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Workers’ rights under attack

Written By: - Date published: 9:55 am, June 14th, 2013 - 83 comments
Categories: activism, class war, democracy under attack, john key, labour, national/act government, Unions, wages, workers' rights - Tags: , , ,

John Key’s government is continuing its attack on workers’ rights with National MP Jami-Lee Ross’ Employment Relations (Continuity of Labour) Amendment Bill.  It was drawn form the ballot yesterday and is, of course, supported by John Key.

It would repeal section 97 of the Employment Relations Act “to provide a balance between employers and employees to be fair”.

Section 97 prevents the use of volunteers, contractors, or other casual employees by an employer during a strike or lockout.

Key said the bill would be controversial but it was an issue that needed to be debated. He would support sending the bill through to a select committee, he said.

But unions are urging the Prime Minister to oppose the ‘strike-breaking’ bill, which they say will reduce wages.

The Council of Trade Unions has labelled the bill an attack on collective bargaining and said that it would reduce workers’ wages.

The balance between workers and employers was shifted in favour of the employers back at the end of the 20th century.  John Key’s government has been further shifting the balance towards giving more power to the bosses.

The EPMU has criticised the Bill as follows:

The Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union also urged the Government not to support the bill, saying it would render strike action ineffective.

“John Key has assured the New Zealand public that this legislation will not go ahead and we expect him to stick to his word,” said EPMU national secretary Bill Newson.

“The reality is low paid workers have little negotiating power beyond the ability to withdraw their labour. In a time of high unemployment any workers who tried to better their conditions would find themselves down the road with someone else doing their job.

“That’s not fair and it doesn’t help lift wages.”

The CTU statement opposing other proposed changes to employment law, highlights the 3 worst problems:

Allow Employers to End Negotiation When They Like

Remove Protection for New Workers

Make Collective Bargaining More Difficult

They state taght Jami-Lee Ross’ Employment Relations (Continuity of Labour), ‘Strike Busting’ Bill, will be a further attack on  workers’ rights, pay and collective bargaining:

CTU says that Jami-Lee Ross’ Employment Relations (Continuity of Labour) Bill that would allow casual workers to be employed during a strike specifically as strike busters is another attack on collective bargaining and would reduce wages.

“But if this Bill became law then it would reduce the impact of a strike, it will create huge conflict between strikers and replacement labour when there is a dispute, it will make it harder to protect pay and conditions.”

“Fair employment laws that encourage collective bargaining as the way to higher wages and productive and safe workplaces, not changes that undermine bargaining and make it even harder for workers to get ahead, would be a much better way,” says Peter Conway.

Labour MP, Darien Fenton nails it when she says:

“Coming on top of unnecessary ballot provisions from Tau Henare, and the ability to fine workers for partial strikes and bureaucratic notice procedures before a strike can proceed in the government’s employment law changes, this is yet another violation of international labour laws.

“The National Party is obsessed with punishing strikers, yet New Zealand’s strike rate is lower than it’s ever been.

“The cumulative effect of these changes will only result in workers taking strike action earlier and more often, because they will have no choice.

“Jamie Lee Ross’s bill comes straight off the floor from a National Party conference and reaffirms a return to failed far-right policy.

“Instead of wasting house time on pitiful attempts to stifle the voice of working people, the Government should be focusing on getting wages up and on creating jobs.”

This further attack on workers’ rights and conditions needs to be opposed every step of the way. I also call on all parties and independent MPs to oppose these Bills: this includes the Mana Party, Green Party, Peter (sans-parti) Dunne, The Maori Party, ACT and Brendon Horan.  (Labour Party is already clearly opposed).

proud-2-b-union


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83 comments on “Workers’ rights under attack”

  1. James 1

    I think this is a great change and strongly support it. No more will companies be held hostage to unions.

    I believe it will work better for all for reasoned debate between the union and the employer as opposed to all the power being held by one party.

    Hope that this passes quickly.

    Note – no conflict here – not a single union member on my staff.

