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Things Just Got Tougher

Written By: - Date published: 2:05 pm, April 1st, 2011 - 118 comments
Categories: Unions, workers' rights - Tags: , ,

The CTU is launching a new campaign today as part of their ongoing Fairness At Work.

Things Just Got Tougher is about the new employment laws that start today, April 1. You may have seen the newspaper adverts or heard the radio ads.

Here are the campaign aims (video at bottom):

What We Want

Working people and their unions across New Zealand are seeking the following changes to ensure everyone enjoys fairness at work.

Rights at Work

  • We express our strong condemnation of the attacks on rights at work.
  • We call on employers to ensure that all workers have the right to appeal against unfair dismissal.
  • We seek guarantees that workers can maintain access to unions on terms that are not less favourable than have applied in recent years.
  • We demand that employers do not seek to undermine good faith in collective bargaining in ways that bypass union representation.

Wages

  • We call on the Government to lift the minimum wage to at least $15 an hour.
  • We express our strong opposition to price increases including higher GST and demand that wage increases take account of the higher cost of living.

Job Security

  • We reject employment laws that undermine job security – such as the 90-day no rights provision.
  • We demand that the Government takes more action to reduce the high number of people are unemployed.

Public Services

  • We call on the Government to protect our public services, not sell assets that belong to the people, and support our public servants rather than attack them.

Political Parties

  • We call on political parties to promote policies that provide fairness at work and decent jobs for all including strong public services, all workers have the right to appeal against unfair dismissal, workers access to unions, a minimum wage of at least $15 an hour and improved collective bargaining rights.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nCScDLHAnO0

118 comments on “Things Just Got Tougher ”

  1. big bruv 1

    So this is why we did not see the EPMU make a donation to the Christchurch earthquake relief fund, they are more concerned about electioneering and trying to scare the workers of NZ with blatant lies.

    Never let it be said that the left are anything other than selfish sods.

    • M 1.1

      Never let it be said that you don’t offer your chocolate socket for NACTing on a regular basis.

    • Jum 1.2

      big bruv,

      Obviously, you don’t live in the real world or you would know that every time you go to the checkout of most supermarkets you increase to the nearest dollar for Christchurch; every time you step outside your home you have cash buckets thrust in your face. Every EPMU member lives in the real world of work – you have yet to prove you are anything but a NAct chocolate socket.

      LOL, M, I love that. I hope there wasn’t a copyright on it?

  2. Blue 2

    Bigbruv, you got it in one. They’re too busy donating funds to the Labour Party for another doomed election campaign, to bother with the small matter of peoples lives and grief. Remember the Unite union trolling around Christchurch back in September looking for unscrupulous employers that weren’t there? Scumbags. To the EPMU president and Labour, pleeeeese keep Goff in charge he’s worth another 5% in the vote for National. I mean , FFS who does the lefts PR?

    • Bright Red 2.1

      unions are democratic organisations of workers. the moeny they raise in dues is used to fund the defence and advancement of work rights on behalf of their workers. If the workers vote for it, that can include donating to political campaigns.

      If workers want to donate to Chch they can do it directly. Doing it through their union dues, which aren’t budgeted or designed for these activities is illogical. It’s like criticising the Business Roundtalbe for not making a donation even if the member companies do.

    • lprent 2.2

      Unite isn’t affiliated with Labour you moron…

    • David 2.3

      It was the employers who demanded workers return to work in potentially unsafe building, or who refused to pay them for time lost due to the quake who were the scumbags.

      We didn’t have to go looking for them, the Unite union members who worked on those sites told their organiser what was going on. No doubt there were many more companies up to the same tricks, but who’s workers weren’t part of a union collective and didn’t know where to turn for support.

      I’m proud to have protested against those greedy bosses, proud too that most of them backed down and paid up before or after the protest.

      • big bruv 2.3.1

        Yes David, that’s the spirit that will pull Christchurch through the tragedy of the twin earthquakes.

        I note that you used term ‘we’, can I assume that you are one of the worlds lowest form of life in as much as you are an union employee?

        Do you ever consider a businesses ability to pay before descending on a workplace with your trained apes in tow?
        I doubt it given the language that you have used, “greedy bosses’ is the normal class warfare crap we hear from parasites like you.

        • Colonial Viper 2.3.1.1

          Do you ever consider a businesses ability to pay before descending on a workplace with your trained apes in tow?

          Did Key and English consider a businesses ability to pay before phasing out wage support for Christchurch workers and grants for Christchurch SMEs?

          No?

          Frak off you hypocrite.

      • Jum 2.3.2

        Yes, David, I have also been wondering why no one was allowed into the quake zone – a bit of possible dodgy cut-cost building should be on the investigation agenda.
        Which companies put the modern buildings up?
        Who supplied the materials?
        Or was it naivety that the dodgy ground they were built on wouldn’t ‘protest’ at some later stage? Brownlee will never tell.

        Also, weren’t these bosses, and still are, being paid by us to keep their employees in work?

        Greed is what makes these employers try to shaft the workers. Greed is what NAct believes in.

        Since 1936, National, believe it or not, has actually got greedier and dirtier and I can tell you why. It is infiltrated by Act acolytes like the leader and the funders and advisers.

