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Workrights on the Nation

Written By: - Date published: 10:28 am, June 23rd, 2013 - 121 comments
Categories: class war, workers' rights - Tags:

An interesting couple of interviews. Jamie-Lee Ross admits he took advice on strikebreaking from the Ports of Auckland Ltd and Darien Fenton makes it clear what National are up to, and (note to Labour’s press team) shows why she should be fronting serious media more often.

121 comments on “Workrights on the Nation ”

  1. irascible 1

    Why isn’t this a surprise? After all Jami-Lee Ross is closely associated with the Stlater-Lusk group and, apparently, received assistance from them to secure his nomination into the Nat’s selection for Botany.
    He is more an ACToid than a moderate National (if anything like a moderate Nat existed.).

    • Phil 1.1

      5 minuets of fame, look at me, look at me……John…look at me..Pleaseeeeeeeee!

    • Mary 1.2

      There are few moderates left in National. It’s an accepted strategy amongst the far radical Nactoid right to hold themselves out as moderates in order to get away with the agenda…all by stealth because if it’s too quick, as with being too obviously far right, it won’t work. But of course anyone who says this is marginalised as a wacky conspiracy theorist.

  2. Yes 2

    oh dear – darien missed the point – $27B worth of economy and 300 staff holding up 100,000 of lives

    Nations words not mine – I agree on good employee and employer relationship – but seriously where is the end game policy.\\Interesting she said that in the act staff can work during a strike…will why dont unions allow it instead of calling people SCAB’s.

    Own goal

    • Colonial Viper 2.1

      Blame the port company for playing brinksmanship using Auckland’s entire economy. Try and fuck your own workers instead of valuing them, so why pretend to be surprised at the push back?

      • Yes 2.1.1

        No they were protecting 27b dollars of exports for 100,000 of people’s livelihood

        • Colonial Viper 2.1.1.1

          So why did they try to fuck their workers who actually do that work?

          • Yes 2.1.1.1.1

            Who said they did. See what I don’t understand about you guys is you didn’t give a dam about the public. It was a small minority group in a massive big supply chain and you put my business at risk. Thanks for f… Nothing

            • quartz 2.1.1.1.1.1

              You got fucked over by a bunch of rightwing managers who didn’t give a fuck about their customers and couldn’t be held to account by their shareholders and then you blame the workers?

              With logic like that I’m picking the biggest threat to your business is your fucking misfiring brain. No fucking wonder nine out of ten new businesses fail if they’re being run by retards like you.

              • Yes

                Yep 10 years laters I’m still here…even employ staff too. Quartz I bet you don’t even work or even know how to be customer focussed

                • quartz

                  Ha! Given what an unpleasant little creature you are when you’re here I’d hate to experience your customer-focus! I imagine it makes your customers quite queasy.

                  Tell me yes, do you think your staff like you?

                • Te Reo Putake

                  If you’re that confident of your business genius/friend of the working man status, howabout you arrange a visit from a union organiser? Even better, email TS with your work’s contact details and if they pass it on to me, I’ll organise the visit myself. You have nothing to lose but your chain of burger bars, comrade.

                  • Yes

                    Why I pay well over the market rate..a union would just add cost to my business and my staff lose money out of their 35$ per hour wage rate. Why you send me your email and I will come round to your union and give them an invoice for lost revenue.

                    And by the way my customer service is awesome and my staff love me.

                    • quartz

                      No they don’t.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      In his born-to-rule world they do. Everyone does.

                    • Yes

                      Quartz unions do? Do you work? Do you own a business? Do you employ people? If you can’t say yes to any of those last two then you don’t have a clue about business and just a text book warrior

                    • quartz

                      Mate a wanker is a wanker is a wanker. Whether it’s on the internet, in “customer service”, or down the pub playing darts, nobody likes a wanker. And you, “yes”, are a wanker.

                    • Te Reo Putake

                      If they’re really on $35 ph (and it’s all Lombard St to a china orange they’re not) then they’re hardly going to miss the 7 bucks a week, are they? However, they will enjoy above average wage increases and protection from the vagaries of their employer. Tell you what, why don’t we ask them? My offer stands; TS has my email, send them the details and I’ll sort out a visit.

