War on Workers

Written By: - Date published: 12:01 pm, June 6th, 2013 - 35 comments
Categories: workers' rights - Tags:

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35 comments on “War on Workers”

  1. xtasy 1

    This matter deserves highest attention, and workers all over New Zealand should listen up and take note.

    Yes, this is an all out attack or declaration on workers rights.

    I hope that unions are getting into gear to launch a solid, effective information campaign. Submissions should be made on the Employment Relations Amendment Act.

    My fear and concern is, that little attention will be given to this by the mainstream media, and that many workers will not even know what is planned.

    Time to take action, online, at work-places and out on the streets.

    • Mike S 1.1

      Our unions are weak shadows of their former selves.

      You’d think something like this would cause massive union protests or even a national general strike but they will go on telly and say it’s terrible but do nothing.

      • Tom Gould 1.1.1

        The unions have become largely irrelevant to the vast bulk of workers, primarily because they have refused to move with the times and have chosen to stay in their 1950s bubble ranting cold war and class war rhetoric that people these days simply do not understand or relate to. I put it down to intellectual laziness and an overwhelming sense of ‘we know best’ entitlement. Until the leaders of the ‘union movement’ figure out that they need a 21st century approach, their steady decline over the last 30 years will continue. Otherwise, maybe hold another march, or rally, or demonstration, or sit-in, or strike. That seems to work, right?

        • xtasy 1.1.1.1

          Tom Gould: I do not see it as you do. Sadly the Employment Contracts Act created an environment of a “me first” and “me and my own survival” mentality, and that has become embedded, kind of. We also have a younger generation that knows nothing of what work and conditions were like before the early 1990s. They have no experience at all of solidarity and collective efforts, and it is all individual self-fulfillment or self-aggrandisement, with “me first and stuff the rest”.

          The media tell us this, and the whole development of self serving consumerism, division, isolation and escapism we see all around us is proof of it.

          When I watch the news and other reports, read online about articles on various developments, I laugh about comments about “united efforts” and “solidarity”, which only happens when serious disaster strikes, after fatalities, and the likes. It is non existent, it does not show itself anymore, it is everyone just primarily thinking of him- and herself, and perhaps only about them and their partner, in sex, relationship or for longer living arrangements. Kids also are seen only as extensions of own selfs.

          So that is the society we have, so unions are struggling to deal with this, and they are certainly not stuck in the 50s, they are, same like churches, other social associations, struggling to adjust to the “modern” lifestyles of people.

          People are brainwashed into selfishness, consumerism, division and individualism, and that is the younger generation at large. Collective events are only mass parties on booze and drugs, promoted by Facebook announcements, some concerts at venues, and freak events where people turn up for a joint haka at the bottom on Queen St in Auckland, and afterwards disperse as quickly as they met.

          There is NO joint effort, no feeling of common efforts anymore, and that is why unions suffer also. If people cannot or do not bother to take joint action, nothing will be achieved. I have commented before, that all this online commenting is good in some ways, but the fact that most here do never go and attend pickets or else, makes them invisible, and not noticed, that is by media and the public.

          You may as well run a closet union going by your suggestions. Hide and seek, all right, I’d say.

      • xtasy 1.1.2

        I admit, they are generally as rigid and solid in their response as a wet bus ticket.

        The problem is, they chose many years ago, to try the laissez faire modern capitalist service deliverer way, to offer their “services” wrapped into discounts for this and that at certain businesses, chose to cooperate with employers to avoid strife and conflict, and thus sold their souls to some degrees.

        I have nothing in principle to object to co-operation and such an approach, as long as basic bottom line standards and pay are maintained, but it has long gone too far. Union delegates are aware that they live off membership fees, and while numbers have fallen immensely since the Employment Contracts Act was introduced under the meanest Nat led government in the early 1990s, the fees gathered are limited.

        They fear the job losses of remaining members will further reduce their income and resource base, so they try everything to make deals with employers to avoid lay-offs and closures. The larger economic picture is one given up and handed over to merely their economic advisor, who now and then gives comments to the media.

        They have forgotten that solidarity is strength and that co-ordianted action can bring greater results. Maybe they also have become too self focused as individuals, rather seeing their organiser roles as a “job” with added pay, and nothing else.

        Mission and passion are no longer there, and what they do is more like a pre-retirement activity of people still calling themselves unionists.

        Too much complicity, lack of faith, resignation and thus unconvincing action. As most are Labour affiliated, no wonder the party is more or less the same, that is too many in it, and especially the ones controlling it from the top.

        Apart from that members have become cynical, and in general people have sadly adapted to the individualistic society imposed on them. It is me first, and if I can strike a good deal with my boss, fuck the rest.

  2. karol 2

    Good on Darien for highlighting this.

    Agree with xtasy – needs a major campaign.

    • Pasupial 2.1

      Speaking of major campaigns; isn’t UNITE going after after MacDonalds in the courts, and the streets, for non-payment of time worked during their workers’ supposed breaks? Is this going to be another one of ShonKey’s signature retrospective fixes?

      In a way, I guess congratulations are in order. NACT have just graduated from Micky Mouse legislation to Maccy Rat Law.

  3. Poission 3

    It will be another legislative stuff up by Bridges for example the absence of work breaks will become a hazard under health and safety legislation

    You must consider your obligations under the Health and Safety in Employment Act. This includes controlling hazards, such as physical and mental fatigue, which could result in people being harmed. Where fatigue has been identified as a hazard, appropriate rest breaks should be provided to ensure that fatigue is not likely to cause harm.

    the burden of proof is on the employers,and that an absence of breaks is not hazardous will be very difficult to prove (when the literature suggests the inverse).

