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Natonomics and Fire at Will

Written By: - Date published: 7:03 am, July 19th, 2010 - 157 comments
Categories: class war, Economy, workers' rights - Tags:

Extending Fire at Will and attacking union access to worksites undermines workers’ rights and is simply economic vandalism. Weaker work rights will tend to lead to lower wages (already falling under John Key’s watch), low wages lead to underinvestment and poor economic performance, and lack of work rights increases the risk in changing jobs making labour allocation less efficient.

The other day, Irish supplied a textbook explanation of how bargaining power affects wages:

‘In a two sided market (such as an employment market) power asymmetry results in asymmetrical bargaining outcomes. Your supply and demand model is based on an assumption of a level playing field at the point of transaction.

This is clearly untrue in a situation where the cost of the transaction failing for one party is that they need to find another worker while the cost of the transaction failing for the other party is that they lose their income and are thus unable to pay their rent, feed their family, etc.

It can be expressed as:

BPA(Bargaining Power of A) = (Benefits and Costs that can be inflicted upon B)/(A’s cost of not agreeing)

BPB(Bargaining Power of B) = (Benefits and Costs that can be inflicted upon A)/(B’s cost of not agreeing)

If BPA is greater than BPB, then A has greater Bargaining Power than B, and the resulting agreement will tend to favour A. The reverse is expected if B has greater bargaining power instead.

At a macro-economic level the creation of such a power asymmetry across a labour market will result in a blanket downward pressure on wages. Even if more jobs are created.’

To put it another way, the question of wage setting (which is echoed right up to the fundamental political divide between Right and Left) is how to divide the fruits of production. Workers obviously want to maximise their share and capitalists, assisted be the management class, want to maximise theirs. The stronger worker’s rights the higher wages will tend to be. Weaker work rights (and higher unemployment) mean stronger relative power for employers, and lower wages.

Weaker workers’ rights = lower wages. We can show this empirically by looking at countries around the world. Nearly all the countries with higher wages have stronger work rights.

Question: Does moving to further weaken workers’ rights best fit John Key’s official goal of closing the wage gap with Australia or his officially denied but ideologically consistent position that he ‘would love to see wages drop’?

Low wages discourage capital investment/ low wage labour is used inefficiently. As an owner of capital, you don’t invest in expensive machinery when there is cheap labour to do the job instead. The result is the productivity of labour is lower than it ought to be. Where countries like New Zealand and the US have weakened work rights the result has been lower wages and chronic underinvestment leading to weaker economic performance. By contrast, look at Europe where labour is expensive and work rights are strong or even Australia where things are comparatively good. Expensive labour encourages investment in plant and equipment to get the most production out of each worker – the overall result is more production from more productive workers.

Markets depend on confidence and the labour market is no different.

If you are one of the 90% of people who want a job who have one, will you be more or less willing to change jobs when that will mean going into a 90 period where you can be fired without notice or just cause? Less willing, eh? Every time you change jobs becomes a gamble that you don’t get an arsehole boss who can take away your livelihood in an instant.

So, workers are going to be less confident in changing jobs (again, not helped by historically high unemployment). That’s bad news because our modern economy depends on people being willing to move into new jobs. You don’t want people staying in jobs for which they are over-qualified, both blocking others from moving up the employment ladder and creating under-supply of labour for higher skilled jobs, because they are afraid of the risk of getting fired. You don’t want new businesses struggling to find workers because people are incentivised to find a job and stay in it. But this is the result when your create an unconfident labour-force.

Once again, we see that National’s economic ideology has two major flaws: it focuses on increasing the benefits to a single (already privileged) class even at the expensive of the country as a whole and it is short-termist, it fails to see that wealth grabs for the wealthy end up hurting everyone, including the wealthy.

157 comments on “Natonomics and Fire at Will ”

  1. Carol 1

    Just listened to the discussion on the 90 Day law on Morning Report. Good anaylsis by Brent Edwards of the report on the 90 Day Law as it’s worked so far: he said that it represented the employers’ view of the law and that it actually presented evidence that contradicts some of Key’s statements this morning on MR. ie that key’s Pizza Boy anecdote does not represent the evidence, which shows there has been no improvement in employment of immigrants or people who had difficulty getting jobs.

    It seemed to me that Key presented a contradiction: ie he said that no worker had to accept the 90 Day law as a condition of employment. But Key also said that the law provided a means for people, who employers wouldn’t normally take a punt on employing, to get a job. But surely that means such “at risk workers” could only get a job if they agreed to the 90 Day law – so what sort of “free” choice is that for the worker?

    In fact Brent Edwards said that most of the small number of employees who were interviewed to see how the 90 Day law is working, believed that they had to accept the 90 Day rule in order to get the job.

    So more Key double talk and slipperiness (he said he actually didn’t believe that he had told the unions he would consult them before introducing any changes to – or extension of. the 90 Day law – whatever the Unions say they had been told he would consult them on, I forget the exact details.

    And, Key also showed that protests DO make a difference, even if not directly: Key said there hasn’t been the amount of protests about the 90 Day Law that there has been about the mining issue, or the national standards in schools…. not that Key seems to be listening to those bigger protests either… so what’s the point in mentioning it Key? And, Mr Slippery, will you change your view on and implementation of Labour Laws if there are widespread protests about your changes?

    Well, Key has just given people a very good reason to protest strongly and widely about these laws (and for the reasons that Marty G above gives), to provide more ways of exposing Key’s slippery and weasle words.

  2. IrishBill 2

    I’d just like to make it clear I don’t think this law will create more jobs, the last paragraph of my comment was based on a hypothetical put by the person I was responding to.

  3. kriswgtn 3

    Fire @ will


    Lets fire the fucking lot of them in 2011

    See their plans for mining is back on the cards.

  4. Carol 4

    On your last paragraph, IB, I seem to remember hearing about examples of workplaces that involved the workers more in the decision-making and generally treated workers as responsible as resulting in better productivity, business outcomes etc. I thought there was research showing this.

    Really the treat-workers-as-serfs approach to employment seems not to be a really positive way to either improve business outcomes, improve the economy or result in lower unemployment. It just seems a pretty negative and cynical way of shifting more of the wealth to the wealthy by removing it from poorer sections of society. This shows lack of any real vision, attempts for innovation or creative thinking.

  5. Adrian 5

    Is the “Pizza Boy” another lie, was Key at home, did he even get pizza ? Who believes that the intense security around him would let in an “immigrant” with a steaming package to doorstop Key? This sounds like manufactured bullshit to me.

    • felix 5.1

      The pizza guy is real, he also delivers pizza to Bill and Mary Smith. His name is Apu Singh.

  6. Cnr Joe 6

    Point was made on am report that the delivery boy must pay for the pizza out of own pocket if no result @ the address.
    hows that fair?

    • prism 6.1

      Good points Carol – I was confused by the discussions, the rhetoric is how good it has been but I’d like to see tables and graphs and anecdotal resports. You picked up on the whole dodgem circus discussion – lots of driving around but with the object of avoiding the questions.

      Cnr Joe – The other point about pizza deliverer was that he was on contract not wages. This contract stuff is another way of big employers particularly, withdrawing from a fair relationship with their workers.

      Then of course is the casual employment – flexible working hours – lack of consideration by employers to employee’s needs to plan their lives, have security of income and basically have the right to a personal life.

      Pizza boy having to pay for bad customers is just another insult to workers on low incomes.

      • burt 6.1.1

        Do Pizza delivery people keep the tips ? Let me guess, it’s OK to privatise the profits but unacceptable to privatise the losses.

        • Kerry

          New Zealanders give tips?

          • felix

            There are no New Zealanders any more, Kerry – we’re all just non-regional global economic units.

