Boss backlash highlights difficulties for Labour’s watered down Worker’s Rights Agenda

By   /   July 2, 2017  /   47 Comments

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After 9 years of crushing worker rights and union rights Andrew is actually offering very little…

The award for doing as little as possible for Union and Worker Rights goes to Labour

Based on the hysterical reaction by the bosses and employers of New Zealand, Labour’s very mild employment changes will usher in an era of Soviet Union era boat yard industrial relations and that Western Civilisation itself will fail.

According to the bosses, planes will fall from the sky and cats and dogs will start living together.

The absurdity of the reaction to what are very small changes in Worker Rights highlights how difficult a job Labour have.

Not a lot of people know this but in 2014 one of the large Trucking companies put out a letter to all their workers and threatened massive job losses if Labour came to power. Labour are trying to inch Union rights and worker rights along without enraging employer groups.

That sort of thing makes tweets like this look terribly misplaced…

After 9 years of crushing worker rights and union rights Andrew is actually offering very little…

1) Increasing the minimum wage to $16.50 an hour.

2) Replacing the current National Government’s ‘fire at will’ law with fair trial periods that provide both protection against unjustified dismissal and a simple, fair, and fast referee service.

3) Introducing Fair Pay Agreements that set fair, basic employment conditions across an industry based on the employment standards that apply in that industry.

4) Promoting the Living Wage by paying it to all workers in the core public service, and extending it to contractors over time.

…the minium wage increase is pretty mediocre, the fire at will law was always unfair, promotion of living wage is pretty meaningless but the Fair Pay Agreement is a good first step.

All these things are pretty easy and simple and not radical at all, but the response by bosses shows how little room Labour have left themselves with to manoeuvre.  By refusing a Corbyn style radicalism, Labour are left having to dance to the tune of the bosses.

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47 Comments

  1. savenz says:

    Bit harsh there Martyn. A rise in minimum wages is desperately needed as is a fairer system for dismissal. It’s a lot more radical that it seems. Essentially in NZ there is zero security for most people in their jobs and zero hour type contracts becoming normal.

    • WILD KATIPO says:

      I agree – this is the start of the wedge that is needed to flush these neo liberals out of the murk and into the light. Not only is it a good start , – its going to start getting people talking . And discussing just whats going on in this country.

      And small increments building up to more ground taken is a good way to kick it off. Yes we would all like more, and yes so many are suffering. But its been 3 decades of this neo liberal garbage , and its been deeply entrenched.

      And one good thing about this as I’ve said – it will expose those who have been behind this all along. The louder they protest – the better it is. Then they can be isolated and then questioned .

      Because so far – the way they want the world to be is helping to kill 1600 New Zealanders a year due to cold , damp houses and lack of money to see a doctor. And many of those are small children and elderly.

      Along with that – it was the same crowd who influenced our labour laws that contributed to Pike River and many other preventable deaths in the workplace.

      And working family’s poverty levels via the Employment Contracts Act.

      Screw them.

      If they were so crash hot in their ‘ wisdom’ we wouldn’t have record homelessness , degraded heath , education and prison services. We wouldn’t have people struggling to ever get into their first home. And we wouldn’t have among the lowest paid wages in the western world in a time when this govt says the economy is going strong.

      Even the bloody IMF reported on that.

      So obviously someones been busily on the make at the expense of the rest of us. And it sure hasn’t been the New Zealand worker.

      Its time these scumbags get a damn good looking into with all their thieving and plundering. They have a lot to answer for.

      • Geoff Lye says:

        It is not just families that are suffering , it’s young single people with multiple health issues , who are being screwed over by bosses paying bullshit minimum wage and 20 hours a week contracts, winz refusing to put them on sickness or supported living benefits and not letting them qualify for a state house.

        On top of all this some of these people in their teens and twenties are not on subsidised meds and have to beg for meds money or they are dead.

        I can damn say this because I am keeping one 25 year old alive at great expense to myself while him and his fiancee live in the back of a bloody garage.

    • bert says:

      Yes I too agree. Just had a letter from my electricity company stating they need to increase costs to cover an ever increasing demand for servicing. Shall I go to my employer and ask for an increase in salary as I need an increase to cover the ever increasing costs of electricity, education, housing affordability etc, etc. I think Labour are on the right track.

