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Together: union security for $1 week

Written By: - Date published: 12:01 pm, December 22nd, 2011 - 75 comments
Categories: workers' rights - Tags:

There’s a new union in town and who knows?  it might just prove to be the salvation of the union movement (so you can put money on  some hard-headed unionists opposing it for ideological reasons!)

The concept  of Together is simple; if you currently belong to a union and you’ve got family members who work in places where there’s no union, you can join them up for just $1 a week. It’s a great way to help the people close to you get support with employment agreements, holiday pay, sick leave, discrimination, sexual harassment, etc.

Or if you work for an employer where there is no union or you’re a contractor you can join yourself for $1 a week.  And lord knows there’s plenty of people who fit that description.  A massive 90% of all the people who work in the private sector aren’t covered by a union.

So yes, this is new way of doing things but I know for sure that if we, the union movement, keep doing exactly what we’ve been doing, then we will fail.  We will fail our children and our grandchildren because the union movement will be dead in a generation.

So I for one think this is a great idea. Which is just as well as I’m going to be doing a bit of work recruiting for Together over the next few months.

You can count on hearing from me or you can spare yourself some pain and sign up now or go on to Facebook and ‘like’ it in a little Christmas gesture of solidarity.

75 comments on “Together: union security for $1 week ”

  1. Conor 1

    I’m signing up today! Together is an important initiative that we should all support. Go Jen! xconor

  2. Uturn 2

    Excellent news. Thanks for this!

  3. felix 3

    burt & co decrying this as a scam to buy gold-plated limousines for union officials in 3..2..1…

    • Akldnut 3.1

      and lavish union lunches/dinners & drinkies – 3..2..1…

      • Colonial Viper 3.1.1

        I wonder if Westpac NZ’s CEO salary will break the $115,000 per week mark next year.

        I guess it all depends on how much capital Westpac can strip out of the NZ economy in the next 12 months.

      • Ari 3.1.2

        I’d count down to each of the ridiculously expensive functions attended by the National Party and their cronies, but frankly, nobody can count that fast for that long.

  4. Colonial Viper 4

    Sweet as.

  5. Send information to the Cambridge Branch NZLP Jennie .Sounds worth while.
    Have a niceXmas Jennie and would you give love to your mum from Cambridge..

  6. alex 6

    Hope this gets off the ground, a lot of people at my work are scared to join a union because as it is casual employment they are worried they will be rostered off if they do.

  7. Ari 7

    Sounds like a good organization, I might join when I’m back at work next year. 🙂

  8. james111 8

    Will the Union delegates be paid more than the workers? Shouldnt be other wise its another farce

  9. Cannot think of a clever name 9

    This needs to be a little more than a ‘2 for 1 sale’, which a $52 membership sounds like- without a solid benefit most will be suspicious and not take it up.

    I don’t think union membership has suffered because of price as if it provides sufficient benefits for the $ people would take up membership – people are smarter than they are given credit for.

    Unions are losing the comms message at the moment thus their membership issues.

  10. Peter Marshall 10

    You will get the same value as flushing the money down the toilet.

    • Colonial Viper 10.1

      Unions are needed to ensure that workers’ share of GDP as paid in salaries, wages and benefits, increases over time.

      • Peter Marshall 10.1.1

        Hope their productivity increases as well so we can all get wealthier.
        I would love to see more miners, oil rig workers, builders and skilled manufacturers in NZ, I have the chemicals these guys need, but the demand is low due to having too many lawyers, accountants, tourist bus drivers and middle managers who only arrange meetings.
        NZ needs to get working again, making things that people not only want but NEED.

        • Colonial Viper 10.1.1.1

          The main problem is the low performance of NZ business owners and wealth holders.

          Workers should not bother to work harder if the productivity they generate is not shared with them.

          By the way people don’t NEED much shit these days, and people are finding that out because they can’t afford it and suddenly realise that they are fine without.

          Word to the wise: look for a hard landing in China mid year 2012 and the follow through on Australia end 2012/early 2013.

