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On the twelfth day of Christmas AFFCO gave two of its workers …

Written By: - Date published: 7:29 am, December 24th, 2015 - 189 comments
Categories: capitalism, class war, employment - Tags: , , , ,

MEat workers

On the twelfth day of Christmas Tallys gave two of its workers the sack.

Here is the press release from the Meat Workers Union setting out what happened.

Coming on top of a year of turbulence in AFFCO Talleys meat plants, two union delegates have been sacked right on Xmas because they went into work early to talk to union members, says the NZ Meat Workers Union.

One of the sacked workers is Bertie Ratu, the Shed Secretary of the Rangiuru plant, who earlier this year was threatened with dismissal by the company because she went to her local MP to raise concerns.

“The delegates were dismissed because they went to work to calm union members upset about unfair treatment and tempers were getting short,” says Darien Fenton, NZ Meat Workers Union.

“This is typical Talley behaviour. They are a company at war with its workforce.

“Since the Employment Court decision in November that AFFCO Talley workers had been unlawfully locked out and the company had breached good faith, Talley’s has embarked on a petty vendetta to punish any workers who are union members.

“Sacking workers for spurious reasons three days before Xmas highlights the difference between one of New Zealand’s wealthiest families and their workforce.

“While Sir Peter Talley and his sons sit in their multi-million dollar mansion eating Christmas pudding, these delegates and hundreds of their other workers who are still locked out will be having a miserable Christmas.

“This won’t go unnoticed or unchallenged. While the good folk of New Zealand help these workers through this difficult time, the union movement, nationally and internationally will be ensuring this company is brought to account, ” says Darien Fenton.

The background needs to be drawn out a little and I hope that you are as disgusted as I am at how AFFCO has treated its workers just because they are active union members.  Clearly AFFCO wishes to deunionise its workplace.

Bertie Ratu came to notice after earlier this year she posted a comment on her local MP’s Facebook page.   Essentially the comment asked her local MP Te Uruora Flavell to sign a petition for a new collective agreement.  The previous agreement had expired fifteen months before and they were frustrated at continuing delays in renewing the agreement.

For her efforts she received a letter from AFFCO claiming that her comment may lead to dismissal or non reengagement.  In AFFCO land talking to your MP and exercising your democratic rights is clearly a no no.

The failure to conclude negotiations over a collective agreement led to the Meat Workers Union taking action in the Employment Court.  In November this year the Court handed down a sting rebuke of AFFCO’s behaviour during the negotiations.  From the Meat Worker’s website:

A unanimous decision of a full bench of the Employment Court declared that :

  • AFFCO Talley’s actions in forcing workers back to work on individual agreements was an unlawful lockout : this applies to all sheds, including those who have gone back under oppressive individual agreements and others, like Wairoa workers, who have refused to sign and have been without work for weeks.
  • The Court also ruled that the company had breached section 32 of the Employment Relations Act in trying to engage in direct individual bargaining with workers while collective bargaining is still in place.

You would think that after such a comprehensive finding AFFCO would settle down and start treating its workers more fairly.  But this did not occur.

First the workers were banned from wearing union t-shirts to work.  These t-shirts are a pleasant green colour and say in bold lettering “Jobs that Count – MWU”.  Management described them as being “intimidating” and “like gang insignia”.  AFFCO management must be intimidated by the most benign of objects and I would recommend therapeutic intervention.

Then just before christmas comes the retaliatory action against MWU Delegates that I previously described.

The Tally brothers hatred of the trade union movement is well known.  It is rumoured that they are in line for a knighthood.  No doubt for services to the rich and wealthy in the never ending effort to destroy the trade union movement and makes serfs to the rest of us.

So merry christmas to the AFFCO workers.  If someone can direct me to details of a strike fund I am happy to put the details up.

189 comments on “On the twelfth day of Christmas AFFCO gave two of its workers … ”

  1. Rosie 2

    Bloody hell. Not a moments peace for these poor people. For the two sacked workers could this be a case of unjustified dismissal?

    Politics never stops, not even at Christmas. One of the reasons these meatworkers have such a struggle on their hands is because of the union busting -anti worker changes to employment legislation in 1991.

    (And is the reason I have a family member working till midnight tonight at a big box retailer and is back again at 7am on boxing day to open up the store. He has never had a proper Christmas with his sons. Such greed by retailers to the cost of workers personal lives was unthinkable prior to 1991)

    There’s only one way to help these workers. Change the government. Although I have my doubts about the lengths a new government will go to stand up for workers rights, at least the worst of the legislation can be changed – unless we demand better.

    • Richard McGrath 2.1

      “I have a family member working till midnight tonight at a big box retailer and is back again at 7am on boxing day to open up the store.”

      Do what I did this year – have Christmas dinner 2 weeks early, avoiding the pre-Xmas Day rush.

      • fender 2.1.1

        Wow that must have been another exciting event sitting at the table surrounded by cardboard copies of yourself. Do you attach string to them so you can make them nod in agreement as you vomit out your far right hate speech?

        • Richard McGrath

          So a polite suggestion on how someone might be able to arrange a family gathering around work hours in order to celebrate Christmas with their family is “right wing hate speech”?

          • fender

            Oh I’m sorry Dick, I should have pointed out I’m basing my opinion on your history of commenting here at TS.

      • Grant 2.1.2

        Which means you didn’t actually celebrate Christmas at all.

        • Richard McGrath

          So you’re saying the spirit of Christmas, of peace and goodwill to others, can’t be celebrated on any day other than December 25?

          • One Anonymous Bloke

            …or by Libertarians, ever.

          • Grant

            You can celebrate the spirit of christmas (if you wish to call your private celebration by that name) on any day of the year you wish. Just don’t try to suggest that it is actually Christmas and that everyone else should be content to be told that they have to forego the traditional Christmas celebration which is both an ancient part of the majority culture in religious terms and recognised in law as a statutory holiday. Why should these shallow little creeps who’ve worked out how to make tills ring louder in December have the right to coerce people into selling their family holiday time at Christmas.

          • Rodel

            RM-What stupid comments you make.Sorry for you.

      • lprent 2.1.3

        have Christmas dinner 2 weeks early

        That presupposes that you can get other family members scattered around the country to do the same thing. You either have a small or very affluent family or one with very should lifespans. But it is hard to see how your simple-minded solution would apply for anything more complex

        This isn’t commonly possible because other employers cause the same issues with other family members taking time off before and after xmas. This is why we have public holidays like Xmas day and Boxing day. It allows widespread families time to get together because otherwise it’d be an impossible logistical nightmare.

        In my case, that means that we had xmas dinner one on the weekend before xmas because some Lyn’s nieces were going off to Egypt with their immediate family to be with their cousins. The grandparents from Invercargill flew up for that. Xmas dinner two for us will be at their place in Invercargill to allow other adult family members to get together. Meanwhile my family with be getting together for great grandparents to be with the kids, grandkids, and great grandkids at xmas. Then Lyn and I will up to Northland where we will catch up with some of my family for New Year.

        And I haven’t even started to talk about the convolutions caused by the ever breakable relationships and the proliferation that causes in the number of parents and grandparents and great grandparents that most kids have these days.

