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Unions launch name and shame

Written By: - Date published: 7:09 am, August 13th, 2010 - 135 comments
Categories: business, class war, jobs, john key, Unions - Tags: , , ,

Well, John Key challenged the unions to “bring ’em on” “put up or shut up”. So they’re going to put up. Ooops! In the news last night (or video version):

Unions begin ‘name and shame’ campaign

A former pharmacy employee [Heather Smith] who said she lost her job as a direct result of the 90-day-trial employment law, is now appearing in an online campaign to push the unions’ cause. …

Smith’s is one of several stories of heartache and misery being rolled out in the aggressive campaign against the government’s new 90-day work trial scheme.

Currently the scheme is open only to businesses with fewer than 20 staff, but this week the government confirmed that the 90-day probation period would be extended to all companies.

Unions have been vocal about criticising the law, leading Prime Minister John Key to call on them to either “put up or shut up”. Now they are answering that challenge, by naming and shaming businesses that they say use the probation period to get rid of workers.

Council of Trade Unions president Helen Kelly said businesses that had a problem with the campaign should raise it at the highest level. “The Prime Minister said ‘name and shame’ and if any employers have got a problem with what we’re doing, they can talk to him about that.”

However Key said the unions “have their own beef,” and that for the “one or two people they might showcase, there are hundreds of New Zealanders currently in work, as a result of the policy.”

Key has miscalculated badly. It will be more than “one or two people”. If the CTU is on the ball (and it looks like they are!) it will be a steady stream of heartbreaking stories, all the way to the next election. And personal stories, from people just like us, have a way of reaching out to public opinion much more effectively than dry discussions of policy or statistics. This is an excellent move from the CTU – bravo! Put human faces on the Tory attack on workers.

Here’s Heather Smith telling her story…

135 comments on “Unions launch name and shame”

  1. ghostwhowalksnz 1

    In my area of work I now see people who work for nothing , that others in a similar position were paid 3 years ago.

    • Tiger Mountain 1.1

      Yes, there is a new unpaid sector developing-“internships’ in particular. Sounds glam but just another form of exploitation. Good on the CTU, this approach worked well for the ACTU in Aussie.

    • loota 1.2

      Now not unusual for new commerce grads to do an ‘internship’ for a company i.e. working for the company for free for 2 or 3 months in exchange for ‘training’ and ‘experience’. These new grads know if they don’t accept donating their time and effort to the company for nothing, there a dozen other young warm bodies ready to jump at the chance to be exploited*.

      Take notice everyone, this is the dream NZ job market that Bill and John have in mind for your children and your grandchildren.

      *Of course our young graduates with the most promise, talent and initiative will have pissed off to Australia long before swallowing this shite

      • Bunji 1.2.1

        the bbc’s just done a piece about the rise of internships. A new way of protecting the best jobs for those from privileged backgrounds apparently.

        • Herodotus 1.2.1.1

          There was something on this on either Ch7 or one of the 7:00 midweek TV1 or 3 about a month ago. With the advertising “industry” justifying this approach. What got me was that this has been standard withi the industry for many many years preceeding both the Nats 08 and Lab 99 versions. Sorry can not find a link. But the advert guy was very compelling in the reasons why it works in his industry.

        • Jacqui 1.2.1.2

          The British television industry is full of Trustafarians, the silver-spoon offspring who work for peanuts as all their living costs are being taken care of by Daddy. More and more industries are becoming elitist as the pay is too low or non-existent for ordinary people to survive on.

      • prism 1.2.2

        Yes loota and don’t some employers get their pound of flesh (without paying much or nothing for it). Being put on projects with a time limit that results in them working far longer hours into the night. Lawyer firms of the big, fat, rich kind who can offer prime experience serving the top paying end of the market exploit this, offering them to the best graduates who will probably then get a good leg-up in their field of employment.

        Don’t know about other sectors, but they have internships in the USA so I imagine they have perfected the screw-them-down procedure there that other fat cats can then copy, saying “they do it in the USA the greatest, richest country in the world” so we’ll do it too. (I don’t vouch for the truth of the preceding adjectives).

    • Joshua 1.3

      When companies are not bringing in as much money they are not able to pay as much, if they are unable to get paid more elsewhere then it is probably market rate. Might be unfortunate however is the consequences of the recession.