    • Winston Smith 1.1

      I agree and its good the battle lines are being drawn up, left-wing v right-wing…not center v center

      • One Anonymous Knucklehead 1.1.1

        The 2% versus New Zealand.

      • Colonial Viper 1.1.2

        Fuck that mate it’s the 80% against the 20%

        Left wing/right wing a bygone analogy.

        • James 1.1.2.1

          I would say you are right it is 80 vs 20.

          But I think you will find that its the 80% that support this.

          I know that many on this forum are so very pro union and cannot see the other side of the coin – and you will think this will be a disaster for the government – after all if it pissed off 80% of people right?

          But I think you will be sadly disappointed that the general man on the street finds this a good thing.

          Still I guess we will see who is right after we see the poll results right.

          • James N 1.1.2.1.1

            The “general man (sic) on the street” is probably looking for a job after being laid off under the 90 day rule.

            • James 1.1.2.1.1.1

              yeah … nah.

              • Colonial Viper

                If 80% of people support your right wing position – then you have nothing to worry about.

              • Yep actually. And you will find James that you actually just might have someone being a union member but not telling you. Wages you are paying are based on what unions have been able to battle for. If you bid half of that your employees would soon have something to complain about and you know what? that one secret union member might just be able to help them!

          • Paul 1.1.2.1.2

            But only the 2% benefit.

          • asd 1.1.2.1.3

            You sound like a real sanctimonious arshole to work for.

    • tracey 1.2

      James that is fine for those with integrity and fairness such as you, but this is a response to the POA issue, and in that case we know there would be no reasoned discussion, just a reduced contract pushed across the table to the workforce and a glib comment that if they dont like it they will hire people who do.

      Jamie lee Ross says this will balance the employment relationship. I am not sure how. With only 25% of the workforce in unions, it seems that in 75% of the workplaces, what he wants already exists. Perhaps 75/25 just isnt enough “balance” of power for this government.

      Remember when balanced was 50/50.

      If a workforce cannot reasonably withdraw their labour tell me, what leverage do they have in those employment relationships which are not dealt with by a fair and integrity-filled employer?

    • aspasia 1.3

      The Court of Appeal has clearly set out the basic employment rights which s97 protects. In the case New Zealand Dairy Workers’ Union Incorporated v Open Country Cheese Company [2011] NZCA 56, three Justices of the Court of Appeal say:

      [24]Part 8 confers on organised workers the right to strike. As the authors of Mazengarb’s Employment Law have observed:
      “The right to strike has long been regarded as a fundamental protection for workers. The reason is obvious. In the absence of a right to strike workers have no protection against the inherently unequal bargaining power of employers.”

      [25]Anti-strike breaking provisions are thus necessary to preserve the bargaining power of striking workers. In Air Nelson Ltd v New Zealand Amalgamated Engineering Printing and Manufacturing Union Inc the majority of the Supreme Court stated:
      “… s 97 is intended to be prohibitory… It is clear that the section intentionally tilts the balance in favour of striking or locked out workers. It is a firm anti-strike breaking mechanism. It confers employment-related rights on employees and constrains the bargaining power of the employer for the benefit of striking or locked out employees.”

      [26] Striking is effective because it inflicts economic hardship on the employer by depriving it of the productivity of its employees.Its effect is negated, however, if the employer is able to avoid that detriment by substituting other workers.

    • QoT 1.4

      I believe it will work better for all for reasoned debate between the union and the employer as opposed to all the power being held by one party.

      Your version of reality must be really fun to live in. For the 1%.

    • xtasy 1.5

      If it was “serious” but your PM is letting you down on this RWNut!

  2. Mary 2

    The name of the bill sums up perfectly the way the right-wing view workers: as units of labour that must remain continuous, there to serve them and to ensure bottom lines are maintained regardless of how low wages and conditions go.

    • James 2.1

      You forget that many “right wing” people offer some of the very best working conditions in NZ.

      My staff all have complete flexi time to suit families, get regular bonuses, have meals put on (not all the time but fairly regularly), have movie nights out provided every couple of months for all staff (gold Class), have exceptional working condition’s – including time out areas to relax and have nice coffees (good coffee machine provided – free of charge of course), we have free fresh fruit for staff, nibbles, and soft drinks.