        • burt

          I always give tips to pizza delivery guys.

          But hey if they are required to hand their tips over to the pizza company then I’ll stop doing that.

          • Pascal's bookie

            percentage based, or ‘keep the change’?

          • felix

            That’s really got zero to do with him having to pay for an orphaned pizza though, burt.

            Or is he remunerated on a profit-share basis? Unikely I’d have thought.

          • burt

            Usually up to about $5. Change from the sale and/or some change from my pocket. It’s a tip, I make it up as I go so it could be $2 or it could be $5. My expectation is the person doing the delivery keeps it. But hey if we are saying dealing with bad deliveries should be the problem of the company then good deliveries should be as well.

            What do we want here other than pizza delivered efficiently by people who want to earn money?

            • Pascal's bookie

              So if some drunk has changed his mind about wanting pizza, then the guy only needs about 6-15 customers like you to pay for it then.

            • felix

              When you ordered the pizza you made a deal with the company, not with the delivery guy.

              This is why he doesn’t get any of the profit from it and shouldn’t shoulder any loss should you break your deal with the company.

              The deal you make with the delivery guy (that you’ll give him a few bucks cos you’re a nice guy) wasn’t negotiated between you and the company and has nothing to do with them.

        • Draco T Bastard

          McDonalds policy is that if any tips are given then they go in to the draw and from there into their profit and loss statement. It doesn’t go to the person who was given the tip. If they try to keep it they will be fired for theft.

          Pizza delivery boys get to keep the tips – if the amount they have on them at the end of the night exceeds the amount to cover the pizzas. If it’s under then they have to make up the difference.

          Well, that was what it was like when I filled those two roles.

        • Deborah Kean

          What tips?

  7. jcuknz 7

    Maybe I’m being perverse but what I get from your comments Marty is the alternatives of … low wages=low unemployment versus high wages = high unemployment …. which is the better option?
    It seems to me that the higher the wages of the worker the more inclined are employers to buy the expensive machinery that puts the worker out of a job. I wonder what and where the sensible balance point is. Ideally the increased productivity leads to better pay which in turn means greater buying power to purchase the goods made by other workers …. all good until Earth runs out of its resources … somehow we need to find a better model I think.

    • Gosman 7.1

      The Earth isn’t going to run out of resources, well at least anytime soon anyway.

      It is good to see that at least on commentator from the left isn’t claiming that the changes will lead to an increase in unemployment.

      • Bored 7.1.1

        Goss, see you have your head up your arse again. By saying any time soon you are recognising that you cant keep taking for ever, that things do eventually run out. If you mean this year or next you might be right, in reality what you are saying is gobble everything now, leave nothing for coming generations and promote a model that fucks the environment concurrently.

        • Gosman

          By anytime soon I actually mean within the evolutionary lifespan of the human race. Hence it isn’t something that should overly concern us, (unless you are one of these people who also worry about the Sun eventually dying out and enveloping the Earth in the process).

          Some resources are temporarily scarce due to demand and technology constraints. It is in those situations that alternatives need to be identified. But there is no way that we will run out of resources.

          • Bored

            So Gos, try running todays arrangements against the expected lifetime of resources such as oil. Its a blip in the evolutionary life of man, and unless you can break the laws of thermodynamics (theres always some twerp convincing the masses that technoplogy can be developed to do so) you can forget even getting at hard to find resources.

            • Gosman

              If you narrow your definition of oil to fossil fuels then your view might potentially be accurate. Thankfully this is not how the real world works. If you want an example then what is bio-fuel?

              BTW the law of thermodynamics only applies to closed systems such as the Universe. The Earth is not closed in that sense. Only scientific illiterates attempt to use that law in arguments. Young Earth Creationist are the biggest ones, followed by people like you.

              • NickS


                It’s the Second Law of Thermodynamics people all the other laws work perfectly fine, irrespective of whether it’s a closed system or not. Which can be seen from everything to metabolic processes to a car engine. But also there’s a finite amount of energy available on Earth from direct and indirect (hydrocarbons, wind and water) solar and geothermal sources, so teh energy has to come from somewhere.

                As for biofuels it comes down to a trade off between food vs fuel production in terms of arable land for standard bio-fuel crops, which in turn looks worse off energy efficiency wise verses renewable electricity sources used to charge batteries for electric vehicles. It’s not to say biofuels aren’t useless, they’re a useful carbon feedstock for hydrocarbon synthesis and fuel for ships and planes, or backcountry travel, but as they take land and fertilizer that’s used for food production, along with already stretched freshwater water sources it creates quite a few obvious problems. Whereas wind and solar can just make use of existing rooftops and desert landscapes (not all that much land is required from memory), or dams in wetter, higher latitudes. Which aside from the set up cost, doesn’t compete with crop space.

                And yes, I know there’s biofuel crops that don’t require good land, but there’s still issues associated with the amounts that need to be grown, the efficiency of converting plant material to ethanol or biodiesel isn’t great and then there’s conservation issues.

                • Gosman

                  “And yes, I know there’s biofuel crops that don’t require good land, but there’s still issues associated with the amounts that need to be grown, the efficiency of converting plant material to ethanol or biodiesel isn’t great and then there’s conservation issues.”

                  Those are all issues that could eventually be resolved depending on technology.

                  I stand by my statement that only scientific illiterates use the second law of thermodynamics when it comes to arguments such as these (as opposed to specific engineering related issues such as performance outputs of car engines

                  The fact of the matter is that the Earth receives a huge amount of energy via the Sun which is largely untapped potential. Most clean energy solutions attempt to harness this potential either directly or indirectly.

                  We are not going to run out of this potential for a long long time so it is silly to talk about how the earth is running out of resources.

                  • NickS

                    First bit of stupid:

                    Those are all issues that could eventually be resolved depending on technology.

                    Nyet, conversion is basically fermentation, in which energy is required to breakdown and process the plant matter into biofuels, on top of the energy costs of planting, maintenance and harvesting + processing, which varies from crop to crop + how much usable hydrocarbons can be recovered vs crop type. And while yes, there are some advances that can be made, the problem is none of them will make up for the trade-off’s that occur with using biofuels to replace current fossil fuels.

                    The fact of the matter is that the Earth receives a huge amount of energy via the Sun which is largely untapped potential. Most clean energy solutions attempt to harness this potential either directly or indirectly.

                    You get this part right only to make a massive leap of logic…

                    We are not going to run out of this potential for a long long time so it is silly to talk about how the earth is running out of resources.

                    Problem, “resources” means all resources, not just solar radiation. For example, fossil hydrocarbons are limited, as are various metals in terms of being present in economically viable concentrations and locations. As are freshwater resources, and various ecological services that we rely on, from hardwoods to pollination and erosion control.

                    Not to forget either, arable land is at a premium and humanity is facing soil lose and degradation in agricultural baskets worldwide. Which is problematic as it takes around a century to make a centimetre of top soil…

                    So yeah, you’re an idiot for saying something so evidently wrong.

                    And I’m guessing that you also post of at Hot Topic, so I shouldn’t be that surprised.

                    • Gosman

                      You obviously missed my point where I stated that some resources are temporarily scarce due to demand and technology constraints. This applies to Hydro Carbons (what does it matter if they are generated tens of millions of years ago or in the last few months?) as well as fresh water amongst many others.

                      We already artificially recreate these resources via technological processes such as growing of bio-fuel production and water desalination. The issue is that the energy required to reproduce them artifically is quite a lot. That isn’t to say that it is uneconomic and given both increased demand and better technology these processes are likely to be used more often in the future.