      Some employers may take advantage of it, however if it industry wide, then that is unfortunately what they are worth.

  2. Green Tea 2

    Why is the CTU so afraid of industrial action?

    • Tiger Mountain 2.1

      The NZCTU is an organisation composed of affiliated unions, only filthy dirty tories would usually try and attribute emotions “afraid’ to such an entity.

    • Pete 2.2

      Industrial action is generally only legal during collective bargaining or if it’s over a health and safety issue. There can’t be a general strike, and as the “optional” provision isn’t in law yet for big workplaces, it can’t be bargained over in negotiating a collective agreement.

      So the CTU is campaigning and exercising its democratic voice, but it can’t do anything beyond that.

    • bbfloyd 2.3

      g.t.. that’s the silliest thing i’ve seen today. you’ve successfully made a fool of yourself.

  3. jcuknz 3

    In a world seemingly dominated by the media it is great that the CTU is actively naming and shaming the abusers of what is a great idea for getting the unskilled into work. But taking industrial action is plain stupid and gets one nowhere and at great expense to the worker for the miserable increases sometimes gained. So often it seems like an ego struggle between union organiser and employer with the worker paying the cost.

    • KJT 3.1

      Without industrial action we simply have to take whatever the employer offers.
      Now that strikes are effectively illegal employers are simply lowering wages.
      There is not even the power of withdrawing labour which other countries have.
      Employers can still legally band together to lower wages, but Unions are no longer allowed to do the same to ask for reasonable shares in income..

      Without industrial action labour has no power whatsoever.

    • bbfloyd 3.2

      jcuknz.. as the ctu leadership are intelligent,experienced individuals, they would understand the difference between appropriate and inappropriate responses. at this point industrial action in the form of strikes, go slows, work to rule etc would be overreacting. (for now).
      “great idea”? you really need to have another think on that. out here in the real world, employers don’t hire new workers unless there is work for them to do. economic, i.e. more cost efficient to hire more staff rather than pay overtime to existing staff. this law does not create a single job that wasn’t there already. it simply gives employers excessive rights to misuse people who are already vulnerable.
      “ego struggle”. a classic case of transference going on there. for years now, i have watched the conservatives using that old ploy of”yea but they do it too” line. it was crap then, and it,s crap now.

      • jcuknz 3.2.1

        Since I have not been in the workforce for two decades now I can only go from memories of when I went on strike .. simple little one day pantomines to give the bosses an excuse to agree to what negotiations had arrived at. I guess I worked in a ‘nice’ world back then.
        And what I get from the media these days. . The results from the small difference between what is asked and what is offered and finally given doesn’t seem to be worth the serious loss of wages during a strike perhaps lasting several weeks? I’m sure most of the CTU are clued up but I wonder at some union organisers, the Auckland bus carry on is an example which comes to mind.

      • Ryan 3.2.2

        As the CTU was amalgamated back in the day with the likes of the bankers union, the realism the union had in understanding grass roots problems vanished with the threat of losing affiliate fees, and having the votes on the board lost to “careerism” that backs the capatilist game. The trade union is now merely a paid lobbyist, not a union.

  4. jcuknz 4

    Don’t know if it is my computer playing up again but there seem to be quite a few ‘plug-ins’ missing this morning here.

    [lprent: Which ones? I’m not seeing anything particularly different apart from an issue to do with old facebook links (a weekend job to fix) ]

    • jcuknz 4.1

      Hi Lprent …. this one is blank below “Here’s Heather Smith telling her story” until I see “Share this article”. I’m using Safari as you know to access this site. Also Bunji’s Inequality story .. All elsewhere I’m getting the full page.

      • lprent 4.1.1

        The Heather Smith one is because you don’t have the plugin for the video that is in that hole. Try clicking (or right clicking) in the blank area. If nothing then head to http://www.adobe.com, download and install the flash plugin from inside the safari browser.

        Disclaimer: I don’t use safari much (doesn’t run on linux) so I’m not a 100% sure on that procedure.

        • jcuknz 4.1.1.1

          Now I know what I’m missing I won’t bother since video downloads so slow I ignore it 🙂

  5. Gosman 5

    I loved the moment on TV this morning when Ms Kelly was asked if it would be okay if Employers retaliated with publicising examples of poor employee performance. She ummmed and arrrred beautifully for a long time before coming out in the negative. It seems it is okay for Unions to do this but not for anyone else.