  4. fatty 4

    I’m not sure about the title – And so it begins
    …90 day right to fire, youth slave-wages, union restrictions, minimum wage decrease in relation to living costs, etc. It should be And so it continues.
    But yeah, nice work from Darien.
    ‘They are stealing your tea-break’ is a simple and effective soundbite attack that even Shearer might be able to pull off

  5. Chrissy 5

    Not only that but trying to break the backs of all Unions.I have thought for so long now that the nats goal is to deconstruct New Zealand so they can reconstruct it the way they want it.With the assistance of the simple mindedness of our lack lustre msm they are well on their way.We need to have the passion of the Turks and get out in the streets and get rid of these abject excuses for politicians.Labour needs to GET LOUD.keys complacency needs to be rattled!!!

  6. infused 6

    Might help if you actually link it to something.

  7. Ted 7

    Can Labour get some full page adverts published in MSM listing all the law changes under National, showing how our rights and workplaces have changed under this frigging awful government?

    The sheeple need it spelled out in black and white, so they can see what has been done in their name.

    • dumrse 7.1

      Being close to bankruptcy probably prevents too much one page ad stuff.

    • xtasy 7.2

      I am afraid too many of the sheeples are too busy tweeting trivialities and frivolities on Twitter, and too busy with online shopping and flirtations.

      No time for such dreadfully “serious” matters, which may create the onset of serious depression.

      Most workers will be totally unaware of these proposed changes! As most workers are also not unionised, they will be ignorant of much that is likely to worsen their conditions at the workplace.

      Workplaces are often lone fighter and survival environments, where many are mindful of what they say and do, to not upset the boss or colleagues.

  8. aerobubble 8

    There was a reason why taxes were once so high incomes and profits, and will be so again. The churn from cheap fuels allowed, permitted, a much looser monetarism. As the relief from fracking gases wears off, the reality will become overwhelming, that companies, capitalist, in order to have businesses, to have consumers for their products, will need citizens to have money to spend, and pre-Thatcher the way governments did that was by taxing and redistributing.

    • Colonial Viper 8.1

      The churn from cheap fuels and cheap credit

      just for completeness, you understand.

      that companies, capitalist, in order to have businesses, to have consumers for their products, will need citizens to have money to spend, and pre-Thatcher the way governments did that was by taxing and redistributing.

      I should add that the big corporates’ efforts are always attracted to markets with high growth potential.

      And sorry western world, that’s Africa, Asia and China.

      • aerobubble 8.1.1

        Unless western govts had invested in its people, increased spare time, increased access to technolgy, built better cities, reduced car use, etc, etc, instead Thatcher decided (well not decided perse rather propaganda dictates declared her policies were the only way). Had we had thirty years of investment in the people rather than finance, we’d be much better off, and likely also would Africa and Asia (not China) because instead of priming our military industrial complex we’d have been been building global democracy.

  9. Did she produce actual documentation that under the next National government, that their will be no breaks for New Zealand workers.

  10. Observer (Tokoroa) 10

    Our Elite

    The Key was in his counting house
    Counting out his money – again

    The Turia was in the Parlour eating
    Lots of Bread and Honey – again

    The Maid was in the yard w o r k i n g
    hanging out the clothes and
    Along came Bill English and ripped off her nose – Again.

    • Draco T Bastard 11.1

      Why am I not surprised?

      And if they do get that they’ll then ask for it to be doubled again and when they get that they’ll just ask for the power to fire at will and if National are in government they’ll give it to them.

  11. Yes 12

    Doesn’t copy right law not allow other people’s images to be used. Hmmm will make a cup of tea and read the act

    • Colonial Viper 12.1

      Yes it doesn’t.

    • the pigman 12.2

      Aha! Now HERE’S a story, finally, eh? You’re onto something, Yes! Call the police, it’s time to get that anarcho-communist-terrorist Darien Fenton locked up for good!

    • xtasy 12.3

      Maybe permission was given, or the use of the image not objected to? In that case, what is your point?

  12. Binders full of women 13

    Glad you put it here as Redalert is an unsafe place where cyberbullies masquerading as Labour MPs hang out.

    • Colin 13.1

      Binders, is that satire? What I notice is that Red Alert is a place where mostly the same commenters hang out.

      • Binders full of women 13.1.1

        No satire.. I commented on something ..just facts.. nothing outlandish.. and an MP went rogue-state personal on me. Easy peasy haven’t been back.

    • xtasy 13.2

      Just the name “red alert” should send the message, be well red alerted, to even consider going there these days!

  13. xtasy 14

    I know of many working in retail not even getting breaks now, so how bloody inhumane and dictatorial will employers be able to run their staff in future?

    This bill is a disgrace, and those that doubt it, have a look at it.

    http://www.parliament.nz/en-NZ/PB/Legislation/Bills/BillsDigests/5/d/c/50PLLaw20451-Employment-Relations-Amendment-Bill-2013-Bills-Digest.htm

    If National gets a third term, they will introduce uniforms to be worn by all workers in public service, I presume, neatly designed along military kinds of uniforms, so all public service employees will be easily detectable.

    Private enterprise employees will be called for morning drills, to get fit and strong to perform their duties like Chinese factory workers.

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