      But Im a right winger – so I must be a bad bastard huh.

      • James 2.1.1

        oh and as for a “Living Wage” – even my “lower end” staff are paid well over the minumum wage.

        If Im successful they are successful. and despite what you may think – most of my friends who also own companies think like this also.

        Problem with “you lot” is that you think piss poor employers are the noem – but you are wrong – most employers want to do the right thing and have a great working enviornment

        • One Anonymous Knucklehead 2.1.1.1

          …and for the employers who don’t want to do the right thing, the National Party just legalised their wet-dreams.

          Nice of you to confirm their existence.

          • James 2.1.1.1.1

            Using your (poor) logic I will also say that there are very bad unions that use their power under the current law to strong arm ridiculous requirements from good employers thus stuffing their businesses, and stopping them grow – preventing them from hiring new staff etc.

            I take it that you will take this as confirmation of their existence also.

            or are you so one eyed and bitter that you refuse to accept that?

            • framu 2.1.1.1.1.1

              your forgetting three major things here

              1) what you do personally isnt the benchmark for developing industrial legislation. Youve already confirmed that the conditions you set are well out side those that are seen in the usual strike situations

              2) a union is a democratic organisation – it cant live long if it doesnt represent the wishes of its members

              3) industrial action is very very low and reducing – its only the really bad employers who seem to end up facing a strike – if its such a non-problem (and it is) why are we considering laws that enable the crap employers? (good employers dont have these problems remember)

            • One Anonymous Knucklehead 2.1.1.1.1.2

              James, the fact of the bad employers you cite is confirmed by employment court decisions; but have you any basis for your unsupported assertions about union behaviour? You certainly can’t take anything I’ve written as confirming your smears.

            • saarbo 2.1.1.1.1.3

              James, I get the impression that you have probably inherited daddy’s company. It doesn’t make sense that you are so pro this legislation when you “don’t have union staff”…either that or you are a troll. If none of that is correct, then one thing I am sure about is that you are a wanker.

        • framu 2.1.1.2

          “even my “lower end” staff are paid well over the minumum wage. ”

          yeah but many arent – so whats your point?

          • Colonial Viper 2.1.1.2.1

            James is advocating for a significant minimum wage increase, good on him, he knows what a living wage is and is prepared to pay it.

            In addition, we shouldn’t give his competitors an unfair advantage by letting them pay their workers less than he does, so lets ramp up that minimum wage so he is not disadvantaged in the market place.

            Good on you James!

        • Richard Down South 2.1.1.3

          Lets say youre right, and youre a good employer… should we scrap the minimum wage, minimum work breaks, minimum rules for terminating employment as well? how about minimum safety levels too?

          Just because YOU are a good employer, (if you are, just because you say something, doesn’t mean its true, i could say i won lotto on Tuesday, doesn’t mean its true now does it), it doesnt mean we should scrap or weaken laws which are designed to give a minimum set of boundaries for employers and employees.

          While there are some businesses out there who do want to negotiate changes to contract, Ports of Auckland, surely must be a prime example, of how not to go about it.

          With a recent article on Stuff showing some workers in Auckland were being paid $4 an hour, I say we need changes, which better protect workers AND employers. The key points laid out with the proposed changes, completely moves power to the employer. They can say ‘heres what were offering, take it, or lump it’, as there’s no need to keep negotiations going… heck, you dont even have to turn up

        • travellerev 2.1.1.4

          Most employees want to do the right thing too but while you may need more employees to make your company work it only takes one shite employer to make many employees miserable

        • xtasy 2.1.1.5

          James, since you are such a “genuine” and “good” employer, I am sure you serve as a total “role model” of sorts, that should certainly justify and even help your cause to publish your and your companies’ name, as it is such a great model to follow.

          Enlighten us, perhaps, to follow you and join you, if that is all true, that you tell us, so we can share for the whole of NZ the “economic success”, thank you!

          • xtasy 2.1.1.5.1

            Ahem, I am still waiting, “James”, for you to name your so harmonious and happy company and staff!!!