      • darth smith says:

        we will need an Auckland allowance sooner or latter costs of living in this city are out of control worker housing ,worker travel allowance wages/income are currently a bad joke all the wealth goes to capital,even the working for families and housing supplement taken from the middle class tax payers handed to the poor end up in pockets of the rentier speculator scum bags and the banks

        • bert says:

          Well said. The day my salary is inflation adjusted, well, that will clearly be the day National are gone. And why do I keep hearing Bullshit Bill keep saying “the regions” are doing particularly well?

  2. fatty says:

    Yes, Labour’s policies here are very weak and only a small step to the left of National.
    But would we expect anything else from Labour – they’ve done this time and again.
    It’s been disappointing to see so many ‘leftists’ claim this policy announcement was useful. It’s not useful at all.

    We’re deluded if we think 6-9 years of Andrew Little’s centrist-conservative nonsense will be useful. He’s only going to cement third-way/neoliberalism for another 12-18 years.

  3. WILD KATIPO says:

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    Boss backlash highlights difficulties for Labour’s watered down Worker’s Rights Agenda

    By Martyn Bradbury / July 2, 2017 / No Comments

    TDB recommends Voyager – Unlimited internet @home as fast as you can get
    After 9 years of crushing worker rights and union rights Andrew is actually offering very little…
    Print Email

    The award for doing as little as possible for Union and Worker Rights goes to Labour

    … ” Based on the hysterical reaction by the bosses and employers of New Zealand, Labour’s very mild employment changes will usher in an era of Soviet Union era boat yard industrial relations and that Western Civilisation itself will fail.

    According to the bosses, planes will fall from the sky and cats and dogs will start living together.

    The absurdity of the reaction to what are very small changes in Worker Rights highlights how difficult a job Labour have. ” …

    I love it.

    I love hearing the rogue employers and the New Zealand Institute squeak and squawk and rant. It just highlights how devious , evil and hateful they are even with these small policy changes.

    I cannot think of a better way to expose to all New Zealanders how shitty they really are and how they have ripped off the people of this country for so long and gotten away with – by hiding behind their neo liberal stooge politician mates.

  4. Labour’s Fair Wage Agreements have been in Labour’s policy (as Industry standard agreements) in the last two elections. Its based on the European model of extension collective bargaining. This is major policy, initiated by Helen Kelly and worked through over time with unions and affiliated unions. If enacted, it would revolutionise wage fixing in New Zealand and bring in thousands of workers currently not covered by collective bargaining. I hardly call this weak.

  5. Labour’s Fair Wage Agreements have been in Labour’s policy (as Industry standard agreements) in the last two elections. It’s based on the European model of extension collective bargaining. This is major policy, initiated by Helen Kelly and worked through over time with unions and affiliated unions. If enacted, it would revolutionise wage fixing in New Zealand and bring in thousands of workers currently not covered by collective bargaining. I hardly call this weak or watered down. Thus the hysteria from bosses.

    • Louis says:

      Thank you Darien.

      • darth smith says:

        if i remember it allows workers to index there wage to there peers in the industry the highest become the bench mark ,it also entourages collective bargaining across the industries its good because it will stop the fly by nighters undercutting the good ones. those who are complaining know exactly whats going to happen they will be out of business and good companies will prosper without the fly by nighters stuffing the rates up. labor and resources will migrate away from the scum bag companies over time.

  6. Louis says:

    This is democracy in action reading opposing views and supportive views like from strong advocates like Willie Jackson and Laila Harre. The bosses spitting the dummy tells me that Labour’s policy is good, its a good start. Change the government because this and other policies can be built on once power is achieved, and thats what these bosses and employers are afraid of.

  7. Dean Reynolds says:

    Bomber, for god’s sake, stop using that dumb photo of Andrew Little. It’s the sort of photo the right wing media uses, in order to denigrate Andrew

  8. patricia bremner says:

    So Fatty,
    What do you suggest instead? (that would stand a chance of being voted in)
    Or are you just here to white ant reasonable policy, which is on
    conditions of work?
    Knockers should have some skittles to put up. imo

  9. countryboy says:

    yeah, well fuck mainfreight for a start. Would they have become the transport oligarch they are, with its owner swimming in money, if NZ Rail hadn’t been exterminated? NZ rail, a fabulous service, and like, for example Amtrak, NZ Rail was never designed to make a profit. Just to supply a service to the people, the tax payers who paid for it which was sold off for the profits of a select few then left to die a lonely death. Now? Global warming yet to passenger train service?
    I worked as a truck driver back in the late ’80’s and early ’90’s and I can remember very clearly that it was an outstanding opportunity for anyone without a conscience to make millions off the hard labour of their workers and drivers. I.E. It was a fucking rip off without restraint.