        Organising these kinds of things without the certainty of state enforced public holidays is effectively impossible. That was why public holidays were brought in. And why the getting people to work on public holidays needs to be both voluntary and require higher pay for employees.

      • Rosie 2.1.4

        Yep, seems pretty clear that you did celebrate christmas two weeks ago as it seems you spent the better part of christmas eve being uppity on a blog.

        Good for you. Do what you like, but it’s not for my family member, or anyone else compelled to work on public holidays, to organise their lives around work, at what is traditionally meant to be family time. You’re missing the point about changing employer expectations that bite into personal time.

        Suggest you read up on Talley’s track record, as you say you know nothing about them, before you defend them. Also look at employment law – only then will you understand how restricted workers are when it comes to being proactive about improving their circumstances at work.

  2. ianmac 3

    Trying to think of the right words for Talleys. Ummm Bastards!

    • Richard McGrath 3.1

      If any employee thinks they’re bastards, by all means let them leave and find work elsewhere.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 3.1.1

        What flaccid ineffectual milksop is this? A slap on the wrist with a wet bus ticket for persistent and deliberate human rights violations. And don’t mention Cabinet Club.

        Scratch a Libertarian and find a slavering sociopath every single time.

        • Richard McGrath

          More personal abuse. Speaks volumes about Mr Anonymous.

          Please provide evidence of Talleys’ human rights violations. If there is substance to them, it might sway my opinion – I know nothing about Talleys so please inform me about any illegal practices on their part.

          “Scratch a Libertarian and find a slavering sociopath every single time.”

          Say someone who doesn’t (as far as I can tell) know me, and has never even met me. Bit of a sweeping statement, Mr Anonymous

          • One Anonymous Bloke

            1. The evidence is contained in the OP.
            2. As I thought: you identify as a Libertarian, and yet blanche at strong language. Funny how people who worship strength can’t take a verbal beating 😆

            • Richard McGrath

              You have a strange understanding of libertarianism, a political school of thought based on the non-aggression principle. I’m not blanching at your strong language, just disappointed that it’s hollow – not backed up by rational argument (by any argument for that matter).

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                Yes, the argument you don’t like: that you are an apologist for vile exploitation: it isn’t going away no matter how much you pretend not to notice it.

                It isn’t a “school”. It isn’t “thought”. It doesn’t have principles, it has baseless assertions. It denotes low character.

          • Tracey

            That you know nothing of telleys speaks volumes

        • Richard McGrath

          More personal abuse. Speaks volumes about Mr Anonymous.

          Please provide evidence of Talleys’ human rights violations. If there is substance to them, it might sway my opinion – I know nothing about Talleys so please inform me about any illegal practices on their part.

          “Scratch a Libertarian and find a slavering sociopath every single time.”

          Say someone who doesn’t (as far as I can tell) know me, and has never even met me. Bit of a sweeping statement, Mr Anonymous.

          [lprent: Sigh. Talking about sweeping statements,

          1. Don’t ever try to fight an argument on the basis of a handle, it tends to be dangerous on this site. As far as I am concerned all names here are just handles and have nothing to do with real life. If a handle is made up by a commenter or a parent is of equal weight to me, because we don’t check or validate either. Read the policy – there are no special favours for people with names that look they might be real. I do view such discussions as being flamestarters most often used by someone trying to incite a flamewar.

          2. This is a place for robust debate, but there is deliberately nothing in the policy that prohibits “personal abuse”. That is because one persons personal abuse is another person’s deeply held and thought through opinion. Instead we draw the line at things when can more easily detect. Pointless abuse, people being boring trolls or astroturfers, bigots of various forms using the language of exclusion, and various other behaviours that cause issues in the comment stream or cause our authors not to want to write posts. But we don’t exclude pointed comments and personal abuse except if in the view of the moderators there is no point to it. Clearly your reaction shows that OAB’s comment was, as usual, a somewhat pointed opinion. OAB seems to specialise in them. You appear to have seen the point, even if you completely disagreed with it. You’d be better off asking him to justify his opinion.

          3. It is inadvisable to try to set the bounds of behaviour, even indirectly, on this site. The authors, moderators, and myself spend an inordinate amount of our valuable leisure time working on it. We tend to get somewhat tetchy at casual users trying to define the rules and policies about behaviour on the site. I believe that is listed under the self-martyrdom offences in the policy.

          This is all in the way of a friendly warning because I can see that you contribute to the dialogue on the site. Your second paragraph for instance as well as other comments. ]

          • ropata

            “i know nothing about Talleys”

            then perhaps do some basic fact checking before making your grand statements? so far all you have earned is abuse and derision

            • Tracey

              Facts? But they wreck the cosy safe place of the smugly self righteous

            • Richard McGrath

              In fact it is not necessary to know anything about Talley’s when discussing generic employer-employee relationships.

      • Grant 3.1.2

        As soon as they have better options I’m sure they will leave. In the meantime, it is perfectly reasonable for them to take the work but still regard the Talleys as total bastards. (which they are).

  3. Kelly-Ned 4

    There is certainly a need to bring these mean spirited business people to account.
    The question is how do we do that?
    People like Key (and apparently everyone who votes for him) think that Talley’s are business heroes. Even to the extent of giving knighthoods.
    Tragically our society has become so mean spirited and egocentric that many think that others poor circumstances are entirely their own fault. Yet all it takes is ill health, a work place accident, a chance gone bad, to turn a life upside down. Luck plays a huge part in how our lives work out, whether people accept that or not doesn’t change it from being a truth.

    It is useful to think of sickening wealth like this: If we are in a room with 100 people the only way one of use can become much more wealthy than the rest is if we actually take money off the others, thereby making them all poorer.
    Is that really how we would want to live – taking off others all the time in order to make ourselves better off than the others in our ‘room’?
    Is this how Talley’s have ended up living their lives – constantly seeking ways to take money off others, their workers?
    It’s hard to see how they could feel happy living like that, unless they are so insulated form the others that they can’t even see them.

    So how do we bring these people to account? How to we get inside their space and make them aware? Maybe we send them multiple copies of Dickens ‘A Christmas Carol’
    Kia kaha
    Merry Christmas to you all.

    • Richard McGrath 4.1

      “There is certainly a need to bring these mean spirited business people to account.”

      There is already a means of doing this – free speech, the media, word of mouth, etc.
      There is nothing illegal or even immoral about being mean spirited. But it may be detrimental to their business and prevent good employees from seeking jobs with them, thus Talley’s alleged mean-spiritedness may be illogical.

      • Grant 4.1.1

        Can you point me in the direction of a recognised morality code which encourages mean spiritedness? Being mean-spirited is at best amoral and by the standards of most moral / religious codes it is actively immoral. It’s sad that I have to explain this to you.

        • Richard McGrath

          I’m not sure if there is a moral code that encourages or rewards mean spiritedness – I sure wouldn’t subscribe to such a code, it’s simply irrational to do so in every situation I can think of. What I’m saying is the opposite: that people or groups who exhibit mean-spiritedness will usually find that sort of attitude counter-productive and self-defeating.

