Being fired for union membership is disgraceful

Written By: - Date published: 3:37 pm, December 10th, 2012 - 205 comments
Categories: Unions - Tags: ,

CTU response to the appalling story here. (also NRT)

CTU Media Release

10 December 2012

Being fired for union membership is disgraceful

The story today that Vice President of Equity Todd Rippon was dismissed by a Lord of the Rings tour guide for being a union official in the union Actors Equity, is something the Prime Minister, including in his capacity as Tourism Minister, needs to take responsibility for, CTU President Helen Kelly said.

“Not only has John Key personally made it clear to employers in the entertainment industry that the Government will back them to undermine the rights of workers to join unions but he and his Ministers have made such derogatory and misleading statements about this union in particular, that the industry and those associated with it, appear to feel free to bully anyone that has a different point of view.”

Helen Kelly, CTU President says that losing your job for being a union member is illegal and unfair, and she is deeply concerned at the involvement of Positively Wellington in the process.

“The Prime Minister as Minister of Tourism needs to investigate this and assure New Zealand workers that he does not support this type of discrimination in the industry and contrary to this employers view, his Department will act fairly in relation to its procurement and not discriminate against companies that have union officials on their staff.”

Helen Kelly said “no union member should be persecuted for belonging to a union and we are supporting Todd, alongside Actors Equity, in taking this personal grievance.  What happened to Todd is very unfair and could have an alarming effect on any performer or other worker that is considering taking a role in this, or any other union, unless the Government takes a stand. We want this matter resolved fairly.”

205 comments on “Being fired for union membership is disgraceful ”

  1. Being fired is disgraceful.

    So is being physically threatened for not wanting to join a union.

    • framu 1.1

      WTF are you on about brett?

      • QoTViper 1.1.1

        Allow me to run the Brett translator: “Unions may also have done bad things which exist entirely in my head, and which don’t actually relate to the current story, but I’m going to bring them up anyway and then vociferiously deny that I’m downplaying illegal activity as long as it’s against unions. Which is exactly what I’m doing.”

    • Bill 1.2

      Brett. Have you ever attempted any union recruitment? I’m guessing you haven’t. I have. And I was quite good at it. And never bullied or threatened any worker I approached. But here’s the thing. I can give you a string of incidents where I was the one being bullied, harassed and/or assaulted by (variously) non-union workers, bosses and privately hired security guards.

    • geoff 1.3

      Fuck you’re pathetic Brett

      [lprent: That was a pointless abuse comment. Read the policy. Don’t repeat the practice – always say why you think something. ]

  2. I find it strange that the unions try to take the moral high ground, but have a history of violence and intimidation against those who dont want to join.

    • One Tāne Viper 2.1

      I find it tedious and somewhat pathetic that right-wingers think anyone here believes a single word they say without independent corroboration.

      To put it another way, citation needed.

      To put it another way, hi, I’m the third Billy Goat Gruff. What’s it like under that bridge?

    • Richard Down South 2.2

      Yeah sucks that unions have a history of violence… lets ban unions… oh wait… but then so does the police (not often, but it happens) and oh look, most organised religions, and in fact, the human race…

    • framu 2.3

      you dont find it strange at all

      i reckon its just another convenient strawman of your own creation, for you to get all “high horse” about whatever your fevered imagination thinks is reality

    • Draco T Bastard 2.4

      Not as much history of violence as the government and business.

    • Daveosaurus 2.5

      [[ citation needed ]]

  3. One Tāne Viper 3

    “We want this matter resolved fairly.”

    What would be a fair resolution, a measured response to this assault? The deliberate attack on a person’s ability to earn a living, the threat of financial ruin.

    The wider assault upon all working New Zealanders, the deliberate intimidation of the entire workforce.

    What’s the law on self-defence again?

  4. The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 4

    It’s the Prime Minister’s fault. Course. Obvious when you think about it.

    • One Tāne Viper 4.1

      Do you support freedom of speech and association or not?

      • HS ChannelingClareCurran 4.1.1


        • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell

          Do you support freedom of speech and association or not?

          I do. I just was not aware that the PM had personal responsibility for every breach of every law in New Zealand. I accept I must be wrong about that. Otherwise, you know, what’s he for?

          • One Tāne Viper

            Well then, it’s a good thing the media release makes no such accusations, instead concentrating on specific examples of the low life’s betrayal of New Zealanders.

      • TheContrarian 4.1.2

        What always bothered me was the same people that talk about ‘freedom of speech and association’ were so anti the VSM bill.

        • McFliper

          Well, many students are no longer free to join an advocacy group that isn’t being fed from the university, tit like the ones down here. It’s like going to see the company doctor about workplace health problems. No more impartial representative organisations.
          The VSM bill was anti-freedom of association.

          • TheContrarian

            “The VSM bill was anti-freedom of association.”

            Being able to choose whether or not to join a student union is anti-freedom? Wow.

            (But this is getting off topic now)

            • McFlock

              There was always choice. It was just a question of what the default starting position was.

              • TheContrarian

                I didn’t have a choice. I was an extramural student, never set foot on campus except for exams doing one paper per semester because I had a busy full-job. Because I didn’t qualify for any type of loan I paid my fee’s upfront and having an extra $100.00 or so added for a service I never used as part of an organisation I had no dealings with nor had any desire to have any dealings with didn’t seem at all fair – particularly because I didn’t always agree with the unions politics so why should I be compelled to give support to it. I had no choice in the matter.

                That isn’t freedom of association

                • McFliper

                  Who forced you to study at that institution? What were the policies of your students’ association on conscientious objection? Why didn’t the VSM bill streamline conscientious objectors, rather than making the default position “non-membership”?

                  • TheContrarian

                    “Who forced you to study at that institution

                    At the time (And I still think this is the case) Massey was only one institution that provided extramural political science. Is it fair to suggest that if I have a problem with it then tough luck, you either join or don’t study?

                    I couldn’t get my money back and why should I have to object, withhold funds, potentially forfeit my place in the semester and go through an objection when I am not even part of campus? Also, when I did draw a student loan I didn’t even have the option to withhold payment – comes right out on its own and I have no say.

                    No matter how you swing it, compulsory unionism is against ones freedom to associate – it is compulsory association.

                    Other unions were voluntary (I worked in public service for many years and never once joined the PSA nor did I join the Police Association when I worked in PNHQ for a spell).

                    disclaimer: I have no beef with unions themselves. Go for your life I say.

                    • felixviper

                      Out of curiosity, how did you manage to avoid using the services of the PSA for “many years? For example, how did you avoid the pay-rises?

                    • McFliper

                      So you wanted to go do a particular course and joining the association was part of that.
                      Now if I want to do a particular course at an institution that suits me, I can’t join an independent student advocacy organisation. Your “freedom of association” fucks mine.  Thanks for that. Oh, and the levies are still charged – just by the university rather than the association. You love to whine about unrefundable, non-optional levies, don’t you?
                      But because it suits you it’s the clear moral good. Just another tory…

                    • TheContrarian

                      Freedom to associate means the freedom to join, or not join, the organisation of your choice.

                    • McFliper

                      Absence of choice is absence of freedom.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  having an extra $100.00 or so added for a service I never used

                  Actually, you probably did but you just never realised it. Like many such organisations they perform services that are essentially invisible (ones that are necessary but not actively used) until they’re taken away.