                    • NickS

                      Ugh, the problem is, is that some resource deposits are at concentrations that are not retrievable without technology that is literally science fiction at this stage to make even remotely economical. Also, desalination only works for coastal areas, the energy cost of not just desalinating water, but also pumping it inland in continental regions means that fresh water resources are actually limited resources. And also the cost of desalination plants + energy needed for them is still expensive enough that it makes better economic sense to reduce water use via water conservation and recycling.

                      Unfortunately for you, it appears you think that technological advances will solve scarcity issues if we but wait, which ignores the issues of here and now, on top of the fun involved with doing R&D. i.e. it takes time, innovation and lots of money to solve major energy issues, and time is not something we have a hell of a lot of .

                      To put it bluntly, your argument is akin to saying that HIV isn’t an issue because one day we’ll develop a vaccine to it, and so we can just ignore it.

                    • Gosman

                      No, my argument is that it is silly and illogical to state that we are running out of resources. That is plainly untrue.

                      If you want to argue that we are reaching our current technological limit in regard to current resource utilisation then that is a completely different argument.

                      One assumes that the only way to resolve the problem is to reduce resource consumption. The other can be tackled by a number of different combinations.

                      It might not be easy but certain people were thinking we had reached a theoretically maximum number of people on the Planet thirty or forty year ago before the Green revolution increased crop yields dramatically. I don’t see why a similar technological revolution in regard to other resources isn’t possible.

                • Bored

                  Thanks Nick for that concise reply, Gos obviously has not done the research before opening his mouth. he is actually a very good example of the way concentrated energy entrophies……

                  • Gosman

                    You have not addressed any of the points I made bored.

                    It is plainly silly to state that the Earth is running out of resources when that is unlikely to occur for a very, very long time to come.

                    Your argument reeks of the same one young Earth creationists use to explain why the Theory of Evolution is wrong.

                    • NickS

                      Or you could realise that Bored doesn’t actually know thermodynamics that well, and as such is more talking about resource limitations concerning fossil fuels, rather than actual energy sources, and as such not actually talking about the second law of thermodynamics. i.e. you’re making a strawman, tut-tut, which is what creationists, HIV deniers, anti-vaccinationists and climate change deniers do to rhetorically (fail) attack their opponents.

                      Surely as one who dislikes creationists, you understand the fallacy of using such a poor argument?

                    • Gosman

                      Why are you so hung up on the fossil part of fossil fuels NickS. All you are talking about is Hydro Carbons. Whether or not they are created millions of years ago or yesterday is irrelevant to how we utilise them in our economy.

                      As for why I bring up Bored’s connection with Creationist arguments. Using the Second Law of Thermodynamics to argue we are running out of resources is as silly as the YEC arguments over Evolution.

                      The amount of entropy in the system that would have to exist for us to worry about resources disappear would have to be many times what is currently happening. Resources don’t disappear. They change form but the amount of carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, and other elements we need that are present on Earth are pretty much the same as they have been for hundreds of millions of years. We just have to find an efficient way of getting and (re)using them.

                  • NickS


                    Uh, it’s actually more that systems tend to decay towards the lowest state unless energy is expended to keep them in place. Which doesn’t have a nice transference to human cognitive processes except in terms of waste heat and metabolic and molecular bio stuff.

                    Also, finally biting the bullet and checking wikipedia on the second law:

                    a href=”http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second_law_of_thermodynamics#Versions_of_the_Law”>In a system, a process that occurs will tend to increase the total entropy of the universe.

                    Which is true even in a open system like the Earth…
                    *Me tired. Need coffee.

                    • Gosman

                      But the system on Earth is highly unlikely to reach a point a level of entropy that impacts us for many billions of years to come. To try and argue that this law has any real impact on how we live our lives beyond the efficiencies in the choice of the best form of energy supply is plainly ridiculous.

                    • NickS

                      Ugh, go read some biochemistry stuff to do with energy and entropy.

                      It’s not that fucking hard to realise the second law actually applies all the time, hence these “metabolism” “repair” and “waste heat” things…

                      Or even go read the talk.origins stuff on the second law, which I’m sure will be at you reading level.

                    • Gosman

                      I agree that it applies all the time at a local level but it’s actual impact is not applicable on the wider picture, (and is unlikely to be for a long long time). It certainly will have minimal impact on the economy beyond the choice of which energy source is the most efficient. Remember it was Bored who brought up the laws of thermodynamics in this argument to try and support the view that we are running out of resources. Do you think that makes an awful lot of sense?

          • Draco T Bastard

            By anytime soon I actually mean within the evolutionary lifespan of the human race.

            Try in the next 50 to 60 years in straight line use. Taking into account Peak Resource will extend that but it does mean that we will be using more than is available in the next 30 to 40 years.

            Peak Oil is around about now and we’ll be using more than is available in the next two to three years.

      • prism 7.1.2

        Gosman is jcuknz your idea of a left-thinking commentator?
        Depends on your own distant perspective from that tag I suppose.

        • lprent

          Yeah, I’d have put jcuknz slightly right of center on most things. That is why I seldom wind up disagreeing with him (apart from his views on some science stuff).

          I guess that Gosman thinks of himself as being at the centre… But he probably finds a carnival house of mirrors providing a true and clear reflection.

          • prism

            LOL – Does that mean that you place yourself as just right of centre lprent?
            I wonder what constitutes the left in NZ as in social democratic, these days? Greens? Can Labour be called left now?

            • mcflock

              as an Alliance member, hell no Labour hasn’t been “left” for decades! 🙂

            • The Voice of Reason

              From my always reasonable perspective, these are state of the parties:

              Greens: socially and economically left.
              Labour: socially left, economically centrist
              Prog’s: socially conservative, economically left
              NZ First: socially conservative, economically centrist
              United: socially conservative, economically centrist
              Maori: socially right, economically centrist
              National: socially liberal, economically right
              ACT: socially right, economically right.

              For the sake of context, I see a mixed market economy as centrist (ie. it’s the default position of most modern economies). I see both the MP and ACT as socially right, but for different reasons (nationalism, MP; Randism, ACT). I see Dunne as economically centrist, because he will back any policy that gives him a ministerial position.

              I differentiate right and conservative as being the difference between Roger Douglas and Robert Muldoon.

              • prism

                VoR That’s good for me. It seems pretty right from my standpoint.
                Am keeping a copy for when I get totally fuddled as to what’s going forward!

                • The Voice of Reason

                  Thanks, prism. It might make a good post for a quiet Friday arvo debate (hint hint, all powerful moderators).

                  • Gosman

                    Ummmmm… what is you definition of Socially left and right?

                    • The Voice of Reason

                      Socially left would be actively promoting stuff like, say, anti-nuke legislation, the BORA or the repeal of S29. Liberal would be voting for that stuff, but not promoting it. Right would be opposing it.

                    • Gosman

                      You are making distinctions between different viewpoints when none really exist in reality. Parties of the right economically can be just as proactive on promoting liberalisation of social issues like decriminalisation of drugs and prostitution.

                      Hence there should only be three separate social criteria, liberal, centrist, and conservative. All the other is just your political bias showing through (as if the Left has the sole mandate to push for societal liberalisation).

                      By the way I wouldn’t classify the National Party as Socially liberal myself. Centrist maybe but too many old school people in it for the former.

              • Tiger Mountain

                Very reasonable! but I think you should include the Workers Party who went to the trouble of getting registered and standing parliamentary candidates last election. And grudgingly even the Libertarianz though they did not stand a full ticket, because they are to the right of Act.

                Neither have a shit show of electoral success but provide a fuller illustration of the political spectrum. Super left to super right. The WP are the only ones that don’t claim to represent ‘everyone’ in society, they are a one class party. And no, I am not a member!