        • The Voice of Reason 10.1.1.2

          “I would love to see more miners, oil rig workers, builders and skilled manufacturers in NZ …”
           
          All unionised industries Peter and the first two at particularly high density. What was your point again?

          • Peter Marshall 10.1.1.2.1

            I am not anti union but some still live in cloud cookoo land, like the wharfies in Auckland.
            I am looking at the big picture, not micro stuff like a single dispute, no matter how frivalous it is.
            I would rather have 10x more miners in NZ with 2% on strike than the amount we have now all working. More people on decent wages creating wealth, got to be good for NZ as a whole, rather than the current money go round which produces reports, not tangible things that we can trade.
            I work in the chemical industry, we would certainly do better if more manufacturing was in NZ.

            • McFlock 10.1.1.2.1.1

              I am not anti union

                
                Well then, I applaud your skills as an impressionist.

            • Colonial Viper 10.1.1.2.1.2

              I would rather have 10x more miners in NZ with 2% on strike than the amount we have now all working.

              Nope.

              Until workers or the state itself own the mines (we’ve nationalised all the coal mines before, due to shit private sector behaviour) its not worth going ahead because too much of the economic value generated will be lost overseas.

            • millsy 10.1.1.2.1.3

              Mr Marshall, I would applaud your post, but you have to spoil it with all the anti union BS.

        • mik e 10.1.1.3

          New Zealanders work some of the longest hours in the world maybe thats why we are to worn out to be innovative working harder doesn’t mean smarter.Research shows that

        • fmacskasy 10.1.1.4

          Hope their productivity increases as well so we can all get wealthier.

          Peter, the sugggestion that productivity has not kept pace with wages is a myth put about to discredit workers’ rights and unions.

          In fact, productivity has risen – but wages have not kept pace – as this brilliant illustration from the New York Times shows quite clearly; https://www.nytimes.com/imagepages/2011/09/04/opinion/04reich-graphic.html?ref=sunday

          In fact, since the late 1970s, productivity has outstripped wages. And the mantra “raise productivity first” has been spread like some cancerous lie.

          Look at the date on that graph; the late 1970s.

          And by “coincidence”, Reagan and Thatcher both took office at about that time. (1981 and 1979 respectively.)

        • Spratwax 10.1.1.5

          To Peter Marshall

          Don’t worry, even when productivity/profitability declines, CEO’s and executives gets massive pay rises and bonuses, so why pick on the little guy, he just loses his job (with no redundancy, unlike CEO/Execs who get a golden parachute) or is made to work harder for no pay increase.

          Get your head out of your arse.

    • mik e 10.2

      PM Balance that with fishing slavery farm worker slavery abuse of varying types in the work place 1840s style management.One of the main reasons kiwis are leaving is because of Neanderthal management in NZ most employees get better looked after across the ditch one of the main reasons they have stronger unions.

    • mik e 10.3

      PM Maybe they would be better investing in bridge corp, Hanover finance or SCF.

  11. Peter Marshall 11

    Maybe this guy needed the help of this union?
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/6180153/Worker-loses-job-over-faked-time-sheets
    Standing up for the lazy and dis-honest employees.

    • Colonial Viper 11.1

      Theft from a business, either by an employer (owner), a manager or an employee, shall not be tolerated.

      • McFlock 11.1.1

        Exactly.
          
        And any employment representative the guy went to – be it a union or lawyer from the yellow pages – given all the facts should have advised him to be relieved that the employer only fired him, rather than calling the police.

        • The Voice of Reason 11.1.1.1

          Dead right, McFlock. No mention of him being represented by a union in the article, but that doesn’t stop Peter Marshall jumping to conclusions. He was actually represented by an A Singh, presumably a lawyer or consultant looking for a cut if he won.

    • fmacskasy 11.2

      So what, Peter?

      Would you condemn the entire finance sector (what’s left of it) just because of several dozen finance companies that collapsed, owing investors billions?

