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Summer service: open mike 13/01/2011

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, January 13th, 2012 - 71 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

As usual, it’s reduced service over the summer break, unless anything big happens. We hope you’ll get a good break with those dear to you, and that we’ll have some decent weather to enjoy. And if you still need your politics fix… Open mike is your post. For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose. Step right up to the mike…

71 comments on “Summer service: open mike 13/01/2011 ”

  1. Jenny 1


    Port begins moves to lay off workers

    The process of contracting out includes distributing a formal “request for proposal” document to five private companies this week to replace the union workforce.

    Bernard Orsman, New Zealand Herald. Thursday, Jan 12, 2012

    1/ Will the wharfies accept their redundancies, and for the first time in over a hundred years will the Auckland waterfront become non-union?

    Or,

    2/ Will MUNZ put out the call for mass pickets of the wharves by the wider union and leftist movement, to blockade and completely shut down the wharf until the contractors are driven off?

    In this dispute there is no middle course.

    (if there is, I would like to hear it)

    If MUNZ put out the call to shut down the wharves, will New Zealanders respond the way Aussies did in 1998?

    If the wharfies do decide to fight, and they want to win, they will need to apply the lessons learned in the Patrick’s dispute.

    The Patrick’s Dispute was won for the workers, when the wider Australian community, unions. leftists and ordinary Australians joined with the wharfies, to blockade the wharves, shutting them down.

    With closure of the wharfs, and international support from the ITF, the employer’s position became untenable.

    In the end, Patricks *abandoned their position on the wharves and the wharfies victoriously reentered to take up their jobs and the employer had to accept it.

    (*On abandoning the wharves, along with massive damage and theft of company and personal property. Other parting gifts from the Patrick’s employees, included excrement smeared locker rooms.)

    Let’s hear it…

    MUA* Here to Stay!

    (*Maritime Union Of Auckland)

  2. chris73 2

    My antenna is saying you lonneys will try 2 but it will be an epic failure so they’ll end up meekly accepting 1.

    • millsy 2.1

      Why do you think their pay should be cut, and for them to have no job security?

      Do you want to bring back slavery?

      • james 111 2.1.1

        No I dont want slavery I bet if you interviewed the Workers in Tauranga they wouldnt say they are slaves, and are doing very nicely thank you very much.You have to ask if the Union stance for POA is sustainable for Port trying to compete against a very competitive rival so close by.

        Clearly Tauranga isnt going to change because they are going very nicely thanks very much. So POA must change some of that will obviously involve work practises or demands that make them uncompetitive versus their competition.

        Other wise they will continue to lose business. If that continues Council may as well sell the land ,and turn it into Apartments, and Business centre they would get a better return out of it

        • Colonial Viper 2.1.1.1

          Incompetent POAL management is trying to hide the fact that their Australian management counterparts can command far higher per container prices than them.

          And beating up on their workers as a distraction to their own management inability.

          Ports of Tauranga are to be shut down as well.

        • Frank Macskasy 2.1.1.2

          “…I bet if you interviewed the Workers in Tauranga they wouldnt say they are slaves, and are doing very nicely thank you very much…”

          … and I bet if you asked a million North Koreans if their tears of grief for their late Dear Leader were real, they would all say “Yes! Yes!”

          You can make people say anything, given enough fear.

          That’s if your premise is true. How would you know?

  3. james 111 3

    Les Dickson
    The man who has the private contract for both the Tauranga ,and Bluff wharves ,and has them running so efficently .Must be salivating at the possibility of getting the Ports of Auckland ,and turning it around making it a well oiled machine again.
    This will make sure that it can cover its captial expenditure, and give Len Brown plus the Auckland Rate payers the Divedend that it should considering it has be falling for the last 10 years. Whilst Taurangas has been soaring.
    I was most interested that POA said yesterday in a press release that after 6 hours of negotiation the Union had brought nothing new to the table they were very dissapointed. They just dont seem to get it there has to be change that was the quote on xtra

    • millsy 3.1

      Do you think that the POA workers should be expendable on call casuals earning minimum wage?

      Yes or No.

