As has been expected for some time, the National Distribution Union has announced that its President, Robert Reid, will be taking over as National Secretary from Laila Harre in August.
Harre will leave with a stronger union than she found it, and will probably be remembered best for the epic Progressive lockout, as well as the not so glamorous but equally important organising campaign at The Warehouse.
She’ll also be leaving the union in good hands. Robert Reid’s a solid unionist with more than thirty-five years in the movement. The transition should be pretty seamless, Reid’s had a very hands-on leadership role in the union over the last couple of years and he’s highly regarded in the movement. A natural choice for the position really.
It’s understood that Laila is moving into an HR-related role with the new Auckland Transition Agency relating to the integration of the city councils into the new supercity. There’s a lot of redundancies and upheaval tipped in that area so I’m glad it’s someone from our side of the fence handling it. But this is definitely no quiet retirement.