                  • TheContrarian

                    The only difference I noticed in withdrawing from the union was I no longer got the magazine.

                • karol

                   an extra $100.00 or so added for a service I never used as part of an organisation I had no dealings with

                  Sometimes I feel that way about paying my annual insurance premiums.  But the one or two occasions I’ve made a claim, I’ve been glad it’s there.  The worst part of insurance is that the company’s profits go to enrich someone.

                  The difference from a Union is that, it doesn’t profiteer for the benefit of an elite group.  And, I am happy with the conditions the union negotiates for all of us.

                  I’m also happy that a union supports members like Todd Rippon….. the collective logic means, that it isn’t just a case of, “Today they came for Todd….”  the union’s support of one member in such issues, benefits all members.

                  • TheContrarian

                    Nonetheless, no matter how good or not a union is freedom of association means the freedom to join, or not join, a union.
                    Compulsory union membership is not freedom to associate.

                    • McFliper

                      Funnily enough, it wasn’t “compulsory” to join if you weren’t a student at the relevant institution.
                      You were free to go somewhere else. But that extramural option was more convenient for you.
                      Guess what: inconvenience does not equal compulsion. 

                    • TheContrarian

                      So I must quit my job and possibly move to another city in order to find a university where they had voluntary membership with a high likely hood of not finding any programme anywhere where membership wasn’t a requirement? Or else just don’t study at all.
                      Yeah that’s fair.

                    • vto viped

                      There is no choice in;

                      having to pay income tax if you choose to earn an income.
                      having to pay GST if you buy a banana.
                      having to pay rates and receive Council services if you choose to buy a property
                      having to keep quiet after 11pm if you choose to live around others.
                      having to drive at 100kmh if you choose to buy a ferrari
                      having to pay an EQC levy if you choose to insure your house (f#%*ing eqc…)
                      having to register or login if you want to participate in countless blogospehrics

                      I’m sure you get the idea of the principle at play behind these and countless other compulsory requirements that are tagged onto various so-called choices.

                      Have a look at that principle and think about how it applies in the bigger picture of creating an ordered and functioning society

                      simplistic views are just that

                    • McFliper

                      More fair than denying the possibility of joining an independent students’ association to every other student at the institution.Thanks for that, you selfish jerk.
                      God forbid that anyone has to move town, quit their job to study, or be otherwised inconvenienced to get the education option they want – the university of Otago should have a campus in every small town! What the fuck are you, twelve years old?
                      The only reason the government stepped in was because at most institutions, more students wanted independent associations than did not. The government (well, ACT and the young nats) decided to remove freedom of association for the majority just because the minority didn’t want to be inconvenienced. 


                    • TheContrarian

                      NZ Bill of Rights, Section 17:
                      “Everyone has the right to freedom of association.”

                      “A person’s decision to join or refrain from joining an organistion should be free from compulsion, intimidation, coercion, incentives or disincentives of a magnitude that effectively removes the exercise of choice.”


                      A union is an association of people that under the Bill of Rights I should have the freedom to associate in a voluntary manner.

                      “More fair than denying the possibility of joining an independent students’ association to every other student at the institution.Thanks for that, you selfish jerk”
                      No-one is denied anything – membership is voluntary.

                      “decided to remove freedom of association for the majority just because the minority didn’t want to be inconvenienced.”

                      Care to identify which freedoms have been removed?

                    • McFliper

                      8 universities in NZ.
                      Prior to the VSM bill, ISTR 2 of them were already “voluntary”.
                      Not including conscientious objection clauses.
                      Wanting to study at a particular institution is not exactly “of a magnitude that effectively removes the exercise of choice”. You had a choice. Hell, I don’t like lectures at a particular time of the day, but I bite that bullet as a cost of getting the degree. I don’t scream “oppression” about it.

                    • TheContrarian

                      Everyone, as per the Bill of Rights, has the right to join or not join an association free from compulsion. That includes the PSA, Student Unions, the cub scouts and political parties.

                      So can you now identify which freedoms have been removed?

                    • McFliper

                      I can’t join it if it doesn’t exist.
                      And you were free to not join it in the first place. 

                    • TheContrarian

                      So which freedoms do you not have now?

                      “And you were free to not join it in the first place. ”
                      Yeah, but I still had to give them money.

                    • Te Reo Putake

                      No you didn’t have to give them money. You could have refused to join on conscience grounds and you would not have had to pay. Students have now the lost the ‘right’ to an effective Student Organisation on all campuses as a result of a tiny minority of students being too lazy to put in those applications.

                    • McFliper

                      So which freedoms do you not have now?

                      I can’t join an independent students’ association. It no longer exists.

                      And you were free to not join it in the first place.” 
                      Yeah, but I still had to give them money

                      Donate it to charity, if it was like Otago. And besides, at many unis now you still pay a compulsory levy for services that the university then contracts the association to provide. You’d still pay money studying today, but now you have no say in how it’s spent. Good score. You were on a better run squealing “oppression!”
                      Not that you were getting anywhere with that.

                    • TheContrarian

                      “I can’t join an independent students’ association. It no longer exists.”


                      Quite a few student associations you can join eh? You have freedom to join or not join any number of these unions without having to force others to do so. Freedom for you and for me.

                      I haven’t screamed oppression. I didn’t want to be in the Student Union and now I don’t have to but have the choice to join in future if I want to.

                      “No you didn’t have to give them money.”

                      Why should I have to object, withhold funds, potentially forfeit my place in the semester and go through an objection when I am not even part of campus as an extramural student? Also, when I did draw a student loan I didn’t even have the option to withhold payment – comes right out on its own and I have no say.

                      But it’s all a moot point:

                      NZ Bill of Rights, Section 17:
                      “Everyone has the right to freedom of association.”

                      “A person’s decision to join or refrain from joining an organistion should be free from compulsion, intimidation, coercion, incentives or disincentives of a magnitude that effectively removes the exercise of choice.”

                    • McFliper

                      Quite a few student associations you can join eh?

                       How many of them are funded independently of their tertiary institution?
                      You had the option of objecting to membership of an independent and democratic students’ association. That would have been a moronic option, but you were free to choose it. You were never forced to join any particular association. I’ve gone my entire life without joining almost all of them, for example.
                      Now my association is no longer independent. An independent advocacy association no longer exists, probably in NZ but definitely at my uni.


                      Why should I have to object, withhold funds, potentially forfeit my place in the semester and go through an objection when I am not even part of campus as an extramural student? Also, when I did draw a student loan I didn’t even have the option to withhold payment – comes right out on its own and I have no say.

                      Oh, let’s see: because you wanted a degree from that university. And like other costs of going to that university, it was a necessary expense. But better than, say, a recreation levy, because the amount and necessity was democratically decided by students, not the university council. Which is now a compulsory levy from the university that then pays the association a contract for service. Same number of bands at orientation, but you’d better not have a major issue with a paper because the advocate is now a company doctor.

                      Total freedoms “gained”: -1. Thanks for that. 

                    • TheContrarian

                      I’m sorry you find freedom of association under the NZ Bill of Rights to be so hard on you.

                      I can only imagine how you must feel to know that people can choose not to be part of a union.

                    • McFliper

                      Now you’re being intentionally obtuse.
                      You could always choose not to be part of the union.
                      Now there is no independent association for me to join. I am NOT free to join an association, because an independent association no longer exists.
                      You are continuing the perverting of the BORA to impose your will on others. Literally, because ACT amended the BORA rather than the Education Act. 

