Peter Talley on health and safety law: unions are evil, workers’ lives cheap

Written By: - Date published: 2:00 pm, June 15th, 2015 - 116 comments
Categories: business, health and safety, Unions - Tags: , , ,

Well, this is downright scary.

Whenever unionists talk about the bad employers who put profit over people’s lives, the right are quick to wave it away as fear-mongering, blowing a few small examples out of proportion.

Well, here are the words of a man with a $300 million business, employing 5,000 “full time equivalent” staff, who just got a knighthood for his “services to business”.

The Bill allows any single worker … to request a Health & Safety representative be appointed. Companies will have no right to oppose the creation of that representative irrespective of their political or Union history, their external relationships … or their ability to perform that role.

Fact: strong worker participation including worker-elected health and safety reps is the best way to improve health and safety. The fact that Peter Talley lists “competence” as the last problematic factor tells you everything about where his priorities lie.

In essence, companies can be asked to create and fund Health & Safety representatives and committees, the effective birthplace of industrial Unions, with no control over their activities…

It’s almost like workers have historically been forced to organise to make sure they don’t die on the job. God, what a sense of entitlement these peasants have!

Employers are rightly concerned that Sections 66 to 68 have been promulgated by the Union movement as a way to hand control of work groups to unions and employees … the Bill does not make it clear either that any worker group will contain a majority of employer representatives …

That’s probably because – and this may shock you – when employers have ultimate control over health and safety, and get to cherry-pick the people who are empowered to enforce health and safety, health and safety outcomes are worse.

Unscrupulous Unions could also use Sections 66 to 68 to intentionally damage or destroy a business …

cersei eyeroll

Yep, that’s what unions do. Unions are so evil that they just want to destroy all the businesses everywhere so no one has jobs. Even if you believe the right’s age-old lie that “unions are a business”, what “business” would destroy its own “customer” base that way, by destroying people’s basic ability to spend their money on its “product”?

Sorry, I forgot I was talking to a Talley.

[On the powers of H&S representatives to inspect any part of a workplace in the event of an accident or serious risk to a person’s health and safety]

It is inconceivable to even imagine that legislation would propose to ‘open’ these commercially sensitive production sites to the ‘spying eyes’ of Union appointed personnel or anyone else other than government employees.

Because even when an accident has already occurred, the divine right of Peter Talley to make money must not be infringed.

… if large fines and imprisonment are to be imposed on employed then they should be entitled to act … to protect themselves. … [T]here needs to be a statutory right to dismiss employees for breaching safety rules and procedures with no right to take a grievance arising from their dismissal.

How convenient that Peter Talley – the man who’s trying to force workers to sign contracts which mean they could be dismissed for speaking critically of his draconian master-servant complex – wants more power to summarily fire people.

The whole thing is a farce, born from the brain of a man who honestly believes simultaneously that “unions are failing because they don’t offer anything” and “unions are so powerful I must be protected from their evil demands for better health and safety.”

And it’s all rubbish. Every single point raised contradicts both the Pike River Royal Commission report and the government’s own Health and Safety Taskforce, with no greater evidence that “Peter Talley doesn’t like it.”

I’m sorry that it’s inconvenient for Peter Talley to not have workers die on the job, but the facts are the facts. Strong worker participation leads to better health and safety.

The super-ironic thing? I was just talking about this exact same attitude in my post on costly government. Over the long term, having good relationships with your workers and their unions, having strong, genuine health and safety systems, and respecting workers’ voices and opinions about their work leads to decreased turnover and increased productivity.

Peter Talley would probably make even more obscene amounts of money by pulling his head in and realising that workers are human beings who just want to be treated with a bit of respect. But I wouldn’t hold your breath.

And the real tragedy, after all that comedy? Thanks to people like Peter Talley, the health and safety legislation, born out of the deaths of 29 men at Pike River, will likely be watered down so John Key can keep his caucus happy. And more workers will be injured, or at worst, killed on the job as a result.

116 comments on “Peter Talley on health and safety law: unions are evil, workers’ lives cheap”

  1. Draco T Bastard 1

    Over the long term, having good relationships with your workers and their unions, having strong, genuine health and safety systems, and respecting workers’ voices and opinions about their work leads to decreased turnover and increased productivity.

    Which is why every business needs to be a cooperative rather than the dictatorial system that is systemic to capitalism.

  2. Sable 2

    Roll on the banana republic…..

  3. RedLogix 3

    Best post yet Stephanie.

    These ludicrous gimps like Talley eventually destroy their own businesses. Some years back I was asked by a mate to assist for a couple of days with a system controlling a meat packaging line. Nothing too complex, about a dozen conveyors and gates – and I was happy to help as a favour.

