Save our tea breaks

Written By: - Date published: 7:49 am, October 27th, 2014 - 60 comments
Categories: labour, workers' rights - Tags: ,

Labour hopes to collect signatures for this petition over Labour Weekend…


Workers’ rights, including the right to tea breaks, are under attack from National. Labour has a petition to save our tea breaks:

The Government’s currently trying to rush through a law to stop workers from having the right to a tea break.

For thousands of working Kiwis across the country, it will mean the risk of losing the breaks they take to have a deserved rest and a cup of tea or coffee.

We don’t have long to show the Government the strength of feeling against this proposal, but if they know that thousands of Kiwis feel strong enough to speak out against their plans in just a couple of days, there’s a chance they may back down on this part of their proposals.

Can you add your name to the petition and stand up for workers’ rights? The more of us who sign it, the more likely it is the Government will be persuaded to rethink their plans.

Why not go sign the petition?

tea-breaks

tea-break-greens

60 comments on “Save our tea breaks”

  1. millsy 1

    I dont know why right wingers support taking rest breaks away. Why do the like of BM and Fisani support chopping smoko breaks?

    If this bill is passed you will see people collapsing all over the place from exhaustion. Especilally in hospitality.

    • Manuka - Ancient Order of Rawsharks 1.1

      you will see people collapsing all over the place from exhaustion.

      Not just in hospitality but across the board. Safety is not a major factor taken into consideration these days. Think Pike River.

      One of the worst occupations for safety records is forestry workers.
      “Eleven workers have been killed in the past 13 months and hundreds inflicted with serious injuries. In the past decade, there have been 54 deaths and almost 2,000 serious harm incidents. Forestry workers are up to 70 times more likely to be killed on the job than the average NZ worker. The industry’s death rate is 34 times higher than the UK’s, and seven times that of Australia’s.” (my emph) http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2014/06/24/nzfo-j24.html

      First forestry Together is a registered union for forestry workers, to try and improve safety and conditions. “We believe the issues are linked – long hours, working in bad weather, pressure to work faster and faster are all making the work too hard and people are getting tired and making mistakes.” http://first-forestry-together.org.nz/

  2. fisiani 2

    There is no provision in the bill to take rest breaks away and everyone knows that. When people cry “Wolf” and there is no wolf then soon they are ignored.
    90 day right to prove yourself. Wolf
    Partnership schools . Wolf
    National standards. Wolf
    Saving the Hobbit. Wolf
    ” people collapsing all over the place from exhaustion” Wolf.
    i cannot believe that minor tweaks to reform and improve working conditions and strengthen the economy can produce such hyperbolic lupine comments. Wolf.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 2.1

      Liar. Proposed Section 69ZEA, in fact. This was pointed out to you yesterday too.

      • Murray Rawshark 2.1.1

        I don’t think fisiani reads any of the replies to his lying comments. His job is to drop a turd in the topic and run.

    • Foreign Waka 2.2

      What you are saying is actually not true, by Tuesday National will push through the law with the following 2 major changes to make the work environment more “flexible”:

      1/Employers will also be able to opt out of multi-employer bargaining; while the changes also remove the requirement for all new employees to be employed under the collective for the first 30 days.
      2/The changes allows more “flexibility” over rest and meal break provisions.

      So effectively, if the employer feels that the negotiations are not moving into the “right” (pun intended) direction, they can abandon it and move on with what they feel is “supporting the business”. Yes, there is the token submission of good faith but we all know what that means.
      There will be no entitlements for ANY breaks, so again it will depend on the “goodwill” of the employer to give the employee time to eat. How that will affect the human right clause that NZ has signed up to remains to be seen.

      Whilst I acknowledge that not all employers are the same, my experience tells me that greed always wins. ALWAYS.
      Now all we have to wait for is the first story of an employee being required to raise the hand to indicate that they have to go to the loo. If that happens you will know that NZ has finally made it on the list of slave labor countries.