        Every time one of them makes a million they want to double it; it’s like a disease. As long they keep their germs to themselves I don’t mind how pockmarked they become. What I do object to is their greed spreads like a virus, which they market to New Zealanders as some sort of utopia. It isn’t.

    • Jum 2.4

      Sheesh, M, do these NAct chocolate sockets come in packs – like scavengers do?

  3. big bruv 3

    “unions are democratic organisations of workers. the moeny they raise in dues is used to fund the defence and advancement of work rights on behalf of their workers. If the workers vote for it, that can include donating to political campaigns.”

    Ha ha ha ha….so union members have a say in the decision to financially support the Labour party when it comes to the general election do they?

    Don’t talk rubbish.

    • Bright Red 3.1

      yes, they do. The elected council votes on individual donations and there are full membership votes on whether to be affliated with a political party every couple of years.

      You know nothing about unions, BB.

      try reading a union constutition some time. They’re easily the most democratic large organisations in the country.

      All you’re showing here is that hate is often based on ignorance.

      • The Voice of Reason 3.1.1

        The worker applying to join the union ticks a box on the application form as to whether he or she wants any of his or her fees being used for political purposes. The union makes its donations based on the percentage that indicate they are happy for that to happen. It’s a choice, freely offered and freely made, as you would expect from the largest democratic organisations in NZ.

      • mcflock 3.1.2

        “You know nothing about unions, BB.”

        It’s not the unions BB is ignorant of. It’s democracy. His idea is that “I vote X so it’s evil if X doesn’t happen” – never mind if everyone else votes Y.

        The VSM crowd had the same complaint – they were “forced” to pay for a students’ association being “political”. Fuck ’em – if the majority of members want to be “political”, that’s democracy.

        • big bruv 3.1.2.1

          ” if the majority of members want to be “political”, that’s democracy.”

          Except you know it is not democracy, you know that the majority of students do not want to be forced to join a union.
          You also know that the tap is about to be turned off for left wing student organisations and you are highly annoyed about it.

          Tough luck mate and welcome to the real world, VSM is on its way.

          • mcflock 3.1.2.1.1

            “Except you know it is not democracy, you know that the majority of students do not want to be forced to join a union.”

            Is they why they voted down VSM on the majority of campuses? oh, wait…

            FFS – IF YOU WERE CORRECT RATHER THAN INSANE, if the majority were opposed to student association membership, (and read this very carefully) MOST STUDENTS’ ASSOCIATIONS IN NZ WOULD BE “VOLUNTARY”. But only one or two are because when the students’ associations all voted on it, as they were legally required to do, the majority of students stuck VSM up NACT arse.

            But NACT don’t believe in democracy, so are imposing the destruction of students’ associations from above.

            Meh – with any luck the pricks will go far enough economically and socially that the backlash is better than post 1935.

            • big bruv 3.1.2.1.1.1

              mcflock

              So are you saying that student unions will not survive unless they are compulsory?

              If so you have just made my point for me, if the service they provide is so vital then I am sure many students will happily pay, if not then student unions will vanish..

              Oh dear…that would be tragic.

              • mcflock

                Some associations won’t survive because of freeloading – many of the most valuable services can’t be restricted to people who stump up the membership fee.

                And that only “proved your point” if you confuse “money” with “votes”. Which is a common mistake for right-wing morons who think the sun shines out of their wallet.

            • Carol 3.1.2.1.1.2

              And Nikki Kaye was on Citizen A on Stratos last night proclaiming that she was glad the whole mining thing was opened up for discussion, becuase it was in keeeping with the way the National Party supported democracy…. and she said it with a straight face….(and then claimed it was her own self that got Brownlee to back down over mining schedule 4, Coromandel etc, totally ignoring the 50,000 who marched down Queen Street)…. just another Nat BSer, reinforced by the bullyish way she kept interrupting and talking over Jacinda Ardern.

              • Jum

                Carol,

                Saw her. She’s well drilled in the JKeyll and Hide mantra. If she says ‘I am clear’ one more time, I’m going to send her an email asking why she’s pretending to be Nikki then!

                Every time you see a NActor and a Labour person in a debate, the differences are so noticeable apart from the policies. The behaviour and the demeanour of Kaye was just ill-mannered in the extreme. Opposite her sat Jacinda Ardern calmly weighing up what was being said and answering in an original and thoughtful way, or as you point out, trying to with the Hooten-like Kaye butting in and trying to get extra time because she was so bad at putting NAct’s misleading jargon across the first time, probably because even she doesn’t really believe it. And the gross name-dropping… That’s a JKeyllism rife in the NAct party. Seriously, why is Kaye in Parliament; to make Key look better? Hard ask I have to say.

                And then she talked about National being democratic after forcing 1.4+million people in and around Auckland into a so-called super city without those same people having the right to access of select committe on the first and most important bill which stole our assets and our democratic rights in one nasty little weekend, in spite of gallant philibustering by Labour.

                The difference between LabourProgressiveGreens and NActMU is that LabourProgressiveGreens actually think about their reply after listening to what the other person has said. It was so obvious last night watching the two women that Jacinda Ardern is quality material as a politician.

                We already know the the rightwing have little slips of paper in their pockets to prep them – ‘sit down in the chair, smile, pretend you’re meeting Obama…’ The Hollow Men ought to be released again this year. Nicky Hager deserves the extra royalties and New Zealanders need to wake up.