      • james 111 3.1.1

        I think they need to operate like Tauranga so that the Port is more productive. Then POA will stop losing business

        • millsy 3.1.1.1

          The workers at Tauranga are seen as expendable by the port company and contractors, and have to rely on top ups from the welfare system.

          Why do you begrudge the workers wages and conditions?

          • james 111 3.1.1.1.1

            Where is your evidence for this emotive statement? Tauranga Port cant control their spending habits Im sure they earn much more than the average wage in Tauranga!

            • prism 3.1.1.1.1.1

              Im sure they earn much more than the average wage in Tauranga!

              If you are sure give us the link to the information or just the stats reference.

        • mickysavage 3.1.1.2

          I hear the ports in Manilla and Mogadishu run really competitively and labour costs are far lower than in New Zealand. Do you think we should copy their conditions?

          • james 111 3.1.1.2.1

            No Micky just think the union should get real versus Tauranga because its already operating here,as a very successful port. That is a major issue for the Union because that is the comparrisson

            • mickysavage 3.1.1.2.1.1

              But you can bet that if the Auckland workers fold and accept cuts there will then be a crisis at Tauranga where the management claim that the prot is not efficient enough and Maersk and Fonterra are threatening to move to Auckland. There will then be no alternative but for Tauranga workers to also accept cuts.

              And this cycle could be repeated ad infinitum as the farmers and overseas importers get wealthier and wealthier at the cost of our workers.

              Doncha think this is a problem? 

              • james 111

                I know you have put this up before the fear of the ever downward spiral. I dont believe so as there is only so low you can go. Obviously all the Shipping Companies are happy with Tauranga.
                That must mean that they are also rate right up there with International Ports, believe that would be more of a determining factor. At the end of the day the ships still have to come to New Zealand the problem for POA is that Tauranga is very close to Auckland ,and running much more efficently so why wouldnt the shipping companys want to go there?

                • Um no it does not.  Tauranga’s port is no good for the importing of goods to San Francisco so international conditions are totally irrellevant.

                  You are talking about a spiral to the bottom.  If we have two ports intent on  competing with each other  then the logic of the market will mean that eventually the workers will be paid a pittance with their incomes subsidised by working for families, if it survives.

                  After all if “efficiency” is the driver and there is high unemployment why not let “market forces” work to drive down wages.  Lovely theory but I dont think I want to live in a society where this is the only method that exists to distribute resources.

                  • james 111

                    Agree just as we cant live in a society where out dated work practises keep up prices. Drive companies off shore which doesnt keep wealth or a good standard of living in the Country your in. Its all about a balancing act NZ is a small country along way away from its Markets it must have efficent Ports to be price competitive for goods to be exported otherwise we are right in the Shite!!

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Funny thing is ports in Australia can command higher charges for the freight they handle. And business is not leaving Australia. It all makes NZ port management look incompetent and anti-worker.

                      it must have efficent Ports to be price competitive for goods to be exported otherwise we are right in the Shite!!

                      Actually this is just code for making more profits for the private shipping firms.

                      Our commodity prices are at all time highs – time to share the wealth around to workers not just shipping lines and Fonterra.

  4. Jenny 4


    “Like 1998”, Aussie Boss says:

    The strikes in Auckland echo labour disputes across the Tasman. Australia’s ports rounded out the worst 18 months for importers and exporters since 1998 due to industrial problems, Shipping Australia chief executive Llew Russell told the Australian newspaper yesterday.

    nzherald.co.nz Tuesday Jan 10, 2012

  5. james 111 5

    They want a more productive port if the union wants to stay on site it needs to conceed, and bend as past work practises are going to have to change. From the Herald today its all about productivity

    Mr Gibson said the union’s proposals were only around the margins and did not respond to a sense of urgency for improved productivity and work practices.

    “We are running out of time. Our customers are looking for a quick and definitive outcome.

    “We have to protect our existing business, win back the business we have lost and put the foundations in place to achieve sustainable growth over the long term in the interests of all stakeholders,” Mr Gibson said

    • millsy 5.1

      Gibson sees his workers is expendable and wants to wash his hands of them. He does not value them, and wants them to earn a subsistence wage, and be always struggling financially.

      I guess that is what you want too.

      Why do you begrudge their pay and conditions? Is it because they are union members?