                • The Voice of Reason

                  Don’t forget whatever Social Credit are called these days, TM! My Dad’s still a member and their newsletter was pretty progressive, last time I saw one. For simplicities sake, I stuck with the parties currently in Parliament, but I’d list RAM and the Workers party as socially and economically left, as far as I know. Both members of the Libertarainz assure me they are more right wing than each other.

              • Ari

                The Mäori Party are pretty hard to sum up on the social dimension, to be honest, because they have a lot of pro-social policies that could be called “left”, and a lot of traditionalist policies that could be called “right”, but it’s a relatively fair call either way, I think, because they’re definitely not socially centrist!

              • Ari

                Wait, what, National socially liberal? Not a chance. Not even. They have at best a mixed record on social issues. I’d go for centre-right or right. 😛

                On conscience votes some Nat MPs tend to vote liberal, but on party votes they almost always vote conservative.

            • lprent

              Yeah I’d have to put myself just right of center on many things. Just left of centre on many others. Far more green than exploitive. An armed pacifist. An ardent feminist (i like the idea of being supported as a house husband). A strong supporter of unions, despite never being a member, and only ever dealing with them from the other side of the negotiating table (the historical alternatives are far worse) The usual mix of uncategorizable political Attributes.

              But above all I tend to look at all policy working backwards from 20-30 years in advance. And I use history rather than blind faith as a guide for the future The last one prevents me from having any interest in the ACT or the greens. The first prevents me from having any interest in National.

              I support Labour more by elimination of viable alternatives than absolute conviction, and have been in that position for decades.

          • Gosman

            I was meaning MartyG not jcuknz. His article makes no reference to increased unemployment, which I think is a refreshing change from the usual guff.

          • jcuknz

            Actually LPrent when I did the test over at Kiwiblog, it was an american site, I came up very clearly to the left of centre. DPF was well into the right 🙂 But I guess that just illustrates that Key is to the left of Obama, and I was one of those who helped to change the Association of Consumers and Taxpayers into the ACT Party … seemed more likely to make a go of things than the Alliance which appeared to be the only alternative at the time … so maybe your assessment is correct.
            I learnt from my time at ACT that I am not a political animal … but like everybody I have views 🙂

            • lprent

              Yeah but the ‘left’ in mainstream US politics would be right of centre here. Explains a lot about their society (or rather – lack of it). Much of the right there would regard whale as a liberal pinko.

      • Deborah Kean 7.1.3

        Ma dai! Of course they are going to lead to an increase in unemployment! Key and his minions and his masters in business rely on high unemployment and insecurity among workers and job seekers…

  8. Gooner 8

    By contrast, look at Europe where labour is expensive and work rights are strong or even Australia where things are comparatively good.

    Hhmmmm, not sure Europe is in the best of health at the moment.

    As for Australia, there is a probationary period over there, so why are record numbers of Kiwis flocking over there to work?

    • Olwyn 8.1

      Because there is such a thing as a living wage in Australia, and also because the unions are strong and thus have the potential to make life difficult for an employer who abuses the probationary period.

      • Gosman 8.1.1

        So why are Union’s so weak in NZ after nine years of a pro-Union Government?

        Is the implication from what you are saying that the last Labour government achieved very little in this area?

        • The Voice of Reason

          You are dead right, Gosman. The ERA is great bit of legislation in many areas, particularly with the emphasis on good faith behaviour. However, from a left perspective, while it allows such things as national multi employer agreements, it does nothing to encourage them happening. It’s a stridently neutral piece of legislation, or at least will be until the NACTM government deals to it in a month or two. Certainly, it was a major improvement on the Contracts Act, but as I say, merely bought things back to the centre ground.

          The last Labour administration was a lost opportunity in many ways for unionists and despite the understandable paranoia from some on the right, the union movement did not get many practical advances in exchange for their support. Hopefully, that’ll change next time.

    • Carol 8.2

      Under the Australian probationary period, the worker cannot claim unfair dismissal if they are let got at the end of the trial period. However, the worker can claim if they think they have been discriminated against.


      Importantly employees subject to a trial period still have the right to bring personal grievances in respect to:

      * Any disadvantage that occurred while they were employed.

      * Discrimination, and sexual or racial harassment.

      * Duress related to union involvement or non involvement.

      * A situation where an employer fails to implement the Employee Protection Provisions required by part 6A of Employment Relations Act 2000.

      How does this compare with Key’s trial period/s?

      But the Rudd government also weakened, though didn’t fully get rid of, Howard’s very unfair Work Choices law.


      They reinstated the unfair dismissal law for bigger businesses, but kept the trial period for small businesses.

      So, in contrast with Aussie, Key wants to extend the trial period to bigger businesses. So Kiwis going to Aussie will have a fairer prospect if they get a job in a bigger business than here, if Key has his way.

      • Disengaged 8.2.1

        Under the New Zealand bill employees can’t raise a PG on the grounds of unjustified dismissal, but they can raise a personal grievance on other grounds, such as:

        *or an unjustified action by the employer that disadvantaged the employee.


        So they are fairly similar to the Australian provisions.

        • The Voice of Reason

          Except in OZ, employers are required to provide the reason for dismissal. Here they don’t, so it’s next to impossible to prove discrimination; harassment; or an unjustified action by the employer that disadvantaged the employee.

          To be blunt; here it’s genuinely Fire At Will.

    • loota 8.3

      Germany. Extremely strong unions. Extremely strong tech and industrial power where unions and industry must work together for the benefit of the country – and to ensure that workers are recognised and get their fair share of the success they contribute to. The powerhouse of Europe in the middle of the financial crisis.

      The European countries which are really in the dunny…are the ones who have spent €€€ on unproductive stupid projects, incompetence and general spendthrift malfeasance. Think our leaky building problem x100. Or x1000.

    • Pete 8.4

      Gooner As for Australia, there is a probationary period over there, so why are record numbers of Kiwis flocking over there to work?

      For starters as far as i know on average the wages over there are atleast 1/3 higher

      Friends of mine have a sister in Brisban running a temp agency.They told me the lowest rate paid was for factory workers, @ $18 p.h. Australian.

      And plus all the perks such as double time for working overtime.

      And when you live in a progressive country like Australia, that it seems so happens still did pretty well !, even through a recession !.And employers dont mind paying well and sharing the profits ! ,with good workers.

      Then a probationary period only effects the slackers .Because there is plenty of other jobs out there on offer !,with decent bosses honestly wanting their workers to do well ! and stick around rather than moving overseas ….In other words Aussie bosses are not wanting worker to just become slaves .

      Here in NZ the atitude of bosses is backward……And yet when the boom happens and all of a sudden they find they do need good workers, but find themselves picking through the dregs and squabbling over the few decent workers still around.

      Then they all start a wailing at the far-right wailing wall ! . Tearful and full of great sorrow and repentance, expecting miracles from sweet Jesus ,to somehow arise from the ashes and turn the boom into wealth.

  9. vto 9

    This government reminds me of Mussolini’s millions.

    • Gosman 9.1


      (Nice to see Goddard’s law in effect here)

      • vto 9.1.1

        stashing the loot while they can.

        (how is goddard’s law applicable?)

        • Gosman

          Because you brought in a reference to a totalitarian regime when frankly there is no comparison between what is going on here and what you are attempting to link it to.

          I could be wrong though. Perhaps you would like to expand on how this topic and the subject of Mussolini’s millions are linked in a logical way.

          • felix

            Um, you’re thinking of Godwin’s Law, which doesn’t mean what you think it means anyway.

            It simply states that the longer a thread goes, the more likely a comparison to nazis becomes.

            It says nothing at all about appropriateness or relevance, just likelyhood.

            • Gosman

              I stand corrected, I did mean Godwin’s law. I did check to make sure I had the right law of the multiverse but my checking was obviously faulty.

              The point stands though.

              • felix

                Which was what? That you don’t want people to mention Mussolini?