                    • Yes

                      Quartz as I thought..u are a text book warrior. Keep bludging

                    • Yes

                      Te Reo you serious…why would I expose my business and make it a target of unions. Good greif. Tell you what tell me which union you will send first

                    • Colonial Viper

                      all Lombard St to a china orange

                      haha what does this mean actually?

                    • Te Reo Putake

                      CV, Lombard St was where the British banks used to headquarter themselves back in the day. In essence, it’s saying the bet has lopsided odds.

                      Yes, what sort of industry are you in? I’ll find you the union most appropriate for the work you do. btw, its a tad odd that an expert on industrial relations. as you so surely are, doesn’t already know which union it would be.

                    • Yes

                      Te Reo oh come on..unions cross pollinate across businesses and don’t have one union for one industry or business. It’s all about money and membership. Union delegates have membership targets just like police have traffic fines as targets.

                      And if the membership targets are missed the union just ramps up their fees.

                      So which union do you belong to and I tell you which industry

                    • Te Reo Putake

                      Yes, you really don’t know anything about unions, do you? Unions in NZ are very much industry based, (think PSA, Nurses and the 3 education unions) but, in the private sector the First Union, SFWU and EPMU cover more than one industry. Stop being a cowardly coward and be more specific. Then I can tell you which one is the most likely candidate.

                      btw, which union is irrelevant anyway; it’s the workers’ choice, not yours.

                    • Yes

                      What…it’s who choice? It’s my choice that I decide to invest in NZ and invest in staff. It’s my choice that I put my assets and family time at risk to grow the wealth of this country. It’s my choice to employ or not.

                      Then I choose what to pay my staff and it’s my choice to follow the law of the land. It’s my choice to pay 35$ per hour. It’s my choice.

                      Now you can’t be serious that you think unions don’t cross pollinate across the sectors. So many unions don’t belong to the CTU because they don’t want to follow CTU membership and industry carve up.

                      Now which union do you represent

                    • Te Reo Putake

                      You’re quite scared now, aren’t you? The question is about unionising your workforce. Not your choice, theirs. Clearly, you don’t want that to happen, because, as you note ” a union would just add cost to my business”.

                      So put up or shut up, coward.

                    • quartz

                      You don’t pay your staff $35 an hour. You pay yourself $35 an hour. They get less than that, and they have to put up with you acting like they owe you a favour for letting them work for you. No wonder they speak so badly of you.

                    • Yes

                      Te Reo ok I will let you unionize my workplace and will follow union place collecTive agreements.

                      So here we go..starting hourly $20.00 for new employee plus plus ( e.g 40 hours max kiwisaver 6% ..5 weeks holiday. Good rates for office work.

                      Now you unionize I will have to cover all additional costs of paying unions fees, stop work meetings etc. So I will start all my new employees at minimum rates because I need to cover my unproductive time cause by unions.

                      So there’s your starting point

                    • Yes

                      Quartz are you saying you know my company and staff? Or you just making stuff up.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      All bow before the Holy Job Creator!

                    • locus

                      Yes

                      Please give this comment a quick look and tell me why we can’t do workers’ rights a lot better in NZ?

                      No traffic jam on the high road

                      Your business may be run by a wonderfully (self-assessed) generous and decent employer, and you may have lots of happy well-rewarded staff who have a great work-life balance….. but this isn’t the reality for an increasing number of workers in NZ

                    • quartz

                      I know you , yes.

                    • Te Reo Putake

                      “Te Reo ok I will let you unionize my workplace and will follow union place collecTive agreements.

                      So here we go..starting hourly $20.00 for new employee plus plus ( e.g 40 hours max kiwisaver 6% ..5 weeks holiday. Good rates for office work.

                      Now you unionize I will have to cover all additional costs of paying unions fees, stop work meetings etc. So I will start all my new employees at minimum rates because I need to cover my unproductive time cause by unions.

