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Nats fail to save jobs in quake zone

Written By: - Date published: 10:16 pm, September 9th, 2010 - 67 comments
Categories: business, class war, jobs, unemployment, wages - Tags:

The first jobs have already been lost following the Christchurch earthquake. 86 workers have been fired from Kaiapoi New World, which will be closed for a year due to quake damage.

The calculation for the supermarket was easy: ‘we’re not going to be open for a year, the $350 a week from the government per worker won’t cover our labour costs, and we’ll easily be able to hire new people in a year because unemployment is so high’.

The result: 86 workers and their families tossed into unemployment and poverty. they won’t get the miserly $350 a week. They might not even be eligible for the dole if they have a working partner.

This is exactly why the government should implement the kind of scheme I outlined where the government steps in to supply the full wages of workers who can’t work due to the quake. They could have funded this, and a lot lot more, by delaying the tax cuts for the rich for just one year.

But it didn’t because you and I both know that at the end of the day this government doesn’t give a damn about people who work in supermarkets. John Key personally stands to gain $15,000 a year from the top bracket tax cut from his PM’s salary alone.

It is for the rich elite like himself that National governs, not ordinary Kiwi workers. This natural disaster just makes their class war more stark.

PS. By the way, casualised and contract workers don’t get the $350 a week. They get the dole. Why didn’t we give the SCF investors a week’s dole each, rather than $45,000 each? Oh right. They matter, casualised workers don’t.

67 comments on “Nats fail to save jobs in quake zone”

  1. tsmithfield 1

    Your article is very misleading Marty. The story has been covered extensively in the news today.

    The supermarket concerned has negotiated a deal with the insurers that has allowed workers to be paid full wages for two months. On top of that full time workers have been given a $500 grocery voucher and part time workers a $250 voucher. Also, the foodstuffs group has underwritten the jobs of the workers. They are aiming to find new jobs for workers in the two month period. After that, any workers still without jobs will be absorbed within the supermarket group.

    The sum total of this deal means that no-one loses wages and everyone gets a job.

    here is a link that gives the main details.

    Yet you are trying to make this employer sound like a scumbag when they have bent over backwards to do the very best they can when you implied that the supermarket considered its workers expendable.

    What more do you think this employer should have done?

    Sorry Marty. No excuse for this. The news story has been well publicised all day. You should have had the details right.

    • Maynard J 1.1

      I liked the bit where you said that a perfectly rational decision of an employer in our capitalist system makes them ‘sound like a scumbag’.

    • Marty G 1.2

      I think the employer’s decision makes perfect sense given their circumstances. I didn’t call them scumbags, you did.

      • tsmithfield 1.2.1

        The impression you gave was that the employer was heartless and had left their employees out in the cold with nowhere to go. I think it is quite reasonable to interpolate “scumbag” into what you were misrepresenting.

        • Marty G 1.2.1.1

          your inferences, mate. says more about you than me.

        • Maynard J 1.2.1.2

          “The impression you gave was that the employer was heartless and had left their employees out in the cold with nowhere to go.”

          Yes – a perfectly rational economic decision, and one to be applauded in a capitalist system. We’re agreed – do what is rational, be a scumbag.

      • Nick C 1.2.2

        “The result: 86 workers and their families tossed into unemployment and poverty.”

        Marty would you withdraw that statement given the generous deal the supermarket gave the workers which actually insures that none will lose jobs?

        • Blighty 1.2.2.1

          looks to me like they lost their jobs.

          a bit of redundancy/holiday pay and a promise to find them another job if there’s one going (and I doubt Foodstuffs has 86 empty jobs just sitting around in Kaiapoi) hardly changes the fact these people are now unemployed.

          • Nick C 1.2.2.1.1

            At worst they technically lost their jobs. They will probably get new ones and certainly wont be worse of financially. Certainly not the ‘unemployment and poverty’ marty speaks of.

            • The Voice of Reason 1.2.2.1.1.1

              They didn’t “technically” lose their jobs, they actually lost them for real, Nick. Where are they going to get these new jobs? Kaiapoi is a small town with only one big employer other than the supermarket, a tool factory who employ skilled engineers, not shop staff.

              And how the fuck are they not going to be worse off financially? They are unemployed FFS, so by definition are going to be worse off. Are you going to pay their wages? I’m guessing not. Hell, you don’t even seem capable of paying attention.