    • felix 5.1

      You’re pretending that employers and workers are equal, Gos. They’re not.

      • Gosman 5.1.1

        I’m not pretending anything here felix.

        Unions should not have more rights than other groups in society.

        Do you disagree, if so why?

        • felix 5.1.1.1

          That’s a different question.

          If you think you can get employers to publicly name and shame, um, whoever it is that you’re pissed off with (no idea who that is btw) for some reason (and I’ve got no idea why you would) then go to it.

          I don’t think you’ll get anyone interested though because it’s a retarded idea.

          Any more boring hypotheticals you’d like me to ignore?

        • KJT 5.1.1.2

          A few Unions abused monopoly power. = ECA. Rights to withdraw labour removed.
          Fonterra, supermarkets, power companies, ports, banks etc etc form cartels or abuse monopoly power to rip us all off = What??

          Not to mention a whole generation of so called managers who have no idea of how to build a profitable company by customer service, employing skilled staff and doing things better. All they know is cost cutting.

        • Kerry 5.1.1.3

          What you are suggesting Gosman is called blacklisting and I think it’s something even the Nats would find distasteful.

          • Gosman 5.1.1.3.1

            How is this different to what the Unions are doing to individual employers?

            • Puddleglum 5.1.1.3.1.1

              An ’employer’ is a legal entity, usually a company (e.g, Fisher and Paykel, Joe’s Plumbing Ltd., etc.). It is an individual only in a technical sense. Individual employees are actual individuals – people.

              Naming and shaming a legal entity, permitted by law to be constructed for the purpose of carrying out business, is to shame that entity and its hiring and firing practices. It is not the equivalent of naming and shaming an individual.

            • Puddleglum 5.1.1.3.1.2

              Also, I can name the employee (Heather Smith). Now, given that you seem to think there’s some equivalence here, name the individual person (’employer’) the CTU is supposedly naming and shaming in the video.

              That’s right, you can’t. Because they don’t. They name and shame a company (an employer). It’s different – i.e., it’s not equivalent. Companies can do many things but they can’t feel shame, get depressed or worse. People can.

              And, yes, I know that actual people own companies and operate them and might feel upset if their company is named and shamed and an enterprising journalist could track them down (like on Fair Go). But the CTU isn’t naming them or directly identifying them in any way.

              • Joshua

                People’s live are attached to the companies, and there reputations are also attached. The industry knows who owns what and who does what, so yes you are really attacking the person not the identity.

                Also that still doesn’t answer the question,

                Why are Unions allowed and not Companies, I think that is a valid point and no real answer has been given.

        • marsman 5.1.1.4

          Tell that to the Business Round Table. That too is a Union,with FAR too much power in this country.

        • prism 5.1.1.5

          Gosman you are so reliable in your comments. I always know that I am going to read right-wing tosh from you. It is convenient to just quote from a RWNJ manual – you just make a statement of ideology and then request the opposite opinion to justify theirs. If you were a racehorse, with those blinkers nothing would distract you from getting first to the finishing line. But human life involves more thinking and is more complex than the life of a Gee-Gee.

        • Ron 5.1.1.6

          “Other groups in Society”??
          Oh – you mean employers and/or non-unionised employees and/or children and/or adults not in the workforce? I can’t think of any other “groups” that would be applicable.
          So, tell me – What “rights” have unions got that those other groups don’t have?

        • bbfloyd 5.1.1.7

          gos.. yes you are. you’re pretending to have a brain… if you havn’t the wit or subtlety of thought to understand the difference between real issues and heavy handed political game playing then i suggest you eat more fish. it’s good brain food.

          • Joshua 5.1.1.7.1

            so anyone who disagrees, and gives their opinions which are logical is brainless?

            Yet the people who are unable to justify their points are?

    • ghostwhowalksnz 5.2

      The difference is the Unions are showing people who are sacked for no apparent reason ( as allowed under the 90day law). And you say this is the same as employees who are poor performers ?.

      • Joshua 5.2.1

        Yes,

        Not all employees act in a lawful and acceptable manner, you are not even allowed to name and shame employees who are selling drugs at work. Companies should have the right to know how employees behave, and the employees should have the right to know the employers ethics etc.