      • Bob 2.2.1

        “So effectively, if the employer feels that the negotiations are not moving into the “right” (pun intended) direction, they can abandon it and move on with what they feel is “supporting the business”. Yes, there is the token submission of good faith but we all know what that means.”
        Yip, National may have learnt from the UK car industry: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/comment/jeremy-warner/9468981/How-Britain-won-the-global-car-war.html
        “the biggest problem by far was the unions, compounded by weak and ineffectual management. Both came to believe they were engaged in some kind of historic class struggle. While Japanese and even European car makers were making the big leap forward in terms of productivity, quality control, and just-in-time stock management, their UK rivals were sinking into a quagmire of restrictive practices and wildcat strikes”

  3. millsy 3

    Do you think workers should be able to have breaks? YES or NO.

    What about sick leave?
    holiday pay?
    The right to join a union?
    Slavery?

    • Bob 3.1

      Yes
      Yes
      Yes
      Yes, but it should be just that, the right to join a Union, it should NEVER be compulsory and should only be restricted in certain circumstances (e.g HR Departments).
      No

  4. fisiani 4

    Really clutching at straws now millsy.
    Which part of the current reforms equates to slavery. Wolf! Wolf!

  5. millsy 5

    So you do think that workers should lose thier smoko breaks and sick leave.

  6. fisiani 6

    You will still have tea breaks and sick leave. Don’t believe the bullshit the Labour numpties are spinning. Such talk upsets poorly educated people who fear the Wolf. Go and read The Andrew Little Boy Who Cried Wolf. Now you know why 1,000,000 did not listen to Labour who have cried Wolf for six years and look like they will repeat this mistake for another six.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 6.1

      Proposed Section 69ZEA.

      “(1)An employer is not required to provide rest breaks and meal breaks…”

      QED.

  7. fisiani 7

    ……. is the important part and you know it!!!“
    69ZEA Compensatory measures
    “(1) An employer is exempt from the requirement to provide
    rest breaks and meal breaks in accordance with section
    69ZD(1)—
    “(a) to the extent that the employer and the employee agree 5
    that the employee is to be provided with compensatory
    measures; or
    “(b) if paragraph (a) does not apply, only to the extent that,
    having regard to the nature of the work performed by the
    employee, the employer cannot reasonably provide the 10
    employee with rest breaks and meal breaks.
    “(2) To the extent that an employer is not required to provide rest
    breaks and meal breaks under subsection (1), an employee
    is entitled to, and the employee’s employer must provide the
    employee with, compensatory measures.
    WOLF

    • millsy 7.1

      still licence to get rid of them. The hospo workers would be the first one to lose their breaks, because restaurant owners all treat their workers like dirt.

      If a worker dies of exhaustion because their boss will not let them have a break, then National and all their supporters are responsible for that death.

      • Bob 7.1.1

        Actually the changes in the Health & Safety Act there is a new act will totally counter it. If an employer did that they could be charged with manslaughter.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 7.2

      Why have you been lying about it? It clearly states employees will lose their smoko, your whole whining jerk-off has been claiming the opposite. Now I’m rubbing your face in it watch those goal-posts move.

      • fisiani 7.2.1

        Nowhere in the bill does it say that employees WILL lose their tea break. WOLF

        • One Anonymous Bloke 7.2.1.1

          Yeah, that’s right, employers made submissions saying they want the right to take away tea breaks so that they could preserve them /sarc.

          Employees will lose their smoko breaks as a result of this human rights abuse. Its enablers belong in court on criminal charges, like all human rights abusers.

    • Molly 7.3

      Your erroneous assumption:

      The balance of power when negotiating such part of an employment contract between employer and prospective employee is equal.

      The phrase “compensatory measures” is unspeak for “no longer required.”

    • felix 7.4

      fizzy you’re a joke.

      Listen up staff. From now on there’s no break, and I’ll compensate you by NOT firing you on the spot with no reason given as I’m entitled to do under the 90 day law, mkay?

      Hows that for compensatory measures?

    • Tracey 7.5

      remember when it was against the law to offer a prospective employee more money to not join a union, and telecom wilfully broke the law? was that wolf?

    • Foreign Waka 7.6

      You seem to not understand, or perhaps don’t want to understand what the changes mean. There are by my understanding 2 reasons to do so. 1/ it would be against your own interest to leave the status quo or 2/ you are inherently anchored in the British traditions of the 1700 where it was quite OK to have serfs at ones will. Of cause it could be both.
      If an employer is not able to give an employee a meal break then something is seriously wrong with the business model. One either has one or not. Otherwise it would be of concern for banks, the tax department and investors to trust a business person who has to use people like they are furniture.
      There has been in the past examples such as night shifts at service stations when they were manned by one person. There was compensation for that fact provided. So there is no reason to change the law unless there is a move to a more suppressive way of using the labor force. It may even legitimate Sealords slave labor boats?

