisation’s charter. Not that we pay much attention to the ILO in NZ: our 90 day bill is one of our worst breaches of ILO conventions.

    GO New Zealand!

  7. james111 8

    These conventions arent worth a proverbial if the factories are shut and workers out of a job

    As pointed out above attempting to force workers to transition from a collective agreement on to an individual one breaches our Employment Relations Act. It also contravenes conventions within the International Labour Organisation’s charter. Not that we pay much attention to the ILO in NZ: our 90 day bill is one of our worst breaches of ILO conventions.

    Lets build a more productive New Zealand

    • Descendant Of Smith 8.1

      “Our 90 day bill is one of our worst breaches of ILO conventions.”

      Really please elucidate.

      1. It can only be put in place by mutual agreement
      2. There must be an employment contract
      3. The person must be paid minimum wage
      4. Work and Income cannot work test someone who does not wish to undertake a job that has a 90 day work trial ( no job offer exists if unless there is mutual agreement on the work trial).

      The ILO actively promotes work trials as one way for instance of improving the work placement rates of people with disabilities.

      Now if you were pontificating about something like scumbag employers offering work trials without pay (you know with the state picking up the living costs of the person through benefits) which happens regularly then you might have some credibility (my own little joke to myself there).

      • Rosie 8.1.1


        A few points:

        We already had employee protected provision for work trials in our ERA prior to the 90 day bill taking effect. The 90 day bill strips the worker of all rights to claim a personal grievance case if they are fired within that period. Remember that under the 90 day bill the employer has all power over the employee and doesn’t need to give a reason for firing them. It is this lack of access to seek legal representation that breaches ILO conventions.

        Secondly, having an employment agreement and being paid minimum wage are basic rights and hardly anything to get excited about.

        Thirdly you state that the 90 day clause can only be out into place by mutual agreement. I suggest you put yourself into the shoes of someone who is unemployed and tries to negotiate against having that clause in their agreement and see how far you get with being offered that job. Don’t assume every unemployed person receives a benefit and is therefore protected. Work rights in NZ are being eroded by our Nat Govt and we never really recovered from the ECA 1990. The 90 day bill is is a nasty oppressive peice of legislation that creates uncertainty and apprehension for job seekers and new employees. Why you would defend it is beyond me.

        • Descendant Of Smith


          I wasn’t defending it – I think it is abysmal.

          I was asking James to explain his position because I suspect he didn’t have a clue what he was talking about.

          I deliberately didn’t mention the right to dismissal to see what he would pick up on.

          The point was to help James develop an argument rather that just make unfettered statements.

  8. Rosie 9

    James111 “Lets build a more productive New Zealand” Sounds like you are reading from a Nat bill board or something. Dude, hows your brighter future working our for you?

    • McFlock 9.1

      The light shines out of the Talley’s arses, dontcha know.

    • Rob A 9.2

      The Talleys are leading the way in making NZ more productive, if by productive you mean a Chinese type of sweatshop labour market

      • stacey 9.2.1

        yes i agree im an ex worker in the fisheries side and all the same rules apply and same contracts but you are allowed to join the union but if you do they may not give you a job hmmmmm. the staff making nike shoes in the sweat factories probably on the same as their staff are here in new zealand not much they are like the opposite of robin hood for sure support the talley-ban

  9. Tiger Mountain 10

    It is time for a serious TalleyBAN, these scumbags have tortured workers for long enough. The only drawback with “boycotts” is that once started they are sometimes hard to reverse if needed, brands can be scarred for life, but the risk is worth it here with the dirtiest filthiest anti union National donating company in NZ food processing.

    • CTU and MWU should not call for a boycott but “informed commmunity consumer choice” in defense of workers and their families rights
    • Don’t buy Talleys branded product
    • Discover which ‘own brands’ product is in fact Talleys and hit them too if certain
    • Information stations outside major retailers Pak’n Save etc
    • Sticker campaigns, attach to Talleys product-“Toxic to workers and communities”
    • Leave frozen items at the checkout (oops, sorry didn’t actually want that one), use sparingly so as not to piss off retail workers
    • Use Talleys contacts and product feedback lines extensively (mouse droppings in my frozen peas etc.)

    Sure some of the above amounts to niggling but it will all build up to significant pressure if even a few thousands get into it.

  10. Kevin 11

    Just think about all the overtime needed to catch up on this seasons stock, the longer it drags on , the stock start to lose condition, prices fall.