    On about the third day I realised that there were no pull lines or sufficient emergency stops – and we asked for a meeting with the project manager. He was a bit non-plussed because he realised we were right – but the answer from the top came back – too expensive and too late to change it.

    About 18 months later a woman cleaning in the area, got her hair caught in one of the conveyor nips, was scalped and killed. The same company also killed another worker at another plant in an automatic door, something which should be impossible to do. Not too much longer after that Richmond Meats was out of business.

    While there may not have been a direct connection between the deaths and the business dying – in practise there almost always is an indirect one. Smart employers know this and invest heavily in worker safety because they know it is the best possible money they can spend.

    The likes of Talley are nothing better than throwback slave masters. Ignorant fools who eventually prove brute failures.

    • Colonial Rawshark 3.1

      Need corporate manslaughter charges. Will the Labour Party introduce.

      • It was policy in 2014 and something that Andrew Little has always been staunch on, so I would be really surprised if Labour didn’t.

        • RedLogix 3.1.1.1

          The other big driver here in Australia is that the workplace insurers are REALLY tough on employers that kill people.

          ACC is a fantastic scheme, but this relative lack of incentives has always been it’s Achilles Heel.

  4. McFlock 4

    Besides the fact that his subimssion puts profits before people in many ways (as Stephanie has pointed out), Talley’s aristocratic is illustrated by his lack of comprehension that a group of workers would not consist mostley of employer representatives.

    The mind boggles.

    But then, we’ve been here before:

    With a wild rattle and clatter, and an inhuman abandonment of consideration not easy to be understood in these days, the carriage dashed through streets and swept round corners, with women screaming before it, and men clutching each other and clutching children out of its way. At last, swooping at a street corner by a fountain, one of its wheels came to a sickening little jolt, and there was a loud cry from a number of voices, and the horses reared and plunged.

    But for the latter inconvenience, the carriage probably would not have stopped; carriages were often known to drive on, and leave their wounded behind, and why not? But the frightened valet had got down in a hurry, and there were twenty hands at the horses’ bridles.

    “What has gone wrong?” said Monsieur, calmly looking out.

    A tall man in a nightcap had caught up a bundle from among the feet of the horses, and had laid it on the basement of the fountain, and was down in the mud and wet, howling over it like a wild animal.

    “Pardon, Monsieur the Marquis!” said a ragged and submissive man, “it is a child.”

    “Why does he make that abominable noise? Is it his child?”

    “Excuse me, Monsieur the Marquis—it is a pity—yes.”

    The fountain was a little removed; for the street opened, where it was, into a space some ten or twelve yards square. As the tall man suddenly got up from the ground, and came running at the carriage, Monsieur the Marquis clapped his hand for an instant on his sword-hilt.

    “Killed!” shrieked the man, in wild desperation, extending both arms at their length above his head, and staring at him. “Dead!”

    The people closed round, and looked at Monsieur the Marquis. There was nothing revealed by the many eyes that looked at him but watchfulness and eagerness; there was no visible menacing or anger. Neither did the people say anything; after the first cry, they had been silent, and they remained so. The voice of the submissive man who had spoken, was flat and tame in its extreme submission. Monsieur the Marquis ran his eyes over them all, as if they had been mere rats come out of their holes.

    He took out his purse.

    “It is extraordinary to me,” said he, “that you people cannot take care of yourselves and your children. One or the other of you is for ever in the way. How do I know what injury you have done my horses. See! Give him that.”

    He threw out a gold coin for the valet to pick up, and all the heads craned forward that all the eyes might look down at it as it fell. The tall man called out again with a most unearthly cry, “Dead!”

    • RedLogix 4.1

      Yes that captures the mindset – not just of the Talleys of this world – but the beaten, submissive mob who could not act.

      Not so much because they dared not, but because they were no longer capable of forming the thought.

      • McFlock 4.1.1

        I should have added the post-script that (spoilers!) Monsieur the Marquis met a sticky end soon after.

        Even if the mob does nothing at the time, they remember. And if the winds change, the haves reap the whirlwind.

  5. Charles 5

    I think it’s page six that Talleys say “employers can’t negotiate under threat” i.e. when workers have the power to question employer practices at commercially inconvenient times.

  6. Skinny 6

    I saw Peter Talley on the news the other week. I thought he looked just like that Serb war criminal Leader, an uncanny resemblance. Most annoyed iwi sell their fishing quota to this scumbag. I think Vela has a far better record as an employer, not hard compared to this lot.

  7. tinfoilhat 7

    Utterly bizarre.

  8. Well, he was knighted for his services to his class, not his country – he probably feels obligated to wage a little class warfare as a thank-you to his fellows for putting Sir in front of his name.

    Funny thing is, employers like this are what Kiwiblog commenters have in mind when they rant on about there being no need for unions these days – you have to wonder whether they’re deluded, or just hate people who work for a living.