    • pollywog 5.3

      I loved the moment on TV this morning when Ms Kelly was asked if it would be okay if Employers retaliated with publicising examples of poor employee performance.

      Isn’t that what Basher Bennett did in releasing details of those women on benefits who dared question her wisdom ?

      …don’t think thats gonna pan out to well for her so it might not for other employers.

      watch this space…

      • Gosman 5.3.1

        So it’s okay for Unions to smear individual employers but not for other people to smear individual employees? Hmmmm…. smacks of a little double standards here donchathink ?

      • bbfloyd 5.3.2

        pollywog… that’s even worse than gossies rant. apart from providing me with a few seconds of amusement, you really are wasting peoples time with this rubbish. i’m sure there will be others who will take the time to explain to you the obvious flaws in your logic. i can’t be bothered dumbing it down enough.

        • pollywog 5.3.2.1

          meh wateva…in the time it took for you to insult me, you could have shared an insight, but hey, i guess you have more important things to do than chat breeze online…oh hang on…

          • bbfloyd 5.3.2.1.1

            polly..nice try… if an idea or a comprehensive analysis to have any meaning then it would require more space than i’m prepared to devote here. especially as it would be wasted effort.

            • pollywog 5.3.2.1.1.1

              you may as well pack your shit up and fuck off then ya smarmy prick…

              …NEXXXT

              • bbfloyd

                thanks polly.. you have confirmed my suspicions about you.. now if you have anything worthwhile to add… to the debate that is… no…..

                • pollywog

                  hahaha… my pleasure you funny fulla. you aint debating shit nor adding any worthwhile input.

                  you’re just wandering round the site trolling people with petty insults and when i ask you to make a salient point or explain yourself, you act like it’s beneath you, would be a wasted effort and requires more space than you’re prepared to devote…

                  …so once again, pack your shit up and fuck off with your confirmed suspicions ya waster cos you’ve only gone and done it again. pissed away line space trolling me for a response and straying off topic.

                  basically, if you’ve got something of value to add then put up or shut up, but i suspect you’re one of those say nothing and let people think you’re a fool or open your mouth and confirm it types eh ?

                  just look at your responses in this thread and tell me it ain’t so…

    • Fisiani 5.4

      Its also ok for unions to edit the video just as she was starting to explain why she was let go. Also no right of reply for the maligned employer.

      • lprent 5.4.1

        Basically you’re trying for a bullshit diversion. Or do you think that the employer is incapable of handling a camera?

        The net is a very democratic institution. The employers can publish their own video and publish it.

        • Fisiani 5.4.1.1

          So this is the start of a trade union political propaganda unit where only one side of the story is ever told and then carefully edited to suit the charade that employers are evil. This is not the pursuit of truth. This is not balanced. It merely states that she was let go. It never seeks to answer the obvious question of why she was let go to seek alternative employment for that does not suit the socialist narrative.

          • loota 5.4.1.1.1

            Let Bill and John reap the coming rewards of their treachery against the CTU.

          • Armchair Critic 5.4.1.1.2

            It never seeks to answer the obvious question of why she was let go to seek alternative employment for that does not suit the socialist narrative.
            That whole thing about not having to give a reason turns out to be a bit of a double edged sword. How sad.

          • r0b 5.4.1.1.3

            Wassamatter Fisiani? Is this sort of political propaganda more to your taste?

          • bbfloyd 5.4.1.1.4

            fis… that statement was as half witted as i’ve heard today. considering how many comments you’ve put on today that is saying somethimg.
            don’t you understand that utterly bigoted party political drivel is no substitute for real discussion.? i will assume you choose to ignore that, rather than attribute ignorance and bigotry.

            • Fisiani 5.4.1.1.4.1

              utterly bigoted party political drivel is exactly what I was complaining about. Thanks for confirming it.

              • bbfloyd

                fis.. you really have to learn to take a breath before you jump… citing other peoples words and attributing them to yourself is actually dishonest.
                you can safely assume that people do understand basic concepts, on this blog anyway. your behavior at this point discredits you.

                • Joshua

                  Honestly bbfloyd do you get off coming on here just to criticizes people and not offer anything of your own? Correct me if I’m wrong but I haven’t seen you offer anything apart from saying your ignorant with nothing to back yourself up.