                    • vto viped

                      I think I’m convinced on all this freedom of association…

                      I would like to get a degree next year. Anyone know of where that can be done without being compulsorily required to join a university?

                    • TheContrarian

                      there, there.

                    • McFliper

                      fuck you’re a tool.
                      You claim it’s your right to shit in the pool because it’s too inconvenient to get out and go to the lavatory, and when someone else points out the repercussions for other people, you go “there there”.

                    • TheContrarian

                      I am sorry you dislike Article 17 of the New Zealand Bill of Rights.

                      I mean, after all, making me pay for a union I don’t support, who’s politics I don’t support (for the most part) is the key to freedom.

                    • TheContrarian

                      “Now there is no independent association for me to join. I am NOT free to join an association, because an independent association no longer exists.”

                      Here’s one and, as you have already said, you have the choice to join.


                      Oh look, here is another:

                      And another

                      So, which freedoms have you lost again?

                    • McFliper

                      How are they funded? THEN we’ll see how “independent” they are…

                      Oh, and nobody “made” you join a students’ association. Stop lying.

                    • TheContrarian

                      So, which freedoms have you lost again?

                      “nobody “made” you join a students’ association.”

                      True, all they did was auto-enrolled me, took my money and wouldn’t give it back.

                    • McFliper

                       here  and here and here

                    • TheContrarian

                      So you can’t join those independent unions because they don’t exist despite several of them existing?

                      oh here’s another:

                      Oh look! and more:
                      “Massey Wellington Students’ Association (MAWSA) is student-run, student-focused and funded by student money. All enrolled students at Massey Wellington are members of MAWSA.”

                    • McFliper

                      here and “All enrolled students at Massey Wellington are members of MAWSA.”


                    • TheContrarian

                      Nonetheless independent unions exist.

                      But again, I am sorry the freedom to associate, or not associate, is hard on you. Really, I am sorry.

                      And you do realise this also means that if a union started moving to the far-right an embracing things you don’t agree with you don’t have to support it financially or otherwise?

                    • McFliper

                      If a truly independent student association exists, it’s an endangered species. Whereas you were free to object to membership of whichever students’ association applied to whichever institution you studied at. The financial argument is bullshit, seeing most of the services have been taken over (well, plus a conflict of interest) by the institutions themselves.
                      Your “lack of freedom” consisted of “you were too lazy to bother filling in the forms, and it might have taken a while”.
                      My lack of freedom consists of “if I have perfect information, I might be able to find a students’ association that does not have a clear conflict of interest should I require advocacy against the institution – and there’s sure not one that can help me in the majority of institutions around the country”. 
                      I just hope you meet someone who is as concerned for your freedom as you tory fucks were for mine. I really do.

                    • TheContrarian

                      You haven’t lost any freedoms.

                      Even if I opted out they still took my money. Woo Freedom! Freedom to give financial support to an organisation that doesn’t represent me and that a I rarely agreed with!

                      “there’s sure not one that can help me in the majority of institutions around the country”.
                      Hey, you could just move and find one? Isn’t that what you suggested I do? I mean God forbid that anyone has to move town, quit their job to study, or be otherwised inconvenienced to get the education option they want.

                    • McFliper

                      Well, my local advocate now has an incentive to cover up problems I might have rather than address them, given that he’s paid at the will of the the university. 
                      And now the university takes the same amount or more money as a service charge. Woohoo! big difference. 

                    • TheContrarian

                      Well I am going out now anyway so I’ll leave you with

                      NZ Bill of Rights, Section 17:
                      “Everyone has the right to freedom of association.”

                      “A person’s decision to join or refrain from joining an organistion should be free from compulsion, intimidation, coercion, incentives or disincentives of a magnitude that effectively removes the exercise of choice.”

                    • McFliper

                      Yeah. Roger Douglas was a real Nelson Mandela.

                    • TheContrarian

                      Yeah fuck Douglas and the freedom of association as enshrined in Article 20 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.


                    • McFliper

                      Yeah. Having to fill in a CO form was suuuuch compulsion.

                      edit: argh fuck it this has gone on long enough and is now a broken record. Has been for ages. If you’re such a fucking moron you don’t get it by now, you’d be illiterate. You’re not illiterate, so you’re just a fuckwit.

                      another edit: actually, could a moderator shift this derail to open mike or something. Sorry I got dragged in.

                    • TheContrarian

                      “Yeah. Having to fill in a CO form was suuuuch compulsion.”

                      yeah but they still took the money…

                      I am sorry the freedom of association causes you such consternation McFlock. Really. I am also sorry your reaction always ends in personal insults towards others.

                      Oh well, we gotta use what we have, eh? When you don’t have a leg to stand on, insult your opponent. You may not win but at least you’ll feel like a big winner.

                    • McFliper

                      When exactly the same comments are repeated three times after it’s pointed out that, e.g., you still lose the money under the new regime, all that’s left is insult.
                      You could have addressed the counterpoint, but no, you repeat the previous line like a dim-witted parrot. So you’re not interested in debate. And foolish me for falling for it yet again. Which is your objective, you trool.


                    • TheContrarian

                      You are full of shit McFlock because since leaving the union my study costs went down. My money is no longer going to an association which I have fundamental disagreements with. THAT is the difference and THAT is against my right to freedom of association. It isn’t about cost – it’s about funding an association which you do not want to associate with.

                      In McFlocks world I should be auto-enrolled and if I don’t like it I have to go to a protracted withdrawal from the association which keeps my money anyway and if i don’t like it then, tough, go to another university.

                      In my world when signing up for university there should be a tick-box “Do you wish to join the Student union: Yes/No”.

                      Freedom of association buddy. Calling me names and a trool is just your way of discrediting opposing opinion. A cheap trick from a cheap man

                    • McFliper

                      whatever, moron.
                      At otago, the costs went up, only this time it’s a service levy from the uni. And because the association is dependent on uni funding, it is not an independent advocate.
                      Freedom of association also means freedom to join. You can’t join an independent organisation if it doesn’t exist.   
                      But of course we’ve been through this repeatedly, but you can’t face the fact that you and your comrades aren’t noble defenders of freedom, you’re just selfish, small-minded toryboys who despise democracy when it returns a decision you don’t like. Cut&pasting dogmatically doesn’t change that. The paperwork was too hard for you to deal with, and your obsession with money just kept you awake at night. 
                      In your world you like to freeload off the gains made previously by association members, before self-absorbed morons like you ran to uncle roger. So yeah, I call you names. What, you want to shit in the pool and still be treated politely? Fuck you. Being called a moron is part of your choice to behave like a moron, just like joining an association was part of your choice to go to that institution. But the government can’t step in and change the law to enable you to behave like a moron without being called one.

                    • TheContrarian

                      “Freedom of association also means freedom to join. You can’t join an independent organisation if it doesn’t exist. ”

                      But some do exist. And you have the freedom to create an independent association yourself if you desire. If an organisation can only exist by forcing people to pay for it, even if they don’t want to join it then that organisation isn’t operating freely or fairly.

                      The rest of your comment is just a mess of childish
                      ad-homs. the written equivalent of foot stamping and wetting your pants.

                      In McFlocks world all arer auto-enrolled and if you don’t like it I have to go to a protracted withdrawal from the association which keeps my money anyway and if i don’t like it then, tough, go to another university.

