Take the power back

Written By: - Date published: 10:26 am, September 5th, 2016 - 48 comments
Categories: democratic participation, local body elections, workers' rights - Tags: ,

This weekend the Nation ran a story about Talley’s AFFCO and the way they behave toward their workers, the environment, and our communities.

As part of that they interviewed two of our Jobs That Count local government candidates.

These are working class people who are standing up for better jobs and a better environment in wards that AFFCO operates in. And they are incredibly courageous doing so.

But the Jobs That Count ticket isn’t just about AFFCO. It’s about getting local councils that work for all of us and make sure that the big businesses in our communities give back to us.

That’s why we’re not just standing candidates in AFFCO wards. We’re also encouraging other candidates to sign the Jobs That Count pledge:

I’ll be there

As an elected member of local government, I take the Jobs that Count pledge to make our towns and cities better places to live and work.

I stand for people. I will put our families and kids first, so they can live a good, full life – with warm dry housing and food on the table.

I stand for good jobs. I will promote people’s voices at work, fair pay, and the fundamental right to be a union member.

I stand for the things that matter. I will ensure the businesses that operate in our community are fair employers, keep our rivers clean, and sustain our natural environment.

I stand for community. We all benefit when we look out for each other.

Candidates who take this stand for local democracy will get the Jobs That Count endorsement. 

jobs that count endorsement

Please, when you vote in the local body elections this year, vote for Jobs That Count candidates. It’s part of how we take the power back.

Jobs that Count is authorised by Graham Cooke, 68 Langdons Road, Papanui, Christchurch 8053

48 comments on “Take the power back”

  1. Nessalt 1

    It’d be great if you could get a commitment like this from the Union members and affiliates to that respect the rights of all workers whether or not they choose to be unionised. It would show that Jobs that Counts truly cares about the rights of all workers, not just union members and then put JTC on a higher rung that talleys

    • Jobs That Count is a campaign for local body elections which focuses on families, communities and the environment. It’s for everyone. So I’m failing to see the relevance of this comment.

      If you have specific concerns, spell them out. Otherwise you risk looking like you’re trying to derail the conversation with vague smears against unions.

      • The Chairman 1.1.1

        That’s exactly what I was thinking, thanks Stephanie.

      • Nessalt 1.1.2

        it’s being run by a union and demands that candidates try and ensure employers respect the rights of individuals to join unions. i have no problem with that whatsoever.

        My problem is that it doesn’t appear to carry any weight if employees choose not to, i.e. union members only reap the specific benefits. Who knows, this might even attract more union members.

        • One Anonymous Bloke

          What exactly is your problem with people who join unions collectively exercising their freedoms of expression and association?

          Is it a wild coincidence that you are utterly ignorant of the benefits we all enjoy because of unions? Nah: the reason you repeat vague smears is that you are full of hate.

          • Nessalt

            What is your problem with people who individually exercise their freedom of expression and association? what is the collectives problem with those same individuals? all too often we hear of “Scabs”, not enough about “our fellow worker” if they aren’t unionised.

            • framu

              ahh – so you were talking about industrial disputes this whole time

            • One Anonymous Bloke

              That’s a well-chosen lie, eh. Imply that a common term for people like you applies to all non-unionised workers.

              Even among slaves there are those that crave the master’s favour. Get off your knees, Nessalt.

        • McFlock

          You are focusing on one of three specifics within one of five main commitments made by people-friendly candidates to demonstrate their belief in dignity and community.

          Seriously, how would that even apply to union members only? A candidate going “p.s., if the river I just promised to try to keep clean runs through a non-union area I’ll personally shovel shit into it every other day”? Or are you asking candidates to respect the right of workers to not join unions? Which is like respecting the right of slaves to not run for freedom: technically possible, but not the main problem facing anybody, anywhere in local government.

          What planet are you on? This isn’t an employment agreement that can apply to some workers and not others. It’s a commitment from candidates to their entire electorate to preserve the community, environment and dignity of the people. But you saw the word “union” and had a monomaniacal ejaculation.