      • james 111 5.1.1

        Millsy
        I am not begruding them anything .Just as jobs were lost on the NZ Coast because of a bloody minded stand they will be lost here

        . Unless the Union get real with the current economic, and competitive environment that the POA is operating in.The big Problem for the Union is that the Private Contractor in Tauranga has shown that they can run a very Productive port down there without any Union involvement.

        Workers still get a good wage. the port gets a very effective operation everyone is happy.That means something must change in POA for it to be more effective.

        They cant continue to get paid for the 30% of time that they dont work. I am betting that Union didnt even negotiate on that point yet it was always going to be one of the main points from a POA perspective.

        As they have been told they have to get their costs down ,and improve productivity. I am sure losing 350 Union workers in Auckland will affect the cash flow of the Maritime Union, and will cause redundancies to so its in there interest to try and get it sorted

        • millsy 5.1.1.1

          As I said before, at Tauranga the workers are expendable. Do you think the PoA workers should be expendable?

          • james 111 5.1.1.1.1

            No not expendable at all but perhaps flexible will save their jobs in these tough economic times for all.

            • RedLogix 5.1.1.1.1.1

              So James in the interests of ‘flexibility’ and ‘competitiveness’… when are you going to be offering your clients/customers a 20% cut in your rates?

              Just wondering.

              • james 111

                Red
                Actually we often do that just to remain competitive we have to be flexible or we lose/ dont gain business. So just as it works in a small business like mine I guess it factors up to a very big business like POA

                • RedLogix

                  Because when all you are competing on is price… the logical end point is?

                  In the era when the Victorians were fighting to see the end of slavery, they had an expression about this…. “the sin of cheapness”.

                  • higherstandard

                    That’s fair comment RL, but if one is not to be competitive on price you must be able to offer some attractive point of difference. Obviously there’s location from a logistical perspective but over and above that ?

                  • james 111

                    Perhaps then if the Union at the POA competed on productivity then POA could compete on service compared with other Ports all problems solved!

                    • RedLogix

                      Oh James, bad news, one of your competitors just matched your new price… you’ll have to go down another 20% to keep our business.

                      Your outdated work practises will have to change to meet the new realities.

                    • higherstandard

                      RL you do know that’s the model employed by PHARMAC which has been so beneficial to the NZ taxpayer

                    • RedLogix

                      Ummm… the global pharmaceuticals are a nice cosy oligopoly. Like all big corporations they really don’t believe in the free market and hate competition.

                      And of course have been pressuring successive NZ govts to dismantle PHARMAC….generally cheered on by the rightwing bloggies IIRC.

                    • higherstandard

                      I think you’re a bit behind the times, a very large percentage of the pharmaceuticals in NZ are not supplied by large global multinationals anymore but out of Asia and then via small local companies or the likes of Pacific Pharmaceuticals which have pretty much all their business up for tender every three years.

                      We can always tell when a commonly used medication has changed from one supplier to another in NZ as inevitably a few patients have problems.

                      Anyway neither here nor there in relation to the current port issues.

                    • RedLogix

                      Yes you have a point.

                      At the same time you also point out the fundamental folly of always going for the cheapest.. it’s hardly ever the best value.

                      I see this all the time in my own industry; picking the lowest bid always results in an expensive fuck up. Have one on my hands right now.

                    • higherstandard

                      Yep happens in my line pretty regularly as well.

                    • McFlock

                      Um – the union has been working to help poa to boost port productivity by introducing new cargo handling systems.
                        
                      The trouble is that poa assume their new cheap non-unionised workforce will be willing and able to continue helping to develop true productivity.
                       
                      You can do more with the same resources, or you can hope you will do the same with less resources. One is a gamble, the other is not.

  6. james 111 6

    Very interesting points by Fran Osullivan in todays Herald…

    [Deleted… Link to the article, with maybe a selected teaser. RL]

  7. Pascal's bookie 7

    Jesus wept, are there not dedicated enough threads on the POA dispute?

    • higherstandard 7.1

      No other political news, it’s 2012 POAL waterfront dispute, reruns from election 2011 or the republican primaries !

      My vote’s for number 3 – those crazy americans what laffs.

