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Author Archive

Take the power back

Written By: - Date published: 10:26 am, September 5th, 2016 - 49 comments

The Jobs That Count campaign isn’t just about Talley’s AFFCO. It’s about getting local councils that work for all of us and make sure that the big businesses in our communities give back to us.

Take back our communities and create Jobs That Count

Written By: - Date published: 10:18 am, August 21st, 2016 - 22 comments

So often we lose sight of the fact that local government is about much, much more than rates. We’re launching a Jobs That Count ticket to change that.

Why we need to support Medical Cannabis Awareness NZ

Written By: - Date published: 6:08 pm, May 8th, 2016 - 24 comments

A new charity has been set up to use GiveALittle to raise funds for people who have been granted access to a medial cannabis product – and then they can’t afford them. I don’t want these people missing out on what I am getting from this drug. It works. Help them

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Life and Death and Cannabis

Written By: - Date published: 6:08 pm, January 8th, 2016 - 129 comments

I am taking Cannabis Oil to manage my pain as my lung cancer takes over my body. It’s sort of as simple as that really. For some people talking about dying is confronting but actually talking about it allows us to think about how it happens – it is actually as much a social event as a physical one and knowing someone is comfortable, getting good treatment and pain relief is very much part of the social dimension as the physical one.

While we are at it – let’s try to save the planet

Written By: - Date published: 12:32 am, November 10th, 2015 - 49 comments

Can’t be many more important campaigns than saving the planet right?  Only people power will change the current economic levers which are designed to burn burn burn.  We have the chance to join with others around the world ahead of the climate talks in Paris to send a strong message to our Government that we […]

OIA on Zero Hours reveals just what an attack on workers it is.

Written By: - Date published: 11:39 am, September 24th, 2015 - 53 comments

We have the documents leading up to the what can only be described as a dreadful piece of law legalising employment agreements which tie workers to an employer without any of the reciprocity of guaranteed hours of work.  At a time like now – where work in this country is so badly paid, with so little protection – we get this.

The two realities of Health and Safety at work will be on show this week

Written By: - Date published: 3:46 pm, July 19th, 2015 - 7 comments

This week three big things are happening which will show how detached this Government is from the realities of workers and their families working in dangerous workplaces. The private prosecution over the death  of Eramiha Pairama Aged 19, killed in a forest in December 2013.  Remember that year – 10 dead in forestry.  Well this […]

My Daddy Was Killed at Work

Written By: - Date published: 9:11 pm, July 13th, 2015 - 12 comments

Can you help us share this clip?  It’s powerful and about the reality of workplace deaths for families that suffer them. The health and safety law going through the Parliament will betray these families if it is changed as the Government is proposing.

That one time Government almost did something decent for workers

Written By: - Date published: 9:50 am, July 4th, 2015 - 41 comments

There was this one time when the Government understood that workers coming into NZ to help rebuild Christchurch were very vulnerable to exploitation. 

Farming prosecutions need to be part of health and safety programme

Written By: - Date published: 10:49 am, May 13th, 2015 - 9 comments

Half the workplace deaths in NZ last year were in agriculture.  Already this year the toll has been massive.

The Continuing Fight for Justice at Pike River

Written By: - Date published: 4:16 pm, February 25th, 2015 - 7 comments

Yesterday the families lost only a small bit of the battle for justice at Pike in an application to get some of the documentation on the Peter Whittall decision. It is clear from the decision that the process of filing itself caused MBIE to agree to release a number of the key documents.

Lincoln Kidd

Written By: - Date published: 4:00 pm, June 18th, 2014 - 9 comments

Lincoln Kidd was killed in a forest just before Christmas last year.  He was 20.  Rebecca Macfie wrote powerfully about him and his family  in this Listener article.  The new health and safety organisation Worksafe had six months to press charges in relation to this workplace deaths and as we know of the 900 serious harm […]

If it were someone you loved

Written By: - Date published: 10:34 pm, May 9th, 2014 - 56 comments

Today the District Court of Rotorua gave the CTU leave to take a private prosecution against the employer of forestry worker Charles Finlay for failing to take all practical steps to keep him safe. Charles got home at 6pm the night before he was killed and was up again the next morning for his 4am […]

Why we train health and safety reps

Written By: - Date published: 4:31 pm, February 28th, 2014 - 15 comments

Sadly those that don’t want workers to be trained in health and safety are attacking the courses the CTU runs for health and safety rep training, ironically including the Minister of ACC. This blog is a rather boring “on the record” blog setting out how the contract is run in preparation for any further attacks.  They might not happen over night, but they will happen!

Forestry families bringing their message to Parliament

Written By: - Date published: 7:42 pm, February 19th, 2014 - 7 comments

Readers of The Standard have read and engaged on the campaign for forestry safety. There is now a Review underway and we need to maintain the organising momentum to ensure change is made. On 28 April is International Workers Memorial Day and we have invited the families of all workers killed since 2008 (that we have […]

Waldegrave responds to ‘Living Wage’ critique

Written By: - Date published: 3:17 pm, February 5th, 2014 - 47 comments

Charles Waldegrave has slammed Brian Scott’s critique of the method used to calculate the Living Wage in New Zealand. He shows Scott’s critique, and that of the Treasury, lack an informed understanding of the definition of a living wage and confuse market wage rates and welfare transfers. The living wage level was set at $18.40 per hour in February 2013. Scott’s paper has been given prominence on Kiwiblog 3 January 2014

Is it always better late than never?