    • millsy 11.3

      Might I point out that the large bulk of employee thefts have been from people in managerial and supervisory positions, and who have worked in small businesses that are unlikely to have union representation.

      I cannot imagine Steven Versalko or Susan Hagai being union members…

      • Colonial Viper 11.3.1

        And lets not even talk about the thefts by the likes of Mark Hotchin and other scumbags who walked away with tens of millions in personal benefits while destroying the lives and savings of so many people.

        PM is a little shite who focuses on the $10 shoplifter while the banks and finance companies drain our economy of hundreds of millions of working capital.

        • Jim Nald 11.3.1.1

          Plastic fantastic PM’s priority is on the $10 not the $10m scammers.

        • Rob 11.3.1.2

          Yep the whole finance company investement rollercoaster , really took off in a completely unregulated way right through Labours management. Stripped billions out of economy and has costed many hard working kiwi”s their retirement. When people study back in ten years, this will be the defining action of the Clarke Government.

          • Conditional 11.3.1.2.1

            Wasn’t it Bill English who re-signed Southern Canterbury Finance.

            • Rob 11.3.1.2.1.1

              Yes he did re-sign SCF, what is your point in regards to the boom of investment vehicles throughout the Clarke era?

              • RedLogix

                And if Dr Cullen had moved against these ‘boom investment vehicles’, the response from the business and banking sector, not to mention the National Party and media would have been…. rabid not?

                We only just got some perfectly innocuous legislation around the legal status of children and assault passed… can you imagine if Labour had started to ‘socially engineer’ the precious free market? Context is everything Rob.

                • Jilly Bee

                  +1 RedLogix

                  • Rob

                    Classic, so the excuse is that we did not do anything as we were afraid of what some people might think. This was a train wreck in slow motion and they did nothing.

                    • RedLogix

                      Straw man. All governments act within a certain range of what the wider community tolerates.

                      For instance National had to back down on it’s mining in National Parks when clearly they wanted to; or limit it’s privatisation of power company assets to 49% when they really believe in selling 100% of them. Just two examples that leap to mind.

                      Alternately I can think of a dozen other things the Labour government would have done if they had believed it was possible to achieve them…and I can assure you that unless you want to re-write history, stricter regulation of finance companies was at the time a complete non-starter.

                      All democratic, accountable government is in the final analysis a balance of what you believe desirable, and what you believe will get you re-elected.

                    • mik e

                      Rob the finance sector said they would self regulate and for the govt not to interfere in the free market as it was capable of looking after itself!
                      Investors paid the price .
                      They was ROBbed

  12. Brett 12

    Are they politically neutral?

    • McFlock 12.1

      Are unions politically neutral? If their members want them to be.
       
      Are employers politically neutral? Some of them are, some of them aren’t. And the employees get no say in that.

      • Brett 12.1.1

        I never realised union members decided which way a union would politically swing.
        Is there a box you tick when you sign up?
         

        • Colonial Viper 12.1.1.1

          Unions politically swing to whatever political party will support improved workers’ rights and working terms and conditions.

          This is not a partisan issue. National start doing just that and they will win union backing.

        • McFlock 12.1.1.2

          Lol.
            
          Yup – it’s called the sign-up form. And if you want to change the political direction of the union, you do it democratically with the other members at “meetings” and with “votes”. Of course, if from the get-go you would prefer a less politically-active union, or one that supports anti-union legislation, you’d join those unions.

          • fmacskasy 12.1.1.2.1

            Yup – it’s called the sign-up form. And if you want to change the political direction of the union, you do it democratically with the other members at “meetings” and with “votes”. Of course, if from the get-go you would prefer a less politically-active union, or one that supports anti-union legislation, you’d join those unions.

            Good lord, McFlock! That sounds perilously close to that subversive system known as… democracy!!!

            Damn it all, man! Next thing you know, they’ll be giving women the vote! And taking away a child’s right to climb up chimneys to clean them!

            Commie-nizm!!

