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Industrial roundup: Open Country

Written By: - Date published: 1:19 pm, October 5th, 2009 - 4 comments
Categories: workers' rights - Tags: , ,

ocLast week the Employment Court decided that Talleys-owned Open Country was acting illegally in locking out its unionised staff. The Court upheld the right of workers to demand a collective agreement and stated it was illegal for the Talleys to lock them out rather than attempt collective negiotations.

Despite this, the lockout continues and the National Government stands by and allows their friends the Talleys to openly flout the law. Of course, there’s no suggestion at all that the National Party’s deep links with this company have anything to do with their refusal to act.

Worringly, the Court also decided it was OK for Open Country to use strike-breaking labour hired by a sham contracting agency specifically set up to get around strike-breaking laws. The union is looking at appealing the decision, which can’t stand up to any serious challenge because it effectively nullifies the bargaining power of workers if the bosses are allowed to hire strike-breakers.

The company has also started systematically sacking leaders of the unionised workers on spurious grounds to try to break them. It fails to realise these are real people, many of them related from the same small town. They’re not going to turn their backs on their mates, the guys they have to see down the pub each week, and side with the bloody Talleys.

Open Country is now stepping up their intimidation even further, threatening a major restructure to try and cow the workers into submission.

4 comments on “Industrial roundup: Open Country ”

  1. [Deleted] 1

    [Not wise to post that from a Victoria University IP address. Try it again and we’ll report you to the authorities.]

    [lprent: Yep. Just looking at the ‘e-mail’ makes me want to do some tracking. ]

  2. ak 2

    What’s with all the pussy-footerising “strike-breaking labour” fluff? The word is SCABS.

    Back in the day the Scab List was a powerful deterrent to the scum who would put their hands out for union-won wages while stabbing their mates in the back – names from decades back still etched in memory – the interweb makes it even more potent.

  3. Swampy 3

    Those were the days of course when the government was all cowing to the power of the unions with their closed shop blackmail.

    Fortunately it’s not like that any more, although I am sure there are plenty of unionists who would like to turn back the clock.

    When the original ERB was introduced 1999/2000 it got a heavy response from employers, this resulted in the “winter of discontent” and the result was changes were made to the Bill because of the wishes of the business community. That is called democracy. But in 2004 Labour decided to amend the ERA putting all of the disputed clauses into the principlae Act by way of an amendment Bill. This time around the business community’s objections were completely ignored.

    Now it happens that a lot of laws passed towards the end of Labour’s term that were considered undemocratic have come back to haunt them. The Foreshore and Seabed. The Electoral Finance Act. And I guess this 2004 ER Reform Act. Because Open Country and others are demanding their right to decline a collective contract, the right that they had in the ERA of 2000, is restored. The Amendment act, far from being “technical tidying up” changes, effectively removed that right. And there have been a number of bitter industrial disputes since then because of that.

    • Draco T Bastard 3.1

      and the result was changes were made to the Bill because of the wishes of the business community. That is called democracy.

      No, that is called the tail wagging the dog or, more accurately, authoritarian.

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