  11. tsmithfield 12

    The comments I have seen repeated here on other threads along the lines of:

    “The bosses wouldn’t have made these profits if the workers hadn’t earned it for them” is false.

    It would be more accurate to say that they wouldn’t have made those profits if the production facilities hadn’t earned it for them, which includes the sum total of mechanical and human production processes. Of course, labour units are leaving and being replaced all the time, so, unless you can show that a specific workforce has skills that can’t be readily replaced, then it is inaccurate to attribute results to that specific workforce.

    Also, automation in the meat industry is increasing all the time. This means that the human component of production will steadily be decreasing. So, human contribution to profit will continually wane.

    • felix 12.1

      Who said anything about a specific workforce, t? “The workers” in this context relates to all the workers who’ve contributed, not just the ones who happen to be there at this exact point in spacetime.

      You fail to understand collectivism (quite likely) and/or you’ve built your entire argument against an absurd theoretical strawman (entirely consistent with your usual stylez).

      Ho hum.

    • McFlock 12.2

      and yet it’s amazing how production stops dead when there’re no workers on site.
      Loved the description of working people as “labour units”: gotta keep that social alienatation between the productive staff and management alive! 

      • tsmithfield 12.2.1

        “and yet it’s amazing how production stops dead when there’re no workers on site.”

        Well, it doesn’t, does it. As the POA dispute shows. Containers have still been getting unloaded, by contract workers employed while the striking workers are on strike. This goes to make my point. Unless you can show that the existing workforce has specific skills that can’t be readily replaced, then it is inaccurate to attribute profitability to the workforce, if a replacement workforce can easily be generated.

        Also, a point I didn’t make above is that the organisation wouldn’t have made those profits if it first hadn’t developed a market for them. The production facilities and resulting employment are a result of that.

        “Loved the description of working people as “labour units”:…”

        Thought you might like that. 🙂 Most factory owners would probably prefer automation to labour units because automated machines don’t go on strike, don’t demand higher wages, and are happy to work weekends.

        • McFlock

          So port production hasn’t been interrupted or slowed because of the absence of much of the regular workforce and substitution on contract staff? Good to know.
          I agree that employers would rather have robots than workers, but in many cases that’s still impossible. And gainful employment is indeed a personal benefit from producing the employer’s goods.

          But the point is that regarding staff as interchangeable “units” ignores the fact that employment is an agreement between parties to cooperate towards a common goal. An omission which employers periodically take too far, to the detriment of their profit margins.

          • tsmithfield

            “So port production hasn’t been interrupted or slowed because of the absence of much of the regular workforce and substitution on contract staff? Good to know.”

            As far as I know a major reason production has slowed is because customers have got pissed off by the behaviour of the workers and gone elsewhere, amongst other things. Hence, it seems to me it is the actions of the workers rather than the absence of them that accounts for any lossed production in this instance.

            • McFlock

              “Pissed off by the behaviour of the workers”? 
              The ones who weren’t even on site, or the contracted substitutes? 

        • lprent

          I went past the port this morning as I do periodically when I drop Lyn at work.

          During the period you’re talking about over the past weeks there was bugger all activity on the port including last week. Maybe a forklift or a crane moving. But it was like a ghost town.

          This morning the place was running like National party supporter hunting a free lunch at someone elses expense (ie like a stockbroker on P). Cranes and those bloody enormous forklifts running around everywhere with all of the warning lights flashing and too many trucks.

          I almost want the lockout back again to make it easier to go to work…. (a polite way of saying that you’re talking horseshit from the south)….

        • felix

          tsmithfield your argument boils down to saying that because no specific group of workers are required to turn a profit then no workers are required to turn a profit.

          Even for you that’s retarded.

          • tsmithfield

            “tsmithfield your argument boils down to saying that because no specific group of workers are required to turn a profit then no workers are required to turn a profit.

            Even for you that’s retarded.”

            It would be if it was what I said. Which it wasn’t. In the second paragraph of my first post I said:

            “It would be more accurate to say that they wouldn’t have made those profits if the production facilities hadn’t earned it for them, which includes the sum total of mechanical and human production processes.”

            So, you are completely misrepresenting what I said, which is pretty much what I expect from you.

            Oh, and I expect you are going to point to this statement I made later on:

            “Unless you can show that the existing workforce has specific skills that can’t be readily replaced, then it is inaccurate to attribute profitability to the workforce, if a replacement workforce can easily be generated.”

