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Telecom solidarity fundraiser

Written By: - Date published: 12:30 pm, September 10th, 2009 - 18 comments
Categories: notices, workers' rights - Tags: , ,

Socialist Aotearoa have organised a Telecom solidarity fundraiser on Friday night. Not for $7m man Paul Reynolds, but for the lines engineers his contractors are busy laying off with no redundancy and trying to force into sham dependent contracts.

If you’re in Auckland head along and show your support. The engineers are sure going to need it.

18 comments on “Telecom solidarity fundraiser ”

  1. Tim Ellis 1

    Doesn’t the union have a lot of money? They sure seem to be doing well enough to contribute to the Labour Party whenever the Labour Party needs it. These union members pay their dues, why can’t the union dip into its own pocket?

    • Eddie 1.1

      And as usual, in comes Tim Ellis to do a bit of wedging. The political donations thing is particularly misleading, as you well know.

      Many unions have hardship funds, and the EPMU is digging in deep from its fund to support its members. But when you’ve got hundreds of workers needing hundreds of dollars a week to survive then you’re talking about hundreds of thousands of dollars a week (for example 800 x $400 = $320,000).

      Even a union the size of the EPMU doesn’t have that kind of money. That means the entire movement has to rally around these workers.

      On the left we have this thing called solidarity. When workers are in trouble we bury our differences and we rally round and help them. I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase “an injury to one is an injury to all”, even if you don’t subscribe to it.

      That’s what this is about. A pity all you can do is try to smear these workers and their union. Of course you’ll plead ignorance, or try to push the argument on to some other irrelevant tangent, but everyone here knows what your game is.

      • Tim Ellis 1.1.1

        I don’t smear these workers Eddie, I think they are in a difficult position and I have a lot of sympathy for the transition that they will face and the instability of moving from one employer to another. Family members of mine have been in similar positions where they went from being a lifer employee to a contractor and found the adjustment difficult.

        What I don’ tapprove of is the way the union is being a bit dishonest about its interest. The union stands to lose a lot of money in membership dues if these employees become contractors and I think that should be said up front. If this is the major issue this union How much money does this union have? I guess the answer is many millions.

        I don’t think the union has the right to plead poverty when it is quite comfortable contributing to and bailing out the Labour party.

        • snoozer

          The EPMU gives, what, $50-$100K a term to Labour? I can’t remember right off. That works out at $1-$2 per member every three years.

          For God’s sake Tim, get off your high horse and just admit it – you hate unions and you automatically back the bosses because you’re a little house slave who dreams of one day being a master.

          • Daveo

            It’d be even less than that. The reality is private sector unions have very little money that’s not tied up in core organising and representation work.

            Tim already knows that, but he likes to wedge and misdirect because he hates unions and what they stand for. I wouldn’t bother with him.

          • Tim Ellis

            Nice characterisation snoozer. I’m sure there’s a bit of data around how much money the union has but I would be surprised if they are impoverished.

            I don’t hate unions. I used to be a member of a union when it was de facto compulsory. As for me being a house slave, you are correct that I am an employee but I’m too old to have aspirations of senior management where I used to be and I don’t expect to be a senior manager again.

            • Maynard J

              This is not even organised by the union Tim.

              And if you stopped to think about it rationally as opposed to just coming here to stir, you would ask yourself what would happen if unions started to cover costs of strike action every time? There would be a lot more strikes, for one, and often unnecessarily, as they would become too ‘easy’. Unions would either go broke or start charging massive dues for the de facto welfare organisations they would become. That is not what they are there for.

              Are you sure that as contractors they would not be able to be members of a union? Is that against the law, or am I missing something somewhere along the line?

            • Daveo

              What you’re missing is that Tim doesn’t care about the facts. He hangs around on blogs running dishonest attack lines on behalf of National and big business. What a sad existence.

            • The Voice of Reason

              Jeez Tim, a new low. Well done, pal, well done.