                • Carol

                  Yes, I mentioned the “I am clear” irritation on Bomber’s blog last night.

                  And as for Kaye claiming Labour had done nothing but plan on Auckland’s rail system. I’m a westie who uses the rail and had seen constant upgrades, rail trench, double tracking, New Lynn, Newmarket, Grafton etc in the last years of Labour…. and the consequence is that more people than ever are using the rail system.

          • the pink postman 3.1.2.1.2

            All my adult life I have met bludgers like you BB. To bloody mean and stupid to understand unionism but sharp enough to accept the benifits .You are a typical ignorant small minded bigot. You are the type who if you been active in the 1930s would have joined Mosley and his Blackshirts . The sort who agreed in blacklisting the men who fought against Franco in the Spanish Civil War. I wonder if your ancesters were in Masseys Cosacks . You creepy slug go and kiss Kesy and Hides arse.

      • big bruv 3.1.3

        Red

        Yep…you got me, I do hate unions, I hate them with a passion.

        However, you are joking when you claim that they are democratic, stand over tactics, intimidation and outright thuggery are the norm…..but you know that anyway.

        • George.com 3.1.3.1

          You need to get a better grasp of reality and deal with your ignorance.

          Rob

        • Colonial Viper 3.1.3.2

          bb

          Strong unions will return.

          It is inevitable that a larger share of GDP will go to workers and that will be taken from corporate profits and shareholders.

          Get used to it.

          Even better, stop working against your friends and family who rely on working wages.

  4. Santi 4

    As an employer I support the changes.

    • PeteG 4.1

      As an employee I see nothing wrong with the changes, they give me a little more choice and no more risk. I doubt it will change a small minority of arsehole employers from being arseholes, and it won’t turn good employers into bad employers.

      • RedLogix 4.1.1

        Yeah that’s fine … but consider next time you move to a new job that you will have no real idea if your nice new employer is an arsehole or not. In my book at least 1 in 5 is.

        And you’re about to find out the hard way buddy.

      • mickysavage 4.1.2

        Aw PeteG

        You do not believe that. You are adopting an opposed position just for the hell of it. And you are then expressing that opinion here but you are not willing to debate it.

        Answer me this. How does an employee have a little more choice when they can now be fired without cause within the first 90 days of their employment? And how, please tell me how, do they have no more risk when the risk in the first 90 days they have a new risk that they will be fired without cause. Which part of the reform reduced the risk for workers.

        The law allows the assholes more power. It will not change them from being assholes, it will let them live out their dreams though.

        Go on, debate this rationally, I dare you.

        • PeteG 4.1.2.1

          MS – please let me speak for myself. That’s what I believe.

          I wasn’t referring to the trial period as giving more choice (although I have no problem with that).

          I can now choose to negotiate being paid for one week of holidays rather than taking it (I’m unlikely to, I really enjoyed getting a fourth week).

          I can negotiate to transfer a public holiday to another day – that has already been common with Otago’s anniversary day, and I have done it in the past.

          • mickysavage 4.1.2.1.1

            Awwwww Peteg

            I wasn’t referring to the trial period as giving more choice (although I have no problem with that).

            But you talked about the changes.

            I can now choose to negotiate being paid for one week of holidays rather than taking it (I’m unlikely to, I really enjoyed getting a fourth week).

            Why don’t you consider all of the changes? Why don’t you weigh them all up and respond honestly rather than just come out with “ra ra John Key is great”.

            Hmmm so points 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9 can be appalling but if point 10 is sort of ok you are happy with the package?

            Yeah right.

            • PeteG 4.1.2.1.1.1

              I repeat – I was talking honestly.

              You haven’t been honest, attributing a quote to me that I never made, I have not mentioned John Key at all.

              I’ve specifically mentioned three changes, not one as you have implied.

              • I’ve specifically mentioned three changes, not one as you have implied.

                Er no you did not, you mentioned two, both to deal with holidays that will be “sold”.

                I did not say that you made the quoted statement, I was guessing that this is what you think given the quality of your comments.

                You come over here and take the piss, refuse to justify your comments and then feign hurt when someone pulls you up on your behaviour. Come on, have a go and justify the 90 day trial period, go on, give it a go.

                • PeteG

                  Oh cool, is it acceptable to guess what other posters say based on what you think of the quality of their comments, and then attribute quotes to them? That should be fun.

                  I said:
                  1. I have no problem with the trial period
                  2. I could negotiate a paid week if I wanted to
                  3. I could (and have already) negotiate to transfer a public holiday

                  I didn’t come here to take the piss, I first posted “As an employee I see nothing wrong with the changes” as an opinion. You responded by saying
                  “You do not believe that. You are adopting an opposed position just for the hell of it.”

                  I have twice reiterated my first comment was a serious opinion. If you keep ignoring what I say and attribute false quotes to me then there isn’t much point in trying rational debate with you, you don’t seem to want to do that. Are you just trying to take the piss?

                  [lprent: He didn’t. You appear to be avoiding some legitimate questions. You just wasted my time by having to look through the conversation after you asked the moderator to look at the sequence. You specifically said he was misquoting you which puts it in the moderators purview. Don’t do it again unless you really really mean it. Wasting my time can earn some really long educational experiences.