  9. Colville. 9

    I particularly like the way Talley calls out the CTU on its hypocrisy of being against workplace drug testing but saying they have some desire for workplace safety.

    Stoned workers cannot be safe.

    • Skinny 9.1

      Drugs & Alcohol not at work mate has always been the Unions stance. Treating workers as dogs by sometimes daily testing is both degrading & insulting.

      • dukeofurl 9.1.1

        Random daily testing for drugs and alcohol is a good idea if they start at Parliament first.

    • Gangnam Style 9.2

      Think a bit deeper, things are not as black & white as you seem to think, theres a difference between ‘impairment’ (the test of which is expensive) & just doing the cheap piss test which tell you if someone has smoked in the last 30 days. It’ll be like testing someone if they had a drink of alcohol in the last 30 days. but I think you just trolling (just taking your past comments as evidence).

    • Bet you a shiny dollar you can’t find proof of the CTU being against all workplace drug testing.

      Against costly and ineffective drug testing of beneficiaries? Sure. Against blanket drug testing of workers without suspicion, especially in non-dangerous industries? Sure. Against drug testing which doesn’t actually assess impairment, but may allow bosses to punish workers who are perfectly safe at work but light up on the weekends? Sure.

      If you’re confused about the difference you may like to brush up on the definitions of “safety” and “fairness”.

      • Colville. 9.3.1

        you think fishing boats or freezing works are non dangerous industries?
        That IS what Talleys do for a crust.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 9.3.1.1

          The way I read Stephanie’s comment, it looks like she was challenging you to provide evidence in support of your malicious remarks about the CTU,

          Curiously, you failed. Shall we take you for a liar, or simply so stupid you believe the things Peter Talley says?

        • One Anonymous Bloke 9.3.1.2

          Ah, I see you have been caught out lying about Pike River too.

          What a low-life.

        • I know a Talley’s worker was killed on one of their boats and Talley’s were found guilty of failing to ensure the safety of a worker, so maybe they can tidy their own houses before persecuting their employees for what they do in their own time.

    • McFlock 9.4

      And yet sober workers are not safe either, if you look at our workplace injury and mortality rates.

      But yes, let’s make everyone piss into a cup for fear that an employer might be held accountable for the safety of their workplace…

    • Tracey 9.5

      That’s why the Executives, Board and Management at Talley’s are all randomly tested, aye Colville

    • Draco T Bastard 9.6

      My brother told me about a workplace he was at that tested people for THC. If any was found in the persons blood they got immediately fired.

      Thing is, they didn’t do the same for alcohol despite the fact that it has similar effects upon people.

      • Anno1701 9.6.1

        They will want to be careful doing that , various household things can give a positive reading for cannabis or other drugs

        Taking some Imodium because you have the squirts ? Positive for opiate use

        Ibuprofen because you have a bit of a headache ? Positive for cannabis use

        The “pee in this cup while i watch” tests are so wildly inaccurate (1 out of 3 positive results are inaccurate by some counts ) any employer paying for them is a mug !

    • Anno1701 9.7

      Given the fact those test are incredibly easy to beat, they are a a complete waste of time and money anyway…….

  10. Philip Ferguson 10

    All the ‘sympathy’ for the Pike River families and dead miners didn’t last longer than a handful of photo ops.

    We need to keep banging on about Pike River; the fuckers got away with the killing of 29 human beings. National, Labour, the Pike River Company, Peter Whittall.

    Pike River Blues https://rdln.wordpress.com/2011/09/26/pike-river-blues/
    Pike River lessons https://rdln.wordpress.com/2011/12/05/pike-river-lessons/
    Pike River: ‘cashflow’ versus workers’ safety https://rdln.wordpress.com/2012/11/01/pike-river-cashflow-versus-workers-safety/
    Pike River company’s safety breaches killed 29 workers – it’s official https://rdln.wordpress.com/2013/05/08/pike-river-company-found-guilty-of-safety-breaches/
    What’s the latest at Pike River? https://rdln.wordpress.com/2013/10/22/whats-the-latest-at-pike-river/
    Pike River third anniversary https://rdln.wordpress.com/2013/11/20/pike-river-third-anniversary/
    Pike River injustice: taking up Helen Kelly’s offer https://rdln.wordpress.com/2013/12/13/pike-river-injustice-taking-up-helen-kellys-offer/
    Pike River – the final cover-up? https://rdln.wordpress.com/2014/11/07/pike-river-the-final-cover-up/

    • RedLogix 10.1

      Fantastic coverage there Philip.

      The mining people I speak to here in Australia are mostly incredulous when I explain how no-one was prosecuted.