                      In the free world when signing up for university there is a tick-box “Do you wish to join the Student union: Yes/No”.

                    • McFliper

                      And you have the freedom to create an independent association yourself if you desire.
                      If an organisation can only exist by forcing people to pay for it, even if they don’t want to join it then that organisation isn’t operating freely or fairly.

                      Wow! it never rains, but it pours! Two new contributions to the thread, rather than parroting imaginary shit and unread google searches as if repetition means it’s true.
                      To which I respond: signing a form was a barrier to you not joining an association, but creating a new one from scratch is a “freedom”? Do you even know how many forms are required to create a new society and operate it for a single year?
                      Secondly, (under OUSA rules, anyway) the CO payment wasn’t retained by OUSA to keep it operating. The rule was that it needed to be paid to another charity.

                    • TheContrarian

                      “signing a form was a barrier to you not joining an association”

                      But they STILL take the money. I am STILL funding it regardless of whether I sign a form to withdraw. There is no freedom in funding an organisation you do not wish to belong and withdraw from. Even if it goes to a charity what gives the association the moral authority to take my money and give it to a charity? It has none and removes my freedoms.

                      Independent unions exist, you have the freedom to join one or create one. I have the freedom to not join and not fund one.

                      once again:
                      If an organisation can only exist by forcing people to pay for it, even if they don’t want to join it then that organisation isn’t operating freely or fairly.

                      In McFlocks world all are auto-enrolled and if you don’t like it I have to go to a protracted withdrawal from the association which keeps the money anyway (or gives it to a charity without your authority) and if i don’t like it then, tough, go to another university or don’t attend university

                      In the free world when signing up for university there is a tick-box “Do you wish to join the Student union: Yes/No”.

                    • One Tāne Viper

                      Shorter Contrarian:

                      “Come and see the violence inherent in the system! I’m being oppressed!”

                    • McFliper

                      aaaaaaannnd you’re back to parroting imaginary shit.

                       oh, wait, here’s a new point buried in the crap that’s been dealt with before:

                      Even if it goes to a charity what gives the association the moral authority to take my money and give it to a charity? It has none and removes my freedoms.

                      Actually, it had the moral authority of a democratic decision by everyone else on campus choosing whether they wanted to associate with freeloaders at university. That’s why ACT had to step in, remember? Students kept voting to keep their associations independent.

                      And now for the rehashed drivel.

                      Independent unions exist, you have the freedom to join one or create one. I have the freedom to not join and not fund one. once again: If an organisation can only exist by forcing people to pay for it, even if they don’t want to join it then that organisation isn’t operating freely or fairly.

                      You haven’t demonstrated they exist independently with no conflict of interest caused by funding, you just googled students’ associations. lame.
                      If I have the freedom to go through the process of creating an association, why is it a barrier to sign a CO form?
                      People who were truly opposed to joining an association did not fund the association.
                      Oh, and in the free world central government doesn’t overrule the democratic decisions of communities, be it students’ associations or Environment Canterbury.

                    • TheContrarian

                      To sum up:

                      Despite compulsory membership of a student union being against Article 17 of the NZ Bill of Rights and Article 20 of the UN Declaration of Human Rights, McFlock believes that being auto-signed into a union that may not represent the views of the member who then has to take the time to object, still has to fund the association even if they leave the association who either keeps the money or gives it to a charity without any moral authority to do so. Even though that money may go to something the payee has political objection to, McFlock still believes this is somehow within the bounds of ‘freedom of association’.

                      McFlock also believes a free, fair student union is one that must compel people to fund it.

                      Contrarian believes freedom of association is in the choice to join the organisation itself, in line with international (and national) human rights and that no one should be compelled to join or fund a student union or charity which they disagree with.

                      In the free world people decide themselves whether to join a student association.

                    • McFliper


                    • TheContrarian

                      Glad to see you negating fundamental human rights in the name of your political positions.

                      Hugs and kisses.

                    • McFliper

                      Just expressing my contempt for your blue-tinted, self-obsessed “summary”.
                      When you look in the mirror in the morning you must see this.
                      I wonder if this is more accurate. 

                    • TheContrarian

                      Sorry, which part was incorrect?

                    • McFliper

                      Already covered. Extensively. 

                    • TheContrarian

                      So I haven’t accurately summed up your position?

                    • One Tāne Viper


                    • McFliper

                      your “summary” of my position was simple repetition of previous blue-tinted interpretations of my position that you have made and I’ve corrected.
                      Stop pretending that you wrote something new. You didn’t. Obviously we’ve exhausted your quota of thought for the day, and you’re back to parroting.
                      Ah well, you got my hopes for an actual debate up again, only to dash them once more. I’m the fool again.
                      I miss CV!!!
                      He could hold a debate without being an unimaginative parrot and trooling fuckwit.  

                    • TheContrarian

                      I either have or have not summarised your position accurately. Which is it?

                    • McFliper

                      Already addressed. Get something new.


                    • TheContrarian

                      OK – Does the fact that the association decides on whether or not an objection is upheld and can reject someones application to withdraw from the associations strike you as a freedom under the freedom of association article?

                    • McFliper

                      See? With a bit of work you CAN do it!
                      And actually, yes [edit: erm – “yes” as in I agree with your implied point that the answer to your q is “no”. Clear as mud? Sorry.]. I do tend to agree with your new point. However, the appropriate resolution to that would be to tweak the system of requesting objection (probably a legacy of the old military CO regulations – ’twas the style of the time).
                      Personally, I’d be okay with the objections being referred to the institution and rubberstamped that way, especially if benefits of association membership could also be withheld from the freeloader sorry “objector”.
                      Do you follow the principle that government interference in local matters should be as small as possible? And that keystones of our democratic system should not be used as political footballs by minor parties?
                      If so, was adjusting the BORA an appropriate way to resolve a procedural issue within the education act? 

                    • TheContrarian

                      “If so, was adjusting the BORA an appropriate way to resolve a procedural issue within the education act?”

                      The VSM bill, as introduced by heather Roy, was an amendment to the Education Act, not to the Bill of Rights.

                    • McFliper

                      fair call. I was getting my tory fuckwits confused. Too many assholes in the country.
                      Even so, doesn’t this seem to be a bit of overkill for tweaking CO procedures? 
                      Surely the reasonable response would have been to keep the democratic choice of the students as to whether they were opt-in or opt-out, just insert a paragraph to say if someone doesn’t want to be a member, they just tell the institution in opt-out campuses?

                    • TheContrarian

                      You mean would it be easier for students, when signing up for a course, to say “Yes I do/No I do not want to be part of the student association?

                    • McFliper

                      Not quite.
                      It would need to be a clear statement of intent by the person – initials at the very least. This is still a matter of belief, not a fecking impulse choice.
                      Secondly, students should be able to choose democratically what a null-statement means.
                      Opt-out means no response=membership. Opt-in means no-response = non-membership.
                      Thirdly, it would cut needless bureaucracy costs to the institution to not bother with tick-boxes if it’s opt-out, (given that so few actually bleat “help help I’m being oppressed”). But then manually processing separate opt-ins from the number of students who actually do want to join an association would be even more expensive than a tickbox system, so that might be useful for opt-in.
                      But, to summarise your position ( 😉 ), all the government had to do was amend the process for expressing individual objection for membership to simply making the institution aware of the choice? Rather than the overkill bumf they actually passed?

