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Talley’s cracking

Written By: - Date published: 6:51 am, May 4th, 2012 - 36 comments
Categories: capitalism, class war, jobs, Unions - Tags: , ,

It is a fundamental injustice of our society that one family, which already has more than it can ever need, can hold 1,300 families, who have very little, to ransom just to make a little more cash. But the union makes us working people strong. By standing together, the workers are beating Talley’s in the AFFCO lockout. Talley’s cracked. Wants half them back. The workers have said ‘all of us or none of us’.

Now, you might think that it’s a reasonable concession by Talley’s to raise the lock-out on half the staff. But it’s a union-busting tactic. They hope to split the unionised workers into two groups. Divide and conquer. It’s especially cynical at the Feilding plant, where the only worker who didn’t have his lock-out notice lifted is the democratically-elected union delegate.

It shows incredible sacrifice and sense of community from the workers who could have gone back when their lock-out notices were lifted to stay staunch beside their mates. They have endured over 9 weeks without pay. They could have gone back and started getting paid again. It must have been very tempting to take that short-term gain. But it would have meant turning their backs on their fellows who have stood beside them. It would have made them no better than the non-union workers that take the pass-on from collective wins but never contribute anything themselves. It would have ultimately made them worse off because their union would have been in a weaker bargaining position in forever after.

So, instead, they have joined the hundreds of workers whom Talley’s never locked out, but who struck to stand beside their locked out comrades.

Because, in the end, the capitalists actually need us more than we need them. Their power simply comes from the ownership of capital and an economic-political system that supports that power. But they still need people to make that capital work. That is real, physical power. It is only when workers have the strength to stand together, to stand up for each other than the bullying scum of this world lose.

That’s how they are beating Gibson and Pearson at Ports of Auckland. That’s how they’re beating Talley’s.

But the fight’s not over yet.

Talley’s new collective offer is completely unacceptable – it apparently purports to give the company the power to fire union workers it doesn’t like, which is unlawful.

Hopefully, the workers will at least be back at work soon but, until then, there are over a thousand workers off the jobs. They need your support. Donate $5 by phoning 0900 LOCK OUT or check out other options here.

Together are we strong. And together, we’ll beat the likes of the Talley’s every time.

PS. And while I’m at it, a shout out to the iwi groups who have stood beside the workforce in their rohe, regardless of their whakapapa, offering food parcels and help with accessing WINZ support. It’s wonderful to see some iwi leaderships haven’t been infected by the corporate mentality and will stand up for ordinary people against scumbags.

36 comments on “Talley’s cracking ”

  1. Te Reo Putake 1

    The proposed clause allows Talleys to fire union members and call it redundancy. No reason has to be given and there is no appeal. This is a sham redundancy, of course, so would not be legal. The clause does not apply to those on individual agreements, so it is also clearly not lawful as it is discriminatory as well as bogus.
    The company also wants to curtail freedom of expression on its worksites, with dismissal the outcome for wearing union branded clothing. Welcome back to the 1950’s, people.

    • tc 1.1

      Talleys never left the 50’s probably would prefer the Victorian era. A nasty lot. Behold your wealth creators at their finest trickling down their shite to the workers.

      • vto 1.1.1

        “Talleys never left the 50′s” That is a version of what I was thinking tc. Talleys, s I understand it, as a company was started by the old man. They were from some rough east-euro place where the poor are trampled and quite rightly so. Those attitudes and approaches were without doubt applied by the old man in grinding the business up and guess what, those shithead other world attitudes have been passed down to the current generation.

        This is not the Talleys cracking. These type of people don’t crack – they break. Keep going..

        The Talley family is shameful.

        Watch this and weep. I watched it several times yesterday (nod to s y d) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WyUagbsg-HI

        Anybody who thinks this can’t happen today is a bloody fool.

        • s y d

          aye vto

          it’s a hard watch….always worth remembering a bit of history

          “I can hire one-half of the working class to kill the other half.” Jay Gould

          • rosy

            ’tis powerful.

            it’s a hard watch….always worth remembering a bit of history

            +1 social history, that is. I wish I had more of that at school instead of dates of major wars and treaties.

  2. james 111 2

    How can you say in your Headline Talleys are cracking.

    Then you freely admit what they were doing a few lines down into your story was purely a tactic by Talleys to split the union.Knowing this family,and knowing how hard they have worked for what they have obtained believe me they wont crack at all.

    As I have stated before they can hold out until July when they have start the plants up to cope with the Beef season. The question being can the Unions last that long

    • Te Reo Putake 2.1

      Hur hur, i think you meant inherited, rather than worked for, Jim Jim. And you’ll note that the union members are increasingly confident of winning. You don’t vote to strike in solidarity if you think you are going to lose. You do it to win.