            • Armchair Critic 1.2.2.1.1.2

              At worst they technically lost their jobs.
              Semantics won’t pay their bills, Nick C.
              They will probably get new ones…
              Statistics won’t pay their bills, either. It seems you haven’t noticed that there aren’t that many jobs out there at present. Hence the thousands of people queuing for jobs at supermarkets that opened in Auckland recently.
              If you are thinking there these people will be able to obtain employment cleaning up after the earthquake…maybe they will. Generally the skill-sets required to work at a supermarket are quite different to those required to clean up after an earthquake. So more likely they won’t, at least until there is a shortage of retail staff, and that seems to be a long way away.
              Meanwhile…and certainly wont be worse of financially
              Is this because they would be better off, financially, to be not working? What a bizarre world you live in – I can’t remember the last unemployed person I met who didn’t want to work. Generally people want to work because it gives them something to do, a sense of achievement and it provides more money (albeit only slightly more in many cases) than being unemployed. I’m surprised you believe some of the stuff you write.

              • Nick C

                “Is this because they would be better off, financially, to be not working?”

                What a childish way to twist my words. They are getting two months full pay something you choose to completely ignore. I never said they would be better off because they are not working.

                “Are you going to pay their wages? I’m guessing not.”

                You guessed correct. But the supermarket are going to pay their wages, read the news! Its you who needs to pay attention.

                “It seems you haven’t noticed that there aren’t that many jobs out there at present”

                Maybe, but you are forgetting that Foodstuffs said they are either going to find them jobs or make jobs for them. Once again they havent been left in the cold

                Lets examine what the workers are actually getting to see if it amounts to ‘unemployment and poverty’:

                1) Full wages for two months
                2) $500 worth of grocery vouchers
                3) Foodstuffs will help the workers find new jobs for two months
                4) If they cannot find new jobs they will be found jobs within foodstuffs

                • Loota

                  Forget Foodstuffs.

                  Forget the fact that $500 worth of grocery vouchers will last a family two weeks tops.

                  Foodstuffs are a large corporate. Where is the Government’s generosity and willingness to help workers about to lose their jobs due to the earthquake workers who aren’t going to be backed by an employer with the scale of resources and capabilities as Foodstuffs?

                • Armchair Critic

                  Maybe, but you are forgetting that Foodstuffs said they are either going to find them jobs…
                  Yeah, jobs at one of their other supermarkets. I doubt these jobs pay much, and the extra travel costs could mean this is not much of an option
                  or make jobs for them.
                  Doesn’t say that in their press release. I suspect you are making this up.
                  Once again they havent been left in the cold
                  Credit to Foodstuffs if they have done more than they are required to do.
                  Some points to note:
                  1) Full wages for two months
                  Not directly c/o Foodstuffs though, it’s their insurance company footing the bill.
                  2) $500 worth of grocery vouchers
                  Again, not directly c/o Foodstuffs, but through a charitable trust. And the $500 is available to the full-time workers only (which is less than half of the total made redundant), not the part-timers
                  All up, this is a pretty good diversion you’ve made here, Nick C. After all, the post is about how poorly the government has performed (again), not Foodstuffs or the owners of the supermarket.

  2. Loota 2

    Yet you are trying to make this employer sound like a scumbag when they have bent over backwards to do the very best they can when you implied that the supermarket considered its workers expendable.

    What more do you think this employer should have done?

    Sorry Marty. No excuse for this. The news story has been well publicised all day. You should have had the details right.,

    Poor deflection tsmith. The attack is on the Govt, not on the employer (who has also suffered major losses).

    Marty is asking why the Key Govt is so charitable to SCF when it is so much less charitable to ordinary workers.

    Yes, these employers are doing the best that they can for their employees – no thanks to Blinglish and co.

    So the question here is simple: why are Bill and John leaving ordinary workers so vulnerable (not every employer who shuts down is going to have the massive resources of Foodstuffs) when SCF investors got 100% certainty from day 1?

    • jcuknz 2.1

      I’m finding Marty G’s rants rather tedious of the past days since the earthquake and was impressed by the point made in another thread here that a good proportion of those investing in SCF would not be the ‘rich pricks’ but rather mum and dad investors who without the interest on money they had deprived themselves of over the years would be surviving on NatSup. There seems to be rather a lot of politically biased speculation going on here … t doesn’t appeal this writer.