                      So there’s your starting point”

                      Oh deary me, you know so very little about industrial law or unions, Yes, that couldn’t even bring myself to laugh at your ignorance. Still, nice to see the Employer of the Year threatening to cut wages if workers exercise their freedom of choice. What a sad, fearful little man you are.

                    • Yes

                      Te Reo..my argument was the cost of lost time…who pays for that..me

                    • Yes

                      Quartz..you don’t know who I am and I am sure the owners of this site would be pretty peeved you making such statements

                    • Te Reo Putake

                      Yes, if your enterprise can’t cope with a few hours of downtime every year, you’re not the business genius you think you are. No go away and play with your money. You’ve embarrassed yourself enough for one day.

                    • Yes

                      Te Reo will you keep bludging and taking money off union members to pay your union delegate high wages and life style. I will give my staff a 5% pay increase tomorrow and get them to sign a contract not to join a union.

                    • Te Reo Putake

                      And now we’re off to fantasy land. Are you sure you’re a boss? You come across as a junior sales rep brown-nosing the MD rather than the real thing. And, by the way, I didn’t say I worked for a union, I said I’d organise for the comrades to pop round and have a chat with your supposed workers. Still, I bet that if they existed they’d be chuffed to be getting a 5% rise because you made a fool of yourelf on teh interwebs. Union organising must be a piece of piss if all employers are as easily persuaded to part with their money as you are.

                    • Descendant Of Sssmith

                      Fuck you’re a tosser and can’t even maintain a consistent coherent argument.

                      First unionisation will cost you, then it will come out of the workers pay rate, then you say your starting pay rate would become $20-00 per hour from $35-00 due to union costs when the costs wouldn’t be anywhere near that. You can’t even do sensible maths.

                      If you were a “good employer” you wouldn’t be afraid of your staff becoming unionised if they wanted to. You would be supportive of them because they wanted it. You would understand and support their legal right to do so and would happily negotiate with them. You would understand that your workers also have their lives and families invested in your business and not think that it was only you that had so. You would understand, as all modern business practise would tell you, that being supportive of your staff and their needs makes for increased productivity and lower turnover.

                      Your’re fearful rather than supportive – it would be interesting to know why.

                      For the record I also employ people and have a very good relationship with the union that represents my workers. I find the union useful for alerting me early about issues and helping resolve these and see the union as a valuable part of the organisation. We don’t always agree but then the same can be said for customers, suppliers and contractors. There is a degree of expertise, knowledge, skill and willingness to share power and information needed in resolving those issues.

                    • Yes

                      Te Reo. At least you make me laugh. Keep bludging I will keep investing and you and your comrades have a beer thinking why 94% of working NZers don’t belong to unions…because they have great bosses and great employment and opportunities. Comrades lol…god so pathetic and quite frankly 1950 rubbish. Don’t retire lonely

                    • Yes

                      Descendant of smith.. Do you own the company you employ or you just a line manager

                    • quartz

                      I totally know you. You’re the guy who spends his Sunday on the internet lying about being a big shot.

                    • Arfamo

                      ….94% of working NZers don’t belong to unions…because they have great bosses and great employment and opportunities

                      Or because now those who aren’t in unionised workplaces only ever hear about what’s wrong with unions from their employers, and are likely to be concerned about being harrassed and harangued (and constructively dismissed) if they did want to join one perhaps?

                    • felix

                      “Union delegates have membership targets just like police have traffic fines as targets”

                      Oh fuck off Yes. How the hell did you think you could pull this conversation off when you don’t even know what a “union delegate” is.

                      Fucking idiot.

                    • Yes

                      Quartz lol very funny….no actually I spent the morning in the office trying to increase cash-flow so I don’t have to make a staff redundant. And you what did you do today?

                    • Yes

                      Guys under labour union membership decreased …why? Why why? Answer that..no one cares about unions

                    • Yes

                      But but but I ha ve always supported Helen Kelly on health and safety.

                    • felix

                      Hey Yes, you’ve been exposed. you know nothing about the subject and no-one believes a word of what you say.