                  BTW: you did better using the same tactic against mcflock. However he retracted and clarified before I saw it. Ummm I have a suspicion that you’re trying to lawyer me. Did I ever mention my instinctive reaction to legal argument? It comes from my ex being a lawyer and having to suffer through her law degree. ]

                  • Umm lots of words. Care to justify the 90 day trial period?

                    • PeteG

                      If a prospective employee on trial proves to be unsuitable for a position then it’s best they are not given permanent employment.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      If a prospective employee on trial proves to be unsuitable for a position then it’s best they are not given permanent employment.

                      Then use a proper probationary period which gives both sides of the employment relationship due process.

                      Instead of acting like a trumped up fucker willing to use and dispose of workers with no reason or explanation.

          • Kevin Welsh 4.1.2.1.2

            Oh so you can negotiate to have a weeks holiday paid instead of taken as annual leave?

            So tell me Pete, what if you want to be paid out a week because you need the money, but your employer says no?

            I know of one large printing conglomerate, who shall remain nameless, but are in deep financial shit, who have already told their staff that they will not allow them to be paid out their extra weeks holiday.

            Where’s your choice then?

            • Bazar 4.1.2.1.2.1

              Thats a stupid arguement.
              The law change enables a negotiation, before hand under labour it wasn’t possible at all.

              And are you suggesting that workers should have the decision on how much they work, rather then the actual business?

              The default is a holiday, unless both parties agree otherwise. Thats the way it should always have been.

      • RobC 4.1.3

        Pete,

        How do you define an arsehole employer? On what basis do you make the claim that only a “small minority” of employers are arseholes? What does a small minority exactly mean? What evidence do you have that good employers will stay good employers?

        (yes, this post is a parody, in case it is too subtle for some. Captcha was meaningless; surely these words are not random, if so it’s twilight zone)

  5. PeteG 5

    What evidence do you have that good employers will stay good employers?

    No more evidence than anyone has that the changes will lead to more abuses of employees.

    • But, but, but and this is a really big but …

      If an asshole employer fires an 18 year old girl because she refuses to accept his sexual advances and she asks why then he does not have to say why.

      There will be no evidence, because the asshole employer refuses to admit that he is an asshole.

      And this is acceptable?

      Why not require the asshole to justify his decision, you know, with facts and reasons?

      • PeteG 5.1.1

        I would expect most employers to give some sort of reason for terminating a trial. I haven’t seen any evidence that they are abusing the 90 trial system to any degree.

        As well as there being arsehole employers there are also aresehole employees who can be very difficult to get rid of while they jeopardise the viability of businesses and the employment of co-workers. The 90 day trial system allows for them to be noticed and filtered out.

        With any job I tried I’d be happy to back myself and agree to a 90 day trial, and if I turned out to be unsuitable I’d accept that I shouldn’t remain in that employment.

        • Kevin Welsh 5.1.1.1

          I hope you enjoy your Pollyanna world Pete, because your replies are laughable and bear no relationship to real world experience.

          I have seen some horrendous abuses of power from so-called ‘good employers’ that would make your hair curl. And in the same breath seen some very dishonest employees, but they have mainly been in junior management/supervisory positions. I have had it tried-on with me on a few occasions, but fortunately have a couple of very good friends who have been/still are union reps, and informed me of my rights.

          I think it is fair to say that the majority of employers are as ignorant of employment law as are the majority of employees. A dangerous combination in my opinion.

        • RedLogix 5.1.1.2

          With any job I tried I’d be happy to back myself and agree to a 90 day trial, and if I turned out to be unsuitable I’d accept that I shouldn’t remain in that employment.

          You must be young and haven’t seen much of the world yet.

          It’s one thing to try a job on, realise it’s unsuitable … and then leave on your own terms. You’d hope to have another one lined up so that you don’t spend weeks or months unemployed.

          You’d even accept it if the boss came to you and said that he thought the role wasn’t working out for you, and here’s why. You both talk about you see what changes are possible, and try and get things back on track. At the least you’ve been given fair warning about the expectations being made of you, and whether they are reasonable or not.

          But just to get the boot, no warning, no reason, not so much as a kiss my arse….well if you think that’s fair you’ve really have got it coming to you.

          • PeteG 5.1.1.2.1

            I didn’t claim it would always be fair, it’s not always fair now and it never will be. I don’t see this change make much difference to that.

            Most employees invest in new employees, if they think a new employee is struggling most will try and see how to help them succeed, it’s easier and cheaper and less waste of time to train up someone who could turn out ok rather than ditch them and start from scratch, with the same risks of it not working out.

            I’d think most employees will explain if they terminate a trial period. It can’t be guaranteed the explanation is the whole story, no amount of legislation will ensure it’s a full and frank message.

            Talking about fair, is it fair (on employer and other employees) if one employee is a lazy hopeless prat? Something that can be difficult to find out in an interview. A burden on the business, where workmates have to work harder to make up for the slacker? I think it’s too difficult for employers to ensure they get good value for money from all their employees.

            Employment is not a right.Workers should be grateful to get an opportunity to earn regular money with out the risks involved in running a business or being a sole trader.

            • RedLogix 5.1.1.2.1.1

              I didn’t claim it would always be fair, it’s not always fair now and it never will be. I don’t see this change make much difference to that

              And that is the point you are obtusely failing to see. You are confusing a law change with a change in human behaviour. The whole point of law is to be fair, even when the people involved fail to be so.