                    • TheContrarian

                      The way I would do it is not have automatic opt-in but when you first sign up, as a first year, your enrollment pack comes with all the information you require to make an informed choice in the matter. Detailing what you get (and what you miss out on) by electing to either join (or not join) the union. The union can write it in as much compelling language as they want (outside of obvious threats and emotive/leading language).

                      If someone chooses to join – all good.
                      If not then a second letter could be sent, say mid semester, detailing the things the union has done/will do/what you missed etc etc and asking if they want to join the following semester to take advantage of membership.

                      Finally all students receive an end-of-year union report, those that want to join will be able to make that decision on an informed basis. Those that don’t, well they don’t have to.

                      That is similar to how the PSA did it when I worked in Public service

                    • McFliper

                      you do realise that almost all of the bagfulls of material handed out at orientation ends up on the footpath or in the bin pretty sharpish?
                      So what do you do with the null responses?
                      My position is that is someone is opposed to membership, then fine, they shouldn’t be in the association. But an awful lot of folk don’t give a shit either way, even if they’re aware of great reasons to join like “we built the year’s social programme on a non-profit basis” or “we have an independent advocate who knows the labyrinthine academic appeals process better than most lecturers”. Remember the demographic – how many people that age by insurance for their car?
                      But if they don’t give a damn either way, no harm no foul. 

                    • TheContrarian

                      I’m not talking about handouts rather something the is part of the documents sent to you when you first decide to start university. As part of enrollment.

                      There wouldn’t be a null response because it would be a required field as part of completing an enrollment form.

                      In saying that, although I disagree with auto-membership without choice, if there were to be some sort of auto membership then it should come with an expiry after the first semester. You’ll receive a letter/email explaining what you have paid for and what you received and to continue with membership simply free-post the envelope or reply to the email.

                      No response = membership voided.
                      But if people never noticed or never cared they are likely to conitnue membership, particularly if it is coming out of a student loan so it isn’t like you are getting any more money back as was the case with me as I was paying cash up front.

                    • McFliper

                      A) you still get a load of shite in the course approval pack, because it’s one of the earliest opportunities for every other institution service to get a look in.
                      B) why on earth would you make membership of an external body a mandatory field for a tertiary institution? Will it be for just one body, or every association that wants to get a foothold on that campus? 
                      C) why would you arbitrarily terminate a membership based on no guidance whatsoever? At least with my plan other students get to decide which is the better option.
                      You seem to be fixated on low-intensity systems that are highly inappropriate to a tertiary education environment.

                    • TheContrarian

                      You seem to be saying because there is so much shit for people to read and they ignore most of it anyway (or throw it out) then they should just be signed up without their knowledge or permission.

                      C) why would you arbitrarily terminate a membership based on no guidance whatsoever? At least with my plan other students get to decide which is the better option.

                      Or the other way round then, if you wish to leave the association then the onus is on you to reply in the negative.

                    • McFliper

                      sorry, went to pub

                      You seem to be saying because there is so much shit for people to read and they ignore most of it anyway (or throw it out) then they should just be signed up without their knowledge or permission.

                      But so were you, on your one semester trial plan.
                      If people care about membership one way or t’other, their decision should be abided by. I think we agree there.
                      But if they don’t care enough to tick a box, that’s a null response. Why not go by the majority decision of students in that case? Surely that’s better than a default set by central government? 

                      C) why would you arbitrarily terminate a membership based on no guidance whatsoever? At least with my plan other students get to decide
                      which is the better option.

                      Or the other way round then, if you wish to leave the association then the onus is on you to reply in the negative.

                      erm – yes. that’s the “opt-out” option mentioned earlier. 
                      ps: see how we’re having a real discussion? Amazingly off-topic and suited to open mike, but at the same time it’s not just a repetition of the same circular arguments? We’re a snifter close to agreement. 

                    • TheContrarian

                      I can’t keep this discussion going any longer. It’s been 48 hours and that is enough I think.

                      My belief is that people should be free to join, or not join, an association or union in line with the Bill of Rights. Membership should be as easy to join as it is to not join. If someone chooses not to join they should be free to do so without having to make a CO (because personal choice shouldn’t be reliant on the say so of others) and no money should exchange hands if someone makes that decision.

                    • McFliper

                      48 hrs is long enough?
                      well if you hadn’t dicked about with pointless repetition we might have gotten somewhere in that time. Remember that for later.

                    • TheContrarian

                      How about go fuck yourself.

                      [lprent: And there was a point there somewhere about why right? Ummm. Seems like a pointless comment. ]

                    • McFliper

                      awwww, now who’s doing ad homs?

            • Matthew Whitehead

              1) Did you just attempt to derail a discussion and then complain that it’s getting off topic? LOL.

              2) I don’t mind if you don’t join, but you should still have to pay. 🙂

  5. There is no way unions should be banned.

    If someone wants to join a union they should be allowed too.

    Just as there is no way someone should be forced to join a union or be abused for not joining a union.

    • One Tāne Viper 5.1

      Just as you shouldn’t be abused for peddling lame right-wing bullshit. Expressions of sympathy and offers of sheltered housing would be more appropriate.

    • Go away Brett.  You keep spouting a myth without a skerrick of evidence and you are attempting to derail the thread.

      • Brett Dale 5.2.1

        Hey micky:

        Uhm i worked as a kitchenhand in the 90’s didnt join a union and a few people had some choice words for me and told me to be careful, I know what they were inferring.

        Im not trying to derail the thread.

        Im saying it works both ways, EVERYBODY should have the RIGHT to join a UNION.

        Just as EVERYBODY should have the right NOT to join a union.

        There should be NO pressure wither way.

        • higherstandard

          So you support the employee in this case ?

        • Bill

          Hey Brett, hows about a response to my comment at 1.2 instead of peppering the thread with variations of the same line?

        • McFliper

          Were you taking the conditions gained by union negotiators? Did the union collective contract become the de facto individual contract?

        • framu

          well it did take you four comments to get to any sort of debateable point brett – i mean, if it quacks like a duck.

          now that you have made a point – how is it even relevant? If your trying to say that you support the employee here, just say so! – otherwise people will think your full of it

          i also worked as a kitchen hand in multiple places during the 90s – hardly a hot bed of unionism mate.

          your comments so far reek of overly precious BS

          • Brett Dale


            Perhaps the place I worked in was the exception to the rule?

            In terms of the employee and employer in this case, well its a bit different, the left has
            a huge stake in The Hobbit, failing, because if it does, they think it makes John Key look bad.

            • Pascal's bookie

              What a crock of shit.

            • framu

              perhaps it was

              but you know that bit where you take four comments to get to a point?

              maybe you wouldnt get so much sh|t if you just got there on the first one?


              oh… i just read the second part of your reply – i see where back into utter unsubstantiated BS again

              Did you not listen to the audio where the employer specifically states that the problem is the union membership?

              you cant help yourself can you?

        • One Tāne Viper

          “Choice words.”

          Bludger. Freeloader. Treacherous cretin.

          That’s not abuse. It’s description.

          • Polish Pride

            Only in your world OTV

            • felixviper

              Good for you, PP, standing up for the right to benefit from the hard work of others without doing any yourself.

              • Blue

                Felix says “standing up for the right to benefit from the hard work of others without doing any yourself.” Oooooh the irony. I thought thats what left wing politics was.