    • Colville. 10.2

      The NZ Green s need to be at the top of your roll of shame Philip.

      Without them it would have been a traditional safe top down mine.

      • tc 10.2.1

        Please explain yourself with citations.

      • upnorth 10.2.2

        Seriously, mate you are nearly as full of shit as Peter Talley, but just to give you some facts to chew on:

        1. Pike River was under around 600 metres of Karst, marble and Granite overburden in incredibly rough terrain, a long way from any road ends. It would have been technologically impossible let alone financially unsustainable to open cut the mine. The bullshit line that the Greens are responsible is just that, a dishonest spin line created for muppets like you to spew up everywhere.

        2. Only the H and S legislation, deregulation and negligent employers created the settings for the tragedy. A panel of people who have a few clues figured it out (I guess that makes you an ignorant blow arse eh!).

        Now fuck off back to your box.

        • RedLogix 10.2.2.1

          Not to mention the extremely high rainfall in the area that would have made stabilising 300 -600m high cut faces a nightmare ….

        • Colville. 10.2.2.2

          did anyone mention open cut?

      • RedLogix 10.2.3

        @Collville

        But Colin Dall, the West Coast Regional Council’s consents and compliance manager, says the issue of open casting was never proposed. “In my review of the council’s records it appears the option for an open cast mine was basically ruled out from the onset, and my understanding is that was because of the economic viability, and the impact of an open cast mine on the ecological values of the area.” He made it clear that the company itself had made that call, and the council had had no input into it.

        Dall’s evidence reinforces that of Solid Energy boss Don Elder earlier in the week, who said at the time of Pike’s planning and development international coal prices were far too low for open casting to be economic, given the depth of the coal seam and the amount of earth moving that would be required to expose it.

        The Department of Conservation, which administers the land overlying the Pike mining licence, likewise received no proposal from the company to open cast. “It was never discussed,” said Craig Jones, DoC community relations officer in charge of concessions, who worked on Pike’s access agreement. Nor was there ever a proposal to extend the Pike access road further up the mountainside, which might have enabled a shorter tunnel into the coal seam – an issue that was raised in earlier evidence by former chief inspector of coal mines, Harry Bell. Jones said the matter never came up. In any case the hillside was extremely steep, and the company had already had difficulties in lower stretches of the road that were similarly steep, requiring expensive stabilisation work.

        http://www.listener.co.nz/commentary/pike-river-mine-inquiry/pike-river-mine-inquiry-day-5/

        TLDR version … go fuck yourself Colville.

      • Colonial Rawshark 10.2.4

        Hey Colville, seems like you have been called out as a lying dickhead.

      • Paul 10.2.5

        Do you have any empathy for others?

  11. NZSage 11

    Scumbag… I walk straight past his products in the supermarket aisles.

    It is but a small gesture but makes me feel marginally better.

    • Skinny 11.1

      Same and when in doubt it maybe a Talley product leave it where it sits. Better safe than adding to the Talley’s coffers!

      • Ch-ch Chiquita 11.1.1

        But if you decide not to buy Talleys because of this, and not anything made in China you are left with, what? I have already cut down most of the frozen food and buy mostly fresh, but still occasionally need them. Are the other competitors any better?

        • te reo putake 11.1.1.1

          Most of Talley’s competitors are better. They’re not the ones crying to a select committee about the evils of workers’ rights or the onerous burden of keeping their plants safe.

          • Ch-ch Chiquita 11.1.1.1.1

            Thanks. Then it’s back to the drawing board for me to pick those who are NZ made or buy fresh, or cook something else 😉

  12. Tracey 12

    It’s Peter’s way of saying “thank you”, to the National Party.

    Why does Mr Talley think that every million he made, and every profit from his company and every bonus he paid his CEO had nothing to do with the effort put in by his workers.

  13. Amanda Atkinson 13

    I think all reasonable Kiwis see both sides of this. There are rat bag employers who would/do take the mick, and exploit, in the absence of unions. There are also rat bag unions who make noise, just to justify their existence, before their paying members start to wonder why they are paying fees. I’ve seen both sides and been in work places where both has happened. Now, I work for someone, who is happy for us staff to form a union, but, we don’t need one. We are paid well, and feel appreciated and respected. Maybe she is just scared we will form a union if it wasn’t that way. I like to think it’s genuine though, I’m sure it is. Please don’t tell me I am naive and a passive participant to my own demise, by being manipulated into subservience by the capitalist conspiracy. Yes, I know I am not paid my “true worth” because my boss is making money off my effort. My employer, takes my effort and profits from it, so I am by definition, being exploited. But, I like my job, and I like my boss. End of. To many employers take this equation too far though, and many more would, if it were not for unions. No doubt.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 13.1

      Both sides of what? Peter Talley wants to deny his employees the freedoms of speech and association, and you can see a middle ground…

      Good for you.