      • Marty G 2.1.1

        $1.7 billion divided by 35,000 is $45,000. That’s the average pay out, more than the net worth of the vast majority of New Zealanders. And, because it’s the nature of these things, you and I both know that a far smaller number of SCF investors will have had much bigger deposits and got the big big pay out.

        Remember that those rich listers got over a hundred million.

        I’m not denying that some people with typical incomes got pay outs too – but the lion’s share went to the rich.

        • jcuknz 2.1.1.1

          It is better that some rich pricks got their millions than ordinary kiwis loose their savings.
          It applies across the board in all manner of ways. As one with some savings protected by the scheme I’m glad that the payout was made though disturbed that the backing was given without proper investigation of the company being covered. It kind of smells nasty to me.

        • Lanthanide 2.1.1.2

          Actually you’ve only made your case weaker, Marty.

          If a few fat cats got huge payouts, that just means there are *even more* average mum and dad investors involved in the scheme, and yet your painting it as if everyone in the scheme is a rich fat cat.

          Also, $45k really is not much for retirement savings built up over a life time.

          • Loota 2.1.1.2.1

            Come on guys. The Govt could have picked lots of ways out of this mess, starting by not walking into a spot where they owed the fat cats ****loads of dosh.

            Further, jcuknz’s assertion that we have to let the rich pricks get away with financial murder just to protect the savings of ordinary kiwis is plain daft.

            For instance, up to a $50K limit the Govt could reimburse 100 cents in the dollar. For the next $50K, 90 cents in the dollar. And so on. Every dollar over $250,000 – sorry buddy, you only get 50 cents in the dollar.

            Upshot – a Ma and Pa investor with $50K or $100K in SCF loses very little, if anything.

            The wealthy with a million in the game takes a sharp hair cut on their high risk financial speculation. Currently its the tax payer who is getting wailed on and taking the sharp haircut over the SCF affiar, thanks to the NATs.

            • comedy 2.1.1.2.1.1

              Read this from Imperator fish

              http://www.imperatorfish.com/2010/09/answers-and-more-questions-on-south.html

              apparently the ” Crown unquestionably had a legal obligation to pay out New Zealand depositors”

              Also some excellent questions about the fiasco that need to be answered.

              • Blighty

                read it again:

                The Crown wouldn’t have been obliged to pay for new investors if it had kicked SCF out when it breached the rules.

                The Crown was not obliged to payout foreign investors and other creditors.

                Calls for an inquiry, which English has mysteriously blocked

                anti-spam: loan

                • feelingdirty

                  Let’s face a simple fact – the only thing Marty is truely interested in is getting a left wing government elected. He doesn’t care about “facts” unless he thinks it support his cause. He’s more than comfortable with bending the “truth” if it suits his cause. So cut the guy a break. He’s a political animal not someone who wants to present a full and complete picture. Kudos Marty – you do a good job.

    • tsmithfield 2.2

      I do realise that the employer was not his main target. However, the employer was still a target, and completely without justification.

  3. Jum 3

    Fact remains; Ask those same unem-ployees if they think JKeyll is looking after their welfare. Bet they say ‘yes’. What do we learn from that? That JKeyll is a slippery creature and has a big crosbytextor lie dept. Also, the same unem-ployees trust that the leader of this country cares about them. Labour helped them to do that. They haven’t learned yet that the lies told by JKeyll and Hide and English to win the election about NAct being Labour-lite are being proved to be lies.

    They don’t see that because they are too busy just surviving. JKeyll wants that situation to continue. Exhaustion in New Zealand is this government’s Soma for the masses.

    Marty, the truth is not getting out there. We need to rethink how we do that.

  4. Bill 4

    I disagree Marty. Foodstuffs make very healthy net profits. And they will continue to do so.

    You’ll be able to work this out better than me. But even if they were suddenly going to be making a net loss of (say) 2%, whereas before they had been been making year on net profits of (say) 6%, how many years would have to pass before the 2% net loss equated to an actual loss….ie a negation + of the previous one years worth of 6% net profit?