    • I agree Pb 1000%

      I am also sick of all the bullshit trolling by the boring righties – there dumb plan is to make this site like their cesspool spawning grounds – shit 2012 going to be a long year at this rate

    • lprent 7.3

      Slow news for the last two weeks. We could put up something on the Rena I suppose.

      • marty mars 7.3.1

        success worries the weak and inspires the strong and The Standard is so successful the weak are very worried – good job 1prent and team 🙂

      • Pascal's bookie 7.3.2

        Nah, I was just reacting to the fact that this thread was already dominated by POA stuff…

      • I expect the Rena is going as well as could be expected under the circumstances, the salvors are probably making the best progress they can.
        The political aspects of it were thrashed out months ago, when it ran aground. While some on the extreme right think the break-up and sinking is Labour’s fault, and others on the extreme left think it is John Key’s fault, it’s, much more likely that the poor weather and large swells are the cause.

    • Colonial Viper 7.4

      There’s been about 1000 comments so far on the POAL industrial issue. Some kind of record?

  8. Jackal 8

    Firearm register

    Firearm law reform is a hugely controversial issue, with many views on what is the best way forward. This article will explore the relevant arguments for and against firearm law reform in New Zealand…

  9. prism 9

    Hillary Clinton speaks up on Afghanistan footage. It is ‘absolutely inconsistent with American values’. These do not meet the standards of behaviour of our military personnel

    The idea that people sent to do a brutal job won’t be brutalised in some way, is so middle class Not getting down and dirty with the grunts, it is easy to be superior especially if you are a wealthy woman like Hillary Clinton and her cohorts driving a distant war of death and disaster from a sumptuous living room or office.

    I imagine that some of these soldiers would be not looking forward to repeat cycles of service in the dirty war. When they had thought they were joining the military forces to assist their own country on their own soil, likely to be called up after natural disasters.

    And in today’s news is the story of a man and his family who were escaping from Libya to Britain hoping for refugee status. He was arrested and sent off somewhere on the euphemism program for avoiding human rights and standards in prisoner treatment and was held for six years, his pregnant wife detained for months. Great standards! Read my lips, we have high standards, and take notice of what we say not what we do.

  10. randal 10

    my home page is msn news.
    the vote there is 9 to 1 against giving destiny church any public money.

  11. hellonearthis 11

    I dont like what has happened to the standards rss feed. snippets suck.

  12. james 111 12

    Love these points from Josie Pagani today in The Herald she has got it right especially in regards Working for Families for those on the Dole everyone told Labour but they wouldnt listen. It looks like this is new Labour thinking a welcome change Im sure

    The hardest week to door-knock was when we were telling people – who had just come home from a day’s work earning the minimum wage – that it was a great idea to extend their Working for Families tax credit to beneficiaries. “So what’s the point of working my guts out all week while someone sitting at home on the dole gets the same tax credit as me?”

    There’s a reason we’re called “Labour”: We have always represented people who work. If you work hard you should earn enough to pay the bills, save a bit and enjoy the holidays with your family. If you have a great idea to build a business and work really hard, a Labour government will back you to be world class. It’s not just about dividing the economic pie fairly, it’s about increasing the size of the pie so everyone can get their piece.

    We will always be the political party that is there for working people when the jobs disappear. But our reason for existing has to be that we want to make life better for working people, and they have to believe us.

    They won’t believe we can change New Zealand until we change the Labour party. That means going back to basics and asking, “What does it mean to support working people today? How do we make New Zealand a global player in 2014?”

    The working world has changed. People contract their labour out. They set themselves up as small businesses. They do seasonal and shift work. They work part time or flexible time. They change jobs regularly.

  13. james 111 13

    Sorry I posted this on the wrong page should have been on here apologies

    Love these points from Josie Pagani today in The Herald she has got it right especially in regards Working for Families for those on the Dole everyone told Labour but they wouldnt listen. It looks like this is new Labour thinking a welcome change Im sure

    The hardest week to door-knock was when we were telling people – who had just come home from a day’s work earning the minimum wage – that it was a great idea to extend their Working for Families tax credit to beneficiaries. “So what’s the point of working my guts out all week while someone sitting at home on the dole gets the same tax credit as me?”