                      Give it up, get a new handle, and try again.

                    • Yes

                      Descendant of smith…hmmm a line manager..your comment was so easy to pick as a line manager…beat you have been on corporate missin and vision strategy days and wear the company badge with honor. Break free and invest in your own skills and ability

                    • Arfamo

                      Guys under labour union membership decreased …why? Why why? Answer that..no one cares about unions

                      Well in our case the union was unable to prevent massive restructuring due to downsizing to reduce the wage bill, and pay increases were only given to people who shifted to independent agreements. The atmosphere among the workers and management was positively toxic at times.

                    • Yes

                      Arfarmo..sorry to hear but equally many industries have grown. I read a lot of economic data and to be honest while the manufacturing decline is true but not at the stated rates…the industry is losing it’s appeal and damaged by low wage economies. I have never understood why unions here set up offices in those countries and beat them up. NZ is doing just fine overall and quite frankly neither party would be as good as the other.

                      So here’s my challenge…unionizing workplaces will not improve anything nor will zero union work places.

                      Tell me how an end game can be legalized when unions and company don’t agree…because the public get effected and they don’t have any say. I am guessing but let’s say there was 600 employed at the port both union and management and between they destroyed our economy for 3 months.

                      What is the answer that doesn’t let 600 people destroy 27b industry.

                      I say legislate

                    • Arfamo

                      Crikey, Yes – I wasn’t expecting that response. Um, yeah. Legislate. To make sure both parties are reasonable. So, that makes sense to me, but what do we legislate for? (You know, this sounds a bit like what we once had.)

                    • Daveo

                      Hey ‘Yes’, why do you keep lying with this ‘94% of people don’t belong to unions’ nonsense?

                      Unionisation is 20% of the employed workforce. 50% public sector, around 12% in the private sector.

      • burt 2.1.2

        CV

        Blame the port company for playing brinksmanship using Auckland’s entire economy. Try and fuck your own workers instead of valuing them, so why pretend to be surprised at the push back?

        Blame the port company union for playing brinksmanship using Auckland’s entire economy. Try and fuck your own workers employer instead of valuing them, so why pretend to be surprised at the push back?

        I know, good faith is only expected from the employer by unions and only expected from the union by employers. Would be much easier if we had individual contracts rather than some outdated pre-industrial revolution concept of fighting the man ….

        • felix 2.1.2.1

          Of course the will of the workers to bargain collectively doesn’t come into it, eh burt?

          • Colonial Viper 2.1.2.1.1

            It really took burt a day and a half to come up with that response? Man, he must be struggling.

          • burt 2.1.2.1.2

            Good to know you acknowledge the failure of compulsory unionism.

            • felix 2.1.2.1.2.1

              I didn’t.

              You, on the other hand, appear to be opposed to voluntary association.

              What a tewible wittle wibertawian you are.

    • Pasupial 2.2

      @ Yes

      “\\Interesting she said that in the act staff can work during a strike…will why dont unions allow it instead of calling people SCAB’s”.

      What?? I think the flecks of spittle may be shorting out your keyboard there.

      (To reply – if this is what you’re asking?), Unions oppose casualisation of work places as that impoverishes and endangers the workers there employed. Strikes in essential industries are regulated by law as regards; notice and duration, in return employers also have obligations. The Labour Party who oppose the bill are in contact with unions but not controlled by them. Calling someone a scab does not prevent someone from working (in fact, the way to become a scab is to Work; during a strike or lockout).

      • ghostrider888 2.2.1

        I have witnessed many examples of the discrimatory treatment of temp staff resulting from the trend to casualisation of the workforce, in factories and labouring roles; treated like dogs at times.

    • Um Yes it is a staff of 7 (the board and chief executive) that is holding up peoples lives. Not to mention pissing against the wall of tens of millions of dollars of ratepayers moneys in a vendetta to deunionise the site. Shame on them.

      And big ups to Darien Fenton for clearly presenting the reality of the situation. Compared to Ross’s sloganeering and debasement of the English language she did well.