        • Richard McGrath

          I’m not sure if there is a moral code that encourages or rewards mean spiritedness per se – I sure wouldn’t subscribe to such a code, it’s simply irrational to do so in every situation I can think of. What I’m saying is the opposite: that people or groups who exhibit mean-spiritedness will usually find that sort of attitude counter-productive and self-defeating.

          • crashcart

            History would disagree with you. In general the people who are most successful are the ones who managed to , lie, cheat, or otherwise take advantage of others in some way shape or form. I think it would be far more challenging to find someone who has worked their way to the top without some form of questionable moral action. feel free to prove me wrong.

            • Richard McGrath

              You are right to a point – people can benefit from behaving fraudulently or coercively where there are no laws to prohibit it, or a justice system that fails to prosecute such transgressions.

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                We call that “Libertarianism”: it’s closely related to Cabinet Club, money-laundering, and bribery, a conclusion that can be easily verified by examining its disciples’ behaviour as opposed to their gobshite.

                • ropata

                  Or just your garden variety capitalism really.

                  Also known as “human nature” without the moderating influence of altruism or any other morality.

                  Don’t be a Scrooge, Richard!

              • crashcart

                So you are saying your previous statement “What I’m saying is the opposite: that people or groups who exhibit mean-spiritedness will usually find that sort of attitude counter-productive and self-defeating” was in fact complete horse shit?

                Although your claim it can only happen where laws don’t exist to protect against this behaviour is easily disproven. Are you saying there is no employment laws or company law in the US, Europe, or really any of the developed western world?

                At least that is progress. Now go back and look at where the rest of your arguments have been shot to shit and accept that you came into this discussion woefully unprepared.

                • Richard McGrath

                  “So you are saying your previous statement “What I’m saying is the opposite: that people or groups who exhibit mean-spiritedness will usually find that sort of attitude counter-productive and self-defeating” was in fact complete horse shit?”

                  Not at all.

                  • Grant

                    What you actually said was: “There is nothing illegal or even immoral about being mean spirited.”

                    • ropata

                      In Richard’s (sociopath) world, people are only kind to each other because of rational self interest, nothing to do with human relationships, everything is an economic transaction or power play.

                    • Ian

                      In Richard’s (sociopath) world, people are only kind to each other because of rational self interest, nothing to do with human relationships, everything is an economic transaction or power play.

                      “My heart sank last night”

      • crashcart 4.1.2

        The classic if they are a bad employer then they should get another job. They wont be able to get employees.

        Of course then anyone who doesn’t work there and collects a benifit is a bludging wanker who doesn’t want to work. you do get that the number of work age kiwi’s exceeds the number of available jobs. As long as this is the case employers like Tallies can treat there employees as shit as they want and if someone is on the doll there will always be someone in line to be treated like shit.

        This is why rulings like the one in the OP need to have teeth. not only should tallies be forced to into binding arbitration they should also receive hefty fines for breaking the law. Until it becomes financially harmful to be a shit head employer like these guys there will always be shit head employers.

  4. Tory 5

    No doubt the union will challenge this, if Tallys have breached conditions of employment agreements the Employment Court or District Court will make an appropriate judgement. If Tallys win then a lessonl learnt for the Union.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 5.1

      I note that your lip service to the law evaporates when it comes to low life trash like the Talleys.

      • Richard McGrath 5.1.1

        What are you talking about? If Talley’s win, there is a message for the union. If the union win, that is a message to Talley’s.

        • One Anonymous Bloke

          I’m talking about Tory, and other trash just like Tory, who pay lip service to law ‘n’ order until wealthy employers start breaking it. I expect you exhibit the same low-life tendency.

          • Richard McGrath

            Not so. If employers break a contract or law, they should be prosecuted for it.

            • crashcart

              yes but they have already been found to have broken the law. Remind me what good it did.

              • Richard McGrath

                If they broke the law, those who were harmed as a result should be compensated. I think we can agree on that.

            • lprent

              By whom? The unions have no prosecutor rights in the courts, police have few or none under the various labour and employment acts except for strikebreaking, and this government neither funds the ministry responsible nor seems to allow it to prosecute cases where obvious illegal employer negligence causes deaths (eg the forestry contractors that the CTU eventually managed to push into court).

              Basically your argument is complete hogwash because you are assuming a policing structure that doesn’t exist. Perhaps you should pull your head out of your theoretical arse and at least glance at reality sometimes.

              • Richard McGrath

                Ignoring the abusive tone to your comment, just because (so you claim) a policing structure for prosecuting delinquent employers doesn’t exist, doesn’t mean it can’t exist. Appreciate your comments in the first paragraph though.

  5. Korero Pono 6

    Boycott their products.

    It would be helpful if every worker in Talley’s owned unethical factories put down their tools and walked out, unfortunately feeding the family (even if you do get treated like crap) has to be a priority for most of these workers. Meanwhile Talley’s will continue to apply pressure trying to get people to fold, take the hit with the wet bus ticket that the ERA will dish out and move on to further wear down the workforce until they are nothing more than slaves.

    • Richard McGrath 6.1

      Talleys employees should have the right to withdraw their labour, and Talleys should have the right to withdraw their employment, subject to details in the contracts between Talleys and their employees.

      • lprent 6.1.1

        …subject to details in the contracts between Talleys and their employees

        You seem to have forgotten various parts of employment and other law that those contracts lie on top of. For instance, by your interpretation, that a employee refuses to put themselves in danger in where the employment contract doesn’t cover it would constitute grounds for an employer to withdraw their employment. I have only seen a few employment contracts covering radioactivity or laser issues as an example despite their widespread use throughout many industries.

        That would violate common law, criminal law, and employment laws – but wouldn’t violate a contract that made no mention of those.

        I suspect that this is an over sight on your part because all contracts are founded not on the letter of the contract, but on the laws that underlay their enforcement. You really should learn to think before writing.

        • One Anonymous Bloke

          think before writing

          What, and abandon Libertarianism altogether? You’re bloody optimistic!

        • Richard McGrath

          I would have thought it would go without saying that an employer should not require illegal actions on the part of its employees and thus that any employee asked to do so has a perfect right to refuse to comply with such demands. However if you need me to point that out, there it is.

          • One Anonymous Bloke

            Yeah, you would have thought that were it not for the fact that you believed a lot of Libertarian drivel first.

            I think Libertarians will probably turn out to be victims of parasitism: certainly Libertarian notions behave like parasites, infecting human consciousness at the hosts’ expense, and I’m thinking of something far more prosaic, hence the earlier reference to toxoplasma.

          • lprent

            …it would go without saying that an employer should not require illegal actions on the part of its employees…

            Nope. Clearly you haven’t done enough time around lawyers or looking through case law.

            There is a reason why lawyers have such a long apprenticeship. Much of it is learning to discard the kinds of presumptions you just did.

        • Sacha

          “You seem to have forgotten various parts of employment and other law that those contracts lie on top of”

          yep, glibertarians exist in a vacuum. They seem unable to grasp that social structures or non-contracted parties might influence our shared world.

          Thankfully, their warped notions attract the tiniest fraction of the general vote, though miles more media coverage which must embolden them more than anyone deserves.