          • Cnr Joe (withasparemoment) 5.4.1.1.5

            Fizzy – ‘she was let go to seek alternative employment’

            phukken classic

        • Joshua 5.4.1.2

          Yes in a way,

          However it’s not much of a story if they edit it to suit there needs as Fisiani has mentioned, so please adress this point.

          Also the employers could do the same if they had the time or effort to spare I guess, however the Unions should really make the effort to validate their point, otherwise it can easily be brushed off as a one sided view point. I am all for “Name and Shame” but it must be done properly, both points of view should be shown and it must work both ways. Another way to put it, it should be democratic.

      • bbfloyd 5.4.2

        fisiani… assume.. broken down into syllables it make an “ass of u and me”. you make assumptions like a pro

  6. felix 6

    You mean this affects actual people? Well that rather throws a spanner in the works eh wot?

    Imagine that. Firing someone who had just moved house to be closer to work.

    Good to see the unions fronting this and NOT the Labour Party for a change. Looks like they’re learning (the party, I mean).

    • burt 6.1

      Some of us forget that it’s not the 1800’s and a job is not something you have a god given right to stay in for life anymore. Thanks for the reminder about how unfair it is that people can be fired even after they have made personal decisions that have dire consequences if they loose their job. Shit it’s a rough world when the personal priorities of the employee are not first and foremost in the decision making of the employer. Hell no wonder we need unions, who else will remind us that we are victims when things don’t turn out the way we wanted them to.

      • felix 6.1.1

        But burt, no-one is saying that employers shouldn’t be able to fire employees.

        And no-one is saying that employers shouldn’t be able to make people redundant.

        Who are you arguing with exactly?

  7. Gosman 7

    Just need some employer groups to do the same sort of thing.

    Should be great to see the mud slinging go back and forth.

    ‘Look – a good employee sacked’

    ‘But look at this bad employee we couldn’t sack’

    How about this good employee that was unjustifiably dismissed?’

    ‘What about this employee that we had to pay off because of the costs involved in getting rid of them?’

    It’s going to be so much fun.

  8. Brett 9

    A question.
    If I brought a business and it employed 5 people but decided I only wanted to employ 4,
    how to you go about getting rid of one employee?.

    Can you not say sorry xxxxx I only wish to have 4 staff you no longer have a job?
    (let’s pretend they get some redundancy, so I am not accused of being an evil Tory bastard)

    • KJT 9.1

      You make them redundant. Perfectly OK under existing law.
      The requirement is only that you be fair and open as to which of the 5 you make redundant.
      There is no requirement for redundancy pay apart from a normal notice period unless it is in the contract.

      • Brett 9.1.1

        So the woman in the video who supposedly lost her job because of the 90 day law could have easily just been told that she no longer had a job regardless of the 90 day law.
        That is correct?
        The requirement to be fair and open is a bit of a tricky one as how you define fair and open. The person getting the boot would always consider it unfair.

        • KJT 9.1.1.1

          Yes. So why do you need the 90 day law unless you want to shaft your employees.

        • Lanthanide 9.1.1.2

          I haven’t watched the video, but I am guessing she was fired after the company was bought out?

          When making redundancies, you have to follow a proper process that includes notification of changes, allows for suggestions from the staff, with a time period for consideration etc. If the process isn’t followed, the company can face unlawful dismissal claims.

          With the 90 day fire-at-will law, you can just sack someone without any process and without them having any right of reply at all.

          That is what is at stake.

          • Craig Glen Eden 9.1.1.2.1

            Thats it Lanth the employer has been lazy and used a process that it shouldn’t have, they should have used redundancy process.
            As a employer I think naming poor performing employees is a stupid idea not to mention a breach of privacy. If you have a poor performer ( employee) you need to manage them, thats what the employer is legally entitled to do, thats why you have job descriptions. A employer can and should give lawful instructions and manage performance .Many however are lazy they don’t join say the EMA or take advice on how to have those hard conversations with employees, they avoid it until it develops into a major issues. I have no problem with businesses being named and shamed because this law (90 day) is unfair.
            While their will always be differences of opinions and disputes in the work place these need to be resolved with fair processes being followed. If the manager/ employer is not sure how to handle or manage people they need to get advice.If more employers took advice from say the EMA and more employees took advice from the UNIONS the work place would probably function a whole lot better.I also think that the Unions should name employers that they think are good employers say once a year, it would certainly drive my purchasing habits.Some businesses are outstanding employers and they deserve to be praised.
            Unions should do what they can to keep the good ones in business and get rid of the bad ones. As I have finished typing this I have just had a guy knock on my door looking for a job quote ” to do anything”. Its not easy out there thats for sure.