      • Yes 2.3.1

        Umm 7 staff ridiculous..27b dollars of the customers and NZ wealth…that what the board was looking after including my exports. Poorly weighted argument.

        • Te Reo Putake 2.3.1.1

          It’s a perfect argument. It’s those 7 people who knackered the port and in a more just, democratic society, they’d have been sacked long ago. But they are protected from accountability by the structure of the port company; they have an almost unfettered right to commit economic treason.

          • Saarbo 2.3.1.1.1

            and added to that “Yes”, the hopeless 7 also imposed a huge cost on ratepayers, significantly bigger than the reduction in Labour costs they were chasing. So from a business perspective their logic was screwy…they should be fired.

          • Draco T Bastard 2.3.1.1.2

            It’s those 7 people who knackered the port and in a more just, democratic society, they’d have been sacked long ago.

            And I’m sure that a lot of Aucklanders wanted to sack the bastards unfortunately this government, through the auspices of it’s bought and paid for subsidiary the Act Party, made it so that we couldn’t.

            • Descendant Of Sssmith 2.3.1.1.2.1

              So let’s be clear POAL made a profit of $5.4 mill in 2009, $37.2 million in 2010, 23.3 million in 2011 and $24.9 million in 2012.

              Operations were up, revenue was up, container volumes were up, debt levels reduced by $19 million and a dividend of $7.6 million paid to the council.

              Despite all this POAL wanted to casualise the workforce and the workers quite rightly did not want to be casualised. They have families to support and mortgages to pay.

              The justification for this was due to valuing the land highly as if it was residential and then placing an unrealistic expectation of a 12% rate of return on highly overvalued land.

              This was not a business in financial difficulty or making anywhere near an operating loss.

              The current business models are being gerrymandered to protect overvalued capital assets and right wing ideology with little consideration for workers incomes.

              The industrial action was as a result of port management and Auckland council buying into that ideology. The industrial action arose purely as a result of poor management and the lockout compounded their poor management.

              There was no valid operating reason to do this.

              This fake bookkeeping bullshit of overvaluing land on the books to make rate of return look bad just pisses me off.

              As does by the way undervaluing when it’s to be sold to developers and farmers so they can ate capital gains off it. This was done for instance with railway land before rail was sold and can be seen recently with the massive capital gains being made on South Island farmland.

              http://www.poal.co.nz/news_media/2011_mediareleases/20110825_AnnualResult.htm

      • Wayne (a different one) 2.3.2

        “Big ups for Darien Fenton for clearly representing the reality of the situation”.

        Oh spare me! she’s a “f…..g” liar – pure and simple and, was caught out big time yesterday on TV.

        “Rachel the Ports of Auckland was a ‘lockout’ by Management” – really Darien, what about the 4 weeks of strike action and picketing, before Management had a gutsful of the intimidation and threats from the union thugs and, locked the losers out.

        Never let the facts get in the way of good lie!

        • One Anonymous Knucklehead 2.3.2.1

          It’s a funny way of losing when you go to court and win.

        • Te Reo Putake 2.3.2.2

          Wayne, check out the thread below where Dumrse gets done over trying to push the same feeble line . It was pretty embarrasing for him, and it’s equally embarrasing for you. To make it easy for you, there was limited strike action, then a lockout, then the dismissal of the workers. Fenton was correct to say it was a lockout, because, um, it was.

          • Wayne (a different one) 2.3.2.2.1

            So the 4 weeks the workers withheld their labour was a……….lockout, really!!!!!

            • Te Reo Putake 2.3.2.2.1.1

              No, that was a strike. Did you miss the sentence where I laid out the sequence? Here it is again:

              “To make it easy for you, there was limited strike action, then a lockout, then the dismissal of the workers.”

        • Augustine 2.3.2.3

          “Rachel the Ports of Auckland was a ‘lockout’ by Management” – really Darien, what about the 4 weeks of strike action and picketing, before Management had a gutsful of the intimidation and threats from the union thugs and, locked the losers out.

          Never let the facts get in the way of good lie!”