              We have laws against all sorts of things, murder for example… but people do continue to commit that crime. No reasonable person would then conclude that ‘oh this law is making no difference, let’s scrap it’.

              All that this employment law change is going to achieve is give a free pass to the arsehole employers out there. And as you go through life you’ll discover plenty of them.

              Employment is not a right.

              Interesting. We cannot all be employers, we cannot all be bankers. Most of us have to be workers. The fact is that if you live in the modern world you need an income of some sort. Wandering about as a free-man, hunter-gathering for your sustanance is no longer possible in these times.

              Without an income from some source you necessarily starve to death.

              Therefore if we accept that all humans have a right to life and dignity, then some form of income is indeed a right. Now the changes and chances of this world more or less determine what that income is (hard work has sod all to do with it). But ultimately the mass of people will either be self-employed, employed or benefitted… and have a right to be so.

              Workers should be grateful to get an opportunity to earn regular money with out the risks involved in running a business or being a sole trader.

              Equally employers should be grateful for the opportunity to regularly profit from the labour of others without the risks of being being powerless and subject to arbitrary dismissal.

              Works both ways for me.

              • PeteG

                Yes, works both ways for me too, the employer/employee relationship is best if it is looked on as mutually beneficial, not advertorial.

                Therefore if we accept that all humans have a right to life and dignity

                I don’t accept that – no living thing has that right, life is often a ruthless lottery. It’s fine to aspire to better and more dignified life, but it is not a given for anyone. We live in as good an era as could be expected anyone could have, but we all still have a risky tenure with no guarantees.

                • RedLogix

                  I don’t accept that – no living thing has that right,

                  Again you are confusing two different things; the ideal of justice and the reality of the world. As I said last night in a different connection, ““It would be perfect, but there are humans involved.”

                  The notion of justice is an abstraction… it is based on the ideas of unalienable rights, responsibilities, fairness, equity and compassion.

                  While by contrast the reality of life is often a ruthless lottery. (Which I would argue is not inherent at all and is mostly a consquence of our partriarchal, property owning culture… but that is a different thread.)

                  The point is that we dervive law from the former, from the ideal of justice… not from the sordid realities of life. When we give up on the ideals of justice and resort to ‘realism’ as you suggest, then you have given up altogether… the result is ultimately amoral pragmatism.

                  Besides while it seems you don’t believe in the right to life and dignity for your fellow humans… I’m pretty certain you DO believe in the sacredness of property rights.

                  • MrSmith

                    Well put RedLogix.

                    Nothing to walk over a few dead bodies that had attempted to touch the new Beama, is the car ok Bill? yes Johnny only a few finger marks , Driver get someone to sweep those bodies into the gutter please , Drive on Bill, I mean driver.

                  • PeteG

                    You are assuming quite a bit RedLogix, inaccurately.

                    I’m not suggesting we give up on the ideals of justice. Justice is never ideal, but what we have is close to the best that’s possible, we are likely to only keep tweaking it, try to improve on it, but need to accept that there will always injustices and inconsistencies.

                    I don’t know what you mean by “resorting to realism”. We have to accept reality, life is tough for many people, and no one has a right to a cruisy life – if there was a government that could provide for everyone sufficiently with top class services people would stop striving to achieve, and that leads to a stagnant, boring life if it the system doesn’t get corrupted first.

                    I’m actually a bit of an alternative lifestyler, I conform a bit, earn a regular wage and have a mortgage, but possessions and wealth don’t drive me, I’m happy with a modest balance and put more importance on people, especially family. Also in a modest way I’m aiming at partial self sustainability.

                    But – as many in Christchurch and Japan found recently, a good life without troubles is not a right, it’s bloody good when you can get it but different adversities will keep stuffing things up for many people.

                    In New Zealand we moan to much about trivial crap, because for most of us we live in the best of countries in the best of times. That’s something to be thankful for, but it isn’t a right, it’s a privilege – and luck.

                    • RedLogix

                      Now you are just prevaricating.

                    • RobC

                      Fuck me Pete he’s not assuming anything. Go and read the previous posts:

                      “RL: Therefore if we accept that all humans have a right to life and dignity”

                      “PeteG: I don’t accept that – no living thing has that right”

                      Now you come on saying no-one has a right to a “cruisy” life, whatever the fuck that means.

                      Only one making assumptions here is you pal. Either that or you have a poor command of English. Or both.

                • RobC

                  “I don’t accept that – no living thing has that right”

                  And there ladies and gentlemen, in a nutshell, is why society is becoming fucked up, when people actually start to believe that humans do not have the right to life and dignity.

                • Colonial Viper

                  I don’t accept that – no living thing has that right, life is often a ruthless lottery. It’s fine to aspire to better and more dignified life, but it is not a given for anyone.

                  Sorry mate you are a fatalist who does not believe that we can shape society to become more civilised and able to look those who are most vulnerable, while giving advantages to those who wish to get ahead.

                  I’d be more than pleased to trap you on your own Mad Max island where you can live out the remainder of your violent short ass miserable life according to your own personal beliefs.

                  • PeteG

                    Sorry CV, but you’re getting it all wrong, again. Why the continual hissy fits?