        • UncookedSelachimorpha

          A common strategy of union-busting employers is to ensure that non-union employees get the same terms as unionised employees – so there is no apparent benefit from being in the union. In the long term of course, all employees are worse off when the unionisation rate collapses.

          So having union members specifically benefiting from being in the union, can be an important and necessary thing.

          Also remember – these days joining a union is not a free “employee choice”. For many joining a union is a firing offence – although the right wingers love to paint the erosion of union rights as an enhancement of employee personal freedom (freedom to be exploited and poor, actually!)

        • The pledge says: “I will promote people’s voices at work, fair pay, and the fundamental right to be a union member.”

          In the context of a campaign which is all about good jobs, strong communities, and a healthy environment, it seems weird that you would infer that this somehow means “I will only care about workers if they are union members.”

          It’s also very sad that you seem to think – and certainly keep implying – that unions only care about things that directly benefit their members.

          Unions fought for stronger health and safety laws which gives all workers the right to have a say in their workplaces. Unions fought for an end to zero-hour contracts – for all workers . Unions fought the Hobbit laws – for all film industry workers. Unions oppose youth rates for all workers , 90 day trials for all workers, and the loss of the Easter Sunday holiday for, you guessed it, all workers.

          Maybe in the past some unions were only concerned with their own patch. That is very, very far from the reality now.

          • One Anonymous Bloke

            it seems weird

            Not in the context of Nessalt’s malevolent agenda.

          • Scott

            Is that it? A sort of I love you all pledge?

            “I will promote people’s voices at work…” what on earth does that actually mean?

            “…fair pay…” Sure, no issue there, but who decides what is fair?

            “…the fundamental right to be a union member.” Sure, of course alongside the right not to be a union member.

            You want to elect people silly enough to make such meaningless pledge?

            • One Anonymous Bloke

              Yes, that all sounds completely reasonable…until you consider the evidence presented by the OP and The Nation.

              Perhaps your complete ignorance of these matters is another utterly innocent coincidence.

              We need better haters.

              • Scott

                When it comes to local body politics we seem to hire fools, you seem to after gullible fools. Sadly, you’ll probably be overrun with pledges.

                I don’t know any details about the allegations directed at Talleys. But if there is an employment issue at Talley’s there are plenty of legal routes by which to sort it out. Just do it. Make the case in the right way, or sod off.

                All this smells like manipulation of local body politicians, the sort of invidious half-truths the anti-fluoride people indulge in. I put it alongside the calls for boycotts of people that sell Talley’s products. Just blackmail in a nice dress.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  You don’t know anything about Talley’s, except that you’ll defend their human rights record no questions asked.

                  Do you actually think about the crap you write? Is it intended to make you look stupid and dishonest? It’s working.

                • In Vino

                  It has taken me many years to learn just how damaging the profit-gougers are to our society. I know that now. You won’t like this Scott, but fools are probably less damaging to society than profit-gougers are now proving to be. You and your ilk have to go. You are socially and environmentally destructive, short-sighted and narrow in vision.
                  Only people so limited in scope can display your misguided self-confidence. Are you absolutely certain that you yourself are not one of the ‘fools’ you so arrogantly speak of? Not a good sign…

                • Why don’t you do some reading about the Talleys, and after having a serious think about the power imbalance that exists between millionaire business owners and minimum-wage seasonal workers, maybe you’ll be able to offer a relevant opinion.

                • framu

                  “boycotts of people that sell Talley’s products”

                  why do people suddenly not like free market ideals and free speech?

                  thats all a boycott is

                  and next time – educate yourself on the talleys beforehand.

            • McFlock

              “You don’t understand words like ‘fair'” does not mean “the pledge is meaningless”.

              It means that you have difficulty understanding the fuzzy concepts most people navigate with ease in order to function effectively with other people.

      • smilin 1.1.3

        You’re on the mark there ,sounds like a cloaked comment -thanks

  2. Bill 2

    As far as it goes, it’s a pretty good initiative. Any time I’ve looked down a list of candidates for local body elections, it’s more or less elicited a blank in my mind and so, like many, I just don’t bother to vote.