      • Amanda Atkinson 13.1.1

        I have no respect for that company, or that man. There is no middle ground. I was was talking in the general sense about the feelings of people towards unions. Go home. You’ve obviously had a very bad day.

        • Colonial Rawshark 13.1.1.1

          What do you think the general sense of feeling is towards employers who kill staff and then pretend that employers still know best?

        • RedLogix 13.1.1.2

          Amanda,

          I guess you are like a lot of people who are pretty ambivalent about unions these days

          Part of that is a legacy of 30 years of not really having strong unions in this country – and for this reason it is difficult for them to demonstrate value and relevance to most people.

          Another part is the legacy of silly scare stories that people like to tell about ‘rogue unions’ unreasonable demands. I got told one just a week ago about how one mining union walked the guys off the job because there was no strawberry icecream in the dining hall that week.

          Yet for the most part these silly positions got taken because the employer was being a dick as well – and when that happens the bargaining often goes pretty queer.

          But what almost all non-unionised workers never think about is that virtually ALL of the terms and conditions they enjoy in their current employment were in fact won the hard way by unions fighting for them. Employers never gave an inch on anything voluntarily.

          So yes you may well be quite content with your current arrangements … I’ve no especial beef with that. But at the same time you have no idea what the future holds and just how and when you really DO want someone capable in your corner.

          • Amanda Atkinson 13.1.1.2.1

            im not ambivalent …. from me elsewhere ” Take a look at the Panama Canal, and the Hoover damn, that’s extreme, but that’s what we can get when there is no collective voice for workers, and no employment laws” … I do appreciate those who fought for that to stop. I also appreciate my current employer, and consider myself fortunate to work somewhere, where none of us feel the need to form a collective, yet we are free to do so. Why do it, just for the sake of it? How do you know what “almost all non-unionised workers never think about”?

            • RedLogix 13.1.1.2.1.1

              Well if I was a non-unionised worker and I did think about it – then I’d be happy to join a union. Out of respect if nothing else.

              I can’t know what you think, but I can make deductions from your actions.

              (Incidentally – in case you are wondering I still have an EPMU card in my wallet, even though its of no use to me right now.)

              • Amanda Atkinson

                So if we don’t form a union, even though we work for a great company, are all paid well above minimum wage, don’t feel like we need a union, but are free to do so, if we choose, we are automatically condemned as people who do not appreciate the fighting others did before us. Interesting mentality.

                • RedLogix

                  I’m sorry if you think you are being condemned. As I said above, there are many, many people in NZ these days who are ambivalent about unions and I’d not think to condemn them all for that.

                  And you’ve given your reasons for not being especially motivated to join one at this time. Which as I said is all well and good.

                  But consider this … what is a big corporate, or any business if not a collective of some sort? Why do so many professionals, like doctors and lawyers all belong to a ‘union’? Why do organisations like the Manufacturers Association exist? All these organisations are considered unremarkable and normal … and are well supported because they are effective in promoting and protecting the interests of their members.

                  And yet why is it that when ordinary workers attempt to organise collectively – that people like Talley tell us how awful that is? Often I think it just boils down to good old fashioned snobbery.

    • McFlock 13.2

      It’s the funny thing that with a decent employer, the union largely files paperwork and is a backstop in the unlikely event something goes wrong. There’s also definitely a place with collective contracts IMO, if only because it stops the infighting that can occur when dick finds out how much harry is being paid.

      But I’m a union member even though my workplace is freaking golden. Because in a previous workplace, things were not golden, and I’m not a fairweather friend. Funny thing with that workplace is that it wasn’t particulalry unionised initially but the employers kept being docks – in one case a mate went to join the union after a boss did something particularly stupid, the rep took one look at the mate’s branded clothing, handed him the signup sheet and said “I know exactly what you’re on about, you’re the third person from XXXXX to come in today!” 🙂

      • Amanda Atkinson 13.2.1

        yeah I agree. It would be interesting to see what really would happen if the crap hit the fan, and we decided to become a collective. That would be the acid test. I guess forming because of a conflict, versus before it happened, would have 2 different dynamics and outcomes. Interesting to ponder though. Good points McFlock, ta heaps!

      • Tracey 13.2.2

        I am old enough and savvy enough to negotiate for myself but I have joined my union in my workplace because I see how the younger people, beginning their careers get over burdened with more and more work for the same pay, and taken advantage of, and unions help with that.

        Proponents of free markets should love Unions, cos they are really just an insurance scheme for workers, with one major difference… they don’t try to not pay out on their clients’ claims.

        • Atiawa 13.2.2.1

          Unions are not ” just an insurance scheme for workers”.