          • jcuknz 9.1.1.2.2

            Yes but once you have proved your worth to the employer and been there more than 90 days the other rules apply and you are a bit safer to assume there is some security for you and plan accordingly. It is a bit silly to make commitments during those 90 days but people are like that and then they moan when it doesn’t work out for them..

            • Lanthanide 9.1.1.2.2.1

              Or how about I just sell my company from one owner to another, force everyone to re-apply for their jobs and keep them on continual 90-day positions so I can fire them whenever I want?

              Sure, ridiculous, and I don’t think many people would stick around in such a company for long. But there’s nothing in National’s proposed laws to stop anyone doing that.

              • infused

                That would be one mind fuck to actually do that. I don’t think any sane person would go to such lengths

                • Luxated

                  Perhaps not. But laws are there to prevent people doing things that most sane people wouldn’t contemplate

        • Ron 9.1.1.3

          God there is SO much drivel around this.
          It is not at all hard to define “fair and open”. This cae is simple.
          She was basically madfe redundant and had to reapply. She reapplied and was put on a 90 day trial AND told “don’t wory about it it’s in everyone’s contract”. Ten she was laid off and not told why.
          Yes it could have been that she wasn’t re-employed. But she was. She was legally fired. It was not fair.

          And – Gos – ‘But look at this bad employee we couldn’t sack’
          It is unbelievably easy for employers to set up an employment and appraisal system that includes warnings and dismisal processes.
          Use the system and PG’s are very unlikely. Don’t use it and even if the employer wins the case it’ll cost them.

          The reality is the employers want it easier. they want to hire and fire at will. thoseof us interested in workers’ rights think that is not a good idea.

          • tea 9.1.1.3.1

            That main thing about it is the bad faith- like the sick day proposals- the employers were able to request a med certificate before when there were reasonable grounds for requirign one. Now they are legislated to request one in unreasonable circumstances…so instead of a day off you have to get up and drag yourself in to the doc and pay a fee to have a day in bed recouperating…

        • Joshua 9.1.1.4

          Not quite,

          There would be a process that needed to be followed,

          First she would of had to be given the required noticed.

          Now given that she has made a video she would of most likely been the type to take you to the small claims court, where you would of had to take time out of you busy schedule, with all the paper work to prove you had to let her go. You would also need to give paper evidence why she was the one let go and not one of the others. Which if anybody has been through such process know takes time which would be better spent getting work for the rest of your employees. I am only assuming this is the type of person who would do this. But it is a possible scenario.

          There are actually a few possible scenario’s some worst than others, however the law mitigates some of the risk of employing people, which commentator’s on this site are unable to grasp. It also give some people who would of never had the opportunity to have a chance at the job, over someone apparently more qualified, which to me makes it more fair of a environment, I get the feeling however that this site is here to take down everything National Proposes, not to evaluate the policies on the merit, so logic does seem to wander out the door from some commentators.

          • The Voice of Reason 9.1.1.4.1

            The small claims court? You binge post on the subject of employment law and you don’t even know where personal grievances are heard? What a fucken wally.

            • Armchair Critic 9.1.1.4.1.1

              Pretty much on the button, TVOR.
              If you can lower yourself to visiting his blog, you will find that he can’t even spell the word “Infrastructure”. Yes, it’s missing the “s”. And it’s in the banner, FFS.
              Initially I wondered if he was joking, but I have the horrible feeling he is serious. Credibility = 0.

            • loota 9.1.1.4.1.2

              Presume Joshua is some young NAT hack given a bunch of talking points she/he doesn’t understand and paid to put them on the web

    • burt 9.2

      Shut down the business and give up and go on the dole. Vote Labour and donate to the union. That’s all you need to do because the rest is folly.

  9. Jum 10

    Great Stuff unions. I’ll be checking out my area for stories. I hope every district, town, village, neighbourhood does the same. Network, network, network. People People People.

    More stories too please of instances where unions saved their members and yet workers without union support in the same firm got shafted.