                Fine, but at least take ownership of that instead of bringing Godwin into it.

              • Bored

                I dont mind if you and your ilk are compared to Mussolini. Stuff Godwin, he is an easy way to hide from being accused of what you are. If you are stand by your convictions, and are happy with a corporatist anti union anti workers authoritarian path, then be our guest, celebrate Mussolini, stand proudly with his memory. Be true to your self.

                • OleOlebiscuitBarrell

                  I think Felix may regard that as unnecessarily harsh assessment of his views.

                  • felix

                    I think you need to lern to reed a nested thred, dickhed.

                    • OleOlebiscuitBarrell

                      I’ll try, if you agree to try to find the “a” key on your keyboard.

                      In an effort to understand, was your last vowel-challenged contribution directed at me, vto, Bored, Gosman or yourself? In providing your answer illustrate how directing your last comment and that person was inconsistent with the approach adopted by me in previous comment.

                    • felix

                      Bored replied to Gos. You replied to Bored thinking that Bored had replied to me. I replied to you explaining that you were incorrect. I’m now replying to myself because we’ve come to the nesting limit, having now wasted two layers explaining incredibly simple things to you, retard.

                • Gosman

                  So all countries with a variation of the 90-Day law are the same as Mussolini’s Italian fascist regime???

                  Well then I guess that covers a lot of places then, like the UK, and Australia, (and potentially the US).

                  Does this also mean bigging up workers rights makes you the same as the North Korean regime?

      • prism 9.1.2

        I thought Goddards was a firm making metal polish? Good on silver I think. Perhaps Mussolini used it to gloss up his millions.

        • Anthony C

          Perhaps Mussolini was a fan of French New Wave cinema?

          • The Voice of Reason

            Jean Luc Godard is the auteur you are thinking of, Anthony. One ‘d’. Don’t know if Mussolini hung around the cinema, but I do know he hung around under a lampost for a while.

            • Bored

              LOL, upside down with his girlfriend so I recall. Strange predelictions.

        • jcuknz

          The Goddards run/ran a popular market garden business down here and the old man supports one of the fringe parties 🙂 Social Credit maybe.

  10. tsmithfield 10

    I agree that Irish gave a good explanation of how he saw the law of supply and demand applying.

    However, where I disagreed with him is that his analysis is based on the assumption that the 90 day bill will apply equally across all job applicants. However, this is unlikely to be the case.

    Employers and job applicants can choose to negotiate out of the 90 day provision. This is likely to occur in situations where the applicant is a strong candidate and may have several job options.

    Where the 90 day provision is likely to apply is where the employer is uncertain about the suitability of the candidate and the candidate has few alternative options, so has much less bargaining power. However, these candidates are also likely to be the ones who would struggle to get a job without the 90 day provision in any case. These candidates are highly likely to improve their situations considerably by actually getting the job so may be quite happy to accept the 90 day provision as a trade-off.

    Therefore, the situation is somewhat more complex than the analysis given by Irish. As I said in my second to last post on the matter, it is only really hard data that will decide the issue otherwise the issue remains at the theoretical level.

  11. Zaphod Beeblebrox 11

    Might be good to talk to the pizza boy and find out why he left his country of birth. I’m guessing it might have something to do with-
    1. low wages
    2. poor working conditions and mendacious employers who threaten to sack you all the time.
    3. lack of provisions such as sick pay. (not having to have medical tests and xrays to prove you are actually ill).
    4. Proper redundancy provisions when the company declares itself bankrupt.

    When he gets his dream job (if it lasts longer than 90 days)- he may want to ask his mate John how he is providing for these things.

    • tsmithfield 11.1

      So you would prefer him sitting on the dole on a subsistence income rather than have the chance to get ahead with a job that on the figures has a 80% likelihood of being permanent after the 90 day period?

      • george 11.1.1

        I’d prefer to stay in my current job than move to another where I’ve got a one in four chance of getting the sack no questions asked.

        • tsmithfield

          Well, no-one is stopping you from doing that. This is something you would have to way up when considering a move.

          • prism

            Way up tsmithfield! I can see you believe in freedom, the freedom to struggle and be one of the masses who get to do the work you wouldn’t wish to do.

          • Roger

            George’s point is that if the threat of being fired when trying to progress in your career with another employer is always there then people are less willing to push themselves and become more successful. Is that really what you want? People to not reach their potential due to unnecessary fear and risk?

              • TightyRighty

                I notice there was no mention of her experience or qualifications as an art valuer. She may have lied on her CV to attain her “dream job”? Or more likely whatever she did have was not good enough in the cut throat world of art valuation. “dream job” and reaching your full potential are not exactly the same things

                • mcflock

                  nice – if the facts or even basic assertions aren’t there, make shit up.

                  All there was in the report was her claims that she thought she was doing well and was not told the reason for her dismissal, while the employer stater there were “good reasons” but told them neither to the employee nor the reporter.

                  Assuming the dismissal was the result of the employee’s performance, the fact she seemed to think she was doing a good job right up until her dismissal indicates to me that an employee is taking the fall for a shit manager. More likely than assuming the employee committed fraud on her CV.

                  • TightyRighty

                    and what employee in their “dream job” ever thinks they aren’t performing well? I said it was a possiblity she commited fraud, it was more likely that she was rubbish due to her lack of qualifications or experience. apart from being an artist of course.

                    • mcflock

                      So your guess most as to the likely reason for her dismissal is that she was crap at the job but was having so much fun she thought she was doing well?

                      So management’s first call was to fire her, rather than giving her at least a heads up that her performance was sub-par? At least to defuse the pain of firing so she doesn’t, e.g., run to the papers naming and shaming the company?

                      Sounds like a case of shit management, and the reason 90 fire-at-will is a danger to employees. I would say the lack of any mention of performance management would be the first warning sign that not all was right with the boss’s ability.

                  • Roger

                    Agreed, there is no way that you can assess whether or not someone is fully capable after only two weeks. I would suggest that no other avenue had been sought to improve performance and it seems that no communication on her performance was forthcoming. It sounds like shit management but it is the employee that suffers the consequences.

                    • TightyRighty

                      right, no way any one with no experience of qualifications could possibly be considered bad at such a specialized field as art valuation. should be a piece of piss really. Oils = $25 * m2, canvas = $50 * m2 size, artists time = $30 per hour, multiply that by three if they died on a full stomach, or by fifty if they died starving. then simply add all that to whatever someone might have paid for an artists piece before. Fuck me, i’m a dead cert for a job at an auctioneers. I know a place where one is available.

                      roger and mcflock, i know over-looking the obvious to find a management conspiracy to subjugate workers is second nature to some, but in this case it should be fairly apparent there is more than meets the eye. I would say the lack of any mention of qualification and/or experience would be the first warning sign that not all was right with the employees ability.

                    • felix

                      But this supposed lack of experience and/or qualifications on her part is just something you made up in your previous comment.

                      Do you mind if I play too TR? Cos I can make stuff up. What say she used to be a man and her boss found out? And didn’t like it? Cos there’s no mention in the article of how long she’s been a woman, is there?

                      Ok, your turn.

                    • TightyRighty

                      Maybe she got found out for being part of an internationallly vast right wing conspiracy to lower art prices and therefore artists livelihoods (more likely their estates) and therefore got the sack for lowering the commission received by dunbar sloanes? probaby need to drop that email hosting service ivrwc.com

                      Why could she have been a man felix? that is an awfully patronising comment against how someone looks. Don’t you think the poor lass doesn’t feel self-conscious enough? awful felix, just awful.