  8. KJS0ne 8

    Millsy, I entirely agree that this is a disgusting piece of legislation and that it is an erosion of workers rights, and for a number of establishments, tea breaks will no longer be available to many workers who need and deserve them. It is a slippery slope.

    What I don’t agree with is the hyperbolical statements about slavery and death as a result. You’re not doing anyone any favours making claims that people will die because their employer chooses not to give them a tea break. There are better arguments to be made that dont make us come across as irrational and black hat doom and gloom’ers.

    Just my 2c, take it or leave it.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 8.1

      You do understand that fatigue can cause inattention, eh. Tell you what – four hours cutting pig carcasses in half with a bandsaw will help you grasp it.

      • KJS0ne 8.1.1

        No need to be condescending in order to make a point. The example being given that I was responding to was hospo workers dropping dead from exhaustion for lack of a tea break, not meat workers chopping their hands off because they’re being chained to the spot for 4 hours. Believe it or not I am on your side and what you say does make me concerned about that potential eventuality, but under the change in legislation do you think it probable that a butchery would be able to successfully argue that it cannot operate by giving its workers tea breaks? I’m not convinced that would hold up.

        • Bob 8.1.1.1

          “No need to be condescending in order to make a point” Sadly, that is the only way OAB knows how to make a point.

        • McFlock 8.1.1.2

          Not so sure that such statements about e.g. hospo workers is entirely hyperbolic.

          Besides the fact that hospo workers need to have their wits about them to stop punters doing stupid or vicious things, I suspect that routine exposure to long shifts without a break would increase their stress levels and heart disease.

          The deaths just won’t be as obvious as a pilot crashing a plane due to exhaustion.

    • politikiwi 8.2

      Agreed – this is how I see it. The hyperbolic statements can’t be reconciled with the actual legislation: To justify the “National’s taking away our tea breaks!” line, you’ve got to take the legislation entirely out of context, and thankfully that’s now how law is interpreted. When people read the legislation and see how far it’s been stretched by the likes of Labour et al, the people crying wolf will inevitably look stupid.

      There are relevant and substantive reasons to challenge these law changes. The focus should be on those reasons rather than using intentional misrepresentation to further demonise the demons in National.

      (And don’t get too upset by OAB’s outbursts – I’ve fallen into that trap myself. He’s basically trolling people, as far as I can tell.)

  9. fisiani 9

    Read 69 ZE in total. Stop quoting out of context and without qualification.
    Millsy’s obsession with workers dropping dead from exhaustion from having a slightly later tea break is risable.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 9.1

      Yes, tiredness and inattention cause (often fatal) workplace “accidents”. I invite you to drive non-stop back and forth between Auckland and Wellington until a happy random occurrence helps you understand this.

      • Tracey 9.1.1

        irs astonishing what some people thinks causes workplace accidents from lack of focus but clealy fatigue doesnt occur to any of them.

  10. fisiani 10

    When OAB and millsy accuse National of effectively killing workers surely any reasonable person realises that such flailing doomsday hyperbole cannot be true. Cannot be passed by the intelligent people in Parliament.
    Sensible reform to bring us into the reality of the 21st century is long overdue. I am an employer. I am also a trade union member. A bloody good employer with very happy staff.
    Read the entire Bill and the good faith provisions. It’s very reasonable. The pendulum had swung too far to the Left and is being tweaked. No one will die as a result of this Bill.
    KJSOne is partially correct. Crying wolf over and over again is a poor alternative to submitting reasoned and reasonable amendments. National care about workers. National are prepared to listen to reason but will never respond to “Wolf”.

    • millsy 10.1

      Why do you begrude workers smoko breaks.

      Why dont you just let them take their goddamn smoko breaks? It wont kill you.

      And yes, workers will die. I bet you will not let your workers take breaks and you will laugh as they collapse and die from exhaustion.