                    I’ve been very lucky to have had a non-violent life, and I’m a naturally non-violent person, although I wouldn’t rule out violence if it was absolutely necessary.

                    You seem to have a violent streak to some of your posts. You should chill out a bit.

                    • Jim Nald

                      for hissy fits, it is the baron (eg yesterday)

                    • Colonial Viper

                      PeteG you clearly believe in the brutality of life and the fact you won’t lift a finger to create a civil society marks you as a barbarian.

                      You seem to have a violent streak to some of your posts. You should chill out a bit.

                      Frak off Mr Psychotherapist hypocrite. You’re too soft in the middle to be a good Righty.

                    • PeteG

                      Yes, life can be brutal, that’s a bit obvious, isn’t it.

                      the fact you won’t lift a finger to create a civil society marks you as a barbarian.

                      That’s not a fact that you know anything about, so it’s just more of your usual bovine bumming. As usual you have absolutely nothing to support your accusation.

                      I’ve never aspired to be a good Righty so I don’t care about your non-analysis.

                      You’re too soft (and transparent) to be a good provocateur. More jelly fish than viper.

                    • felix

                      Oh bullshit Pete, you write this shit all the time and you always fall on the side of evil.

                      Sorry folks but that’s what it is. Anyone – in a society wealthy enough to afford a decent standard living for all – who would prefer to see people starve and die for the sake of a dog-eat-dog philosophy is just a fucking evil sociopath, and being too cowardly to own it doesn’t help their case either.

                    • PeteG

                      🙂 If you weren’t so ridiculously over the top with your accusations they might have a slight amount of credibility.

                      Trying to paint left as good, right as evil is as pathetic as those on the fringe right trying to claim the opposite – some of whom have also tried to diss me as both piddly middly and extreme.

                    • felix

                      Who said anything about left and right, Pete? Plenty of right wingers have a sense of social responsibility.

                      And then there are the the sociopaths.

                      Why don’t you accept the accusation head on and argue that it isn’t evil to believe what you believe? You’re a coward.

                      p.s. having people from all over the spectrum dislike you doesn’t mean you’re some sort of middle-of-the-road sensible centrist. Sometimes it just means you’re a cunt.

                    • PeteG

                      I manage to have interesting and sane discussions with many people who haven’t accused me of being an evil cunt, it’s only fringe nutters (or plain nutters) who seem to get hissy if their stupidity is pointed out to them.

                      Do moderators sleep in on Sundays?

                    • felix

                      Boring Pete.

                      You can’t back up the horrible things you’ve said or implied (and they are legion) without tainting the “reasonable” image you’ve worked so hard to project as “Pete George”, so what do you do?

                      “Waahh, that bad man used a bad woooord!!”

                      Same game you’ve been playing for years in your various guises and it’s no more convincing in this one. Pathetic coward.

                    • PeteG

                      Can you name any of the “various guises” you’re accusing me of using?

                      Who’s the pathetic (anonymous) coward?

                    • felix

                      You are. You refuse to own you arguments.

                      Now you’re attempting another diversion into a boring discussion about anonymity vs pseudonymity (neither of which apply to me anyway) because you don’t want to admit to your own opinions.

                    • PeteG

                      Now you’re attempting another diversion

                      You have diverted from a simple question for you to back up your latest accusation. In your own words “You refuse to own you arguments.”

                      That’s the real pathetic cowardice.

                    • felix

                      Well we could end this silly game if you would ever answer a straight question:

                      Do you believe that as a relatively wealthy society that can collectively afford to do so, we have a collective responsibility to ensure a minimum standard of living for every person?

                      It’s a yes or no. I say yes.

                    • PeteG

                      I say pathetic cowardice – again you’re avoiding supporting your wild accusations, because you can’t support them.

                      Felix the pussy wimp?

                      [Answer the question. Your dishonest prevarication is rapidly turning this thread into an idiotic flame-war that will get moderated…RL]

                    • felix

                      Ha, you’re just repeating everything I say. So juvenile.

                      I asked you a straight question. Is it a yes or a no, Pete?

                      This is your chance to prove everything I’ve said about you wrong. What’s holding you back?

                      Cat got your tongue?

                    • PeteG

                      Yes, we should do what we can to try and ensure a reasonable standard of living for everyone.

                      Your turn to answer, to prove anything you have accused has any basis in fact.

                    • felix

                      “should do what we can” and “try and ensure a reasonable standard” are weasel words to avoid giving a straight answer.

                      The question is do we have a collective responsibility to provide a minimum standard

                      Your answer just says it might be nice but whoop-de-do, la-de-da, twiddle-de-de, pass the pie.

                      I phrased the question quite deliberately because of your tendency to wriggle like this, and there’s really no reason not to just say yes or no.

                      You either agree with the proposition in the question as phrased, or you don’t.

                    • Pascal's bookie

                      if there was a government that could provide for everyone sufficiently with top class services people would stop striving to achieve, and that leads to a stagnant, boring life if it the system doesn’t get corrupted first.

                      That’s pretty clearly saying that if hypothetically, we could provide well for everyone, we shouldn’t, because you think it would be boring.

                      Personally, I think it would more likely mean that everyone would have more opportunity to strive and take risks.

                    • felix

                      Also this:

                      I don’t accept that – no living thing has that right [to life and dignity]

                      Is a pretty clear statement of your position on minimum standards.