          Actually Wayne, what happened was the workers had a gutsful of the intimidation and bullying tactics from the management thugs and, so they lawfully protested and took them to court and won. But you obviously never let the facts get in the way of a good lie.

  3. Pasupial 3

    It looks like Jamie-Lee has been swiping ShonKey’s barrel of Smarm ™ brand aftershave (I guess the liquid teflon has got held up in the ports). Always ready with a glib answer to a question he’s talking over.

    Darien Fenton by contrast seemed like an actual person; which is rare in a political interview.

    • dumrse 3.1

      Except Fenton bullshitted the Nation by lying and tell us the POAL was a lockout when it clearly spent most of its life as a STRIKE.

      • Colonial Viper 3.1.1

        Oh don’t be a sore loser

      • Te Reo Putake 3.1.2

        The workers were fired, dumarse. That’s one step worse than a lockout.

        • dumrse 3.1.2.1

          Im hearing ya, at least you didn’t disagree she lied to the Nation.

          • Te Reo Putake 3.1.2.1.1

            Comprehension difficulties, dumarse? Firing them is locking them out.

            • quartz 3.1.2.1.1.1

              Fenton didn’t lie to the Nation. The union served notice of time-limited strike action. The company issues notice of an indefinite lock-out.

              The only lying I saw being done in that clip was by Ross. And he wasn’t doing it very well. Which is unsurprising given what a fucking moron he is. You’re not Ross are you dumbarse? I’m just asking because your names sound so very similar.

            • dumrse 3.1.2.1.1.2

              They went on fucking STRIKE so eventually got locked out. What bit dont you comprehend ?

              • Te Reo Putake

                Wow, nice of you to finally admit that they were locked out. Now apologise to Darien for getting it wrong and we can all move on.

                • Pascal's bookie

                  Best of luck TRP, but Dumarse read it on failoil so that’s the line he’s sticking to.

                • dumrse

                  Shame you can’t fucking read.

                  • quartz

                    Best of luck TRP, but Dumarse read it on failoil so that’s the line he’s sticking to.

                    So this is the “whale army” I’ve heard so much about? Fail army more like…

                  • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                    Shame you pay lip service to the law then defend law-breaking employers. Stupid trash.

                    • Pascal's bookie

                      Haha, remember when whlale was touting POAs rock solid legal strategy?

                  • Te Reo Putake

                    “by lying and tell us the POAL was a lockout”

                    I can read, even when its written by a dumarse with a particularly blunt crayon.

    • Hami Shearlie 3.2

      I thought Jamie-Lee looked and sounded just like “Hymie” the Robot on “Get Smart”!! He doesn’t come across as a regular person, more like someone programmed by Bridges or Key!!

  4. Phil 4

    “The Prime Minister supports it”…well well well.
    Mr Lee Ross, a boy with little life experience, no track record, few skills, one for the dole queue after next year.

    • quartz 4.1

      Yes’ll hire him. He pays $35 an hour!

      Come to think of it, they deserve each other.

  5. xtasy 5

    My impression of the interview was that Rachel Smalley exposed herself as a mediocre, shallow journalist, made up in her face like a young girl not knowing a “healthy limit” of such, but apparently not asking the hard questions.

    She does not seem to have read the Employment Relations Act, and possibly not even the bill that slimy Jami Lee (“Whale”-) Ross had drafted and presented on a mere 4 pages.

    All she asked was about who would support it and who would likely not, hence just discussing power politics, dependent on lobbyist support. She did not even engage that arrogant “Botany Man” of a human species on the technical details, like that under present labour laws employers can in some cases (essential industries and else) get exempted from the requirement not to employ other workers to fill in for striking workers.

    There were no questions re the fact that this bill would basically take the last remaining “weapon” of organised workers out of their hands, thus making unions totally uneffective and redundant.

    There was no clear challenge re what the industrial dispute at Ports of Auckland was about, and that it was a lock-out.

    So it took Darien Fenton to point all that out, and explain a few other things. I feel Darien could have done better too, and her acceptance that unions are not always right, and that Labour do at times talk with them in straight (or tough) language, was indirectly a positioning of Labour as not standing for the same the unions demand (which is nowadays rather basic, common sense and minimum standard stuff).