          Unions organise workers collectively and negotiate their terms & conditions of employment for the collective good. Unions are the members.

          There is more than one major difference between unions and insurance companies. There are multiple differences.

      • Tracey 13.2.3

        Also, Unions will represent people who were not members of the union until the SHTF.

    • Tracey 13.3

      For me it’s the myth and fear some employers and politicians spread that unions will collapse businesses. That has to be nonsense because unions only exist if jobs do. Are there idiots in unions, probably? BUT there seems, on the balance, that there is more for an employer to gain from having no union, than a union to gain from having no business with its members within.

      NZ’s top CEOS were revealed in the Herald (by top, I mean highest paid) . Double-digit pay increases while their workers average 1.2%

      • Amanda Atkinson 13.3.1

        Agree Tracey, I wasn’t saying Unions set out to collapse businesses. Just saying, and I have seen it, where the union does it’s job, gets the good pay and conditions, then everyone is happy, the union now has nothing to do, they start to worry about what the workers think, paying the fees for no perceived value, and they start causing trouble where it is not necessary. It happens, I’ve been there. But I’m with you, there are more rat bag employers, than unions. Take a look at the Panama Canal, and the Hoover damn, that’s extreme, but that’s what we can get when there is no collective voice for workers, and no employment laws. I was about to say, we wouldn’t have people dying like they were there, but then … forestry in NZ?

        • Tracey 13.3.1.1

          I am referring to what people like Talley, Hooton and others say, at every chance, evil communist unions wanting to destroy the very fabric of life and business.. 😉

          If he number of people dying in workplace accidents each year were murders, Governments would be sabre rattling law and order on a daily basis.

          • Amanda Atkinson 13.3.1.1.1

            Roger that. The media do a crap job too. If the forestry workers, all died in 1 incident, like Pike River, they would have all over the news as well, but no.

        • trendy lefty 13.3.1.2

          Amanda can you give an actual example of : “I have seen it, where the union does it’s job, gets the good pay and conditions, then everyone is happy, the union now has nothing to do, they start to worry about what the workers think, paying the fees for no perceived value, and they start causing trouble where it is not necessary” please?

    • Atiawa 13.4

      Which unions are “rat-bag”? By definition their members must also be “rat-bag” employees. To whom are you referring to?

      • Amanda Atkinson 13.4.1

        By definition no. We were not ratbag employees. Our trouble was caused by industry union officials who had never even worked on our site.

        • Atiawa 13.4.1.1

          Which union(s)? What year? What industry? Were you and your work-mates clones of Dolly?

          • Amanda Atkinson 13.4.1.1.1

            I am pro union. I have been in 3. In 28 years, I have only been subject to 1 rat bag incident, completely unnecessary, complete 100% the union making noise where we didn’t need it or want it. No I am not naming them. You know what happens if we speak out against the union, and don’t tow the line. I still have friends there. Are you a complete moron?

            • Atiawa 13.4.1.1.1.1

              You are the person who referred to rat-bag unions. Now you are saying that there was ONE (1), yes one incident. Yet your 13 post was in the plural!
              If they were friends they wouldn’t mind your honesty. Surely. and
              NO, I don’t know what happens when you speak out against the union. Please tell or stop your ruminating.

              • Amanda Atkinson

                My assumption was, if there was 1, there might be more. Forgive me. I should have assumed that we were the only union members in NZ in the last 28 years where something like that happened. I retract. And oh yes, of course, my friends would just love to be named. Don’t be so stupid. You don’t know what happens? haha … game over. Now I absolute know you are taking the Michael.

                • I’m interested in knowing, too, Amanda. What happens when you speak out against the union?

                  • Amanda Atkinson

                    And the buzzards begin to circle, here they all come …. trying to flush out the dissenters.

                    • Nope, I’m trying to flush out the bullshit artists. So, c’mon, Amanda, tell us what happens. Go on! You don’t have to use any identifiers, just a description of what happens will be fine.

                    • Atiawa

                      You the one suffering from verbal diarrhoea.

                      Cut the crap Amanda.

                  • trendy lefty

                    Yes, what happens? Because I don’t know either. Do they send people round to kneecap you? That would be pretty ratbag.

    • Skinny 13.5

      Your one confused individual 🙂

  14. Ad 14

    Stephanie you are on fire this week.

    • Apparently the quality of my posts is inversely proportional to how much of a head cold I have, and how much I should be in bed instead of arguing with people on the internet.

      [lprent: May I shit stir at this point and suggest an alternate explanation. It probably means that, in your straighted plight of sniffing green goo, racking coughs, and feeling utterly miserable in the horrible lethargy induced by small bugs, that you have descended to the level that your audience can understand 😈

      BTW: Don’t worry, you do get over it. However I got over it very fast by going to bed for 3 days and sleeping a lot. Of those symptoms above, I only had the last. My ‘brighter’ half kept working through until she wound up in bed for twice as long with the above symptoms. Go to bed… ]

  15. Atiawa 15

    With powerful employers like Talley’s people question the need for compulsory unionism.