Written By: - Date published: 6:26 pm, January 29th, 2014 - 18 comments

Minister of Labour Simon Bridges today said he welcomed the Review of Forestry Safety and that he has asked Worksafe NZ to review the Approved Code of Practice (ACOP) into the forestry sector to “clarify them”. Chris Finlayson was the Minister when the current regulations (ACOP) were signed off new in December 2012.  He said […]

Workers Denied Access to Information

Written By: - Date published: 11:10 am, January 25th, 2014 - 29 comments

The  NZ Logger magazine has published attack after attack on us since about August of last year.  You have to read them to believe them.  Industry players and Editorials suggesting we are the problem in forestry safety!  One even suggested UNIONS were exploiting workers in the industry through our safety campaign. I contacted the Editor to ask for a right of reply.  It was written with minor changes and expected to appear this month. Now they won’t run it…. Have a look at it yourself.

Health and Safety Rep Training – a cut by any other name

Written By: - Date published: 6:40 pm, January 14th, 2014 - 140 comments

Jordan Williams and Simon Lusk

I couldn’t give a rats arse about Jordan Williams and his new little Act campaigning vehicle against the State, but I do care about health and safety and the manner in which some of the media have run his latest little ruse against training health and safety representatives in the workplace is a disgrace. Judith Collins has used it as a cover to announce the end of worker health and safety training by unions beyond this year, leaving workers unable to access the powers under the Health and Safety Act to issue hazard notices and represent their workmates.

On Pike

Written By: - Date published: 3:56 pm, December 12th, 2013 - 97 comments

The decision announced today (but made when?) to withdraw the charges against Pike CEO Peter Whittall cannot be left to rest. When did a Judge of a New Zealand Court participate in a deal where criminal charges were dropped and money paid.  It is insufficient to say the two are not connected.  The money has […]

Chorus – Governments version of decent work.

Written By: - Date published: 12:48 pm, November 27th, 2013 - 24 comments

From the Chorus report: “Chorus now employs 763 permanent and fixed term employees directly, along with a further 4,434 people who are either employed directly by our service company partners or are sub-contracted by the service companies”.  Insecure work is a BIG problem, even in our tech industries.

It’s the society stupid

Written By: - Date published: 2:06 pm, September 17th, 2013 - 102 comments

What comes first – the economy or the society? The only point of having a good economic policy is because you have a strong vision for society to which the economy contributes to build. The media keep saying David Cunliffe has a left wing economic policy. Actually he has a left wing social policy which […]

Safety Video Needed For Air NZ Staff

Written By: - Date published: 6:02 pm, August 27th, 2013 - 16 comments

I have been reading through the submissions released to date on the Employment Relations Act Amendment Bill. Air New Zealand take the prize for most oppressive demands.  They start off moaning that they have 40 Collectives.  Rob Fyfe tried that line on me once.  I asked him to call me back once he had examined […]

Work – its precarious

Written By: - Date published: 10:51 am, August 9th, 2013 - 50 comments

The Governments attack on workers pay seems even more nasty given the stats released this week that show wages stagnating as prices increase especially those prices that workers spend their money on – housing, power, food etc. But the changes to the ERA going through the house will also increase insecurity. I spent Wednesday and […]

It Wasn’t the Workers or Unions Misusing their Power that Killed the Pike River Miners – CTU Submission

Written By: - Date published: 6:57 pm, July 31st, 2013 - 4 comments

Tomorrow we will deliver our Submission on the Legislation implementing the recommendations of the Pike River Inquiry. Despite the PM saying all the recommendations would be implemented – the legislation falls well short on the issue of tripartism for the Governance of the new agency WorkSafe. The Royal Commission of Inquiry into Pike and the […]

Tale four – the Death of Philip McHardy. Killed 31 August 2011 – struck by a tree

Written By: - Date published: 7:35 pm, July 25th, 2013 - 7 comments

Philip McHardy was killed while working in a pine plantation block in Overton Forest Winton on 31 August 2011.  He worked for Don Contracting and was working in a Southern Forest NZ Ltd managed forest.

Tale Three – the Death of Sean Mortensen. Killed 20 January 2010

Written By: - Date published: 5:01 pm, July 17th, 2013 - 16 comments

Sean Mortensen was killed at Robin Hood Bay, Port Underwood in Marlborough.  He was 34  years old.  He worked for Pelorus Contracting Ltd and was in a forest managed by Merrill and Ring Ltd.

Tale Two – The Death of Shane Frater. Killed 1 May 2009 – Struck by Flying Debris.

Written By: - Date published: 11:17 am, July 16th, 2013 - 13 comments

I have collected up the available documentation on the men killed in the forest since 2008. I am going to try, using the documents I have, to tell their story – one at a time. I haven’t been able to contact all the families of these men and hope if any of them read them, […]

Broken Deal Already

Written By: - Date published: 11:50 am, July 14th, 2013 - 5 comments

NZ signed a new trade agreement with Taiwan this week. For the first time the reference to labour standards is squarely in the agreement rather than as a separate memorandum. “Each party shall respect, promote, and recognise in its laws, regulations, policies and practices, the following internationally recognised fundamental labour principles and rights: a) freedom […]

No one was there to meet them – no one went to help them.

Written By: - Date published: 7:24 pm, July 10th, 2013 - 125 comments

I am doing a speech on health and safety tomorrow. Been thinking about Pike. Bernie Monk rang yesterday. Bridges is in Gisborne Herald today saying all the reports needed on Forestry have been written. In my speech tomorrow I Will read this bit out from the Inquiry into Pike – it is as powerful as […]

Do you like Pina Colada

Written By: - Date published: 12:19 pm, July 7th, 2013 - 62 comments

Four stories this week in the MSM could be pulled together and used as a case study for a number of NZ’s economic and social failings in my view.

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