      • fisiani 10.1.1

        In the 21st century they are called tea breaks. The word ‘smoko’ is obsolete and a malapropism with unhealthy connotations.
        My staff can have as many cups of tea they wish to take. They also have unlimited sick leave or paternal leave. I pay above market rates.
        Will they stay on a few minutes after closing time from time to time? Yes.
        Do they do so happily? Yes. There is give and take. We understand each others needs.
        I have never sacked a single worker in 30 years of trade.
        Your tirade is so typical of Labour in 2014. It might have swayed people in 1914. It explains why 1,000,000 voters chose not to listen and why so many Labour voters gave their electorate vote to an ABC candidate and their Party Vote to National.

        • millsy 10.1.1.1

          Why do you want to not let them take tea breaks? Surely workers should be able to have a break? the existing law seems to work fine

          Just say that you dont think workers should have breaks, that is all you need to do.

        • dv 10.1.1.2

          Fisiani did you manage to do that under the current legislation?

          • fisiani 10.1.1.2.1

            No under the future legislation. (irony alert).
            I have used all the industrial legislation of the last 30 years and I applaud the rebalancing reforms of the Employment Relations Amendment Bill to make employment relations even better and fairer.
            I actually feel sorry for the current opposition. The National government is incremental and not revolutionary and will continue to remain so. Honest John will continue to be trusted because he keeps his word. It will be difficult to convert voters if the constant assumption that every reform is the equivalent of Ebola is always proving to be hyperbole.
            David Parker, Clayton Cosgrove, Kelvin Davis, Stuart Nash, Damien O’Connor, Jenny Salesa, David Shearer, Rino Tirakatene, and Phil Twyford agree with me in principle.

            • Tracey 10.1.1.2.1.1

              given your sterling efforts as an employer why do you think we need the legislation at all?

              • dv

                ‘given your sterling efforts as an employer why do you think we need the legislation at al
                Yes Tracey, that was exactly my point.

                ‘I have used all the industrial legislation of the last 30 years and I applaud the rebalancing reforms of the Employment Relations Amendment Bill to make employment relations even better and fairer.

                So what are you going to different then with the new environment?

                • fisiani

                  Nowt different. Same as virtually every employer. It will only help those who have had the misfortune to have unwittingly employed Communist inspired workers.

                  • Foreign waka

                    Yes, that word that should make us all go whwoooo…. what it really means is that as a deflection you try to justify a law change that is actually not necessary given the argument underlining it. Why ? -because those provisions already exist. The question remains, why a law change if there seem to be no good reason? I leave you to ponder this as many will know the answer already.
                    My guess is that this is the “price” the wider public has to pay (double meaning not lost at that point) for the support the National party has got. Everything has a price, more so for the ever so money orientated party.

            • KJS0ne 10.1.1.2.1.2

              “Honest John” – Hah. That’s one epithet I’ve never before seen applied to a man who has been caught out lying, stretching the truth, having a selective memory and ‘suffering’ brain fades more times than one can count on two hands. I think ‘Teflon John’ is a much more accurate title.

              But I guess we move in different circles.

            • D'Esterre 10.1.1.2.1.3

              @ fisiani: ” Honest John…” Eh?? Surely you jest! You obviously haven’t read “Dirty Politics”.

              As dv has pointed out, the current legislation has allowed you to be employer of the century; what’s the point of changes that potentially undermine worker protections?

              It may be the case that you yourself won’t exploit workers; but I’ll bet you a penny to a five-pound note that some will. It’s sadly inevitable.

    • KJS0ne 10.2

      National do not care about workers fisiani. They simply try to appeal to them and sell them a fiction (with great success it must be said). You almost had my biparitsan button well and truely pushed until then.

      National have always and will always be the party of the top 5%, any illusions that your petty bourgeoisie position might be upgraded to full haute bourgeoisie if you reflect their values, repeat them ad infinitum, and vote National unwaveringly are just that, illusions. Truth is you’re not a part of their big club, and never will be.

      You’d be much better off under a well run centre left Government that would support SMEs over aggresive expansionist oligarchs which when you get too big to ignore decide to absorb you or squeeze you out of the market with their economies of scale if you refuse.

      Shame that Labour are in such disarray, and are far from being that well run centre left Government that we would all benefit from, even you fisiani, kicking and screaming to the dinner table.

      Ho hum.