                      I digress, you would think that if someone “left” their “comfortable, high-paying” job to pursue their dream job, and then got the sack, the reporter would think to ask more questions than “why?” to dunbar sloanes? because that is all they seem to have done. which is pretty fucking weak for a front page story slightly reminiscent of anthony hubbards beat up of H1 on the front page of the SST.

                    • felix


                      If you don’t understand the point I’m making (which has nothing to do with anyone’s appearance and everything to do with your own behaviour) then perhaps you’ve actually forgotten that everything you’ve said about experience and CVs and qualifications has come entirely from your imagination. Fuckwit.

            • Pete

              Rodger George’s point is that if the threat of being fired when trying to progress in your career with another employer is always there then people are less willing to push themselves and become more successful. Is that really what you want? People to not reach their potential due to unnecessary fear and risk?

              Easy Rodger.Dont be seen to be persecuting tsmithfield .For all we know he might be a Exclusive Brethren brother .And we know these folk are the progressive modern day advocates for freedom .Teachers at their schools sign papers which make them totally free to teach only what the brethren choose ,why they have so much freedom brethren brothers even check up on the teachers home life to be sure how they live at home.

              These new 90 day laws will be great thing for progressing freedom in this country where jobs have near become as common as finding plentiful rocking horse shit .

              You have no worrys .Feel free to pick and choose as you see fit.No one is stopping you needing to way-up the pros and cons of deciding on taking on another new job that so happens often dont even actually exist.

              You need to learn to start to think Natonomics .

      • Zaphod Beeblebrox 11.1.2

        Dole?? He’s had his current job for years. I think he’s finding working in NZ not all its cracked up to be.

  12. BevanJS 12

    For all the well meaning, well read, left leaning types I think the answer is clear if not simple.

    Start a business and build the dream. Stop trying to force the world to change and getting no where. Lead by successful example.

    Risk your own capital/livelihood/sanity over 3 to 5 to 10 years. I’ve seen it crush people but still wish I had the courage to do it. I haven’t liked all my previous employers for a range of reasons but I do know and respect what it has taken them to get there and I appreciate that it’s their drive that created my job and pay packet.

    Employers do actually employ people, lots of people. In fact without them there wouldn’t be too many jobs.

    Get over this class hatred nonsense and the futile hot air generation.

    • joe90 12.1

      Ever worked in hospitality BevanJS because this 90 day legislation is exactly what the industry, especially the resort sector, have always wanted. Hire a youngster and work them for 89 days or until a more attractive worker comes along, whichever comes first, sack them and re-hire for the remainder of the season. You can harass the fuck out of your staff and if they object or refuse to turn it up you can sack them at 89 days. Rinse and repeat. Marvelous!, just what the doctor, or predatory management, ordered.

      • BevanJS 12.1.1

        No I’ve not worked in hospitality but sunlight is the best disinfectant for ratbags (and there’ll certainly be some). Its starting to work on our “elected” public “servants”.

        If an employer is too short sighted to treat people well then your best working somewhere else in the long run.

        At this stage Joe your only guessing if you suggest the 90 days will be a significant problem.

        • joe90

          No I’ve not worked in hospitality

          And it shows BevanJS because the industry has an awful reputation for harassing staff in every way possible and the 90 day legislation combined with an employees lack of rights to seek redress plays into the hands of the very worst employers.

          • BevanJS

            … then you’re best not working there regardless. Legislation isn’t going to turn wan-the very worst employers-kers into angels.

            Life can be very tough but you move on… and some people will also rate 89 days pay over the benefit regardless which is close to the situation I face right now.

            • Lanthanide

              “Legislation isn’t going to turn wan-the very worst employers-kers into angels.”

              No, but at the same time it can stop them from being complete wankers, or as National want to do, give them a nod and a wink to get away with anything they like under the figleaf of “increasing employment opportunities”.

            • Draco T Bastard

              then you’re best not working there regardless.

              What ever made you think that they had a choice?

    • Jum 12.2

      The answer is clear. Workers need to form their own companies. The company stands or falls on their abilities and the income they make will depend on their creativity and effort and will be apportioned fairly, just for a change. You don’t necessarily have to have land and buildings to create.

      Unions are co-operatives. I would like them to take that a little further and create their own working environments.

      captcha: composing

      • Bill 12.2.1

        Couldn’t agree more.

        But, yet again it’s one of those things the left seems reluctant to talk about. And I’d wager there is not one union official or whatever who has any working or theoretical knowledge of co-operatives or collectives. (edit. Okay, maybe one or two. But a tiny minority nevertheless, which would be my point.)

        I’ve never understood why unions do not use negotiations to push companies towards bankruptcy with the fully stated intention of executing a workers’ buy out/take-over when that happens, while using the interim to educate workers on how they could assume control and run businesses using deeply democratic principles.

        Actually, I lie. I know why these things don’t happen. Because there has been no discussion and so the idea of worker control seems utterly foreign and exotic to most union employees. And the unions merely reflect the ideas of their employees at some level. So union members have horizons and expectations demarcated by a union whose horizons and expectations are in turn limited by their employees….oh, and then throw in the gate keepers, the careerists and the disempowering effect of the unions’ hierarchical structures ( Structurally, they are not co-operatives.)

        So where should the discussion take place if the unions are not capable of having the discussion?

        • jcuknz

          I would suggest that most workers don’t really want the hassles of being a boss when it comes to the nitty gritty, but they like to moan, just like those over at Kiwiblog and worse sites.. I wouldn’t want to be is a position where I couldn’t get on with an employee but was scared to let them go becuase of the cost to my limited profit margin which my family has to live on with the bank likely screwing me into the bargain. Fanciful example? Perhaps .. thank goodness I never got into that position. It was bad enough being a working supervisor with not much more knowledge of that part of my job than my supervisors I suspect on reflection.

  13. Jum 13

    This government’s attack on unions and the freedom of association bill Key and Douglas are championing are both exploitive in that both spout about the advantage to and the freedom of the individual but as individuals we have far less freedom than we do in a group and if groups support one another the larger group formed has the larger influence over the freemarket loonytunes like Key and Douglas who seek to destroy our rights in our individual form.

    It probably sounds odd to say compulsory unionism protects the rights of the individual but the group will always have more influence than the individual unless the individual has power, money or both. Key and Douglas know this. The number of people able to reach those high positions are much smaller than the number of workers available to work. Key and Douglas also know that the more power and money those individuals get the greedier they become and will seek to destroy others competing for that power and money. They will also keep the majority of workers weakened and on low wages to increase the size of their own money supply. This is the type of country Douglas and Key want for New Zealanders. Then it will no longer be New Zealand.

    I don’t think New Zealanders have fully thought through the implications that this government’s agenda plans for them further down the track.

  14. john 14

    Neo-liberalism ,privatization, globalisation, offshoring your jobs (Such as Fisher and Paykel moving to Thailand for lower labour costs here in NZ )has destroyed the the US,failed state, economy to the extent that 40,000,000 American workers scratch an existence on food stamps. The free marketeers have made a mint as their corporations’ profits soared due to dirt cheap labour in China while American workers dug their own graves,economically, by taking on debt they can’t pay back,as there are only cheap service jobs left in the third world country the US disaster zone has become.
    Yet john key and his minders continue,as it enriches there non productive class, to follow this disastrous failed model,whereas the rest of the World has sussed out its bankruptcy a long time ago. Offshoring destroyed the Unions in the US and destroyed jobs with it! Listen to the interview with Dr Craig Paul Roberts who tells how the financiers greed(John is one of them! a money trader)has sold off America down the road to poverty.

  15. tsmithfield 15

    The 90 day bill involves a concept the left hates and has great difficulty understanding: risk and return.