                    • Pascal's bookie

                      Yeah, I like the way he sorta kinda admits that actual rights are agreed upon constructs but falls back on a mangled assertion of natural rights as a way of saying why we should agree that only the powerful should get any.

                      The problem that natural rights advocates have is that if we take a natural view of property rights, then if I invest in certain types of training this gives me the natural right to take whatever the fuck I want.

                    • PeteG

                      RL – I did answer the question – are you going to demand the same of felix, who has started and continued the attempt at flaming, making no attempt to answer any questions? Or his/her level of abuse and unsubstantiated attacks acceptable here, for some?

                      This is how it begun at 5.42 am:
                      “you always fall on the side of evil.”
                      “who would prefer to see people starve and die for the sake of a dog-eat-dog philosophy is just a fucking evil sociopath, and being too cowardly to own it doesn’t help their case either.”

                      [You re-phrased the question into something different and pretended to answer that. No cigar…RL]

                    • felix

                      Straight answer Pete. Yes or no.

                    • PeteG

                      RL, you haven’t answered my query.

                      [Short answer…because I give straight answers to straight questions… is yes. Different people will get somewhat different treatment based on their history and their ability to debate honestly and constructively.

                      Moderation is not an absolute. The purpose of moderation is not to act as a referee in the debate, but to encourage constructive conversation and thoughtful participation. We also weed out trolls of various breeds and snuff out flame wars. And when we can be bothered we try to assist people to develop their debating skills.

                      This is also a left-wing blog. Right wingers arrive here with a bit of a head-wind, although the majority learn quickly enough how to tack around it and participate along with everyone else.

                      So yes different people do get treated somewhat differently from time to time, and I make no apology for it. In the long run we do strive for fairness, even felix has had his butt booted once or twice. On the other hand in this case it seems to me that felix has offered you a free and valuable insight into some of your own rather smug assumptions… you can either rise to the occasion or not….RL]

                      The way felix asked the question there is no simple yes or no answer.

                      [Or no simple answer you want to give…RL]

                    • felix

                      It’s only loaded in the sense that for you to give an answer in line with the image you’re trying to project, you’d have to contradict your previous statements.

                      I think I’ll just leave it there, you can have the last word if you like.

                    • PeteG

                      felix, I’ve answered in my words because I don’t fully agree with yours.

                      You haven’t even attempted to answer any questions. That says a lot.

  6. big bruv 6

    Can anybody from the left please tell me what is so wrong with an employee being able to cash up their fourth week of annual leave?

    What is wrong with a worker having that choice?

    • Jum 6.1

      big bruv,

      What is wrong with NAct’s new rules? Everything if you understand the only ‘principle’ of a National/Act government – greed and self aggrandisement.

      Nothing this government or any nat government in the past has ever done has been about good things for the employee. The very reason National was formed in 1936 was to destroy Labour. Steal from the blue collar workers to give to the rich and you’re still doing it.

      They’ve/you’ve found a way to leech off cash-strapped employees. Shame on you and your kind.

      • big bruv 6.1.1

        There you have it folks!

        Our very own version of the cloth capped bigot, still stuck in the ways of the 60’s and 70’s fighting a non existent class war.

    • What about an asshole employer trying it on with his 18 year old female employee and then firing her when she does not comply?

      • big bruv 6.2.1

        [deleted]

        [lprent: Speculation on a current police enquiry. You get one warning on this. ]

      • ak 6.2.2

        You’re onto it Mick. A very real example of the abuse mandated by this evil. Even the prolific jackboot “bludger/slapper” diarrhoea-dribbler himself can’t squeeze out a rejoinder.

        Because even he sees that it strikes to the putrid essence of this disgusting law – an essence that resonates profoundly through kiwis of every political stripe and has the power to bring this heartless regime down.

        The right to an explanation.

        The right to put one’s case.

        The most fundamental a priori basis of human interaction for eons that applies and is fiercely employed daily in every facet of life from kindergarten to grave.

        NO REASON REQUIRED are the key words.

        The legal ability to deprive livelihood without any explanation whatsoever. The ultimate and now legally mandated expression of oppression. Worse even than slavery: ultimate legal sanction of control without corresponding duty or morality of any kind.

        NACT have made a fatal leap: man-made legislation denying the most fundamental plank of natural justice.

        Keep hammering the bastards on it.

      • spot 6.2.3

        Micky – does the law change also remove other PG remedies, eg, on grounds of sexual harassment etc ?

        By the by, average piece of pandering law making in my view….

    • Deadly_NZ 6.3

      There is nothing wrong with that I have done it myself BUT it was my choice. The worry is that there could be coercion to do this if the 4 weeks are at a problem / busy time for the employer. Now as most people tell their boss of their leave plans months in advance, well my staff did then I could work around the rosters. But i don’t know why but some people should not run businesses as they are not equipped to interact with other people.

  7. joe90 7

    I wonder when the tories are going to dip a toe in the water to see what sort of a reaction they’ll get to a proposal to re-introduce youth rates.

    The plan may well be so cunning they’ll pin a tail on it and call it a training wage.

  8. Green Tea 8

    Does the CTU really think this pathetic attempt at activism will change anything? A Facebook page and some youtube videos? Wow. Employers must be running for cover.

    When is the CTU going to wake up and start calling for its members to take industrial action?