    It shows that Darien follows the pack of the ABCers, to keep right of centre.

    It was a lockout at Ports of Auckland, and what the employer did was in part later declared illegal by the courts, that should have been mentioned.

    But Jami Lee got his run, little challenged by Smalley, about it all being about “fairness”, the “rights” of workers to “choose” to work, even when there is a strike.

    All pretty weak and petty stuff presented to challenge that Jami Lee Ross, groomed by a Simon Lusk, as I understand it. Damned, more must be done to deal to such a cunning, union hating bastard!

    • Huginn 5.1

      ‘made up in her face like a young girl not knowing a “healthy limit” of such’
      What the fuck is that supposed to mean?

      • quartz 5.1.1

        Don’t even bother trying to figure it out. xtasy is a waste of space.

        • xtasy 5.1.1.1

          Waste of space is not commenting on the substance matter, but wasting time on side aspects of little relevance.

          • quartz 5.1.1.1.1

            You’re of little relevance.

            • xtasy 5.1.1.1.1.1

              You of even less! You have nothing much to contribute with just throwing a few words and insults around at times, so address stuff of substance that I mentioned, also Fenton being a bit dodgy and two faced when talking about unions, for instance!

              • Te Reo Putake

                She wasn’t being two faced at all. Labour doesn’t always agree with labour and vice versa. Fact.

              • Daveo

                Don’t be a moron. Darien Fenton gave unreserved support for the port workers. It’s the strongest statement I’ve seen from a Labour politician yet. She also recognised that Labour and the unions are two wings of the same movement.

                As for your problem, she was asked if Labour supports everything the unions say – of course she can’t commit to that. It’s a robust and dynamic movement and Labour and the unions will have differences of focus and priority. What she said reflected reality. If you think it would have been good for the party or the unions for her to say Labour does whatever the unions tell them then you’re on another planet.

                • xtasy

                  Daveo – It was perhaps the way she said it, which was to me a bit too “gently, gently” and “mindful” (of our voters).

                  What do the unions expect and demand these days, that Labour cannot support and agree with?

                  NZ unions, apart from perhaps Unite Union, are generally rather “moderate” these days, and I am struggling to think of anything that is unreasonable that they do not ask for.

                  So why not make that clear, instead of distancing Labour from the unions in the words she chose?

                  Anyway, I take your point, and I agree Darien is of the more solid MPs that Labour have. With a fair few of the others (Sky City box attendees for instance), it does not take much to be so “strong” to support fairer labour laws.

                  • Daveo

                    Darien has a soundbite in which to describe the party’s relationship with the unions. Trying to broach a complex and historically loaded topic like that within those constraints and in that format is a recipe for disaster. She answered the question as well as she could be asked. Darien’s a solid unionist, you shouldn’t jump to conclusions.

    • karol 5.2

      Rachel Smalley can be a good interviewer. It was probably that producer talking in her ear, pushing Smalley to a particular line of questioning.

      • phillip ure 5.2.1

        the ‘fail’ from smalley was when she asked the odious-one his justifications for the need for this legislation..

        ..and he quoted strike stats from eight fucken years ago..(!)

        ..and smalley just sat there..mute..and let him get away with it..

        ..never called him on it..

        ..i mean..journalism 101..?

        ..phillip ure..

        • karol 5.2.1.1

          Ross quoted the 2005 & 1999 stats to make a point about the impact of the last Labour government on the number of strikes.

          My immediate thought was not that the date of the stats is a problem, but the use of relative numbers of strikes is a diversion. Ross was implying that more strikes mean the legal balance had been tipped too much in favour of unions by the Clark government.

          However, the focus should be more on the behaviour of employers that result in unions going out on strike.

          • phillip ure 5.2.1.1.1

            from memory..there were 19 strikes nationwide last year..

            ..(maybe why ross reached back 8 yrs..?..)

            ..and that was maybe the follow-up question smalley should have asked:..’how many strikes last yr?’..