    What I’m saying is that Foodstuffs (and they will still be posting net profits) can easily accommodate the wages of the Kaiapoi workers for the year that it will take to rebuild their workplace.

    I can fully understand a small family business being unable to pay wages out if no money is coming in and therefore the need for a government scheme.

    But Foodstuffs? Give me a break. What were their posted profits for last year? So little that they are stretching their little hearts to pay out 8 weeks of wages? Nah. I think not.

    • Loota 4.1

      Maybe its clever conditioning by the Right, but it is nice to see some corporate entity do something for their staff which is a good step beyond the gawd-forsaken minimum. Credit where credit is due, I say.

      • Bill 4.1.1

        First point is that the link that tsmithfield provided makes absolutely no sense. I mean what the fuck does…”And within two months if they haven’t managed to relocate all of the employees into another job, Foodstuffs will underwrite them and put them into employment under the Foodstuffs banner.” actually mean in practical terms?

        Second point. 8 weeks redundancy for any worker who has worked any more than 2 years is a fucking insult.

        Third point. Is the 8 weeks inclusive or exclusive of accumulated annual leave and stat days? I’d suggest that since Foodstuffs are so keen to be blowing their own trumpet, but silent on that point, that it’s inclusive.

        Fourth point. Averaging out what is owed by law (stats and accumulated annual leave) these fuckers are paying out s.f.a.

        (There is no union presence in New World supermarkets and most workers will walk away with their 8 weeks ignorant to the fact that the law might dictate (given their circumstances) that they were due far more….accumulated annual leave and stats over their term of employment)

    • Marty G 4.2

      I’m not defending the supermarket’s actions, Bill. I’m saying they’re a rational and inevitable business decision. It’s up to government to ensure the system is fair. One can’t rely on the good-heartedness of employers.

      • Herodotus 4.2.1

        Whilst there is no direct attack on the owner of the New World store, I feel you have allowed this coy to be a target of 1/2 known truths. Foodstuffs is a co-op the owner of the store is NOT foodstuffs he isa stand alone businessman. From my knowledge, Foodstuffs will own the land that this store is on, and the owner/coy will own the buildings/fixture and stock. So it is he employes the workers and not foodstuffs.
        Sure Foodstuffs can come to the party (Wh Many comments here are unaware of the operator-foodstuffs South Is relationship. And there aer 3 foodstuffs coy,so do not get confused and lump foodstuffs that we all know into .1 (to date from memory they have donated $1m a day or 2 after the quake)
        Your comments are becomming rather nothing the govt does could be commended. I am not sure where you reside Marty, let there is quite alot going on in Chch to take care of immediate issues, and political point scoring which some of your posts appear to be do nothing for those concerned. On the groud workers are crapping out thru exhaustion and the mental strain. Even when they have reviewed a situation a day or 2 later aftershocks require to tramp over the same areas for review. With the feeling of little to no progress is being made by these great people.
        Sure the govt could do more (same for Health Education Social welfare) yet there is an immediate problem, those issues that will arise in the future will not correct todays problems. This will take many months just for the initial problems, many of which most would be unaware of.

  5. dave 5

    Dude, that’s a pretty bad post – and posts like these are why Red Alert has much more credibility than you lot. I don’t think there’s any excuse for this.

  6. infused 6

    Makes me smile… coming to The Standard fills my entertainment for the day. On a serious note, you need to stop posting here Marty. Even though I differ with %99 of the stuff posted here, it was still a good read. Recently every second post is one from you, and they are very similar. Poor thought out, ill informed posts.

  7. Jum 7

    Just cynical vote gathering. Business is working in with this government and following the ‘swallow a few dead rats to help NAct get in in 2011’.

  8. tsmithfield 8

    If I had made the sort of comment that Marty has made that totally misrepresents the actions of the employer I would probably have been banned. How about some consistency from the moderators.

  9. Descendant Of Smith 9

    Though according to your post tsmithfield the company has done a deal with the insurers so that hardly says it’s coming out of profits – though good on em for being insured.

    I do think it was clear that it’s accumulated leave plus 8 weeks pay and that they will try and relocate them to other stores and help them find other jobs – the proof will be in the pudding.

    That being said the point of the post surely is that the government bailed out the financiers but isn’t bailing out the workers in the same way.