    But with this simple bit of agreeable branding and a bit of trust in those handing out the endorsement – yup, I’ll take the couple of minutes needed.

    • adam 2.1

      I’m picking an all time low in Auckland, well below 30%.

      At which point, I think we need to face the reality that this national government broke democracy in Auckland. There next move will be to do the same for the rest of the country.

  3. Takere 3

    A few questions. What authority do “I” have as an elected person? Do I have the ability to stop councils poor decision(s)? Choose to invest or not into community infrastructure & social programmes? …and so on? Or do I just get to talk about it in some meaningless body/working party to pass-on the message? I’ve seen, experienced & engaged with Ward, Board & Councils and they’re pretty useless when it comes to making the right decision at all levels.

  4. Cinny 4

    Thanking you very much for this initiative

  5. Scott 5

    Is this the same organisation that has been calling for a boycott of My Food Bag because they use some Talley’s products?

    • One Anonymous Bloke 5.1

      Do they? How disgusting. I wonder if My Food Bag hate human rights too or whether it’s a genuine error.

      Thanks for the tip.

      • Scott 5.1.1

        Who made the device you’re commenting with?

        • One Anonymous Bloke

          Too funny: you’re full of the tiresome zombie arguments. How clever you are to rote-learn them.

          I expect two or three hundred years ago one of your witless besmirched ancestors was abusing people who wanted to abolish slavery because they wore cotton, and now here you are, dirtying yourself all over again.

          • Reddelusion

            FFS OAB can you ever have a debate with out Turning into a prized A hole, you may think you look really smart with your cryptic put downs and been the tough guy taking on the righties but to be honest mate you come across as a one pretty objectionable individual left or right

            • McFlock

              I think that maybe the fact that you think the put-downs are “cryptic” indicates a possible source of the tension that provokes them.

              • Gangnam Style

                Lol! McFlock!~

              • Reddelusion

                Agree cryptic is the wrong word, OAB inflates his ego with his smarty pants insults to show us all how hyper intelligent he is to compensate that the real world just won’t recognise his brilliance . Rather boring really as every insult thread follows the same themes and pattern, yawn

            • One Anonymous Bloke

              Utterly lacking in self-awareness, a man whose handle is an insult attempts to explain etiquette 🙄

          • Scott

            I apologise. There is no point in discussing anything with you.

            • One Anonymous Bloke

              Do you honestly think trotting out someone else’s two-hundred-year-old failed rhetoric makes a case worth discussing?

              Even your apology is fake.

    • No one is calling for a boycott of My Food Bag. Do you work for AFFCO?

      • Scott 5.2.1

        Check out Facebook. No I don’t work for Afco. Do you work for a union?

        • One Anonymous Bloke

          Your work for Talley’s AFFCO is purely voluntary then.

          What a scumbag you are.

        • Facebook is boycotting AFFCO? That seems unlikely. All you’ve offered on this thread is baseless smears. Maybe get a more productive hobby, like macrame or competitive pearl-clutching?

        • Darien Fenton

          Yes of course I do. But my questions of MFB are not on FB. They were private coms. Something really sick when a person like me asks some valid questions and they end up in court action led by AFFCO Talleys.

          • Scott

            If that means the organisation is not involved in the calls for a boycott then I’m greatly relieved. Those sort of calls are a form of blackmail that do not reflect well on anyone. There are legal processes to sort out employment issues, and they should be used not circumvented.

            That is my concern (rather than the dispute in question), the broader issue. It seems we are prone to this sort of thing these days and I don’t like it.

            Your organisation might do well to publicly distance itself from such things. I’d urge you to consider doing so.

            • framu

              “There are legal processes to sort out employment issues, and they should be used not circumvented”

              with talleys they have been used – time and time and time again.

  6. mickysavage 6

    So where do I send my signed pledge form?

  7. Simon Arthur Mill 7

    Everybody should have a right to protest for their rights. It is perfectly legal to go on strikes or protest if they tried going through the legal process and it didn’t work for them. Everybody has a right to free speech.
    The unions are simply fighting the rights of all workers, not just unions. Having a cleaner environment will benefit everybody. I’d rather hear the full story before I criticise other people.

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