  6. Richard McGrath 7

    Talley’s should be able to enforce their own dress code – after all it is their plant.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 7.1

      Whatever excuse they need to fuck someone over at Xmas, Richard will be there, tongue in hand, to deliver it. Way to go Richard, what a fine specimen you are.

      [lprent: That falls over into the pointless abuse. I can’t see a point to your comment. Sigh, be warned that you are treading on unstable and bannable ground. ]

      • Richard McGrath 7.1.1

        Personal attacks, true to form. Behind a wall of anonymity.
        Should Talleys not be able to enforce a dress code then?

        • One Anonymous Bloke

          Pointing out that you have your tongue out is a simple matter of observation. The sad thing is, the Talleys will never get clean no matter how hard you lick.

          • Richard McGrath

            Should Talleys not be able to enforce a dress code then?

            • One Anonymous Bloke

              Do you think this is funny? An attempt at charming naivety perhaps? Nah, it’s a sick joke; revealing too.

              The Talley’s have abused human rights too many times to be allowed to employ people at all.

              • Richard McGrath

                I work in a job where there is a dress code. Strangely enough, no-one seems to think it’s funny or a joke, or an abuse of human rights.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  Did I say the dress code (if there is one) is an abuse of human rights? No: the “dress code” is a diversion, a feeble pretence that this isn’t about freedom of speech and association – ie: union membership.

                  This particular partisan application of any purported dress code may well be ruled to be unreasonable too, and I’m going off their rap sheet, not the current charges.

                  • Richard McGrath

                    I note you appear to evading the issue of whether a dress code can be part of a contractual agreement between employer and employee.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      I note that the only person who pretends to believe Talley’s dress code drivel is a Libertarian. I’m not evading the issue, I’m pointing out that it’s a flaccid and transparent piece of dishonest sophistry, with a side order of contempt for Libertarians.

                • Tracey


        • Korero Pono

          what is Talley’s ‘dress code”? Do they actually have one or is it that they choose to have a dress code in an attempt to intimidate and erode the confidence of union members?

          • Richard McGrath

            I don’t know if Talleys have a dress code, Korero. But I’m saying they have a right to put a clause in employment contracts mandating a dress code for employees.

            • fender

              No doubt you would be fine with a full strip search to ensure their undies don’t have your portrait in the relevant area.

              • Richard McGrath

                Depends if that’s in the employment contract. If it is, and the employee is happy to sign it, a strip search would be OK. But don’t you think Talleys would miss out on hiring some top staff if they insisted on strip searches?

                • b waghorn

                  You obviously no nothing of what its like to be a worker and until you do please shut the fuck up.

                  • Richard McGrath

                    Beg your pardon? I’ve worked several jobs, the lowest paid was $1 an hour in a supermarket. I’ve worked in newspaper delivery, gardening, lawn mowing (had my own business in that when I was 17), wool store work, at the engineering workshop in a fertiliser plant, meter reading and other jobs. I was grateful for the work.

                    • Richard McGrath

                      Furthermore, Mr Waghorn, did you think about an answer to my question before you typed your abusive comment?

                    • Richard McGrath []

                      “You obviously no nothing”
                      Oh dear the irony

                    • b waghorn

                      Oh you’re one of those pulled my self up and if I can do so can you types. I bet you think poor peoples problems would be solved if they only grew a garden ,got their clothes from op shop or just tried harder.
                      Talley s a fuckwits and just because they have the law on their side doesn’t make what they do right.
                      And if you think shut the fuck up is abuse you have either a thin skin or you’re feigning upset to further you’re sad display of wankery .

                    • Richard McGrath []

                      Not bad… I bought clothes from op shop for 3 years, currently grow a vege garden and had to work from a B bursary start to get into med school. No preferential entry for me and didn’t qualify for Maori or Polynesian entry – Irish entry might have helped.

                    • Tracey

                      Are you 120 years old?????

                    • Grant

                      Tracy, from memory (possibly faulty) $1.00 p-hr was thought of as minimum adult wage in the mid 1970’s just before the oil shocks brought in rampant inflation. So McGrath is either talking about a childs wage or he is at least my age (nearly sixty).

                    • Richard McGrath []

                      Nearly 120 😀

                      The $1 an hour job was in 1977.

                    • Grant

                      @RM. ” I’ve worked several jobs, the lowest paid was $1 an hour in a supermarket. I’ve worked in newspaper delivery, gardening, lawn mowing (had my own business in that when I was 17), wool store work, at the engineering workshop in a fertiliser plant, meter reading and other jobs. I was grateful for the work.”

                      May one ask when you were last personally doing the kind of work you describe above?

                    • Grant

                      @RM. “The $1 an hour job was in 1977.”

                      Well I walked out of the seventh form as a seventeen year old at the end of 1976 and spent the summer holidays driving a road roller for $100.00 a week after tax. My points being:

                      a) the ’70’s were a long time ago and conditions were totally different. Jobs were still relatively easy to come by. Unemployment was still low and it was easy for healthy young males to walk into well paid unskilled jobs.
                      b) By 1977 $1.00 per hr for a young adult male was a very low rate
                      c) Quoting rates like that without specifying the details such as; your age, nature of job, part time / full time etc etc is utterly meaningless.

                      To reinforce my comment above. After an abortive start at Victoria uni, I dropped out at the end of the first term and hitch hiked to Tokoroa and walked (literally) down the road to Kinleith mill where they looked me up and down, gave me a quick medical exam, issued me with boots and Swanni and told me when to turn up for my first shift. I earned a truckload of money living in a single mens camp and working six days on three days off on rotating shifts with all the penal rates that applied back then for the remainder of the year.

                    • Richard McGrath

                      Grant – to give my earlier comment some context – the $1 an hour job in 1977 was as a sixteen year old in a small supermarket in Wanganui working full time. I didn’t have a driver licence so had to bike 6 km each way to get there.

                    • Grant

                      @RM. I note that I have not had any substantive replies to my later comments to you querying your personal experience of what it is like to work as unskilled labour in an oversupplied job market. You have made claims about having such experience but failed to specify when, for how long and in what circumstances.

                      This makes me suspect that you actually have very little real life experience of such matters. You have made several vague statements that lead me to understand that you are a dental / medical specialist of some sort. Assuming that you trained for this in your late teens to mid-twenties as is usual, and remembering your statement that you were sixteen in 1977, it would seem that:
                      a) Your experience of working as unskilled labour was mainly from the mid ’70’s to mid ’80’s?
                      b) You have never actually been in the position of being permanently working class with few job opportunities in a shrinking job market and next to no choice when it comes to signing employment contracts?
                      c) Claiming to know what it is like to be working class and in a position of powerlessness, when in fact you were intelligent and educated enough to know you had other options reminds me of Phil Goff (and others) blathering about working in the meat works when he was putting himself through law school.

                      I also note that you went quiet on your claim that signing employment contracts was based on an equal relationship / ability to exercise choice, between employer and employee in the current economic / job market. Having read my rebuttal of your original statements to that effect, do you still argue that people representing oversupplied unskilled labour truly have options about whether to accept contracts containing oppressive / exploitative terms and conditions?

                • fender

                  Many people will endure the most unpalatable conditions just to secure a job. I’m sure you’re fine with that.