            Or was it all just made up to serve as hidden attacks on those not agreeing with you?

            The more silence from you, the more I feel my latter presumption proved correct.

      • tracey 2.1.2

        You must understand that legislation is always aimed at the lowest common denominator? Ergo, workplaces such as yours dont really need legislation because you already operate fairly and with integrity. For example I don’t need a law against murder to stop me murdering. I wouldn’t do it whether there was a law or not. BUT I suspect it’s not me they are legislating for int hat regard.

      • halfcrown 2.1.3

        “But Im a right winger – so I must be a bad bastard huh.”

        No you are not James and if we believe what you say, and I do, you are far from it. I was fortunate that I worked for THE best employer in NZ, but unfortunately him and you are in the minority and the only bargaining chip labour has (that is workers labour) is to organise themselves into unions, which are no different than the likes of the Manufacturers Association, The Society of Accountants etc etc ie bosses unions, and withdraw his or her labour. You seem to be a reasonable fellow with a sense of responsibility to society. I am sure you would not like to see NZ return to the days of Massey’s Cossacks. Relationships between employer and employee James, as you have discovered is a two edge sword. The company I worked for we were all treated well with respect, and because of this, I cannot recall any time when a staff member would not go that extra mile for the benefit of the boss or the company.
        If the National government pass that bill, after three decades of the Neo Liberal crap, we have suffered, the miniscule respect remaining between employer and employee will be nonexistent, the anarchy we are starting to see will increase. Then no one wins.

      • asd 2.1.4

        You’ve bought everyone off on your terms instead of having an independent workers organisation looking after the workers interests. More (all) power to you.

  3. Curtis 3

    I worked at Pak n Save for 6 years. We had no union. I watched as we started with at least 30 staff dwindle down to about 15. I watched as our productivity increased. (There originally was a lot of part timers throwing the fruit around so I was happy we got rid of them). Our quality of fruit and veges were terrible. We turned the shop around and made sure our shelves only had quality products on it. So it was clear our part of shop was doing very well. Cost’s were at an all time low and we were selling more and more produce. However did the workers doing all this hard work see the benefits? No After 6years of getting up at 4am every morning from Sunday-Friday I was only getting a dollar more than minimum wage. Other workers who had worked there since it opened 15 years ago were on the same rate. It was Countdown’s starting rate! They of course had a union and when I went into their shop their produce department was empty apart from bruised and rotten produce and always had no customers compared to our continually packed store. I would personally prefer democracy in the work place as opposed to unions but this is what I have seen between a unionized job to one that is not.

    • xtasy 3.1

      Curtis – RESPECT this is one honest comment, thanks!

    • xtasy 3.2

      Curtis – I shop at Pak’n Save in Royal Oak in Auckland. I have spoken to some staff members and heard that as of recent management is turning up the pressure, they want more performance, more flexible working hours and possibly re-introduce youth rates, which will mean replacing the more adult workers with new starters, paid less.

      Some are furious, but they feel powerless. I know that First Union is involved, and they are possibly still negotiating to get a fair deal for the workers. I know that there was a protest a month ago, outside that supermarket.

      I am concerned, angry also, and I do not want to shop at a supermarket that does not pay a decent, ideally a living wage, and that treats staff like crap.

      Talk to your union delegate, if you can, whether member or not, otherwise consider joining. It cannot be allowed that workers get intimidated, underpaid and treated with such contempt.

      I do not accept your criticism of Countdown though, who are still largely unionised, but they also still have better standards as I see every week. But they are under attack also! The competition of workers between employers will not help as you do in the end still all face the same challenges.

      Keep up the spirit and the fight, if you can, thanks,

      X

      • Curtis 3.2.1

        Thanks mate don’t worry I’ve left there to study at uni. However a lot of my mates are still slaving away. Unfortunately Invercargill is full of apathy. No one votes apart from the conservatives and no one leaves their comfort zone. It took me 6 years to build up the courage to go to uni now I’m trying to encourage others to get out of their comfort zone.