                • KJT

                  Unions are about getting a fair price for someones work.

                  Talk about reversal.

                  The RIGHT is about parasites stealing the products of workers labour.

                  The left is about getting social insurance, that WE PAY FOR. Not these bludgers.

                  “Yeah we should be doing something about those on State welfare.

                  Banks and finance companies who fail with Government guarantees. And the insider traders who buy into them knowing they will fail and be bailed out.
                  Employers who can pay low wages because the state takes up the slack with WFF and childcare allowances.
                  Poor employers who drive good ones out of business because labour laws are so slack.
                  State owned companies given away to corporates for cents on the dollar.
                  External subsidies from ratepayers to dirty Dairy.
                  Employers given handouts to employ people who then get rid of them when the subsidy ends so they can get someone else who is subsidised.
                  Employers whose workforce are trained by the State..
                  Banks getting windfall profits when the OCR is raised.
                  Currency speculators who short the NZ dollar.
                  Really wealthy people who use a larger share of the countries resources, but structure their affairs so they do not pay taxes to cover their costs.
                  Fathers who use trusts to avoid paying child maintenance.
                  Farmers who have their hands out when they have floods, but do not have any taxable income.
                  State funded Police protection against people they have disenfranchised.

                  Politicians who accept an income from the people of NZ, while they sell them, and the country out, to their sponsors from private corporates.

                  Yep we really do need to cut welfare.””

                • felixviper

                  What’s ironic about you being wrong?

        • quartz

          I know what they were inferring

          They were “implying”. “Inferring” is what you did.

        • mike

          Hey Brett I can’t seem find the post in this thread where someone argues that unions using intimidation to get people to join is ok.

          Or are you just saying that when someone gets fired for being a union member the union has no right to complain about it because someone tried to push you into a union when you were a kitchenhand in the 90s? If so please keep taking the pills.

          Or just having a wee tr0ll perhaps.

          • Brett Dale


            No one should be fired for wanting to join a union. Lets wait for the facts of this case to play out.

            I 100% believe the Unions and the left have used this to make The Hobbit fail because they think it looks bad for national, when if the Hobbit is a roaring success it create more EMPLOYMENT for New Zealand actors.

            Surly the Unions want that? Or are they just about their political ideology.

            • PJ

              The Union wanted NZ actors, working in their own country, to have the opportunity to discuss having the same terms and conditions applied to them as the overseas actors filling roles of the same scale. In any and all films shot here, not just The Hobbit.

              • Akldnut - ASP

                “………… Lets wait for the facts of this case to play out.”


                “I 100% believe the Unions and the left have used this to make The Hobbit fail because they think it looks bad for national”

                Did the facts come out between when you started typing and when you finished?

                I call Bullshit Troll

              • Skinny

                Right on PJ! I laughed when I heard Key got a payment for appearing on the Letterman show ‘ paid actor.’

            • One Tāne Viper

              “Used this to make the Hobbit fail”

              Yes, your Union overlords have the power to do this. On Planet Brett.

              Have a little lie-down before you get altitude sickness.

            • mike

              So you’re waiting for the facts before you pass judgement on the employees case, but you’re going ahead with claiming that the Unions and ‘the left’ have used this case to ‘make The Hobbit fail’? K. I mean it about the pills bro.

              If you’re saying that the Unions and ‘the left’ have used the National party’s balls up over employment issues in general regarding The Hobbit to willfully cause the film to fail, that would be a topic separate to the OP, (unless you’re trying to imply that this could be some kind of stunt by said devious players, but that would seem to be at odds with your staunch ‘wait for the facts’ philosophy).

              You’ve lost me on how this ties in with your kitchenhand days.

  6. higherstandard 6

    Idiot employer who clearly wants to get rid of someone he doesn’t like, hasn’t played by the rules and will now be fucked over mercilessly by the employee and fair enough to.

  7. Pascal's bookie 7

    bretty boy.

    In another thread you were saying the left blogs should just let evryone say what they want pretty much.

    On this thread you’ve spammed the same comment three times and failed to engage in any sort of rational discussion about your own comments.

    Are you seeing what I’m driving at?

    When you raise something, and get a reply, and respond by just starting another subthread based on the same damn thing, readers are going to assume you are being a dick. that’s because you are being a dick. And calling you a dick isn’t attacking you needlessly, or censoring you, it’s just describing your behavior.

  8. Cato 8

    To be fair to Brett, union violence, intimidation and corruption is a pretty well-documented phenomenon. I think you’d have to be more loyal to partisanship than reason not to concede that. It’s a big part of the reason why such large swathes of workers are sceptical of the union movement.

    That, however, has nothing to do with the case at hand PROVIDED that the CTU release is presenting all the relevant facts in a fair manner. That’s a big proviso though, and I don’t see any concession from the tour guide operator that that was the reaon for the sacking. I wouldn’t want to rush to judgment until the rest of it comes out.

      • sweetd 8.1.1

        Is this an illegal recording? If the other party was not aware of the recording and did not give permission I think it might be, therefore everything on it, is inadmissible.

        • Pascal's bookie

          AFAIK you can record any convo you are party to

        • felixviper

          Pascal is correct but it goes even further.

          Any conversation can be recorded by anyone as long as at least one of the parties in the conversation is aware that it is being recorded, i.e. you don’t have to be part of the convo to record it.

          Admissibility in court is another matter, but as far as I know this isn’t one.

          • McFliper

            Listening to the tape certainly shows the true motives for dismissal. 

    • One Tāne Viper 8.2

      “Well documented.”

      Your opinion ≠ credible source.

    • Draco T Bastard 8.3

      To be fair to Brett, union violence, intimidation and corruption is a pretty well-documented phenomenon.

      Yep, it is:

      When Union violence has occurred, it has frequently been in the context of industrial unrest.[1] Union violence is generally a defensive measure carried out against guards or strikebreakers during attempts to undercut strikes.[dubious – discuss][1] Violence has ranged from isolated acts by individuals, to wider campaigns of organised violence to further union goals within an industrial dispute.

      And so is anti-union violence:

      Violence against unions may be isolated, or may occur as part of a campaign that includes spying, intimidation, impersonation, disinformation, and sabotage.[1] Violence in labor disputes may be the result of unreasonable polarization, or miscalculation. It may be willful and provoked, or senseless and tragic. On some occasions, violence in labor disputes may be purposeful and calculated,[2] for example the hiring and deployment of goon squads to intimidate, threaten or even assault strikers.

      • Cato 8.3.1

        Sorry DTB went to post before but saw this comment instead.

        Oh absolutely – I’m not saying unions have a monopoly on intimidation and violence – not at all. And examples of union misbehaviour do not obliterate the fact that unions play a legitimate and important function in advancing members interests and evening up bargaining power.

        But unions are human institutions, right? Shop stewards aren’t morally impeccable. Like all human institutions there is a latent potential for corruption.

        That’s why its foolish to try and deny that, where unions have been powerful, abuse and intimidation have occured. If you’re open minded on the subject try reading The Enemy Within by Robert F Kennedy – hardly a raging right-winger.

        It’s naive in extremis to assume that, because on the whole unions are good things, that the history and reputation of union violence is a complete false-consciousness fabrication. Moreover, claiming that it hasn’t been a problem in the past so jars with the memory of any living person who worked a blue collar job when unions did have clout that it damages unions today. What is needed is an acknowledgment that unions are imperfect and a focus on ensuring they are transparent and deal fairly members and non-members alike.