  10. roger nome 11

    Gos – you’re a star. Don’t ever quit. You’re making a big difference for the trust funds of the wealthy few. You’re work is invaluable! keep it up!

  11. roger nome 12

    Shouldn’t you be working at improving the value of your business Burt, not making reductio ad absurdum statements on the internet?

  12. Disengaged 13

    I hope the unions keep this up.

    Generally I am in favour of the 90 Day Probation idea, but I understand that there will be a few asshat employers who will try and screw employees using the law. This way good employers who use the law fairly should have nothing to fear and the asshat employers can be held to account by the unions.

    However, the unions need to be careful and ensure that the cases that they put forward truly are worth naming and shaming, because ultimately it’s the union’s creditability on the line. Picking the wrong cases could actually work against their cause.

    • bbfloyd 13.1

      disengaged.. considering the way our msm treats issues like this you”ve hit the nail on the head there.

    • Fisiani 13.2

      80% of people who got a job under the 90 day right to prove yourself rules were kept on.
      Only 20% were let go. A very low number.
      One or two dismissals might have been questionable. So it works out well for 98%. The 80% who keep a job and the 18% who realise that they dont fit that firm and have the opportunity to apply somewhere else.

      • Mac1 13.2.1

        Fizzy, these are people who are fired without being told why- not numbers.

        People fired so that some ratbag or lazy employers who can’t be bothered following the procedures already available can get rid of those they don’t like or want. This is very open to abuse.

        Remember, people, not numbers.

        “He aha te mea nunui i te ao? He tangata. He tangata. He tangata.”

        • Carol 13.2.1.1

          Yes, Mac1, every person who is unfairly dismissed with no explanations is unacceptable. And yet Mr Key says it’s acceptable that the union will only find a small number of such people. He says it’s acceptable because a much bigger number of people got permanent employment because of the 90 day rule. I heard him say that on National Radio this evening. As I recall, that 80% number was the one Key used.

          I wonder how the people who got sacked with no explanation feel about being an acceptable sacrifice so others can get permanent work?

          • Joshua 13.2.1.1.1

            Carol – you heard wrong, Key effectively told the Unions to Name and Shame because if it was unfair then they should be, I just thought the Unions would do it more respectably, and give the employer’s opinion so the argument would be valid. At the moment the unions view is very one sided, and the fact they edited the videos doesn’t give them much respect in the public’s view. People are not stupid, they are going to think, well what about the other side of the story.

        • Joshua 13.2.1.2

          The numbers show the law is working, yes there will be the odd case which is what key has said, but for the odd case hundreds will get the employment otherwise they wouldn’t have. So these numbers back key up which this article was trying to dismiss.

          John Key supported this and so did you, so why banter him for something you both want?

          • Ron 13.2.1.2.1

            “the odd case”
            20% of people employed with the 90 day trial in their contract were fired.
            20% is an “horrendous figure” when applied (wrongly, btw) to the success of our kids at school but apparently is just the “odd case” when it comes to wokers rights.

      • Lanthanide 13.2.2

        Provide sources for every number cited in your comment, or we will all presume you’ve simply made them up. As you likely have.

      • felix 13.2.3

        “90 day right to prove yourself rules”

        Oh that’s beautiful. Was there a time when employees didn’t have the right to prove themselves?

        (p.s. you’ll need to be able to prove whatever guff you respond with so think carefully)

        • Fisiani 13.2.3.1

          YES a day before the 90 day right to prove yourself if you were disadvantaged or otherwise thought of as a risky employee. Back in the bad days such people found it hard to get jobs/ Now it is much easier

          • felix 13.2.3.1.1

            And that’s exactly what I meant when I said you would have to prove whatever guff you came up with.

            Prove it. Find a verifiable statistic showing that more “risky employees” and disadvantaged people are getting jobs now than before the introduction of the fire at will law.

            Prove it or STFU.

            • Joshua 13.2.3.1.1.1

              Ok now you prove that employees had to prove themselves, provide a link.

              • loota

                Time to have a 90 day ‘right to walk’ rule, any new employee can walk off the job with no explanation and no notice, if he/she believes that their employer has proven themselves full of it.

      • bbfloyd 13.2.4

        hahaha… fisi’s got his info from the same guy that supplies john key. more accurate than statistics nz!