            ..because ross’ spin/reach back to try and blame labour..was in response to smalley asking him for the evidence for the need for this/such legislation..

            ..i hope some other media-person gets to ask ross that question..

            ..surely he won’t just be allowed to get away with it..?

            ..surely not..?

            (but i guess we can’t blame smalley entirely…the head of tv3 news the other day said that smalleys’ questions are written by the shows’ producers..she is just reading from a list/auto-cue..)

            phillip ure..

            • karol 5.2.1.1.1.1

              ..because ross’ spin/reach back to try and blame labour..was in response to smalley asking him for the evidence for the need for this/such legislation..

              Smalley began the interview, and thereby framing it by saying that some employers says Ross’s bill could jeopardise 10 years of harmonious industrial relations. Smallye actually spent a fair bit of the beginning of the issue citing reasons to oppose it.

              Ross seemed to accept that industrial relations had been relatively harmonious in recent years, and this is supported by stats nz’ graph here, with a spike in 2005 and a decline since then. Ross’s argument was that, come better economic times, unless the law was changed, unions would start striking more.

              The problem with that is, Ross is blaming both the Labour government & good economic times on the rise in strikes.

              But to me, this issue is about whether the employer behaviour is the cause of strikes,

              Actually, looking at that graph, the drop in strikes has been since the mid-80s. And this may mean that employers have been getting away with anti-worker practices since then.

            • Descendant Of Sssmith 5.2.1.1.1.2

              Many collective contracts these days are for two or three years before they are due for renegotiation and given you can’t strike unless at the expiry of a contract I suspect that there will be quiet years and less quiet years.

              It should be somewhat predictable which years might have higher rates of industrial action by collective contract expiry years.

              A table showing this might be quite interesting to see.

    • Murray Olsen 5.3

      What struck me about Fenton was her not giving a straight answer when she was asked if she considered POAL was a bad employer. A straight “yes” would have been sufficient. Winston seems to be the only politician who can give a one word answer, even when more is obviously superfluous.

      And as for yes above – it’s all about him/her. It doesn’t seem to have entered it’s head that the workers might actually have an opinion. I’d say that as far as employers go, it’s like the manager from The Office.

  6. Saarbo 6

    National are constantly repeating that they are “Centre Right”, very worried about been labelled extreme Right Wing

    National may be using Jamie Lee Ross’s bill to distract voters from the Employment Relations Amendment Bill, while National may eventually reject JLR Bill to look reasonable while the Employment Relations Amendment Bill is passed.

    National are hopeless but they are cunning.

  7. http://whoar.co.nz/2013/the-nation-a-review-see-dunne-duck-see-dunne-weave/

    (excerpt:..)

    “….next up is the odious-oink face of national..the far-right/lusk-acolyte jamie lee ross..

    ..where he pimps his union-smashing bill..

    ..of interest is his confession that he ‘talked with the ports of auckland’ before drafting his private members’ bill..

    ..and of much hilarity is his claim that he is ‘centre-right’..(the same bullshit key tries to spin)..

    ..whereas ross is the ugly/tooth’ n claw/fuck-the-poor face of the extreme right..

    ..a key member of the far-right ginger-group within national..those trying to drag national even further to the right..

    ..(ed:..i’m sure ross has a bill in draft form to reintroduce ‘the poor-house’..)

    ..and ross is actually so slimy/odious..you need to wipe down yr monitor-screen after he has been on..”

    phillip ure..

    • Phil 7.1

      It is an interesting point for me, why is it that those who seek (by whatever means) to limit our freedom and rights in NZ, look so ugly and self possessed?
      One for the research I think, but where to look for the question?

      • Murray Olsen 7.1.1

        I dunno, Michael Laws seems to think he’s an absolute Adonis.

        • phillip ure 7.1.1.1

          with ross..just look into his eyes..!..f.f.s..!

          .(and when he attempts his rictus-smile..it is even more nerve-wracking..)

          ..and were i a shape-shifting-lizard-person conspiracist..

          ..i would have him on a short-listed watchlist..

          ..phillip ure

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