                  • Richard McGrath

                    I have done that on occasion. I didn’t enjoy it, but was willing to in return for a regular payday.

            • One Anonymous Bloke

              You’re defending their right to treat people the way I treat your comments: with contempt.

              • Richard McGrath

                That’s right – anonymous vitriol without trying to defend a position or refute mine. I’m always open to, and interested in, considered rebuttal of any points I make. But personal abuse and blind hatred in place of rational argument is virtually a concession of defeat.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  Pointing out that you are failing in your attempt to whitewash vile and illegal employment practices is a perfectly rational argument, Richard.

                  You may not like the obvious subtext: that your lack of human decency indicates low character, and you can stop displaying your atavism any time you like.

                  • Richard McGrath

                    Please note, Mr Anonymous, I am not condoning the practices of Talleys in any way. I’m not interested in “whitewashing” the actions of Talleys; in fact I think sunlight is the best disinfectant in this case. My comments would apply to any company employing workers. If there is some dirt on Talleys, by all means expose it.

                    “your lack of human decency indicates low character” – ah, more personal abuse – true to form.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      It’s pure coincidence that a Libertarian defends Talleys. Butter wouldn’t melt in his mouth. Pass me a bucket.

            • Korero Pono

              So you don’t know that they are upholding any ‘dress code’, do you? As to changes in the employment contract, employees must agree to changes…we have all seen the tactics used by Talleys to force people to ‘agree’…duress is a powerful weapon.

    • Grant 7.2

      So if they insisted that everyone on the floor of the plant should wear full evening dress that would be OK with you?

      • Richard McGrath 7.2.1

        Yes, if that was in the employment contract and employees were happy to do so and both parties fulfilled the conditions of their employment contract. Whether or not I agree with the particular dress code is irrelevant, and none of my business. It’s the business of those entering into the contractual agreement.

        • Grant

          The question is, would it be reasonable for Talley’s to make such a demand of their workers. You obviously think it is. This speaks volumes for your attitude to real life people in real life situations with real life problems. Given that the only point in making such a demand would be to humiliate the employees and make it clear to them just who holds the whip hand.

          And this is the crux of this issue. The people who work for Talley’s, don’t in practical terms have much in the way of options. You keep rattling on about employment contracts as though , in each case, it’s a case of willing parties on both sides. For many working people in the current job market, this isn’t the case. Many of them are most unwilling to sign up to the terms dished out to them, but have Hobson’s choice.

          By the way, it obviously hasn’t occurred to you, but in the context of this conversation, can you not see why an employee of Talley’s wishing to engage on this forum might wish to do so anonymously?

          • Richard McGrath

            Grant – I actually agree with a lot of what you write in this post. Talley’s could be arseholes wanting to humiliate employees and show them who holds the whip – but what I’m arguing is that in the long run this should and probably would work against them, in a free society where there were few barriers to a rival organisation setting up in competition with Talleys, and where employees could be lured away to work for someone else who offered better pay and conditions. It would be great to see, for instance, a union setting up a competing meat company and giving Talleys a run for their money. Logic dictates that Talleys would then be under pressure to make employment with them more attractive than working for the union-owned company.

            An employment contract is a case of willing parties on both sides. An employee has the option of not signing it and seeking work elsewhere, including in a different job altogether. Just like my job doesn’t pay as much as I would like, and I am obliged to do some work which I dislike, but I still choose to do it as I need to eat and pay bills, pay down the mortgage, etc.

            “Can you not see why an employee of Talley’s wishing to engage on this forum might wish to do so anonymously?”

            Yes, and in the light of Mr Prentice’s directive I will respect the right of people to post anonymously, even though I have far greater regard for those who will put their names beside their opinions.

            • Grant

              “An employment contract is a case of willing parties on both sides. An employee has the option of not signing it and seeking work elsewhere, including in a different job altogether.”

              As subtle and nuanced argument appears to be beyond you, I am forced to make my points argumntem ad adsurdum.

              If someone sells themselves, or their children, into slavery or indentured labour and signs away their freedom in so doing, it doesn’t usually mean they were willing to do so. As part of an oversupply of labour in a system carefully and deliberately designed with structural unemployment built into it, most people literally have no choice, unless, occasionally, luck or circumstance intervene.

              “but I still choose to do it as I need to eat ”

              So you effectively acknowledge the point. The choice is often not between one job and another, but between signing up for a shit job with shit conditions and a crap employer, or not eating.

            • Sacha

              “a union setting up a competing meat company and giving Talleys a run for their money.”

              The last word might be a clue for you. And NZ is cursed with industries too small to support more than duopolies in many cases, where markets do not work the way economists would like us to believe.

              • Sacha

                Also, have seen a meatworks? They wear overalls and some protective gear, which would be stipulated in the employment agreement.

                Any union tee-shirts would be worn underneath those and only visible when they’re on a break or arriving at or leaving work – and therefore highly unlikely to be mentioned in an employment agreement.

                You will note from media coverage that the company has been found guilty of infringing employment law, and has reacted by taking various actions against union members. They do not have the luxury of waiting for some comfortable ‘free world’ fantasy to remedy that.

            • lprent

              …even though I have far greater regard for those who will put their names beside their opinions.

              Your choice, irrelevant to moderators unless you start using it as a debating club.

    • DH 7.3

      “Talley’s should be able to enforce their own dress code – after all it is their plant.”

      I see slavery is still a goal for some, wouldn’t think this was the 21st century at times.

      The legal relationship between worker and employer is a contract of service. That’s different to hiring a plumber or other contractor which is a contract for services.

      The legal obligations of the worker is to do the job they were hired for and to not interfere with the welfare of others while doing so. The legal obligation of the employer is to pay the worker for their work, to maintain a safe environment for them to work in and in most case provide the tools with which to perform the job.

      To that end a dress code would only be legal if it related to the job. Company supplied safety clothing, for example, could be an enforced dress code.

      “after all it is their plant.””

      Indeed it’s their plant. But the workers don’t belong to Talleys do they. Why would anyone think an employer should be able to claim proprietary rights over workers?

  7. Tory 8

    OAB, was that you [deleted]

    [lprent: That directly violates a court order. Can’t see any reason in your comments to exercise leniency – basically you look like exactly the kind of stupid fuckwit who’d do something this dumb.

    So you are banned for 6 months for knowingly and deliberately trying to get this site to violate a court order. ]

    • One Anonymous Bloke 8.1

      Tory, despite the fact that I don’t know what you asked, I can say with confidence that whatever you believe, will be false.

  8. b waghorn 9

    May be the union should get some space in the rural farmers papers and clearly state the unfairness of what tallies is up to ,if the start getting pressure from their suppliers tallys might pull the ignorant fat heads in.

    • Richard McGrath 9.1

      Couldn’t agree more, Mr Waghorn. The union should put some facts on the table and see whether farmers are still willing to deal with a company that may or may not be an arsehole.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 9.1.1

        Yeah, because numerous existing judgements against them aren’t enough on Planet Richard.

        • Richard McGrath

          Can you point to any links outlining these judgements? Don’t forget I have an open mind on the actions of Talleys, and would be interested to read of instances where they were deemed to have broken laws or contractual agreements. If I come to believe they are arseholes, I will support any lawful action to make potential employees and traders aware of these instances, so the company can then be boycotted and, if appropriate, prosecuted.