    • tsmithfield 9.1

      No problem with Marty making that point DOS. However, he should get his facts straight. The impression he has given is that the store has left the workers out in the cold. However, that is not the case at all.

      • Marty G 9.1.1

        Sorry, I should have mentioned that the workers get redundancy? Gee, when did redundancy become something special that one ought to thank the employer for?

        All the reporting says these people were fired, which they were. That they might gets jobs in the future is not guaranteed.

        • Descendant Of Smith 9.1.1.1

          I should have mentioned that the workers get redundancy? Gee, when did redundancy become something special that one ought to thank the employer for?

          Since the Employment Contracts Act came in. Stuff all people have redundancy clauses.

          I also would be interested in the deal that was done with the insurance company. Without knowing what was in the policy we can’t know what the deal was – maybe the workers were covered until the building was rebuilt, maybe they weren’t covered at all and Foodstuufs traded off rebuilding costs a a quick payout which enabled them to make these payments. Either end is a possibility but without knowing the detail you can only speculate.

          Maybe there is someone with a policy covering workers wages in this type of event that could post a typical clause to cover this eventuality.

        • tsmithfield 9.1.1.2

          The managers of that store are the owners. Its like a franchise type situation. So, its not like the owners were a large corporation with limitless resources. Also, my understanding is that the owners have also lost their own house in the earthquake. Despite their own suffering they were prepared to do the best they could for their workers.

          Your attack on people who themselves are victims is pretty unforgivable IMO.

          Also, Foodstuffs had no direct responsibility for the workers, but have tried to do their best for displaced workers as well..

          • The Voice of Reason 9.1.1.2.1

            Actually, the two months pay is pathetic, TS and I assume the owners have insurance on both home and business, so they are going to be better off by miles than the workers they have sacked. The usual redundancy formula in collective agreements is 4 weeks notice (which is often paid out in circumstances where no more work is available) and 4 weeks pay for the first year of employment, then two weeks pay for each other year of service.

            And redundancy comp is taxed differently to drip feed payments like these, which also prevent workers immediately accessing benefits. So all in all, this is a cheap, token sop from a hugely profitable company more interested in looking good in public than caring for their workers.

            • Herodotus 9.1.1.2.1.1

              TVOR, what planet have you been living in in the last 10 years or so?
              That 4 +2 for every year after was burried along with the dodo. Back in the good old day redundancy was also taxed at 5% but that was when R Douglaus controlled our finances. There is min redundancy provisions that the law provides for. Remember that this was under the workers party, that craps on us until they earn opposition status then remember who they represent when in opposition then start on the band wagoon supportng workers rights. Well thanks that there is min rights resulting in Labs turn in power, and no one bothers to keep Lab honest but solely attacks Nat. Well Lab is no different to Nat regarding workers rightts and they have the support of the unions !!!!

              • The Voice of Reason

                Here it is again, Herodufus:

                “The usual redundancy formula in collective agreements is 4 weeks notice (which is often paid out in circumstances where no more work is available) and 4 weeks pay for the first year of employment, then two weeks pay for each other year of service.”

                I’ll spell it out for you: the key words are ‘collective agreements’. The ones unions are party to, eh. 4 and 2 is the minimum standard for any union CEA worth a damn. The EPMU’s flagship Metals MECA achieved that very level of compensation only last year and it’s common in other unions’ agreements.

                So where have you been the last ten years or so, H?

                • Herodotus

                  There are very many out here that do not have this form of agremment, I would imagine the majority, or have a capping on the redundancy calc say 3 months or 14 weeks. Whilst there are some that are under this agreement 4 + 2 what are the capped amounts3 months, 6 months or whatever the individuals service and is unlimited?
                  Whist there are individual unions that have managed collective contracts and wel done to those. Should not the government have a min basis for this, and if ther eis none should notthe past govt have built in min protections to the workforce, or because economically all was rosey in the last reign this was overlooked?and regarding the tax from memory this is taxed at the highest marginal rate at the time, thus min the after tax amountthat is received, unlike the 80’s where I mentioned such payments were taxed at 5%, giving the receipant more aviable funds and thus greater assistance. For those on WFF the redundancy payment is taken in to calc, so there are many who may find as a unintended consequence April next year a tax bill they were not away of, as their earnings exceed their entitlement an this is to be repaid. Unless the govt shows some heart and waves their majic wand. But that is detail that needs to be noted but there are far more immediate requirements that are requiring attention today.
                  TVoR for the last 10 years I was on the receiving end of Labs tax giveaway to the land and house speculators and their inability to review tax loopholes, being a PAYE worker in other words being screwed by Labour, as direct and indirect taxes were increased making living more difficult on a daily basis.