    • The Voice of Reason 8.1

      You first, comrade. Don’t turn up for work Monday, tell the boss you’re on strike. Illegally, of course, but no matter. Let us know Monday night how it turns out and we’ll use your heroic victory to encourage the others.

      • David 8.1.1

        I think you’ll find the Egyptian strike were illegal too, did the trick though.

      • felix 8.1.2

        TVoR,

        Anyone reading your comment could be forgiven for coming to the conclusion that you don’t know what a union is.

        • The Voice of Reason 8.1.2.1

          Don’t see how, felix. Unless they were reading the comment in the wee small hours and were perhaps too tired and emotional to spot the sarcasm?

          • felix 8.1.2.1.1

            If that’s sarcasm I fail to see the point of it.

            • The Voice of Reason 8.1.2.1.1.1

              The point of it is that demands from non-union members that the unions ‘do something’ is an insult to the workers that do actually pay money to determine what their union does or doesn’t do. It’s the same kind of stoopid that attributes a personality to The Standard.

              For the record; the CTU does not have members, it has affiliated unions. The membership of the individual unions themselves determine what they do or don’t do, according to their own constitutions, culture and, above all, strength. I’m not aware of any that have carried out illegal wildcat strikes in recent times, bar one, where the workers appeared to believe it was legal action but the Employment Court ruled otherwise.

              If readers here are supporters of unions, but not actually a member, you might like to know that most unions allow associate membership at a very low rate, so even if you are not employed on a unionised site, or alternatively occupied, you can still be a member.

  9. felix 9

    “I would expect most employers to give some sort of reason for terminating a trial. I haven’t seen any evidence that they are abusing the 90 trial system to any degree.”

    This is where Pete (are we still pretending he’s not tsmith…?) is trying to divert attention. There is NO REQUIREMENT for an explanation.

    This means that in giving no explanation you are, by definition, not abusing the system. In firing people with no explanation you are using the system in exactly the way National and ACT intended.

  10. south paw 10

    It would be cool if the 90 day trial system went both ways, if I didn’t like my new boss, but liked the job I could just replace her without an explanation. Not that I wouldn’t mind giving an explanation – you’re fired because you are incompetent and try to blame it on the people under you, you’re fired because you are a sleazy creep…

  11. Jum 11

    And I want all employers to be tested for drugs.

    • The Voice of Reason 11.1

      I did wonder if Air New Zealand applied their stringent drug detection policy to their most recently hired employee in the same way they do to the workers who clean the toilets. But then an internationally known star of stage and screen like Snoop Dogg would never fly high, eh?

  12. Mac1 12

    The ninety day rule applies to teachers, too, changing jobs. Who would want to shift work to another location for promotion or for more experience and have this 90 day trial as a given? This is a removal of basic security of tenure. Teachers are encouraged to get about to gain experience. It’s a retrograde step.

    A teacher mate said this morning. Why don’t we use the same tactic with students? Ninety day trial at school. If they don’t measure up to whatever arbitrary standard, then they are goneski, no reasons given, no need to justify the ‘release’.

    Just use the same standard as the government is using. Parents, what do you think? Employers who are parents also, what do you think? Employers who support the use of the 90 day measure and are also parents, what do you think?

  13. Well when you have a Prime Minister whose whole working life has been in the money markets where to be successful you must leave your morals at home.

    Money men can be as moral as they like in their private lives but making lots of money in a short space of time requires a total lack of morals and that is the only way he knows how to run NZ, cutting wages then telling you it is your lifestyle choice as to why you cannot afford increased power bills, increased food bills, increased travelling expenses, ect, ect.

    All your own fault for retaining any form of morals in your lifestyle, but remember John Keys favoured few expect you to make this country the kind of place they want to live in, stuff you, you are only there to keep the country working.

    • Jim Nald 13.1

      as he has said in Timaru:

      “you have to be dispassionate about those things”

  14. chris73 14

    You can aim for whatever you like but untill Labour stop shooting themselves in the foot it ain’t going to happen anytime soon (maybe 2014)

  15. seeker 15

    @ Chris73 4.15pm

    Surely there are enough decent minded people in New Zealand to see that a change of government is necessary if we don’t want to damage this fine country beyond repair. Three more years of these selfish, shortsighted, incompetent airheads will finish us- it will be akin to the disappearance of the Moa for the Maori- little left for us to survive upon. A change of government is a must- no more National/Act treachery or ignorance fullstop —

    (never mind Labours’ holey feet Chris 73, they’ve still got good legs!)

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  • Renewed partnership creates jobs for New Zealand youth
    The Government has signed a new memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Mayors Taskforce for Jobs, strengthening the partnership to get more young people into work.  The Mayors Taskforce for Jobs (MTFJ) is a nationwide network of all Mayors in New Zealand, who are committed to making sure all young ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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  • South Island areas prioritised in tourism fund
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  • New code sets clear expectations for learner safety and wellbeing in tertiary education
    A new code of practice for the pastoral care of domestic tertiary and international students will be in place from January next year, Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced today The code, which makes clear that creating an environment that supports learning and wellbeing is a shared responsibility between tertiary providers, ...
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  • First TAB New Zealand Board appointments announced
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  • Northland Maori Pathways initiative introduced
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  • Extended Essential Skills visas being rolled out
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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