          • One Anonymous Bloke

            You are Google-challenged as well as philosophically deficient?

            It’s Christmas, so in the spirit of charity I am prepared to offer you some assistance. Go to “Google dot com”, and type “talleys employment court”. If you then require further charity I’m sure someone cares.

            • Richard McGrath

              “You are Google-challenged as well as philosophically deficient?”

              I don’t think I’m either of these. Just hoped someone might offer a link to a quality webpage on the subject. Perhaps some friendly assistance from those who inhabit this discussion group was too much to hope for.

              “Go to “Google dot com”, and type “talleys employment court”.”

              I’ll do that.

          • crashcart

            Perhaps try the OP to which you keep responding which details at least one instance where they were found to have breached employment law.

            Oh wait reading the OP before commenting is far to hard.

            • Richard McGrath

              I happen to agree with the judgement that the union representing the workers concerned should have been permitted to be part of the negotiation process, and that AFFCO acted in bad faith according to the definitions. And I agree with the suggested remedies including mediation. A good judgement overall IMHO.

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                What’s humble about it, based as it is, on lies and bile?

                • Richard McGrath

                  I believe that is unnecessarily rude. The only bile in this thread has been posted by yourself. I am trying to remain civil to people with whom I disagree.

                  • lprent

                    You might. However that is really just your choice and not one that moderators are all that inclined to impose on others – even for your obvious overwhelming benefit.

                    If you have a look at this reply to fisiani on the what is essentially the same topic, you might get more understanding of the thinking behind the decision about where to place the policy.

                    It is like debating or parliamentary rules. If you know them then it is extremely possible exert them as leverage. However this site isn’t meant for that. It is intended for robust wide-ranging debate, not one constrained into a god-damn salon of manners.

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    Whinging shrinking violet, it’s entirely necessary that drivel is exposed as drivel, because otherwise selfish lazy trash like you prevail.

              • Paul

                Your neo-liberal dream has proved a nightmare for millions.
                Trickle down
                What a joke!

  9. thechangeling 10

    Talley’s truly is the most disgusting company New Zealand has ever seen.

  10. alwyn 11

    Are the Talley’s concerned in this the same people who own and run the Talleys seafood companies? Those are the ones that employ New Zealanders to work there, rather than just sell the quota to foreign companies the way the Ngai Tahu did, rather than give the work to people of this country.
    Terrible bunch they must be, by the sound of things. Trying to employ residents of this country rather than just let them remain idle and unemployed.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 11.1

      Oh look here’s another apologist who can’t melt butter. What’s wrong with these people? I bet it’s toxoplasmic parasitism or something.

      • alwyn 11.1.1

        I assume the answer must be yes.
        Gosh what big words you are using. though.
        Did someone explain to you what they mean?

        • One Anonymous Bloke

          I guess the answer must be “they aren’t as bad as slavers”. My, what low standards you have.

      • Richard McGrath 11.1.2

        Straight back to the abuse. No effort to address the point about Ngai Tahu. Typical of this site. Any wonder you get labelled an echo chamber populated by left wing nut jobs.

    • crashcart 11.2

      Oh fair enough. That good credit is enough to let them break the law in other parts of their business.

      You know what, I haven’t murdered anyone. I guess I get to go and sell some drugs because I am not breaking the law else where.

      • alwyn 11.2.1

        You could do that, I suppose, but you are probably going to have trouble explaining to the Police and the Judge just what you were up to. Quite how you think you can compare it to the Talley’s operations is also rather hard to understand. Still some people seem to think building up a business and employing people is not a legitimate activity so I assume you are one of those strange individuals.
        I wouldn’t try selling drugs myself but you may think you can get away with it and that it is an acceptable occupation.

      • Richard McGrath 11.2.2

        Should you not be able to sell drugs?

        • George Hendry

          Greetings, Richard, and happy xmas.

          On this day there might not be so much blog activity, but you might be interested in some clarifications re yesterday’s discussion. I’ll look in again later today in case you reply to this.

          Cheers 🙂

          • Richard McGrath

            Thank you George, and best wishes for all on this group over the coming year.

            • George Hendry

              @ Richard –

              I was mainly interested in whether you are new to this site, as I’ve been following it for a few years and don’t recall seeing your name before.

              I read it nearly every day but mostly don’t have time to comment, now it’s possible due to Xmas break. This thread in my view has been exceptional for the number of replies you have made, successfully staying calm in spite of the many, shall we say challenging replies. Only once on the Daily Blog when John Ansell was arguing that a vote for Labour was a vote for the Greens did I see anything quite like it.

              Not sure how far you’d like to take this, but at least I’d like to assure you that this thread has been quite exceptional.

              • Richard McGrath

                HI George, I have made comments on The Standard in the past, but not for several months now, until the past few days. I am interested in participating in rational calm debate on issues, and am occasionally pleased to find others willing to do the same on this discussion group. I have certainly made a lot of comments on this thread!

                • George Hendry

                  Oops, my recall of commenters not quite complete…:)
                  I chose one of your comments below to reply to at length – hope it helps.

                  For an elegant slanging match please see over on Banksy’s Xmas thread between OAB and Acrophobic, in which OAB wins on points despite Acrophobic punching almost entirely below the belt.

    • Theres more to this than you think Alwyn. Yes, Talleys did oppose the abuse of foreign crew, but ironically don’t seem to apply the same standards to themselves, or their own plants. Their “all NZ grown” vege processing plants have veges picked by RSE workers, and workers on temporary visas in the majority. In their seafood processing plants, they have vigorously, to this day, opposed workers joining a union.

  11. Dunno why yous are refering to them as “workers” and “people”? They are merely units of production and consumption. We can conveniently disregard the consumer side though, because even if they’re unemployed – made into what I call ‘workers in abatement’ – placed in the utterly reprehensible state of being without “paid employment” – the government will pay them a less-than-subsistence ‘benefit’ to retain some semblance of their “consumer” capability and simultaneously humiliate them personally. C’mon folks, get on board with the neoliberal world order, it’s been in place for 30 odd years! Don’t you like it or something!?
    Ψ – Season’s Greetings one and all.

  12. Rosemary McDonald 13

    Talley’s have a reputation for taking badly decisions made against them.
    The ability to make a shit ton of $$$ is a talent they have in spades, but grace in defeat…not so much.

    “But the court said it was a clear case of discrimination and awarded her compensation for lost earnings.

    Talley yesterday described the decision as “pathetic” and “a joke”.

    “In any job there are attributes that suggest it will be more likely to be done by either a man or a woman – that doesn’t mean you discriminate,” he said.

    “There are jobs – pole dancing being one and fish filleting being another – that have a higher predominance of either men or women. The decision is a joke.”

    But for a bit of background to Talleys and their relationship with their employees…


    and their relationship with their local MP…

    “As environment minister, Smith had run-ins with them over environmental matters, but he describes Peter Talley as deliberately provocative.

    “”He enjoys rarking people up. Why else would he refer to seals as rabbits of the sea?”