      • Armchair Critic 13.2.5

        Hey Fisi, I have a Metallica album for you – it’s called “…and Justice for Most”.

        • Descendant Of Smith 13.2.5.1

          One of the things that the right portrays frequently is that unions have no interest in poor performing staff being dismissed.

          This does quite a dis-service to unions, their officials and their members.

          As a delegate of 10 years I was involved in the dismissal of quite a few staff who certainly deserved to go. In fact I probably was involved in dismissing more as a delegate than I have over a longer period of time as a manager.

          As a delegate I had to protect the interests of all members – not just the one under threat of dismissal. It was definitely not in the other members interests to be picking up the slack or the extra work created by a non-performing staff member.

          What was ensured was that the process was fair, the staff member knew clearly what was expected of them, knew where they were not performing, had had an opportunity to be trained in the skills and knowledge needed and had the chance to correct their performance.

          In short that a fair process was followed.

          In other cases where there were serious breaches of behaviour or trust e.g. theft again it was to ensure that the investigation was carried out properly, the staff member had a chance to explain and put their case before being dismissed.

          These are good sound practices that protect both the employer and the employee.

          It’s not that difficult.

      • Fabregas4 13.2.6

        Anne Tolley is always saying how 1 in 5 children are failing – this is her excuse for the fundamentally flawed National Standards – this means 80% are doing ok and only 20% (in your words a very low number) are not – is it still a low number Fis?

    • Joshua 13.3

      Also we need to give the opportunity for the employer to have their say, otherwise totally agreed

  13. everything in this country is 1 in 5! Is this because 20% of the country lives below the poverty line?

    • Luxated 14.1

      I’d say it was because Nat MPs would need take their hands out of their pockets to do more advanced fractions.

  14. RedBack 15

    @Fisiani …”The right to prove themselves”…. WTF??? Isn’t that called the job interview? Why should some poor newly employed sod have to bear the brunt of some inept managers bad recruitment decision? Plus looking at your rather repititive posts you seem to be missing the whole point of this. I will probably be the umpteenth person saying this but there is already adequate provision in current employment law for an employer to fire a member of staff. This 90 day bill removes any sort of security or workplace dignity for new employees. This is simply a default postion for the right. Instead of actually encouraging employers to treat their workforce with a modicum of respect they introduce this sort of regressive nonsense that will allow the more lazy and generally unscrupulous bosses to hire and fire staff on a whim. Worst case scenario this type of legislation will allow some employers to be able to exercise their prejudices based on gender, race, disability (visible or hidden), political beliefs, sexual orentation and religious beliefs with no comeback for the affected member of staff. In what way is that fair or respectful?

    • Joshua 15.1

      Because in a job interview they wouldn’t of got the position, it took away the right to prove themselves.

      In this law the benefits extremely outweigh the costs,

      But if we don’t proceed with the law you are alright with telling the next possible employer, sorry we would have given you the opportunity to prove yourself but the government was concerned about joe blogs over there, so you have no job.

  15. Joshua 16

    Sorry couldn’t be bothered reading through all the comments, so hope this hasn’t been raised yet, but Key wasn’t alerting to the fact that there will only be one or two, but to the fact that FOR every one or two there will be hundreds, so there for if you find 5 people there maybe 500hundred employed because of it.

    And out of experience with working as a employee sweeping road and factory floors, to being a employer and now working as a skilled employee I have to agree with the prime-ministers comments.

    However I applaud the Unions to, they should always be making a stand against poor employers, that is what they are therefore, that is there purpose. However we also need to hear the employers side of the argument so we can truly evaluate the reasons, we cant make valid conclusions of the arguments until we hear both sides of the story. So if they are able to say interview the employer, and give him a chance to have his say as well, there work would be more validated.

    • The Voice of Reason 16.1

      How do you get both sides of the story if the employer does not have to give a reason for the dismissal? By that definition alone, every dismissal under the 90 day provision is unfair.

    • loota 16.2

      New employees are needed when there are new customer orders and new works orders above and beyond what current staffing levels can handle. The 90 day law creates no new customer orders and no new work orders.

      Therefore there will be no new jobs.

      So no one benefits from the 90 day right to fire law (except bad employers and bad managers).

    • mcflock 16.3

      and where do you get your numbers from, e.g. 1% are unfairly dismissed? Make em up like Fisiani?

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