    For example, person A. currently has a job they hate that pays $20.00 per hour. Despite the fact that person A hates the job, it is quite secure. Person A then has the opportunity to apply for a job that pays $25 an hour and is one that person A would love to do. This job has become available because the employer has felt confident to offer it due to the new 90 day bill. Therefore person A is taking a risk in applying.

    Person A must make a decision based on how much risk they are going to take to get what they want. Is it better for them to stay where they are and remain unhappy, or go for the job that pays more and is more enjoyable although it involves an element of risk.

    These are the sort of decisions that grown-ups make. But it seems to me that the left wants everyone to remain like spoon-fed babies because the left has an inherent belief that people aren’t able to make decisions for themselves.

    • loota 15.1

      Yeah man, “grown ups” really like it when a-holes at the top decide to externally ratchet up the risk scenario for them, while those very same a-holes use the changes to reduce the risks for themselves.

      So by your reasoning, who is it who really wants to be the (silver) spoon fed babies in this situation? Oh yes, its the a-holes at the top who want all the gain but none of the pain.

      Is this sounding familiar yet, come on we’re not stupid we can see this happening right in front of our eyes.

      • tsmithfield 15.1.1

        You seem to forget that its those ‘a-holes’ who put up the money to start the business in the first place and decide whether or not to employ anyone at all.

    • Pete 15.2

      tsmithfield The 90 day bill involves a concept the left hates and has great difficulty understanding: risk and return.

      Ahhh its all hatered and lack of understanding.

      For example, person A. currently has a job they hate that pays $20.00 per hour. Despite the fact that person A hates the job, it is quite secure. Person A then has the opportunity to apply for a job that pays $25 an hour and is one that person A would love to do. This job has become available because the employer has felt confident to offer it due to the new 90 day bill. Therefore person A is taking a risk in applying.

      No most people this will effect, wont even have a job that pays $20 p.h in the first place, and dreaming about $25 p.h …. Means moving to Australia.

      Why is the risk imposed entirely on shoulders of person A ? ,there is little risk on the boss needing to treat the worker fair ,because there is to much risk in person A even considdering trailing another new position.

      In other words person A is simply stuck right up shit creek! without even posessing a paddle.

      Person A must make a decision based on how much risk they are going to take to get what they want. Is it better for them to stay where they are and remain unhappy, or go for the job that pays more and is more enjoyable although it involves an element of risk.

      Where is the risk for the boss?.There is no risk in the boss treating his worker like shit and paying him peanuts ….Because the risk has become placed on the shoulder of the worker with him/her thinking maybe its better to just stay with the devil you know!, than move to the devil you dont know.Why is this fair?.Specially when you lot would like to see unions done away with too also.

      You might say bosses take risks getting into business ,and yes thats true .But bosses will reap the benefits for taking that risk, as long as they do their homework properly first.Seems to me you want it to be that shoddy bosses have the chance to go into business, without doing enough decent homework .And have it sussed so they still have little risk, because they can simply treat the worker like a shit ,the worker in many situations will quite likely be subsidized wages by WINZ anyway ,and so often at 90 days can be just given the quick flick whenever it suits .And no unions can have any say in the matter either.

      Sounds lots like China or India .Except here in NZ folks cant simply just choose to open up free-bee shanty town shacks to live in ,we have to try to live by certain rules and try paying rent and power etc.

      Now i dont think shoddy workers should be allowed to fleece good bosses and run their businesses into the ground either .So why dont we fix that problem rather than creating another one.

      • jcuknz 15.2.1

        If it bothers ‘A’ that much and they are a shoe-in for the job it is a simple decision, decline the 90 day option. If the new boss wants you he’l forgoe his ‘safetynet’ in case you are useless.

      • tsmithfield 15.2.2

        “No most people this will effect, wont even have a job that pays $20 p.h in the first place, and dreaming about $25 p.h . Means moving to Australia.”

        Don’t know what world you live in. We pay all our workers over $20 per hour. Some are up to nearly $30.

        • The Voice of Reason

          Well, TS, you are clearly employing tradies or similarly high wage workers. Or maybe that your firm is unionised. Either way, your company does not reflect the majority. The average wage in NZ is less than you say you pay your workers, which suggests the majority of workers are closer to Pete’s world than the one you live in.

        • pete

          tsmithfield Don’t know what world you live in. We pay all our workers over $20 per hour. Some are up to nearly $30.

          In NZ in places a number of truck drivers or mechanics at coal mines etc might all receive these type figures,or many tradesmen such as the builders or brickys or electrician and suchlike.

          Sure those people on that type of money, maybe can weather any of this risk with changing jobs .Or taking the fall if they dont make the grade in the 90 days.They got some extra money to burn, and/or save !, and plan for the job move.That way there isnt quite such a risk for these workers.

          But its not the same for the majority in NZ.Their wages are often still even lower than $20ph figure.Many find it enough trouble just trying to keep up with paying the rent,and the power,and food,the clothes and any school fees for kids etc.Then there is the extras that pop up like doctor fees,transport,and any other extra bills that arise unexpected .While they also try not to get frustrated ! and depressed about going nowhere ,bored stiff from living a nightmare that seems to be getting nowhere,or pissed and angry and mad/violent even ending up in jail for bashing or killing, or through trying to steal something, to try and better their chances somehow .For some of these people lives, its not really so much about whether they really want to try and stay being honest or not.

          Its more about taking chances and survival by entrepreneurial type skills, another type business risks to see if maybe they can find some other option to better themselves .And so many will simply get caught and end up in Jail for it.

          Most of these people will be in the broom pushers,farm hands,street cleaners,warehouse workers,road works labourers, range.The shop hands,petrol pump pourers,landscape labourers,nursery workers,macdonald/ kentuckey fried chicken workers and many minimun or lower wage worker folk.

          Folk that already find it hard to pay their doctors fees,or go to the dentists when they should do, and look after their teeth and health proper.

          You live in a total dream world tsmithfield, if you really honestly think anywhere near the majority in New Zealanders all earn the $20-$30 dollar per hour figure.

          Holy guacamole lots and lots still havent even touched the $15ph figure yet.Didnt you realize? ….And the rights running this country and havent even figured this out yet?

          And it is amongst these business type sectors where all the most shoddy ! and abusive ! uncaring bosses will exist too. Those trying to run the sweat shops, cheap labour ,under quoted jobs. Businesses poorly thought through! , and all those cutting the corners ,surviving off any free-bee Winz type subsidized labour they can find if possible .

          Sure some businessmen in NZ will get more rich quicker in the shorter term.

          But the social effects and rise in Jail numbers, wll leave many more bills and more poorer folk in the long run as the living costs and overheads rise and rise.

          And who will pay that rise in costs ?.The rich businessmen?.

          No .. they will be telling us that risks should not be their problem.

          We will be back to selling any country public assets we can find etc.To try and pay deficit

  16. ZombiBusiness 16

    News. Skilled vacancies are up! Kiwi dollar drops on double recession fears.

    Businesses aren’t growing, yet they have unfilled positions? What?

    Skilled people are leaving NZ to find a country run properly to live in!

    Businesses are crying out for skilled staff, so much so the government
    has introduced a 90-day rule so businesses can bottom filter feed through
    more ranks of the unemployed finding the few gems left. What!

    When unemployment is so high, when so many are coming out of education
    with degrees! What went wrong?

    But the reason businesses are hard pressed at both ends, having skilled
    and financial stresses is because everytime they whine (instead of firing
    the underperforming managers) government comes to the rescue with
    easing-their-pain policies.

    In saving businesses we harm them and continue to push
    the free market dream to foriegn shores. ACT and National loved to bash
    big government and cheer free markets on, but when in government they
    produce anti-competive policies that take away bargaining power from
    parties in the economy (the unemployed) with big government intravention
    policies. Yeah, the two faced…

    National are not a party for business, they are a financial party, any
    increase in profit however harmful to the economy gets Nationals green light.