    • Zetetic 2.2

      They would have kept all the workers locked out as a preferred strategy. That was what they did to start with. The next best is to try to split them.

    • rosy 2.3

      The question being can the Unions last that long
      Thanks for the reminder – I must go and check donation options…

    • aspasia 2.4

      Well done James. You just earned another donation to the CTU Disputes Fund.

  3. james 111 3

    No I dont Te mean inherited
    Working really hard in Nelson as fisherman building a fish factory in Motueaka, Then one in Nelson, developing a frozen vegetable business, then an Ice Cream Business. The list goes on you work for that it was never given to them.

    • vto 3.1

      “The list goes on you work for that it was never given to them.”

      Yep, that’s right, all obtained purely and fairly. Did you just come down in the last shower 111?

      • james 111 3.1.1

        Why is it that Left can’t believe that people can work hard build a business and accumulate wealth? There is always this perception from the left that if you have money you must have ripped some one-off.

        The left sees the only way you can honestly get money is from a welfare pay out. Unfortunately there is a fundamental flaw with this thinking.

        Some one has to earn the money ,and pay the tax to pay the recipients of Welfare.

        As I have said before the biggest problem for Socialist ideology world-wide Is what happens when you run out of using other people’s money to fund your ideology? What is your plan B to earn money? other than tax

        • Kotahi Tane Huna

          As you have said before? And then you woke up: you haven’t a single original thing to say about “the left” (not that you would know a left if one fell on you), James111, all you ever do is repeat other people’s remarks.

          There are some right-wing commenters here who speak with their own voices, but you are not among them.

        • DH

          Bit of an odd outburst there Jimmy. No-one is begrudging Talleys their money, it’s how they make it that’s at issue. We’re in the 21st century now, callously exploiting workers just to improve an already fat bank balance is morally repugnant. If you think it’s ok to exploit people in the pursuit of wealth then say so, else get with the plot.

          • james111

            Its not odd when you put into context with VTOs comments

            • DH

              No, it’s not in context. Talleys employed staff, their wealth is an accumulation of their own and other peoples’ toils. Now if they treat their staff fairly no-one has a problem with them getting rich, but they don’t treat them fairly do they.

              Like others here are saying; people aren’t judged on their wealth, they’re judged on how they came by it. A rich asshole is still just an asshole.

            • vto

              Think james think. The context was the Talleys family only, NOT all business. The standards of poor human conduct stretch across all endeavours including business, politics, religion, etc etc, everything. Poor standards of conduct are not more concentrated in one sector than another from what I can tell. I am in business myself ffs. There are no more bad eggs in business than there are in ……..

              Your generalisations about “the left” are easily reached when the understanding is shallow and the thinking absent but if you apply some thinking and fact gathering you will find those generalisations are far from the truth.

              I do not know the detailed background around the Talleys other than South Island talk in business circles and general merry-g-round. Happy for someone to put forward another view on the Talleys.

        • Kotahi Tane Huna

          PS: we know what happens when John Key’s criminal associates government does when it runs out of other people’s money: starts looking around for things to sell and borrows the shortfall, then crashes the economy with negative growth drivers like austerity (but only for poor people).

        • framu

          stop projecting your assumptions about how “the left” thinks onto people who have left leaning views – all your doing is proving that you dont have a freakin clue

          all this BS about how lefties hate succesfull people, love spending other peoples money and want to keep people on welfare so that they will vote left is utter fantasy.

          its not about how much money youve got
          its about how you got it, and how you behave

          Notice how that bus company owner in australia who gave all his staff (including widows of staff) a pay out when he sold up, is thought of very highly by many – even though he had a lot of wealth

          Notice how neo-liberals love raiding tax payer money to get higher growth and profit for themselves?

          Can you explain how that isnt using other peopels money to fund your ideology?

          • Matthew Whitehead

            Don’t be silly, it’s not welfare if it’s for corporations and the élite! 😉

            • Jeremy Harris

              That is a leftie myth, that economic liberals, like myself, support Crony Capitalism. We don’t – we hate it more than the left does.

              • rosy

                I agree that economic purists don’t support crony capitalism. You’re at least honest in your beliefs and from what I’ve seen here the arguments with economic liberals tend to be around outcomes.

                However, economic purists are completely unelectable hence we get the lot defined as neo-libs in government who believe in the ‘free market’ but who operate with an agenda that skews it toward their own class.

        • Draco T Bastard

          Why is it that Left can’t believe that people can work hard build a business and accumulate wealth?

          Because the majority of people all work hard and yet only a few get wealthy.

          that if you have money you must have ripped some one-off.