    The CTU must campaign for a return to compulsion. The evidence speaks for itself.

    • Tracey 15.1

      I don’t mind if it is voluntary but the vilifying on the back of ideological myth-mongering has to stop.

      • Atiawa 15.1.1

        I thought back in 1990 that voluntary unionism in this country wouldn’t necessarily be a bad thing. I was an official with a public sector union, who back then were all voluntary and continue to remain so.
        Unfortunately I was wrong and I don’t mind admitting to be wrong.
        The evidence to support a return to compulsion is overwhelming. The world has changed to the detriment of the many since my opinion on voluntary unionism was formed.
        I apologise to those who have suffered and to those who feel powerless now due to my lack of understanding and empathy in 1990.

    • upnorth 15.2

      I’m a unionist and opposed to compulsion I’ve a few good reasons for that.

      Unions just need the government to stop passing laws preventing workers from freely and safely organising and to allow unions to get out there and do their good work.

      • Atiawa 15.2.1

        And what would those reason’s be?

        If my memory serves me, weren’t you banging on last night about personal responsibility in defence of the government’s responsibilities to it’s citizen’s?

        • upnorth 15.2.1.1

          That wasn’t me last night (must check might be someone else with that pseudonym).

          Reasons are pretty simple:

          Conscription created the same unions that sold out workers in the ’80’s by supporting the 4th labour government and that were like a deer in the headlights come ’91.

          Conscription creates complacency, it tends to create disengaged members, it creates institutionalised thinking. Peter Conway wrote a compelling piece on this in 1992 I think it was in the aftermath of the ECA. I’ll have to dig it out sometime.

          I believe that to return a powerful workers voice, the legislative environment just needs to stop undermining unions. There are good people in the movement who can create a force for change.

          Other than financially, I don’t see how forcing a bunch of reluctant workers to sign up can help unions all that much. I think creating an environment where workers feel safe to organise and giving the freedom to do it in a way they are comfortable with creates a much stronger (perhaps not financially but in all other ways) union movement.

          Trouble is the last 30 years of neoliberal governments have given employers the tools to erode freedom of association on the job. Which by the way is a principle conscription probably breaches too.

          • te reo putake 15.2.1.1.1

            Just flying a kite here, but it might have been ‘North’. And here’s an upnorthtrp!

            • North 15.2.1.1.1.1

              Please TRP……”last night……” was not me !

              “Personal responsibility…..” has become a term of abuse levelled at the poor and disadvantaged by the rich and entitled in their machinations directed to shirking it.

              In short, ‘Talley Talk’.

  16. Skinny 16

    Peter Talley went crying to Shane Jones about feeling ripped off by the Aussie supermarket chain Countdown. Jones having been in Talley’s pocket made plenty of noise much too the delight of Talley. Nothing proved the Aussie con’s were too smart for the dirty family from Croatia and their scumbag links to Hitler’s mob.

    [Stephanie: There is really no need for xenophobia and Godwin’s Law comparisons.]

  17. Rawsharkosaurus 17

    Talley’s have a long and dishonourable history of contemptible behaviour. I have never bought any of their products since this incident. My health is worth more than a few cents at the supermarket.

  18. TV3 had a story tonight about a Talley meat plant where a worker was poisoned from chemicals in the chiller. The Meat Workers Union took the case. This is just one of many and you should watch TV3 again tomorrow night. And by the way, when I raised these cases with the Select Committee hearing Health & safety submissions, I was threatened with being sued by Talley and they made a supplementary submission saying the MWU submission was dishonest. To their shame, the Select Committee accepted it. I’m not holding my breath for an apology!

    But more importantly and immediate, AFFCO Talley workers at Rangiuru are going to the employment court in the morning seeking an injunction to restrain their employer from unlawfully locking them out by requiring them to accept shitty individual agreements if they want to resume work.

    Please follow the jobsthatcount Facebook page. These workers are brave, committed, and also worried about their futures. They could do with your support.

    • Atiawa 18.1

      Thanks Darien.
      As a recent previous spokeperson for the Labour opposition on Industrial Relations and a former and current unionist, what is your view’s on a return to compulsory unionism given the evidence that since 1991 Kiwi workers have had a decreasing share of the pie returned to them through wages and salaries and that inequality has become an even greater burden for the have not’s?

      • Atiawa 18.1.1

        Hello Darien. Still with us?

        By the way I worked at Rangiuru and was a delegate on the night shift in lamb cuts. Hated boning racks and shoulders and have heaps of respect for those workers and their skills.