        As I said, however, that doesn’t touch on the matters this case raises, however.

        • karol

          Robert Kennedy is hardly radical left – according to this, he was centre left on economic issues and left on social policies.

          I think he was a bit anti-union. 

          • Pascal's bookie

            And the US is kind of an exceptional case.

            Although, any Kennedy of that era lambasting the US unions for their well documented links to crime figures et al, takes some balls, as they say.

            • Cato

              I would agree that RFK was no radical leftist (at least not in that era) but the congressional findings speak for themselves. Furthermore, while the US is a special case (as is the case with US corporations) it would be naive not to heed the lessons learned there.

              • karol

                And, yet, we see more court cases in NZ involving mismanagement and corruption among business owners or managers, than among union leaders.

              • Pascal's bookie

                it would be naive not to heed the lessons learned there

                Well sure, but it would be foolish indeed to generalise from the US experience. What are the lessons? That unions will be corrupt in a corrupt milieu? That if you criminalise organisation, organisers will team up with criminals?

                The unions in the US didn’t hook up with the mafia because of any inherent thing about unionism, but because of things to do with the political and social environment, the same things that led to the rise and power of the mafia itself.

                One could draw the lesson for the US that the attitude towards labour that led to the use of groups like the Pinkertons, and events like the battle of Blair mountain ( ) forced workers to be more militant in their organising.

                But I think the real lesson is that the US is an exceptional case, with many warnings that don’t really apply elsewhere due to the unique history of the left in the US.

    • Te Reo Viper 8.4

      “To be fair to Brett, union violence, intimidation and corruption is a pretty well-documented phenomenon.”

      Firstly, you don’t have to be fair to Brett, he’s already fair to middling. Secondly, it’s all Lombard Street to a china orange that you can’t substantiate the second part of the sentence in a local context.

      re: the recording, unless the other party consented to the recording, it’s inadmissable in court. But neither the Labour Department Mediation service nor the Employment Relations Authority are a court. The employer’s in deep doodoo and can look forward to copping substantial financial penalties and the reasonable prospect of having to rehire the worker concerned..

    • felixviper 8.5

      “To be fair to Brett, union violence, intimidation and corruption is a pretty well-documented phenomenon.”

      That’s true, but not in the sense you imagine. Industrial action has resulted in two killings in NZ to date, neither of them perpetrated by the workers’ side.

    • geoff 8.6

      Why the hell should anyone be fair to Brett?? He’s a completely ignorant right wing twat who has managed to hijack this entire post. I’m beginning to think he’s actually a spam-bot that’s running on one of the National Party Research Unit servers.

      [lprent: Unfortunately not. He is a real person, and as much as I frequently get personally irritated with his boneheaded stubbornness, he usually sticks within my interpretation of the policy so he doesn’t get moderated. You just have to argue more effectively. He actually does respond to argument. It just may take a while. 😈 ]

      • Brett Dale 8.6.1


        Im right Wing huh?

        Lets see I hate fox news, I love President Obama, I hate the gop. Im pro choice, im for gay marriage, I believe the rich should be tax more, I believe tax dollars should go to health and education, I believe in climate change, I believe in gun control.

        How the heck is that right wing?

        I just hate hypocrisy, I believe the new zealand left wing blogosphere is turning into our left wing version of the disgusting Faux news.

        • framu

          “I just hate hypocrisy”

          you must really hate yourself then bretty brett

          do we have to go up thread where your saying that we should wait for all the facts then condemming and judging unionists in the same comment?

          dear mods – OK i’ll stop now – getting off topic and ending up brett baiting instead

          • Polish Pride

            I particularly like the fact that Brett can frame an argument WITHOUT having to insert an insult or put down or snide comment directed at the person whose post he is responding to. A skill many on here seem to struggle a great deal with. “bretty brett” – seriously!?!
            It is a sad but common theme..

            • framu

              oh cry me a river

              the reactions brett gets is solely because of the way he behaves

              if hes wants to behave like a kid who cant make a decent argument he will get treated like one

              geez PP its almost like you havent read the ongoing childish, trollish behaviour brett has displayed in this thread.

              Its funny this “oh, your calling him names” thing that crops up here from time to time. Ever notice how theres lots of discussion where people REALLY dont agree but theres no name calling because people are actually engaging in honest, well thought out debate? (thats not to deny the opposite doesnt happen of course)

            • Pascal's bookie

              PP, you may have missed that Brett hasn’t actually made much in the way of an argument. Lots of accusations and assertions, but a singular failure to justify them.

            • felixviper

              Err, in this very thread he has

              1. named an person who blogs under a pseudonym,
              2. lied about details of her real life,
              3. lied about her online activities as well, accusing her of some pretty horrible things,
              4. accused a political party of being responsible for the things he made up.

              Which of those do you not find insulting, snide, or sad?

              • hey felix:

                The person I name, has her name on her blog, and her name is known on the other blog she has written for.

                She has written opinion pieces at the Waikato times andnzherald under her name.

                So I havent outed her if that is what you are suggesting, she is known with her work with (IWCNZ)

                I have never lied about her online activities, go ahead ask her and she will admit deleting comments in the comment section and then telling that person where to go.

                I didnt lie about her details of her life, that was poor writing, I said she was labour list MP, which was factually incorrect, instead of saying “she was on the labour party list.

                • felixviper

                  I checked her blog.

                  She never did the things you accuse her of.

                  You lied.

                  • Yes she did felix and here is the link.


                    stargazer said…
                    thanx cara, appreciate your post. lucy, sorry i haven’t got back to you, but was too tired last night & pretty busy today.

                    fish, i see that you don’t care to respect anyone’s boundaries or polite requests, so i’m telling you to piss off. you aren’t welcome on this blog, anywhere. an inability to respect that fact clearly shows you for the asshole you are. you are perfectly free to start your own blog & make as many moronic comments there as you like. just leave ours alone.
                    Saturday, July 09, 2011 6:55:00 PM

                    • One Tāne Viper

                      Yes, liar, you dig your hole even deeper when you prove that when you said she censors different opinions, you were lying.

                    • NoseViper (The Nose knows)

                      Is Brett a troll that wastes space and time here or not? Is he useful as an irritant like a thorn in the skin?

  9. Skinny 9

    Commonly known as Union Busting and it’s ‘illegal.’

      There is a terrible under tone happening here with active union members being targeted for standing up for workers rights. Take health & safety as an example. Raise concerns and get singled out for special treatment from the employer. It is unjust behavior that leads to workers not rocking the boat safety wise i.e. Pike River.

     Yes and John Keys Union busting antic’s fuels totally unacceptable behavior by mongrel Bosses, who are more interested in higher dividend returns for shareholders than the safety & wellbeing of the worker!

    Hearing today the crap the Justice Department ( National Government are pulling the strings on this) are trying on ‘affected’ IT workers is disgraceful. Basically the JD has facilitated jobs as contractors to a Jap outfit on inferior conditions, including no rights to redundancy payments & in the contract a waiver to litigating against the major 
    Contractor. This is a blatant attempt to shield the Justice Department thru a second tier layer by the right!

    Let’s see some action in the house from Fenton, Roche & Horan < '.' Stand up and deliver!   