      • Murray Rawshark 10.2.1

        Fizzyanus doesn’t care about workers either. He obviously hates unions and wants to take away as many rights as possible. Why else would he be arguing this one so hard? I’ve never seen him do it for anything else.

    • Tracey 10.3

      what is your business? which union do you belong to?

    • GregJ 10.4

      Out of interest which trade union are you a member of?

      [Oops I see Tracey beat me to it – still the question stands].

  11. millsy 11

    Fisi,

    I ask you again. Do you think workers should be able to have breaks or not.

    And do you think wages in this country are too high, and that they should be slashed to $5 per hour.

  12. Tracey 12

    “..More employees in this study reported feeling overworked or underpaid or felt dissatisfied with their employment than reported experiencing their work as precarious. Employees reported experiencing their form of work as precarious when they were: •

    not getting a fair day’s pay for the fair day’s work they undertook •
    not treated fairly at work •
    not able to earn enough to live as they aspired even if those aspirations were modest • afraid that their family could not survive, or was suffering, because of the state they were in considering their work and home lives.

    The impact most frequently reported to us by people in precarious work was their lack of participation in the lives of their children. The indicators proposed in the literature review assisted in identifying forms of work likely to be precarious. On the basis of the research we suggest that: •

    there are further indicators of precariousness that could be integrated with those proposed in the literature review.

    • it is the interaction between legal/ economic factors and cultural/social factors that determines people experience of employment and subsequently is what contributes to an employee reporting being in precarious employment.

    • the impact of being in precarious work emerges in the degree and quality of an individual’s participation in their family and wider social life.

    • the New Zealand labour market is in transition from a former relatively ordered state to a more dynamic and differentiated state. T

    The new state appears to be less readily or reliably described by customary understandings and definitions about historical forms of work. The study also suggested that:

    • permanent employment may be experienced as precarious

    • casual employment is not necessarily experienced as precarious •

    there is an increasing variety of non-standard forms of work but those forms are not necessarily precarious •

    precarious employment is not the same as receiving low pay •

    being in precarious employment is not the same as possessing low skills . …”

    http://www.google.co.nz/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=precarious%20employmnt%20study%202004%20nze&source=web&cd=1&ved=0CCMQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.dol.govt.nz%2Fpdfs%2Fprecarious-employment.pdf&ei=1bJNVI6NAqaTmwXB_IG4Cw&usg=AFQjCNEe5nLAqQc_RKVWH9crZbaH1kQ07g&bvm=bv.77880786,d.dGY

  13. Goodsweat 13

    Sordid and vulgar, nonetheless, people risk money in businesses to make more money. Not to employ people. That’s a useful by-product for us toilers.
    Tea breaks, sick leave and a safe environment are all important and to be fair, I’ve met few employers that don’t step up to those marks.
    Employers love rewarding those that bring value to their operations. I found that moaning and griping attracted token empathy with remuneration to match. The best way to get the desired result out of the greedy is to bring them grub.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 13.1

      “I’ve met few employers that don’t step up to those marks.”

      I expect your bad faith lip service to good practice is a great comfort to forestry orphans.

  14. fisiani 14

    Opposing an imaginary tea break ban is the issue that will mobilise a groundswell of Socialist upheaval. Yeah Right!
    The Bill will pass and Christmas will come. How often will it be raised as an issue at summer barbeques? Nary a one.
    John Key unerringly knows which issues are electorally popular and relevant beyond the Beltway.
    The Andrew Little Boy Who Cried Wolf ends up with a real wolf. John Key is no wolf.

  15. coaster 15

    How many jobs will this cost?.
    Retail wil not have to employ cover for breaks, I can think of a business I know of that will use this to reduce staf numbers.
    daycare centres that require ratios of teachers to kids will need less staff.

    there has always been give and take, all my jobs have had an extra 5 to 10% of thework unpaid, I often dont take lunch of tea breaks, but I need to know they are there to do the things that need doing such as going to the doctor, dentist, posting a parcel etc. This legislation could take that away.

    The statement that tea breaks need to be flexible is rubish, you can already negotiate the timing.

    almost everyone I have spoken to , dont know anything about this legislation, most voted for national, and most dont beleive me when I say that a break is something you will need to negotiate in the future.
    ,

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