  4. Yes 4

    I still cant see the issue. 94% of employees in the private sector do not belong to a union. They are happy with what they are doing.

    Why is the PSA jumping up and down – they have the most protected and highest wages in the land.

    If I was part of the 6% I would be asking – what are we are we doing that the government (past and present) have to keep on legislating for the minority (6%).

    No one has yet answered my question from a few days back. If everyone should be in a union – and that became law – then why cant cleaners have the same pay rate as doctors?

    • Te Reo Putake 4.1

      Nobody has answered because they are too busy laughing at the stupidity of the question. Your 6% figure is still wrong, btw.

      • Yes 4.1.1

        my figures are very accurate by the way. (check analysis by NBR, WOBH, Kiwiblog and on here in past posts)

        its not a stupid question – not attempting to answer and using a criticism is stupid.

        under union theory of wage rates etc – why its it that the doctors union can get 6 figure wage rates and yet the first union can only get say $13.50 an hour.

        Yet the the parity between what doctors pay in union fees and say cleaners pay in union fees dont equate to the same value for money.

        • Daveo 4.1.1.1

          check analysis by NBR, WOBH, Kiwiblog

          lolz

          Also, the minimum wage is $13.75. You’re a joke mate.

          • Yes 4.1.1.1.1

            read my comment properly “say” $13.50 -never linked to the minimum wage.

            all those sites have provided official union stats as per DOL…is the DOL now corrupt?

            • Colonial Viper 4.1.1.1.1.1

              You;re a fucking idiot.

              Oh I guess to avoid a ban, I should add because not all unions are equal.

        • karol 4.1.1.2

          Yes, you are surely a comedian? 🙄

          First you say this:

          Why is the PSA jumping up and down – they have the most protected and highest wages in the land.

          Sounds to me like a very good reason to belong to a union.

          Then you compare two totally different occupations in terms of power, and ability to demand wages. Try comparing like with like. Doctors already have a lot of clout, even without the support of a union.

          Cleaners have little clout, and the union goes somewhat to redress the balance. But given the attacks on unions over the last couple of decades, that is limited.

        • Te Reo Putake 4.1.1.3

          (check analysis by NBR, WOBH, Kiwiblog and on here in past posts)

          🙄

        • McFlock 4.1.1.4

          under union theory of wage rates etc

          lolwhut?

          Links to prove the “union theory of wage rates etc” exists, pls.

        • framu 4.1.1.5

          “my figures are very accurate by the way”

          no – they arent

          • Yes 4.1.1.5.1

            Yes they are….the vast and a very high per cent age of people don’t belong to a union and don’t want too. Unions are a minority

        • framu 4.1.1.6

          Its a question of staggering idiocy – you do realise that doctors get paid more than cleaners because of skill level, investment in training and level of responsibility?

          or put it another way – does a cleaner cut you open while your still alive and wave a scalpel around your insides?

        • xtasy 4.1.1.7

          Yes – you are “anal-ysing” not analysing!

    • framu 4.2

      “Why is the PSA jumping up and down”

      because they rightly see this as an attack on workers and probably give a shit about other workers.

      “they have the most protected and highest wages in the land”

      bullshit – their wages are only protected due to their union membership and the bargaining power that brings – they dont get special priviledges.
      Also – most of the high paid public servants arent in the PSA – its all the low level workers – who earn significantly less than the same work in the private sector

      “then why cant cleaners have the same pay rate as doctors”

      the stupidity of that statement could explain why no-ones bothered to point out the answer to you

    • xtasy 4.3

      Yes Man –

      Are you somehow a bit “slow” or “thick”, if I may ask, reading this once again:
      “I still cant see the issue. 94% of employees in the private sector do not belong to a union. They are happy with what they are doing.”

      Since the introduction of the Employment Contracts Act in 1991 unions have had zilch power, workers were having NO support of significance, they were the prey of employers and taken to the bloody cleaners.

      Labour did a half hearted job to reverse some labour law provisions by bringing in the Employment Relations Act in 2000 I think it was.

      Luckily I was overseas, not faced with all this inhumane and anti worker shit that the governments in this underdeveloped country imposed on workers.