    But at the same time he was outspoken against foreign-owned trawlers plundering New Zealand waters.

    Talley summed up his views on the environment in a speech last year.

    “We need a new balanced approach to environmentalism, one that recognises sustainable extraction, and one that recognises a higher ranking of mankind, that should rightfully be placed well above the birds and the bees and the flowers and the trees.

    “I, for one, certainly did not fight my way to the top of the food chain to eat vegetables.”

    Smith says he doesn’t agree with the Talleys’ environmental views but adds that businesses like theirs are needed.”

    Oh, and here… http://www.stuff.co.nz/nelson-mail/news/68975050/peter-talley-knighted-for-services-to-business-and-philanthropy

    is Peter ‘top of the food chain’ Talleys’ acceptance of a gong well earned…

    Kia Kaha to those staunch Talleys workers…loved your guys t shirts at the TPPA Rally…real stand out.

    • Wensleydale 13.1

      I wonder if Talley realises he didn’t fight his way up anything. He simply happened to have the dumb luck of being born human, and obviously believes that gives him some divine right to pillage and plunder as he sees fit. As representatives of the human species go, he’s probably one of the most repellent.

      • Richard McGrath 13.1.1

        What some call pillage and plunder, others call competition. As long as it doesn’t involve coercion or fraud, it’s OK.

        • One Anonymous Bloke

          Nothing coercive whatsoever. No sirree.

          AFFCO Talley’s actions in forcing workers back to work on individual agreements was an unlawful lockout : this applies to all sheds, including those who have gone back under oppressive individual agreements and others, like Wairoa workers, who have refused to sign and have been without work for weeks.

          Pays lip service to human rights. Refuses to notice human rights violations.

        • Wensleydale

          You know, sometimes Richard, just because something is “technically legal”, it doesn’t automatically follow that it’s right. That’s where empathy, compassion and a basic understanding of ethical behaviour factors into the equation. Or not, if your last name is Talley.

  13. NZJester 14

    Telley’s had a problem with their initial direct frontal assault on the union and now are probing the sides trying to find a weakness. Hopefully the Union can stay strong and will not be brought down by any cabinet club deals behind the unions back.

  14. Ian 15


    (Wild, wild, hey!)

    Trying hard not to fall
    On the way home
    You were trying to wear me down, down
    Kissing up on fences
    And up on walls
    On the way home
    I guess it’s all working out, now

    ‘Cause there’s still too long to the weekend
    Too long till I drown in your hands
    Too long since I’ve been a fool, oh

    Leave this blue neighbourhood
    Never knew loving could hurt this good, oh
    And it drives me wild

    ‘Cause when you look like that
    I’ve never ever wanted to be so bad, oh
    It drives me wild

    You’re driving me wild, wild, wild
    You’re driving me wild, wild, wild
    You’re driving me wild

    (Wild, wild, hey!)

    White noise in my mind
    Won’t calm down
    You’re all I think about

    Running on the music
    And night highs
    But when the light’s out
    It’s me and you now, now

    ‘Cause there’s still too long to the weekend
    Too long till I drown in your hands
    Too long since I’ve been a fool, oh, yeah, yeah, yeah

    Leave this blue neighbourhood
    Never knew loving could hurt this good, oh
    And it drives me wild

    ‘Cause when you look like that
    I’ve never ever wanted to be so bad, oh
    It drives me wild

    You’re driving me wild, wild, wild [4x]

    You make my heart shake
    Bend and break
    But I can’t turn away
    And it’s driving me wild
    You’re driving me wild

    You make my heart shake
    Bend and break
    But I can’t turn away
    And it’s driving me wild
    You’re driving me wild

    Leave this blue neighbourhood
    Never knew loving could hurt this good, oh (hey)
    And it drives me wild (hey, hey)

    ‘Cause when you look like that
    I’ve never ever wanted to be so bad, oh (hey)
    It drives me wild (hey)

    You’re driving me wild, wild, wild [4x]
    (Hey, hey)

    (Wild, wild, wild, hey!)

  15. Justsaying 16

    A rumour (very clear a Rumour) [deleted]

    Culturally, it would add up.

    [lprent: That is a case with court orders on it. I don’t know how wide the orders are because the courts don’t tell me what is suppressed, so I’ll just suppress it. *sigh* In about 2 decades the courts will catch up with reality and realise that we need to know where there are suppression orders and what they cover before we can obey their orders in a interactive network environment. On this case it was pure luck that I saw an article from a newspaper saying there was a suppression order. ]

    • Pat 16.1

      in an instance such as you describe would lack of, or poorly notified suppression be a defence? @ Iprent

  16. millsy 17

    Libertarians are all in favour of freedom until people want to join/form unions.

    Though I do feel dirty today. I has mussels for Xmas lunch and it turns out they were Talleys 🙁

    • Richard McGrath 17.1

      Millsy as it turns out I was local branch chairman of a union of sorts – the NZ Medical Association – for a few years. I am in favour of trade unions and see the benefit they offer for workers. I am not anti-union. I am anti-thuggery, and that applies to employers as well.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 17.1.1

        Ah, the smear comes out: unions are “thuggery”.

        By sheer dumb luck, you found yourself in a position to learn medicine. You didn’t need to get a student loan to do so, and worked a few shitty jobs for short periods of time between terms.

        I think beneficiaries of such good fortune owe a debt of gratitude to the Socialist principles that delivered it. Instead, you’re attacking workers rights. Slow clap.

        • Tinfoilhat

          I’m fairly certain it takes more than sheer dumb luck to qualify as a physician.

          • One Anonymous Bloke

            Good for you.

            I’m fairly certain that the factors involved are a matter of chance: nature, nurture, etc.

            • Richard McGrath

              That’s a deterministic view of life which absolves anyone from any degree of responsibility for their actions. A very different approach to the notion of free will.

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                Invented self-serving notions can be identified as having zero evidence to support them. This is why Libertarians use the word “would” so much – there are no real world examples that support their deeply held beliefs.

                Not a single one.

              • George Hendry

                Hi Richard 🙂

                If I could recap –

                Your first comment, near the top of the thread, the one about celebrating Xmas two weeks early, seems to have been the one that sparked the kind of response you’ve had since then.

                I might analyse it as meaning “ok we have a problem, here’s a creative way to solve it.” Normally that approach would be fair enough.

                However, most of the inveterate posters here would have research (and other) experience that I believe would cause them to assume that in this case that was the wrong approach in principle. I’ll try to clarify.

                It’s widely accepted on this site (not by everyone) that for thirty or so years, workers (particularly the initially lower paid/less unionised, cleaners being a prime example) have been systematically and thereafter systemically discriminated against in a range of ways.

                Talk of ‘tax cuts’ while simultaneously raising GST really means the tax system is being made more regressive , and the tax burden being deliberately shifted from those more able to pay, to those less able to pay. Look at the seven income tax cuts, and the four GST increases, over that period and you’ll see how the squeeze has been going on workers, most extremely on those unprotected by unions.

                Regrettably, I can think of no way to interpret this ongoing policy other than as a deliberate, concerted attack on the living conditions of those less or least able to resist.

                It would be more than enough, but it’s not all.

