Written By: - Date published: 5:50 pm, August 4th, 2015 - 47 comments
Categories: boycott, capitalism, class war, employment, same old national, Unions, workers' rights - Tags: CTU, helen kelly, meatworkers union, talley's group
The Talleyban, eh? No, I’m not off to Afghanistan, but I have been thinking about another brutal organisation firmly opposed to the kiwi way of life. I’m boycotting Talley’s products until they negotiate a collective employment agreement with their AFFCO meat plant workers. If they’re going to behave like thugs, then they’re not getting any of my money. Simple.
These corporate shits put their employees through a lengthy lockout in 2012. Now they want to finish the job off using the new tools National have given them. The days when the law sought to have a level playing field and a bargaining environment based on good faith are gone.
Predictably, Talleys are the first company to use the Government’s new anti-union law change to destroy the existing CEA. After 18 months of what might well be deliberate non-negotiation they have gone to court to try and have the talks ended without an agreement being reached. They’ve also effectively forced workers into signing inferior individual contracts if they want work. Arise, Sir Peter Talley, knighted for services to class war!
Bravely, the unionised workforce have voted to strike to save their collective. Good on them!
Meatworkers Union national secretary Graham Cooke notes that Affco workers who predicted the company would be the first to use and abuse the new employment laws have proven to be correct.
Cooke says that during the current bargaining round the company added additional demands to reduce job security, threatened the union and others with legal action, and bullied staff at work. At mediation, Affco said it wanted to get rid of seniority, which gives long-time staffers priority for work when each season starts.
“Talley’s is an outlier in the meat industry in the way it deals with employment relations and health and safety.” Cooke says.
“It seems they were just waiting for the law to change so they could walk away. If they can’t be trusted to treat their workers fairly and safely at work, how can the public trust their brand?”.
A sign of how low they are prepared to go is a bullying lawyers letter sent to Helen Kelly at the CTU. It’s a sad, pathetic piece of work.
I reckon the appropriate response to that letter is the reply in Arkell v Pressdram. Helen Kelly’s response was to laugh it off and start her own personal consumer boycott. That’s an excellent idea. We can all do that. And it works. Remember when Progressive Enterprises locked out their distribution centre workers? The loss of market share drove that company back to the bargaining table and a fair deal was done.
So, I’m standing with Helen, I’m standing with the Meatworkers Union and I’m standing with the AFFCO workers and their families.
What about you?