          Not just someone but lots of people. As I was assured when in Amway, you can’t get rich by working, you need to have lots of people working for you. In other words, to get rich you need to take a little bit from a lot of people.

          Some one has to earn the money

          The people earning the money are the people doing the work.

  4. Jim Nald 4

    Ok, what can I do as a consumer? I would like to stand together with the workers.

    I can boycott Talley’s.

    Is this their website with their list of products?

    I have been buying Talley’s ice-cream frequently.
    I can stop buying that and also email to tell them about my boycott until they provide a new collective offer that is acceptable to all their workers.

    • Vicky32 4.1

      Is this their website with their list of products?

      Thanks for that, I didn’t know they made ice cream! Yikes… I thought I was safe as I don’t eat meat…

  5. ianmac 5

    I suspect that the whole situation is not so much for Talleys to make more money, its about power and the antipathy of the Right to any form of Union solidarity. Just what the Right Government wants as well. Talleys is just another ACT leg of what Key/Joyce want.

    • bbfloyd 5.1

      so we are being treated to another campaign by the “old boys club” , working together to remove the last vestiges of protection from rampant profiteering….

      nothing new under the sun it seems……

  6. prism 6

    I think it’s time to hear the Strawbs song I’m a Union Man.

    Now I’m a union man
    Amazed at what I am
    I say what I think
    That the company stinks
    Yes I’m a union man.

    When we meet in the local hall
    I’ll be voting with them all
    With a hell of a shout
    It’s out brothers out
    And the rise of the factory’s fall.

    Oh you don’t get me I’m part of the union
    You don’t get me I’m part of the union
    You don’t get me I’m part of the union
    Till the day I die, till the day I die.

  7. Jenny 7

    The Talleys, as well as being one of the richest people in the country are a disgusting bunch.

    Like Gibson and the other scum running the Ports of Auckland who reach for the lock-out weapon, they make the claim that employer’s lock-out is equivalent to a workers strike.

    Well actually it is not.

    But no strike has ever seen the children of the employer go hungry.

    No strike has ever seen a managing director in trouble with his landlord or mortgage. the argument of equivalence is a dirty lie.

    The use of lock-out by people wallowing in luxury and excess is a criminal and immoral act.

    A manager at one Talley’s plant on, announcing that all those who wouldn’t sign individual contracts would be locked out. As related to me by the workers, announced it this way; “Who here wants to go fishing tomorrow?”

    One worker remarked bitterly, “Who can afford to go fishing?”

    This worker was one of those allowed back to work after a partial lifting of the lock-out by Talleys, but has despite the hardship decided to remain outside the gates until all his workmates are allowed back in.


  8. Jenny 8

    Whether Talleys is cracking, or not. They would be a lot closer to cracking if the unions were able to act against lock-outs as they were before the days before National’s Employment Contracts Act and Labour’s Employment Relations Act.

    In those days workers would band together to punish any employer who reached for the lockout weapon with solidarity actions.

    For instance workers at a retailer would refuse to take Tallys products.

    This sort of solidarity action is illegal under the ERA, with severe legal penalties, just as it was under the ECA. This why we are seeing a lot more lock-outs.

    In the past an employer would face a lot more consequence for taking this action, now they are confident to act as they wish while workers hands are tied.

  9. Georgecom 9

    Nice bit on the radio news about Ngapuhi telling Talleys to sort out bargaining or they will send stock from their area to other meat works. A bit of community pressure is starting to bear on Talleys. More of that will make a difference as POA found.

    • Jenny 9.1

      To bad the unions are not able to offer the same sort of solidarity.

      • Georgecom 9.1.1

        I think unions are offering solidarity with the meat workers. I have seen it in action and am seeing it grow.

  10. Jenny 10

    Before the introduction of the ECA/ERA lock-outs were virtually unknown in this country. And when they were (very) rarely used, they were always greeted with solidarity strikes, which soon saw employers back down.

  11. I have been at the centre of this dispute since its inception two years ago. This has been planned down to the tiniest detail via professional American strikebreaking “consultants” first there was considerable pressure applied to new employees to sign an “individual employment agreement” or IEA. Then once talleys felt they had enough numbers of IEAs who had been trained up, they made their move and locked out their oldest and most experienced employees. They have delayed giving pay details to WINZ so the workers cant access any funds, they have locked and unlocked people at will, so that just when they get benefit they are asked back to work briefly and then locked out again. All because they want lower workers wages and to get rid of the union, these are the “shadow men” from Nicky Hagars book about the National party, funding the National party to get cart’e blanche with labor laws!!! Essentially they are evil!!!

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