                Since 1991 with the arrival of the initial Employment Contracts Act, unions and working conditions have been steadily eroded, culminating in the latest ‘worm farm’ legislation, whereby real work hazards are being legislated into nothing at the blatant behest of powerful employer lobby groups. While not against the law (it never is when really serious, the white-collar thugs simply change the law) though not a physical blow may be struck, the calculated violence there is is all the harder to take because it can be more effectively lied about.

                But wait, there’s more…

                Policy settings put in place back then re tariffs, immigration, floating currency, lack of capital gains tax, etc etc ensure (deliberately ?) that unemployment will not fall below a certain minimum. Recent changes by this government combine work being hard to get, and paid lower when it’s got, with it being easier to lose and benefits of all kinds (except those aimed at making the already wealthy even more so, this is why the socioeconomic gap is widening, policy ensures it will) being ever
                harder to access. Along with unemployment statistics being essentially lied about, eg if you have one hour’s work a week, something no one can live on, you qualify as having a job and don’t count among the unemployed.

                In my view it’s cruel, it’s structurally violent and it’s why child poverty, ill health and domestic violence statistics are all on the rise.

                This thread has been about Talley’s, a company known to have been at the leading edge of taking advantage of their workers on the sharply tilted playing field the government has provided. So well have they upheld the spirit of government policy that one of them was even knighted recently.

                Sorry it’s been this long, however I think it does explain what many people who visit here understand more or less. And why any suggestion about how to respond to what they do, particularly this company, is rather likely to be met with various forms of anger.

                • Ian

                  Relax, George.

                  It will be ‘alright’.

                  Trust ‘me’.

                  It isn’t like you ‘aren’t’ prepared, is it?

                  And plus you have ‘me’.

                  It will be fine.

                  Cool, calm and collected, that’s my man.

            • tinfoilhat

              Everyone is subject to luck, or chance if you prefer, both good and bad.

              How one chooses to respond to that luck is up to them.

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                How you choose to respond to circumstances can turn on something as basic as the last time you had a full belly.

                If you really believe your opinions, you’re going to need to come up with something better than a Bellman argument. This is no idle speculation.

          • Richard McGrath

            Had a student working with me a few weeks ago who has done dentistry (five years at uni), then two years as a dental house officer in hospitals, then the past 3 years in a fast-track medical school course, after which he will do two years as a medical house officer, then four years specialist training to be a maxilla-facial surgeon, by which time he will be aged 33. I guess there is an element of dumb luck to be born with the opportunity to undertake professional study, but you still have to put in the grind to emerge with a qualification!

            @OAB: I feel grateful to the taxpayers who funded my passage through university, but imagine I have repaid that debt a few times over, especially in the years where I was paying IRD about $75k in tax (excluding GST on expenditure). Most of the tax I pay now goes to the Australian government.

        • Richard McGrath

          @OAB – I thought it would have been clear from what I wrote that I don’t equate unions with thuggery. Some unions indulge in violence, some don’t. I support unions that use peaceful means to advance their goals. Can I make it any clearer than that?

          • One Anonymous Bloke

            Which unions indulge in violence, Richard?

            • Richard McGrath

              Any union that intimidated workers or members of the public, or engaged in destruction of private property would qualify as violent.

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                I’m not intimidated by them, therefore they aren’t violent. Meanwhile, Richard McGrath employs baseless smears when his drivel gets challenged.

              • Tracey

                Please cite 10 examples of unions doing those things, with dates.

              • Tracey

                You know that you have just named Talleys as violent based on your definition and any number of managers and therefore companies (for whom managers act as agents)

      • Tracey 17.1.2

        Never heard it called a union. I think it has special status like the police association to avoid the smear and metaphorical spitting when mentioned. If you think the MA is anything like a Union representing minimum wage workers you are delusional.

        You are in a privileged position use it and your well educated words with compassion. You seem far too intelligent for some of the dross you peddle.

        • One Anonymous Bloke

          Right wing behaviour isn’t exactly uncommon in the medical field.

          • weka

            Lefties never engage in sexual harassament or bullying 🙄

            • One Anonymous Bloke

              When they do, they’re engaging in right wing behaviour.

              • RedLogix

                Given that your most common tactic here is to use ‘their own behaviour’ back against them … do you imagine to extinguish it, or merely affirm it?

                • vaughan little

                  on a side note, if you have an interest in the dynamic of reflecting poor behaviour back at the perpetrator, there’s a wonderful french philosopher called rene girard.

                  while i’m rambling, the NZ pacifist Chris Marshall points out that the Biblical legal principle of ‘an eye for an eye’ is meant as a limitation on retribution, which very easily spirals out of control: you’re not permitted to do more than was done to you. so gandhi’s take (an eye for an eye leaves everyone blind) was quite mistaken.

                  • Descendant Of Sssmith

                    It was also part of protecting people from false accusation.

                    If you falsely accused someone of something then you received the punishment they would have got.

                    Given that many punishments were quite severe eg stoning to death, it was quite important to have some restraints in place.

                    The problem with Talleys is the restraints aren’t enough.

                    They’ve (the restraints) been weakened sufficiently over the years to make them meaningless. If you’re making large profits off your workers what’s a fine here and there, if you don’t like the law and can lobby (successfully) to get the law further weakened what’s a judgement against you here and there, if you’re the main employer in town eg Wairoa and you’ve already reduced staffing heaps over the years so there’s lots of wandering freezing workers in town what’s a few unemployed workers here and there, if your workers can legally only go on strike when a contract expires what’s a bit of pissing on the workers here and there?

                    And lets not forget the big neo-liberal wanky employer lie – that workers will get a share of productivity increases.


                    “Statistics NZ calculates that the volume of meat exported per person employed has increased from 23 tonnes in 1980 to 37.8 tonnes today, a productivity gain of 64%. ”

                    Yep workers are sharing in that at Affco aren’t they – fuck off only managers and shareholders are getting that and then they still crap on the workers.

                    And don’t forget these employers are getting much of the little tax they pay back in subsidies to the workers through help with rent, benefits in the off season, and so on.

                    And lets not forget all that neo-liberal wanky give us lower business taxes so we can afford to pay our employees more- hows that working out at AFFCO or any other employer – especially large ones.

                    And in the small towns all that money that should be earned by the workers is siphoned off out of the local economy and into the hands of the high level managers and the shareholders and doesn’t circulate in the local towns resulting in closed shops and further unemployment.

                    It’s why, as Citibank advised some years ago to their wealthy investors, that the future was in selling stuff to the wealthy and to forget about the poor. The money was moving up and the only threat to this was the poor catching on.

                    The right promises much and delivers little to the poor, the unwell and those of less skill and ability.

                    • Descendant Of Sssmith

                      And unions stop buying into shit such as three year contracts. If you can only go on strike when your contract expires negotiate one year contracts – then at least you can strike once a year.

                      If you can’t find another way to legally exert power get a bit more creative in thinking about how best to use the existing laws.

  17. Vaughan Little 18

    on reflecting, the viciousness of these thugs is probably fueled by the waking nightmares they have of their workers turning against them and slicing themup into cutlets and such. their real skill lies in exploiting workers – should move on to another industry that affords them more restful sleep.

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