        • fmacskasy 12.1.1.3

          Brett… isn’t it funny… Some folk criticise a Union if they support Labour.

          Is it any different to employer groups supporting National?

          • Ari 12.1.1.3.1

            Sure, employer groups are oligarchic, not democratic, hence Brett’s confusion about members determining the political direction of a union. 😉

    • Colonial Viper 12.2

      Is the socialist and co-operative Business Roundtable politically neutral?

      • Tom Gould 12.2.1

        Didn’t the Auckland Chamber of Commerce head Michael Barnett say on radio the other day that ‘unionised worker’ is an oxymoron? He has always been a snivelling little Tory bureaucrat, but did I him correctly?

    • millsy 12.3

      Dont like unions, dont join one. Simple really.

      • Rob 12.3.1

        Yep and a lot of people havn’t.

        • McFlock 12.3.1.1

          And a lot of people have.
            
          And joining rates tend to increase when employers have poor people skills. Funny that.

          • Rob 12.3.1.1.1

            Probably, however we do know that union rates decline when membership is voluntary, funny that.

            • McFlock 12.3.1.1.1.1

              Until they need it. Funny, that.
               

              • Rob

                Obviously no requirement currently.

                • McFlock

                  I dunno – one workplace I am familiar with this year had some personality issues. After one incident, a mate of mine stomped off to the union office to join. The rep took one look at his shirt logo, handed him the enrolment form and said “you’re the third one from there today”.
                    
                  Incompetent bosses are still the union’s best recruiting agent 🙂

                   
                  But I find your comments interesting – if 30% of all employed people bought any commercial product on a weekly basis, it would be regarded as a pretty good industry to be in. And why are you bringing up compulsory membership? It hasn’t been that way in 20 years.

                  • Rob

                    I agree with you, the union business is probably a very good business to be in.

                    • McFlock

                      I never said that – in fact I believe unions tend to operate as not-for-profit entities.
                          
                      And you seem to have reversed your original point that unions are somehow not very popular because their voluntary paid membership is in the region of 30% of the workforce. If any industry, or for that matter political party membership, achieved that level of financial and membership support they would be well chuffed.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Not as good as banking.

                    • mik e

                      or being ROBbed blind by free market finance company
                      a Fishing company that doesn’t pay its workers at all.
                      Farmers who expect their staff to work for up to 2x the hours they are paid.
                      Continual y being mucked around on pay dates I have not been paid holiday pay or for the past fortnight.I have had to ring my employer at my expense this evening 24th Dec to try and get some pay.
                      My sons employer mucks his pay around.
                      He’s off to Australia soon as possible.

          • Jilly Bee 12.3.1.1.2

            And those who don’t join a union and be part of a collective still want the conditions the collective agreement has been negotiated and agreed to. There are several people in the sector my union covers suddenly come running to us, looking to what we can do for them when they find themselves in considerable employment strife, but didn’t bother to join up beforehand! They belatedly join up but sadly cannot access the total benefits our union can offer our long standing members.

            • mik e 12.3.1.1.2.1

              Some unions are stronger than others.On the pay mucking around I asked a lot of my friends and surprisingly the majority had the same story, their holiday or regular pay hadn’t been paid into their accounts.Now they will have to wait till Thursday the 28th to try and get it sorted.

            • the pink postman 12.3.1.1.2.2

              Which is a sound argument for compulsory unionism is it not?
              All voluntary unionism does is allow unscrupulous employers to discourage union membership ,plus it allows the bludgers free access to the benefits of unionism.

  13. Ten Miles Over 13

    Could my friend resign her EPMU membership and switch to Together?

  14. jeremy 14

    The services covered are vague from what I’ve heard, I’d like to hear about it when someone gets covered by “together”and what they get in real terms. For unions to be successful they would have to return to no compromise stand which takes a different type of union and gov agreements. Hard work ahead for the real union people who are the people on the job not some guy in a union office. Last time I was in a union I was a full member and the union might as well have been working for the employer because they just helped get rid on me and my legitimate concerns.

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