        Kia Kaha.

      • Darien Fenton 18.1.2

        Hi Atiawa : Sorry was a bit distracted with phone calls from worried AFFCO workers. I have sympathy for compulsory unionism : I thought it was fair. Thousands of workers didn’t come 1991 and the ECA and I have vivid memories of the workers who left the union in droves : some because they had no choice, others because somehow we hadn’t convinced them unionism was the right thing. I don’t think compulsion would work in today’s labour market. It’s changed so much. I am much more in favour of the Labour Party policy of 2011 and 2014 for industry agreements, (although watered down a bit in 2014). This means every work in an industry has access to union collective bargaining ; and I also support bargaining fees, provided the workers have a free vote and employers don’t get to veto it.

        • Atiawa 18.1.2.1

          No worries Darien and thanks for your answer.

          Not sure I agree with you regarding compulsion in todays labour “market”. Always better to have educated willing volunteers joining unions. Labour party policy should be the default position if a CTU campaign for compulsion is overwhelmingly rejected by the “workforce”.

          By the way i think referring to the workforce as the “labour market” degrades workers in an unnecessary way and buys into the employer class narrative that workers are just another cost to their ‘market” . Selling one’s labour to an employer doesn’t make us another commodity to be bought and sold in the market place like a tonne of steel or a barrel of oil.

    • Skinny 18.2

      Good work Darien, that segment on the news would have opened a few eyes to this outfit and the way they behave. forced individual agreements is a shocker and I doubt very much to be legal. You can count on our support we, are planning action in solidarity and will catch up on your visit to our region.

    • ian 18.3

      Not allowed to watch TV3 since they sacked John Campbell.

  19. vto 20

    How on earth can someone like Peter Talley be made a “sir” for services to business when he spouts such patent nonsense about workers and their place?

    He is clearly a very ignorant man.

  20. Lloyd 21

    If workers’ “excessive” demands cause companies to fail, what do the obviously excessive salaries of the highest paid 20 CEOs do to their companies?
    If they were being taxed at 85% to 95% then their obscene incomes would be a little more palatable, and their salaries would not increase inequality to such a degree. As the OECD observed recently, inequality is a drag on the economy. I also guess there is inequality in the chances of being killed in the board-room and on the shop-floor.

  21. Reddelusion 22

    Caution humour

    The shop steward announces the results of negotiations with the employers. ‘From now on,’ he tells his members, ‘all wages are going to be doubled, holidays will be six months a year, and we are only going to have to work on Fridays.’ ‘What!’ comes a cry from the back of the hall. ‘Every bloody Friday?’

  22. Rosie 23

    Just a quick fly by:

    a) Great writing as always Stephanie

    b) For those readers who haven’t had a chance to read the Talley’s submission to the Select Committee, do have a look. It’s simply absurd. It less about putting forward a comprehensive argument and more about the opportunity for Talley to have an alarmist little rant on his pet subject – the scourge of the union.
    Even though they were speaking against different groups, although with cross over in regards to their views on women, Alisdair (because womens sick problems)Thompson, formerly of the EMA and Peter Talley share the same burning contempt for workers.
    Men like these are dinosaurs and biggots and should not be in positions of authority when it comes to influencing employment and H&S legislation, or preferably any position of authority at all, unless they can learn to moderate their attitudes.

    c) Do watch the tv3 clip that Sacha linked to at 19 and also discussed by Darrien Fenton. It really is well worth a watch. It may plant a seed for those viewers who are not familiar with the history of Talleys and Affco. More public awareness raising like that and we may have the numbers to make a call to get Peter Talley stripped of his knighthood.

    How would that work and could it be done?

    Shame on you Peter Talley.

  23. Coffee Connoisseur 24

    I disagree with this law change. Health and Safety is everyones responsibiity in the work place. As an employer I am going to be the one held liable if there is a health and safety incident. Therefore as the employer I should be able to put the person who I feel is the most competent to ensure that Health and Safety is not an issue in our workplace.
    i’m all for worker input in fact I value it. In business but you still have someone ultimately steering the ship.

  24. Anno1701 25

    If you think this is funny, you should read his one on climate change !

  25. Smilin 26

    These fukas are FASCISTS, Talley and co that is nothing less their money is theft of workers dignity

  26. millsy 27

    The Talley family want unions banned, and slavery to be brought back (effectively).

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Swiss tax agreement tightens net
    Opportunities to dodge tax are shrinking with the completion of a new tax agreement with Switzerland, Revenue Minister Stuart Nash announced today. Mr Nash and the Swiss Ambassador David Vogelsanger have today signed documents to update the double tax agreement (DTA). The previous DTA was signed in 1980. “Double tax ...
    2 weeks ago