      Anyway, so it went, and after the ECA unions were slashed, and punished, they lost immense numbers. You know it, and your attitute is just provocative shit stirring.

      We have about 20 per cent unionisation in NZ, because workers under present law face intimidation by employers and prospective employers if they even ever mention a thought about joining a union. They get intimidated, and in some cases sacked right away, so the employer can rule as he or she wants.

      That is the bloody truth, mate, and stop lying to us and readers here, as you are exactly part of the gang that wants things like this, you are a shit-stirring trouble maker yourself.

      Workers deserve a fair deal, fair conditons, and it is countries like in Scandinavia, where union membership is still high, where better wages, incomes., conditions and fairer systems prevail. I am sure you want none of this, and rather divide, and rule, to treat many like servants and idiots, to enable you and your likes to live off the backs of others.

  5. Tiger Mountain 5

    90 day right to sack, no legislative compulsion for bosses to bargain in good faith.

    Now that scabbery is about to become legal and encouraged even, in a high unemployment environment what is left for the torys and corporates to inflict upon the remaining workers in this country? Chain us to our workstations? Fire exits locked?

    Because that is where this kind of thing leads–look at the non union southern states of the USA, Bangladesh and Aisa. Workers (union or non union) rights are human rights and disregard of them drags everyone down and even kills people.

    So wake up you smug torys above, it is a bigger world out there than your allegedly comfy little paternalistic businesses. “I treat my serfs ok but it is quite ok to put the slipper into all the other serfs”.

  6. Ed 6

    “The EPMU has criticised the Bill as follows:
    . . .
    “John Key has assured the New Zealand public that this legislation will not go ahead and we expect him to stick to his word,” said EPMU national secretary Bill Newson. ”

    Does anyone have a cite for John Key’s assurance? It is possible of course that he was lying, but such a statement could save a lot of time if he doesn’t want to reinforce his growing reputation as a person whose word cannot be trusted . . .

    • karol 6.1

      Good question. I actually think the EPMU statement on that is a bit of a stretch. their press release links to this article, (27 May) which says:

      No hope for strike-busting legislation, says Key

      National’s backing for a law change to allow employers to take on temporary workers when permanent staff are on strike or locked out won’t make it into law any time soon. The remit – mirrored in a member’s bill from National’s Botany MP Jami-Lee Ross – won support at the party’s northern regional conference. But Prime Minister John Key said that although the party faithful called for it at times, it was not on the Government’s agenda.

  7. Winston Smith 7

    Workers rights yeah right, more like union workers rights of which about 14-15% of the workforce is in a union and about half of that are government employees

    • framu 7.1

      so what?

      ever thought that unionised workers care about all workers?

      • farmboy 7.1.1

        no they dont they care about themselves and that is it dont talk shit mate

        • McFlock 7.1.1.1

          If they only cared about themselves, they’d freeload off concessions gained by unions without paying the dues. And be scabs during strikes.

          But they pay their dues every week, so keep the workers as a class stronger against the employers.

          • Rob 7.1.1.1.1

            I dont agree with this bill as I do think employed labour does need to be able to protect itself and its conditions. I have seen too many Chinese factories that have shocking & dangerous work practicies and environements that should not exist in the modern world.

            However I can understand why unions in NZ have a bad rap with a lot of employed people. Actual workplace union activities on the factory floor back in the late 70’s up to the early 90’s were pretty average and protected a lot of scams and very unproductive and unhealthy behaviour. The environments that existed in some factory units were diabolical and almost a dictatorship run by the union foreman often for their monetary benefit. There were large levels of bullying on the floor and initmidation. I think what we have seen is a redress in balance and those old agreesive litle union dictators being pushed out and bad corrupt practice being cleaned up. This is also a reason for low union membership , because when it became voluntary, a lot of workers did not want to be associated with those behaviours any longer.

            • McFlock 7.1.1.1.1.1

              I can’t figure out why unions have a bad rap, but employers don’t.

              Unions strike during the slaughtering season? Tragic.