              The transition these workers face is is from employment to unemployment. Remember the jobs summit? Remember how much effort the new government was going to put in to save jobs? Well, here’s Mr Floppy’s chance to stand tall. But what do we get instead? All talk, no walk.

              As I recall, you’re a humble bank auditor. Let’s do some maths. The EPMU has about 50,000 members. 200 telecom techies are going to lose their jobs tomorrow and a couple of hundred other jobs are at threat. That’s less than 1% of the membership and less than 1% of the union fees. I’m pretty sure the EPMU can handle the financial hit of losing these members, so perhaps there is another motive for fighting Telecom. Perhaps it’s because fighting for principle, fighting for rights and fighting for the jobs of their members is what unions are about.

              Why don’t you stop whingeing, you toothless tool, Tim, and have a good hard think about what freedom of choice means. If you are really an independant thinking righty, you’ll recognise that the choice being given these guys by Telecom is between subserviance or unemployment. The union gives them another choice and that’s to stand tall, fight back and stick it to NZ’s biggest corporate bully. Lord, Tim, if only you had their guts, you could even be a senior manager again. It’s not age that’s holding you back, it’s your spinelessness.

        • Daveo

          The flaw in Tim’s (entirely dishonest) argument is he insists on viewing unions as businesses with a profit motive. All his misinformed smears about the union’s motivations and all his baseless accusations of dishonesty flow from there.

        • Ron

          Could you BE any more patronising?

    • lprent 1.2

      Wasn’t that the rationale for Nationals 6 week stand-down for unemployment benefit in the 1990’s? Mind you you could use the same rationale to say that taxes should be raised for everyone who can afford insurance.

      Don’t be so bloody silly.

  2. Lanthanide 2

    I’m not in Auckland, and even if I were I’m too antisocial to go to a drinks night.

    How else can I donate money to this cause?

  3. RedBack 3

    I’m living over in the UK but the EPMU is my old union and I’m still a proud trade union man over here.
    I think what is happening to these workers is nothing short of immoral. How do I make a contribution to the hard ship fund from over here? Is there a telephone number I can call in New Zealand? These workers are going to need all the help they can get.

    Tim – If you have nothing positive to say about your fellow NZ workers or the unions and the solidarity they provide for workers in this horrific postion then don’t comment at all mate. It doesn’t actually help anyone and makes you look like an unsympathetic tool. A world without strong trade unions would be a pretty miserable place live in. I always find it funny how non-union members in the workplace will always readily accept any pay rises or improvements in their working conditions that the unions and the members have collectivlley won for them while they contribute nothing to the fight.

    I guess some people are just happier begging in the workplace as opposed to bargining.

    • The Voice of Reason 3.1

      Cheers, RedBack.

      There is an 0900 number that makes a direct charge against your phone account, but I don’t know how that works from the UK. It’s 0900 STANDTALL (0900 782638255 translated to numbers).

      It might be easier to put a donation into the bank account (assuming the BNZ has a UK branch?). That’s:

      Bank of New Zealand
      Reference: Telco

      Either way, your solidarity is bound to be appreciated by the workers being screwed over by Telecom. And don’t worry about Tim. He’s paid to make comments on behalf of the Nats, so he is very much, as you say, a tool.

  4. RedBack 4

    Cheers for that VoR. I’ll give that a try this evening. I’ve got family back in New Zealand so I’ll be getting them to dig deep as well.

    Yes I know Tim’s motivation for his weak argument on behalf of NACT. Ungrateful hypocrites like him exist all over the world. I just hope next time he takes some paid annual leave or gets a pay rise or takes paid sick leave or heaven forbid enjoys his weekend he doesn’t dare remember that it was the trade unions that won those rights we all take for granted now days. Mind you thats a cornerstone philosophy of the right I suppose. Take as much as can out of society and put sod all back in.

  5. we raised $420 last night, not bad for a small left wing group. We’d encourage others to do the same- the next month is key in breaking Visionstream in Auckland and the 200 line engineers made redundant yesterday need our support.

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