    There’s a reason we’re called “Labour”: We have always represented people who work. If you work hard you should earn enough to pay the bills, save a bit and enjoy the holidays with your family. If you have a great idea to build a business and work really hard, a Labour government will back you to be world class. It’s not just about dividing the economic pie fairly, it’s about increasing the size of the pie so everyone can get their piece.

    We will always be the political party that is there for working people when the jobs disappear. But our reason for existing has to be that we want to make life better for working people, and they have to believe us.

    They won’t believe we can change New Zealand until we change the Labour party. That means going back to basics and asking, “What does it mean to support working people today? How do we make New Zealand a global player in 2014?”

    The working world has changed. People contract their labour out. They set themselves up as small businesses. They do seasonal and shift work. They work part time or flexible time. They change jobs regularly.

    • Colonial Viper 13.1

      All credit to Josie as she has made some good points, but global GDP per capita is going to decline over the next 10 years, the “pie” is not growing again.

      Therefore the fight is over who is going to take the biggest slices (the 0.1% have already realised this) and no political party has a strategy for even vocalising the predicament we are in.

    • RedLogix 13.2

      The working world has changed. People contract their labour out. They set themselves up as small businesses. They do seasonal and shift work. They work part time or flexible time. They change jobs regularly.

      Yup. It’s called casualisation.

      It’s one of the reasons why workers share of GDP has been steadily declining over the last 30 years.

      It’s why living standards are not getting better.

      It’s why labour productivity can double, triple or even quadruple in some industries… and workers compensation stays the same … or declines.

      And it’s how the profits get captured by a tiny elite… whose incomes and worth constantly soar while the rest of us who do all the actual work stagnate. It’s called predation.

      Yes it’s worked a treat …for those with all the power and privileges in the system. But knowing you as we do now James, you believe this is how things should be. You are proud of being a predator; you’re only here at The Standard to practise being a better one.

      When you get the chance to fuck someone over for you own benefit, or even just for the fleeting pleasure, you don’t hesitate. In for the kill. You get out of life… what you can take. And that’s just how it is.

      Cold hard reality and all that.

      • james 111 13.2.1

        Red
        You dont know me ,and no Im not like that. In fact im willing to bet. I put in more hours non paid community work a week than you. Never presume you will always be wrong. I believe in a fair days pay for a fair days work. I dont believe in handouts.

        I dont believe in Welfare being an all encompassing blanket instead of a safety net. It would also seem than many previous voters (like me) believe this to, we are the ones you need to convert for Labour to be back in power again .

        One thing I think the Labour Government struggles with is Governments dont create wealth they only ever cosume it (some more wastefully than others)

        The other thing that Labour really needs to get to gripswith (and the Greens already have)with is Businesses create wealth ,and employment.

        Until Labour becomes much more business friendly rather than trying to throw road blocks ,and red tape in the way of business their view of Utopia will never be achieved. I realise this is very hard for the Labour Party because of the great deal of control (being their biggest funder) That the union movement has not only on Labours thinking but also its anti Business policies. You cant create a mega welfare dependant state without the money to pay for it, and you cant keep taking fish from ,an ever dwindling pond to feed the insatiable Sea Gulls in society

        • Colonial Viper 13.2.1.1

          Meh, what blatant bullshit.

          You believe in creaming windfall profits for capitalist owners not workers, you believe in exporting jobs to foreigners, you believe in taking NZ down on a race to the bottom, you believe in reducing the share of GDP for ordinary workers and increasing it for the 1%.

          Corporates do not create wealth and employment. It is far more profitable to extract wealth, strip assets and resources and offshore jobs.

          SMEs struggle in this environment because communities run short of money as corporate ticket clippers get their share at every turn.

          I’m not converting you to Labour mate, I’m relegating you to the dustbin.

          • james 111 13.2.1.1.1

            CV
            This comment that you post today shows everything that is wrong with Labours thinking if you are typical of it.