              Some employers fire people for no good reason, or send new workers out alone with minimal instruction. Others create and tolerate workloads and procedures that kill over a dozen employees in the workplace every year.

              • Rob

                Union foremen getting back handers so that their mates can spend the day at the pub whilst the rest of the shift had to cover for them . Union foreman controlling scrap metal reselling from company waste etc . Union foreman putting the heat on the crew to vote in particular ways in seemingly democratic elections , yeah I agree Mcflock I have no idea why unions have a bad rap either.

                • McFlock

                  Person I know was fired for nothing. Had to go through the tribunal, still waiting for the payout.

                  Workers sexually harassed.
                  Bullied and belittled with literal standover tactics.
                  Impossible work expectations set, then employer fires worker when a third party catches them breaking procedure.

                  My point was why don’t employers also have a bad rap?

                • asd

                  That same old shit is happening these days by all the employers and their brown nosing political cohorts, carefully tucked away behind closed doors and spun when in public view. Those behaviours are common in types of people with too much power and within systems that are both leftist and righteous and there is no exclusivity to unions in this argument. Bend the argument in your own favour of course as this is all the right ever has. Keep demonising an institution long enough and often enough as the right does, and the people will believe.

            • asd 7.1.1.1.1.2

              This isn’t true: “This is also a reason for low union membership , because when it became voluntary, a lot of workers did not want to be associated with those behaviours any longer.”
              The real reason for the decimation of the Trade Unions was the Employment Contracts Act which disposed unions of their sole right to negotiate sector based employment agreements on behalf of workers via the Industrial Conciliation and Arbitration Act of 1896.. “Take it or leave it” employment contracts were then offered and if you refused, the door was shown to you.
              Get your bloody facts right. Right wingers are all so full of shit.

        • framu 7.1.1.2

          Is punctuation uncool with the kids these days or something?

          Im guessing you know less than nothing about unionised workers

  8. Pascal's bookie 8

    Employers And Manufacturers Association reckons yeah nah on this one righties.

    Looks like the Nats have let their ideological horse bolt ahead of their common damn sense, assuming they ever had any.

    “New Zealand communities place a high value on fairness and the Bill could have consequences that would be considered unfair.

    “In spite of several high profile cases we have had 10 to 15 years of harmonious workplace relations and don’t want to jeopardise that.

    “We need to look carefully at the implications of industrial action on essential industries such as the ports and hospitals, as well as on small businesses.

    “Also employers don’t want to see the law changed every time there is a change of government and we can foresee law based on this Bill may not last.”

    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/BU1306/S00496/balloted-bill-possibly-a-bridge-too-far.htm

    That’s code for “U mad?”

  9. This idea that workers and employers should be balanced for ‘fairness’ is bullshit. There is nothing fair about capitalism.
    Bosses employ workers to extract their labour and claim it is due to the employers enterprise.
    No, that’s made up like Starship Enterprise. Labour is the active ingredient not enterprise.
    Robinson Crusoe lived off Man Friday and claimed he was born to rule.
    British settler Mr Peel went to the Swan River in Australia in the 1830s with some migrants to work his land but when they took off to work their own land he lost all his enterprise and ended up as a land agent (a fence).
    Bosses only exist because the state gives them a helping hand with stolen land, subsidies, cheap roads and tax breaks, and workers who don’t have their stolen land or state credit and are forced to work for a boss to survive.
    The thing that bosses fear most is their redundancy when workers wake up to the fact that they can run the economy without bosses.
    That’s why bosses do all they can to divide and rule, worker against worker, men against women, youth against older, scab against unionist, and buy off the Labour Party with cocktails.
    Labour laws that have been won through struggle need defending but you can’t rely on laws to stop scabs or lockouts. That requires working class unity, solidarity and mass pickets.

  10. High time for ‘war (as it were 🙂 on the undeserving rich’ on corporate welfare?

    Penny Bright

  11. big bruv 11

    I detest Jami-Lee Ross, he is the type of career politician that the left normally specialise in.

    However, with this bill he has show the rest of the National party the direction that they should be going in.