  17. burt 17

    Marty G

    If what you say about workers rights is true then howcome whenever we have had a Labour govt for more than 1 term we end up with falling productivity and economic recession?

    Perhaps it’s because the Labour party isn’t a workers rights party, rather they just make policies that benefit their funding arm (the unions) which make piss all difference to workers rights other than provide a veneer to hide the real job of the unions which is to raise funds for Labour.

    • prism 17.1

      burt Now turn the page and look at graph 2 where it shows the effects of National party governments on the economy and living standards measures.

    • Green Tea 17.2

      You’re right about one thing, burt – Labour is not a worker’s party.

    • rod 17.3

      Well it’s a dead cert the National Party isn’t a workers rights party burt.

  18. loota 18

    Marty, perhaps you mean Rat-o-nomics and fire at will.

    • Jim Nald 18.1

      Nat Rats
      .. hmm there’s a rhyme to that !
      … & many underlying reasons for that ?

  19. roger nome 19


    Perhaps you don’t know how mediation works. You gotta supply hard evidence of discrimination and harrasment. That means signed affadavits from witnesses – if you haven’t got that your boss can give you the flick ‘cos you refused to have sex with him, and just say that you were under-performing.

    Does that really sound fair to you?

    • TightyRighty 19.1

      well, roger, i hate to be the one to have to tell you this, but not performing at sex also falls into the catergory of under-performing (sex). You need to be more specific as too what an employee is under performing at.

      • jcuknz 19.1.1

        I wonder why I am reminded of the woman who bit it off on reading these last few comments?
        You might get the sack but you have struck a blow for womankind.

    • mcflock 19.2

      nice, Roger Nome:

      you provide a reason why unreasonable-unaccountable-unchallengable-unfair-dismissal-at-will is a bad thing, they respond with jokes about sexual harrassment.

      Just further proof that tories don’t give a flying #$@% about the suffering of others.

      Half of them are morons, the other half are bloody sociopaths.

  20. J Mex 20

    Everyone was banging the same drums back in 2008 with the first stage was bought in.

    Hell, you could substitute the same posts, and nobody would be able to tell the difference.

    Problem is, none of the carnage that was predicted came about. By and large, things tracked on as normal. Employers were generally good. Employees were generally good.

    The only change now is the size of the employers. So are we saying that large employers are worse than small employers?

    • IrishBill 20.1

      Two words: Fast food.

      • J Mex 20.1.1

        If the ‘fast food’ operators act badly with this law, then the unions and the anti-bill protestors should do everything they can to show bad operators up. This will be enormously ad for their brand and business.

        I note this is exactly what the opponents of the bill said they would do, and to my knowledge no (or very few cases) have been highlighted, Indicating that the law is probably not having the nasty effects that you all predicted.

  21. Carol 21

    Pizza-boy, is an Indian guy (Sanjay) with an MA that isn’t recognised here. He actually hasn’t got a 90 Day trial contract with Pizza Hut, but said to Key it might help him get a job. However, Sanjay on TV3 is a bit more hesitant about the 90 Day rule being able to get him a job – he said he doesn’t think it will help him.

    • Carol 21.1

      The stuff on Pizza Boy was on TV3 news.

      • mcflock 21.1.1

        so Key’s claim of workers believing the bill would help them is reduced to “kind’ve okay if you’re used to workplace relations in developing nations”.

  22. Tiger Mountain 22

    Pay attention JM, the groups one might expect to monitor 90 day no work rights cases Mk1, MSD and DOL, had no reported instructions or budget from Govt. to do so. Until the recent policy launch at the Nats conference when a rushed looking survey, that DOL won’t supply the methodology for, was served up.

    So we have to depend on a) self reporting, or b) interested groups (unions, left wing political parties and a few families) reporting anecdotes. Several score anecdotes have subsequently emerged over the weekend. There will be many more. It is a case of eyes wide shut with the 90 day law. Those affected negatively are highly unlikely to independently cough up and who could blame them. I can tell you from anecdotes also a lot of young people are getting burnt. Internships, unpaid, are a popular euphemism for exploitation in more white collar professions at the moment, it sucks.

  23. J Mex 23

    So the 90 day law has been operating for two years and the political left, CTU et al have managed a couple of anecdotes just this weekend.

    No websites, no name and shame, nothing on close-up/cambell. Nothing really.

    Either shows the that by and large the law is working, or the political left are completely useless.

    Or both.

    See no evil

    • The Voice of Reason 23.1

      Or, when you get sacked for no reason, you feel ashamed and don’t want to talk about. And if you do want to talk about it, you’ve got no rights, so what’s the point of saying anything anyway?

      It’s the same silence that allows paedophiles to get away with their crimes. The kids have no power, feel guilty and ashamed and think nobody can help. And don’t think I chose that example lightly. The fire at will legislation is already a rapist’s charter.

      Do it or you’re fired.

      • J Mex 23.1.1

        The fire at will legislation is already a rapist’s charter.

        I see what you mean, now. Employers around the nation are secretly raping employees and then firing them before 90 days is up. New employees are too afraid and ashamed to say anything. The proof? The fact that fired employees aren’t saying anything means some really bad shit must be happening. If it was only moderately bad, they would be complaining. Be no – silence.

        It’s going to get much worse in the third phase of the 90 day law which allows employers, who are sick and evil to harvest organs within 90 days of a new employment of raped employees and allows unlimited internship of any children born who are the progeny of the employer/employee union.

        Keep it up Voice of [reason]. This shit is resonating really well with the electorate.

        • The Voice of Reason

          Sweet response, J Mex. That’s exactly the sort of cynicism that stops people talking. Hope it never happens to you or yours, but then, what the fuck do you care, eh?

          • J Mex

            Just to be clear….You have no evidence – at all, that anything remotely close to this has happened as a result of this 90 day bill. None whatsoever.

            And then you have the gall to have a go at me for not subscribing or sympathising with your evil anti-employer fantasies.

            You appear close to delusional, so I am guessing your nickname is meant to be humorously ironic

            • The Voice of Reason

              You’re right about the nickname, but wrong about the facts. Rape is about power. This legislation adds to the power employers already have over their employees and gives abusers a better chance of getting away with it.

              I’m guessing you don’t believe that workers get abused in this way. Here’s a couple of links from the States that might give you a better perspective. Gotta love Halliburton’s practical approach to the problem.



              And closer to home:


            • lprent

              There is also no evidence that any good came from the Fire at Will act either. Some stupid dickheads forgot to monitor what was happening. They have no idea about how many people got employed under the act, how many retained jobs after 90 days and what abuses happened.

              The only thing that the ideological morons like you, John Key and our erstwhile minister of Labour have offered is anecdotal. That is the only available data…. So it is a bit rich for you to act like a complete fuckwit and say that the evidence is anecdotal. That was the way your preferred parties set it up.

              So to extend the act outside of the ‘trial’ is an act of ideological stupidity backed up by zero facts.

  24. RedLogix 24

    Just curious, but what would be the status of an employee who has gone through one of those routine corporate ‘restructurings’ where they make everyone re-apply for a new job within the same organisation… could they then be defined as ‘new employees’ and face a 90-day ‘no rights’ period?

    Even though they might have been employed by that organisation for years?

    • Jmex 24.1

      No. They would have to be employed by a new company.

    • The Voice of Reason 24.2

      Safe, unless there was a change of ownership that dramatically altered the employment relationship, such as the purchase of a business that was part of the assets of a bankrupt group of companies, where it could be argued that continuity of service had been broken. The law, as it currently reads, says the fire at will provision cannot be used retrospectively, only at the start of the employment. So it can’t be used punitively either. For example, as part of a formal warning.

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