                • Herodotus

                  There are very many out here that do not have this form of agremment, I would imagine the majority, or have a capping on the redundancy calc say 3 months or 14 weeks. Whilst there are some that are under this agreement 4 + 2 what are the capped amounts3 months, 6 months or whatever the individuals service and is unlimited?
                  Whist there are individual unions that have managed collective contracts and wel done to those. Should not the government have a min basis for this, and if ther eis none should notthe past govt have built in min protections to the workforce, or because economically all was rosey in the last reign this was overlooked?and regarding the tax from memory this is taxed at the highest marginal rate at the time, thus min the after tax amountthat is received, unlike the 80\’s where I mentioned such payments were taxed at 5%, giving the receipant more aviable funds and thus greater assistance. For those on WFF the redundancy payment is taken in to calc, so there are many who may find as a unintended consequence April next year a tax bill they were not away of, as their earnings exceed their entitlement an this is to be repaid. Unless the govt shows some heart and waves their majic wand. But that is detail that needs to be noted but there are far more immediate requirements that are requiring attention today.
                  TVoR for the last 10 years I was on the receiving end of Labs tax giveaway to the land and house speculators and their inability to review tax loopholes, being a PAYE worker in other words being screwed by Labour, as direct and indirect taxes were increased making living more difficult on a daily basis.

          • Marty G 9.1.1.2.2

            I’m not attacking the store owners, I’m saying they made a rational business decision. If you have a problem with that, you have a problem with the morality of capitalism.

            • tsmithfield 9.1.1.2.2.1

              If that is truly the case, why not investigate their situation a bit further and make a correction to your article?

              • The Voice of Reason

                Correct what, TS? The only fault in the article is that Marty goes too easy on Foodstuffs who have resisted the unionisation of their stores so that workers don’t get access to proper pay or conditions such as redundancy compensation.

                • tsmithfield

                  Here is a quote from Marty’s article:

                  “The result: 86 workers and their families tossed into unemployment and poverty.”

                  They are not tossed into poverty as they have their wages guaranteed for two months. Their jobs have been underwritten by Foodstuffs, so they will get another job. Therefore, the quote above is quite inaccurate.

                  • Blighty

                    “Their jobs have been underwritten by Foodstuffs, so they will get another job. ”

                    that’s overstating it old boy. Foodstuffs say they will get them another job if they can find them on. Do you think Foodstuffs has 86 empty jobs in Kaiapoi?

                    “They are not tossed into poverty as they have their wages guaranteed for two months.”

                    A bare minimum when you take into account holiday pay, back pay, and redundancy.

                  • The Voice of Reason

                    They were already close to poverty, TS. Foodstuffs pay shit money to their non unionised staff, so 8 weeks more of it will not change anything. If the workers find another job, then they don’t get the rest of the 8 weeks pay either, so again these people are worse off than if Foodstuffs paid them redundancy pay instead.

                    Much better to get a lump sum redundancy payment so the worker has control over their own destiny, isn’t taxed as heavily and gets swift access to welfare payments and job search support. Again, TS, this is a PR puff for Foodstuffs and cheap at the price.

                  • Vicky32

                    “Their jobs have been underwritten by Foodstuffs, so they will get another job. Therefore, the quote above is quite inaccurate.”
                    The quote is inaccurate if and only if these workers do get other jobs! I don’t know Kaiapoi, but I believe it’s a small town – so the issue of the accessibility of these other jobs might become an issue. If a checkout operator (for instance) is offered another job in, say Dunedin and she has to turn it down because she can’t commute there, or can’t relocate, what becomes of her then? VU as WINZ jargon goes, and not even any UB!
                    Deb

  10. freedom 10

    does anyone know why comments are turned off in Open Mike?

    [lprent: corrected. An annoying glitch ]

  11. Bunji 11

    quick note: New World won’t be getting $350/week for each worker – that’s only for businesses with fewer than 20 employees.