    No longer will honest business people be subject to the thuggish behaviour of the union bosses, no longer will honest business people be forced to deal with unreasonable demands from unions.

    Once this bill has passed the Nat’s should pass legislation that forces unions to send a bill to their members for their union dues instead of having that money deducted from their wage packet. Perhaps then the morons who allow themselves to be bullied into joining a union will see that they are wasting their money.

    • You_Fool 11.1

      Do you have any recent links to such behaviour by union bosses? I am reasonably sure that hasn’t happened in about 20 years or more….

      Or should I just go on about how owners of companies are selfish pricks? I mean if we are jsut parroting cliches and slogans from 25 years ago….

      • fender 11.1.1

        Don’t be too hard on “big bruv”, if it’s not Slater it’s one of his pupils. The textbook they use dates back to when he was a 15 y/o.

      • big bruv 11.1.2

        I could easily come up with the example of the well known union leader who wants higher taxes for those he considers rich yet that same union leader still owes the tax man a considerable sum.

        I could provide a link to the disgusting behaviour of the vermin who led the union during the recent POA strike.

        Would that be enough for you?

  12. One concerned citizen 12

    Whats more important , 4 mps going to watch a rugby game or an attack of very far fought gains in employment law ?
    Call it what it is , Scab labour legitimised .
    Right time to bring up the Dancing Cossacks and we have ourselves an election strategy…..

  13. xtasy 13

    Excuse me dear folks, you have all fallen left, right and sinker for this nonsense “bill”. It is a have, a total provocative act to just stir up debate, nothing else, even Key does not really want to push it! The Nats are testing the territory to see how far they can go, nothing else. That is what this is all about.

    Jami-Lee Ross is an immature wannabe MP and idiot, and he got you all shit scared right away now, has he not? He is not himself so bloody serious about this bill, as he put totally NO effort into it, not even suggested what may replace section 97. Are you such fools to fall for this crap?

    See for yourselves:

    http://www.parliament.nz/en-NZ/PB/Legislation/Bills/1/3/6/00DBHOH_BILL12251_1-Employment-Relations-Continuity-of-Labour-Amendment.htm

    http://www.legislation.co.nz/bill/member/2013/0129/3.0/DLM4942209.html

    This is shit a child would dream up, not a mature MP!

    That Neanderthal man, also presenting as modern “Botany Man” is a fake, a bull shit artist, a tester of policies and he is there doing it for one Simon Lusk, recently discussed here. Do your damned homework, Standardistas, this is a joke, a sick joke, it is one Key does not even take seriously, as it is a stunt exercise, to do exactly what is happening here, to stir up the left and unions, to make them afraid.

    Shove the shit up that man’s ar*e and put a d*ck of plastic in his mouth, to shut him up, that is what needs doing. Get on and ignore such overrated idiots, thanks!

  14. xtasy 14

    Dear Standardistas –

    This is what you should be highly worried about right now, not that Jami Lee Ross wet dream of a 4-page immature, not even thought out “Bill”!

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

    http://www.parliament.nz/NR/rdonlyres/34F62C8D-B935-4139-9B26-8B2D12BE50C4/270152/2045EmploymentRelations1.pdf

    The Employment Relations Amendment Bill 2013 is going to seek to abolish the 30 day period for new employees joining a collective agreement employment site, so that they will not enjoy minimum union and collectively agreed conditions from day one!

    It will also bring in over-flexible conditions that employers can abuse the granting of deserved breakfast and afternoon, possibly also lunch breaks, so they can insist on having staff not take them when needed, but force them to take them on other days or weeks, maybe “never”!

    Also the whole collective bargaining situation is going to be totally undermined, by allowing employers to get off good faith required efforts to come to an agreement with worker’s negotiation parties (i.e. unions) and delay this, and not follow this up, for months, possibly endlessly!

    This is very serious stuff, affecting all workers, also those on individual contracts. So this must be spread, emphasized, pushed and more, as we will in New Zealand become a country where working conditions are heading to be the WORST in the whole OECD!

    So wake up, folks, this is a ruthless attack on basic worker’s rights, that must be fought with all means, right now!

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