            Well, you can see from the opening part of the sentence I was referring to the existing workforce. So it should be quite clear, even for you, that when I said “it is inaccurate to attribute profitability to the workforce” I was meaning the existing workforce which could be replaced by another to which profitability could be equally attributed to.

            • The Baron

              Just how easy they were to replace too makes a mockery of just how “skilled” those workers really were anyway.

              Totally not worth 13 paid hours per week sitting on their chuff, and $91k a year on average.

              Love it how everyone on the left wet their pants over the ports when these guys are some of the best paid workers in the country… but the poor near-minimum wage AFFCO bunch had to wait in line for this to clear up before anyone round here really paid them attention

              Protecting the rich first huh team? How noble.

              • Vicky32

                and $91k a year on average

                I am sure you know by now, that’s not true… and yet you keep saying it! 🙁

                • The Baron

                  Show us your independent audit then please Vicky, otherwise I know the truth here already thank you.

                  Rich port workers sitting on their bums for a third of the week is more important to you than the minimum wage AFFCO bunch? For shame. Guess its because MUNZ pushes more dosh into those Labour party coffers huh.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    Well, after years of the RWNJs demanding that we define what level of income makes someone rich we now have their definition and border-line poverty. Although, I suspect that that definition only applies to people being employed to work for someone else.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Guess its because MUNZ pushes more dosh into those Labour party coffers huh.

                    Not as much as Team McMillan BMW pushes into National coffers, mind you.

            • felix

              Then perhaps you ought to clarify whatever point you were making when you said

              “The bosses wouldn’t have made these profits if the workers hadn’t earned it for them” is false.

              Because I can’t see any way to interpret that statement that doesn’t mean, more or less, that the workers don’t generate profits.

              (cue “black is white if you assume that black is actually white” argument as per usual)

              • tsmithfield

                That point was explained in the following paragraph, and I stand by that.

                As the next paragraph pointed out, that statement was false because it isn’t a complete answer because there are numerous other factors that contribute to profitability, and if the existing workforce can easily be replaced, then any profit due to labour needn’t be attributed to that workforce specifically, but to any workforce that could fill in to do the job.

                That is not the case with my company where we employ highly skilled workers that we spend considerable time training in our particular area of expertise. If they decided to get up and leave en mass then we would be absolutely screwed because we couldn’t replace them with equivalent workers very easily at all.

                So, in our case, I would say our profitability has a high level of dependence on the specific workers we employ.

                • felix

                  Your contention was that bosses can make profits without workers.

                  Carry on.

                  • tsmithfield


                    Carry on.

                    • tsmithfield

                      tick tick tick tick…..

                      Still waiting, Felix.

                    • felix

                      Sorry, didn’t see you were back.

                      Right here:

                      “The bosses wouldn’t have made these profits if the workers hadn’t earned it for them” is false.

                    • tsmithfield

                      Between the words “if” and “workers” there is another little word “the” meaning those specific workers employed by the company. Not workers from anywhere. I think my other posts make it quite clear that was what I was meaning.

                      If the work can be contracted out, then profits can still be made. And, a company might be profitable in any case due to activities not requiring workers, such as interest earned on investments, depreciation recovered etc. The company might otherwise be breaking even or even losing money.

                      So, I stand by the fact that the statement is false because counter examples can be found that contradict the statement. This means the statement would have to be rephrased to accommodate the exceptions. Remember, for example, that to disprove the theory that all sheep are white requires only one black sheep to be found.

                    • felix

                      In that case your argument is that no workers are responsible for generating profits.

                      Either way it’s bullshit tsmithfield.

                      Workers are workers, it doesn’t matter one jot for the purposes of the “where do profits come from” question whether they’re paid on contract, salary, wages, or if they’re slaves, or paid in magic beans on leap day.

                    • tsmithfield


                      My statement initially referred to those specific workers not being required to make profits as others could be brought in.

                      But then I thought, hell, even if the statement is taken exactly as you have interpreted it, the statement is still false due to other sources of income that could account for profitability.

                      So, which ever way you look at it, I was correct. The statement was falsified. However, in no way did I say that workers never contribute to profits.

                    • felix

                      Then your entire argument is a strawman. No-one was arguing that only those specific workers could possibly make profits for that specific company.

                      But anyway, you go and run your profitable company with no-one to do the work and let me know how it goes for you.

                      Good luck.

      • Vicky32 12.2.2

        Loved the description of working people as “labour units”: gotta keep that social alienation between the productive staff and management alive! 

        Oh yes, that makes me want to projectile vomit….


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