            Corporates do not create wealth and employment. It is far more profitable to extract wealth, strip assets and resources and offshore jobs

            How many people would be without Jobs in New Zealand today if all the Corporates shut up shop, and closed the doors. Tens of Thousands. How much would the NZ Governments tax take fall Billons. Who is going to pay for your Rolls Royce Welfare scheme then. That Labour has put the burden upon our youth for years to come untill it all falls over.
            Viper I dont know why you dont go and live in Russia or North Korea see how well they look after you. See how good their welfare system is. See how good their Hospitals are. You want to dumb down all individuals in a country to the lowest common denominator then you can control them. You dont want bright aspiring Business people who create jobs ,and wealth ,because your totally consumed by envy. You would rather they moved over seas so every one can live in a Banana Republic with no social services ,and nothing to pay for them with. Im just wondering if you are a Pom one of the Old School Unionists who pharked up Great Britain then moved out to NZ ,and Australia to try and repeat the experiment?

        • McFlock 13.2.1.2

          I believe in a fair days pay for a fair days work.

          If you have no idea what “good faith” means, how do you know that your definition of “fair” is shared by anyone else?

          • james 111 13.2.1.2.1

            Good faith
            Is not the definition of a Fair days work. Nor for that matter is getting paid your full hourly rate for spending 30% of your time at home not working on the Job

            • wtl 13.2.1.2.1.1

              Still repeating the same old line? Others have already pointed out why your reasoning is flawed e.g. here and here, for example. Why dont you respond to these instead of spouting the same lies repeatedly on different threads?

            • Frank Macskasy 13.2.1.2.1.2

              Nor for that matter is getting paid your full hourly rate for spending 30% of your time at home not working on the Job

              Nor for that matter is getting paid your full hourly rate for spending 30% of your time at home not working on the Job

              James, I think we understand that you want to remove down time from a worker’s pay packet. We get that.

              But the realities are that very few jobs are like that anywhere in the Western World. Heck, I doubt you work like that either, unless you’re self-employed. And even then, if for example, you were a builder; had lunch from 12-1pm; you’d still add your lunch break to your charge-out invoice.

              So your down-time premise is nought but your personal preference.

              The Ports of Auckland issue resides in the real world.

            • McFlock 13.2.1.2.1.3

              Good faith
              Is not the definition of a Fair days work.

              How do you know that, if you don’t know what “good faith” is?
              Indeed, I would suggest that both an employer paying a “fair day’s pay” to an employee who provided “fair day’s work” is an example of two people showing good faith.

               Nor for that matter is getting paid your full hourly rate for spending 30% of your time at home not working on the Job

              But then expecting a worker to drop everything and come in for an hour’s work at 3am on a sunday morning (with no minimum callout rate / guaranteed minimum number of hours) is not fair. And it’s that which is contributing to the so-called 30% downtime.

      • Colonial Viper 13.2.2

        The best part of casualisation and driving down wages is that the money that the elites save in not paying out wages to workers, they can then loan to workers in the form of loans, debt and credit cards, and then proceed to charge interest to those workers. Making the elite an even bigger profit.

        Awesome system.

        • Frank Macskasy 13.2.2.1

          And after that, CV, comes the eventual credit crunch, where debt over-whelms the economy.

          As has been happening.

          I believe Warren Buffett (?) had some interesting things to say on the issue.

  14. randal 14

    you are right cv.
    the world economy is in over capacity mode and the people who are not invested in financial assets but need a weekly wage cheque to live are just going to have to suck it up.
    the present financial crisis was engineered by alan greenspan to take the punchbolw away from the party and now its depression time.
    but hey its ok if you are ceo gibson at poal.
    you just make up your own laws and steal the assets off the people who own them.

  15. BLiP 15

    Go Canada!!

    . . . Fox News will not be moving into Canada after all! The reason: Canada regulators announced last week they would reject efforts by Canada’s right wing Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, to repeal a law that forbids lying on broadcast news.

    Canada’s Radio Act requires that “a licenser may not broadcast….any false or misleading news.” The provision has kept Fox News and right wing talk radio out of Canada and helped make Canada a model for liberal democracy and freedom. As a result of that law, Canadians enjoy high quality news coverage including the kind of foreign affairs and investigative journalism that flourished in this country before Ronald Reagan abolished the “Fairness Doctrine” in 1987 . . .

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert-f-kennedy-jr/fox-news-will-not-be-moving-into-canada-after-all_b_829473.html

  16. Jackal 16

    Tenants in our own land

    National’s complicity in this land grab is tantamount to treachery!

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