    So the Government is helping out even less…

    (Quick calculation: John Key could forgo his tax cut for 1 year and pay all these workers their $350 for 5 weeks…)

  12. Jum 12

    Captcha: guide

    Any business that actively seeks to stop its workers having a fair say in their job conditions and pay is a business that does not care about its workers.

    This is proof positive that the supermarket’s highly publicised arrangements for its workers was a scam; they know the media and the public have the attention span of (g)nats and will have soon moved on.

  13. John Key personally stands to gain $15,000 a year from the top bracket tax cut from his PM’s salary alone.

    It is for the rich elite like himself that National governs, not ordinary Kiwi workers. This natural disaster just makes their class war more stark.

    Ok but by the same token…

    How much does Phil Goff gain from his tax cut cos i don’t hear him complaining much, offering to waive it , donate it to the relief effort, repping for the workers or about him looking to govern for anyone other than his lot.

    so in this instance, what would Goff have done so different to protect jobs ?

    dunno eh…maybe cos his press sec is too busy pimping his own shit, kissing arse trying to be the next smiley brown patsy occupying a seat in the house and doing fuck all for it just like the last aunty tom.

  14. fair enough Blighty…

    …just saying that Goff isnt repping for my ‘class’ either, doesn’t appear to be working for my best interests and neither do the lackeys he puts forward for electoral consideration.

    and that while it’s all very well to harp on about what Key and his lot have done, or are doing, if Labour aren’t saying anything different or anything at all then don’t expect me to just fall in line behind them…

    If Labour wants to be a viable alternative then they need to put forward some viable alternatives.

  15. smhead 15

    What a capitalist scumbag that robert reid of the NDU is, going around saying it’s a good deal for workers. Marty you should organise a standard protest outside NDU offices, how can they have such a capitalist pig running the show.

    • The Voice of Reason 15.1

      Forgive me if I don’t trust a word you say, smeggy, but would you mind providing some proof of your frothy mouthed allegation? Or is it just a case of you making shit up, yet again?

      • smhead 15.1.1

        learn to read voice

        “National Distribution Union general secretary Robert Reid said: “No doubt their own shop in Kaiapoi will be a lot busier now so they will need more staff,” he said.

        Reid said the union only had one member employed at Kaiapoi New World. The union praised the way Foodstuffs had handled the situation.

        “This is the type of arrangement we are supportive of and hopefully it will be a model for other companies,” he said.

        • Blighty 15.1.1.1

          and Marty’s not criticising the company. He’s criticising the government.

          perhaps you need to learn to read old boy.

        • The Voice of Reason 15.1.1.2

          I can read, smeghead, and more importantly, comprehend. The full article you have selectively quoted from is here:

          http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10672201

          Nowhere in it does Reid say ‘it’s a good deal for workers’ and the line about ‘needing more workers’ is a reference to Progressive Enterprises, not Foodstuffs. Interestingly, the article includes this odd sentence, which makes even less sense than you usually do:

          “Kaiapoi was a major employer in the town of about 10,000 and the news was bound to hit the community hard, Foodstuffs said.”

          If the journo can’t even spot the word ‘store’ is missing in that sentence, then I have bugger all faith that Reid has been accurately quoted anyway, but even he has, the important line is ‘this type of arrangement’. He is not endorsing the settlement as best practice, but encouraging other employers to at least do something for their workers, even if they have no legal obligation to do so.

          Foodstuffs paid out over $100 million in profits to store owners such as those in Kaiapoi last year. A few thousand in exchange for acres of free publicity is a bargain.

  16. felix 16

    Fuckwits like tsmithfield et al can state that they think that foodstuffs are being generous and reasonable in this instance because – and only because – they believe that the natural way of things is for workers to be sacked without compensation and without question.

    They believe that the draconian and authoritarian conditions imposed by the 90-day-fire-at-will law are the base assumptions we should be starting from and that anything more than this is to be praised as saintly behaviour by employers.

    This is no accident either – one of the unstated but always obvious purposes of laws like the 90-day law is that they shift the entire debate rightwards and into authoritarian territory where extreme opinions like tsmithfield’s can be voiced as if they are normal, widely held sentiments and not the deranged ramblings of far-right lunatics and fascist thugs.

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