    • Rosie 9.1

      Skinny is right. “Commonly known as Union busting and its illegal”. As is Helen Kelly of course.. Its not a case of Todd Rippon shouldn’t be fired for being a Union member, its he “can’t” be fired on those grounds. It should be a clear cut personal grievance claim.

      It will be interesting to see if this latest bit of Hobbit news makes it to other countries who take their union rights and employment law a little more seriously than we do.

  10. If the union is trying to effect Hobbit tickets overseas, then one thats disgusting because it effects jobs here, secondly they are delusional, it will have no effect.

    • McFliper 10.1

      Besides the complete bullshit of your statement, if it exists but has no effect then there’s no need for disciplinary action of any sort. So why fire anyone?

    • VindowViper 10.2

      Well yes. Personally I hope The Hobbit bombs. (And some of the reviews suggest this is not such a vain hope.)

      Yes it’s a hard and bad thing for the jobs that will be lost; but our experience with this industry tells us that they were highly likely to be lost anyway. There will always be somewhere else willing to do it cheaper and as long as the industry is controlled by non-New Zealanders … cheaper will always win. Our national interests will not count.

      The sooner the illusion is popped the better in the long run.

    • fender/same sentiment less eloquent Viper 10.3

      This is getting stale Brett. Nobody is trying to flop a movie. A guy was sacked illegally.

      Wake up or keep off the ale Dale.

      • Brett Dale 10.3.1

        So fender with all the other cases there are around the country, why does the ctu mention this one?

        • fender/same sentiment less eloquent Viper

          Because it’s relevant and needs to be highlighted don’t you think? Gross abuse of workers rights Brett.

          It’s only a stunt in your movie plot mind because you seem to have strong dislike for Unions.

    • rosy viper 10.4

      If the union is trying to effect Hobbit tickets overseas

      I think you mixed up effect and affect. In the context of your post that’s important.

      On second thoughts – I’ll take it as written.

  11. Im saying the Union is doing its best to make the Hobbit look bad, because they think if they effect its ticket sales, it will look bad for John Key.

    The union should be hoping for its success.

    In the case of this union member that got fired, if its proven his firing was unjustified then yes he should get compensated.

    • fender/same sentiment less eloquent Viper 11.1

      “In the case of this union member that got fired, if its proven his firing was unjustified then yes he should get compensated”

      This is the only thing you have correct Brett. So stop repeating your other bs ranting.

      The Hobbit isn’t Keys’ movie no matter how much he may wish it to be Brett.

      • Brett Dale 11.1.1

        Will just have to wait until the facts come out with this case, and see what happens.

      • Brett Dale 11.1.2

        I agree, its got nothing to do with key, doesnt matter if its a success or not, some though are trying to paint that way.

        • fender/same sentiment less eloquent Viper

          There is a connection to Key though isn’t there, with his Warner/Jackson gang beating up on workers so movie makers can buy an extra mansion per film each with their added profit scam our PM arranged.

          They could star in their own Great Train Robbery remake and order some wagons from Hillside, oh hold on.

          • Brett Dale



            The warner/jackson gang, beating up on workers? to they can buy an extra mansion????

            Are you that dumb?

            • One Tāne Viper

              Careful Fender, the clown prince of unsubstantiated assertions thinks you might be making an unsubstantiated assertion. Don’t want to offend the hypocrite, now do we?

              • fender Viper

                I get the feeling Brett Dale is that fool james111 who used to come here spinning anti union crap.

  12. Richard 12

    Clearly a case of the powerful invisible hand sweeping all before him – how dare they threaten the golden egg. It’s got Politics written all over it. The guy has every right to join whatever union he chooses. You can’t however disect the actual dismissal publicaly but it sounded very unprofessional. Let’s face it National Govt hate unions and I would not be surprised if they get a third term the ERA will be ammended or scrapped. That’s why numbers are so important to National. We all know Hollywood have the govt on their knees over a few issues, it’s called a Fair Trade Agreement – dealing with the Stars and Stripes is one way traffic. Key has to stand up on this which will humiliate him. That’s why he won’t. Maybe Brendan Horan could do it.

    • higherstandard 12.1

      What’s this got to with the government.

      It’s an issue for the employment lawyers as it is a simple employment dispute, which does make one wonder why Todd chose to play this out in the media and why the CTU is blowing it up for their own particular political purposes ?

      • Te Reo Viper 12.1.1

        Yeah, HS, the government has no interest in the Hobbit at all. It’s not like they randomly changed employment law and bunged $30 million to the makers of the film, is it?

        • higherstandard

          What has this employment case got to do with the government ?

          • Te Reo Viper

            Have a coffee, HS, you’re not very sharp this morning. As well as the reason I’ve given above, the complaint about the sacked worker allegedly came from a government agency, and the minister responsible for that sector is John Key, the same man who authorised wasting taxpayer’s money on the film and briefly ceded our sovereignty to Warners at the same time.

            The Government is responsible for an atmosphere where not liking the Hobbit, or even being thought to not like the Hobbit, is considered a reason for dismissal. Hobbit hater, remember?

            • Pascal's bookie

              “There is no connection between the blacklist (and it’s eventual retraction) and the choice of production base for The Hobbit”

            • higherstandard

              I realise both you and the CTU are desperate for this to be pinned on Key and the government but there’s really quite weak justification for that when the allegation has already been denied by the agency in question.

              As I asked previously why isn’t this being progressed through an employment lawyer and what is the rationale for the CTU playing it out in the media ?

              More to the point what does Todd want as an outcome as he, IMO, is the injured party ?

            • Jenny Michie

              John Key said this morning on MR that:
              A) if someone wants to belong to a union, they can; and
              B) that he would never get involved an employment dispute.

              What on earth did he think he was doing 2 years ago when his government unilaterally changed NZ’s employment law to placate Warner’s in order to ‘settle’ an employment dispute?

              Hypocrisy. Historically something that will eventually bring politicians and governments down. Of course it does require a semi-conscious electorate so I’m not holding my breath.

  13. One Tāne Viper 13

    Dear sub-pontal wingnuts who have been waiting for all the facts to come out making up your own facts.

    Listen to the recording.

  14. One Tāne Viper 14

    NRT: “Hopefully this shitty little tourism company will receive an expensive reminder that the law still applies…”

    And there’s the problem right there. So long as the only penalty is a fine, criminal scum will continue to harass and attack working New Zealanders.

    Criminalise this treachery. The low-life should be looking at a five year stretch on top of the fine the company will receive.

    • Te Reo Putake 14.1

      Just back of the envelope stuff, OTH, but $5k for the unfair dismissal (maybe more for the aggravating factor), maybe another $5-10k for lost income, another few grand for hurt and humiliation, and a real possibility of being ordered to reinstate the worker. That’s a pretty comprehensive thumping for the employer, who is presumably running a relatively small business.

      Not excusing the behaviour, but it doesn’t require criminal charges to make this hurt the boss concerned.

      • One Tāne Viper 14.1.1

        I’m thinking more in terms of the stigma that a criminal conviction carries: the clear message it sends to the low-life that they are despised by society. The clear message it sends to employees that employers who treat them this way are regarded in the same way that most of us see violent gang members.

        The beneficial effect of removing scum from the pool of potential employers, with the flow-on effect that good employers no longer have to compete with the lowest common denominator.

        The elevation of basic human rights above the “nice to have” status that they are currently afforded.

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