    “Loving the leadership and values of mainfreight here”

    She’ll be saying ” Love your work ” next.

    Julie Anne Genter has no idea what the fuck she’s talking about other than what she’s told to say.

    Labour = Flaccid Right

  10. Draco T Bastard says:

    Based on the hysterical reaction by the bosses and employers of New Zealand, Labour’s very mild employment changes will usher in an era of Soviet Union era boat yard industrial relations and that Western Civilisation itself will fail.

    According to reality the Bosses are already destroying our society.
    It is the inevitable result of their greed and hubris.

    The absurdity of the reaction to what are very small changes in Worker Rights highlights how difficult a job Labour have.

    Does it show that or does it show that the Bosses are just wanting to make a lot of noise to try and drown out those that are being oppressed by them?

    By refusing a Corbyn style radicalism, Labour are left having to dance to the tune of the bosses.

    Now that’s probably true.

  11. David says:

    And which party implemented this neo liberalism / Chicago boy’s attack on workers conditions, privatisation of tax payer assets and the trickle down nonsense ?
    Labour, the workers party.

    • Louis says:

      What about Muldoon and successive Nat govts? The Labour party under Andrew Little is not the same Labour party of the past.

  12. mosa says:

    FEAR = compliance , don’t rock the boat and believe what my boss tells me, i could loose my job if i stand up for my rights.

    Nah i won’t risk my job.

  13. patricia bremner says:

    Actually, Bill Birch and The Contracts Act wrecked our society.
    So those of you who think Labour won’t improve things, who are you going to vote for? Who is offering workers more?
    Or are you going to fence sit and have a bob each way?
    What are you going to say to your grandchildren when they ask why it is so hard to get a property?/Work?

  14. patricia bremner says:

    Actually, the real rot set in under National’s Bill Birch and his contracts Act.
    Businesses changed their names and workers had to apply for their jobs at much lower rates and poorer conditions. Otherwise they had to become contractors themselves with the resultant loss of holiday pay etc.
    Granted Labour’s Rodger Douglas did huge harm. But he had an agenda and later joined Act.
    Michael Fay and David Richewhite damaged our rail system, and BNZ imo. Ruth Richardson bought out her horrible budget to pay the BNZ flop.
    So then the last Labour government didn’t do anything for beneficiaries. Following all that we have had a money man making hay from the gfc at the expense of ordinary people for 9 years.
    Now Andrew Little is driving a small wedge in the door of worker’s rights.
    The squeals have begun from the greedies.
    Some Employers and corporates are showing they realise they have taken all the eggs and are in danger of killing the golden goose.
    So the country may at last be ready to accept a return to more secure pay and conditions of work.
    A small but significant beginning. From the kauri seed to the kauri.

  15. patricia bremner says:

    Actually, the real rot set in under National’s Bill Birch and his contracts Act.
    Businesses changed their names and workers had to apply for their jobs at much lower rates and poorer conditions. Otherwise they had to become contractors themselves with the resultant loss of holiday pay etc.
    Granted Labour’s Rodger Douglas did huge harm. But he had an agenda and later joined Act.
    Michael Fay and David Richewhite damaged our rail system, and BNZ imo. Ruth Richardson bought out her horrible budget to pay the BNZ flop.
    So then the last Labour government didn’t do anything for beneficiaries. Following all that we have had a money man making hay from the gfc at the expense of ordinary people for 9 years.
    Now Andrew Little is driving a small wedge in the door of worker’s rights.
    The squeals have begun from the greedies.
    Some Employers and corporates are showing they realise they have taken all the eggs and are in danger of killing the golden goose.
    So the country may at last be ready to accept a return to more secure pay and conditions of work.
    A small but significant beginning. From the kauri seed to the kauri.

    • Observer Tokoroa says:

      Hi Patricia

      The crushing of Andrew Little by the majority of blogs, as well as main stream media, is aimed entirely at making sure the ever widening poverty of New Zealanders continues.

      It proved successful in crushing David Cunliffe.

      The meanderings of the whimsical Greens seem to shout out that they want to become part and parcel of a corrupt National Exploitative Government.

      Winston Peters also childishly hiding his intentions – like a dog playing with a bone – is obviously going try to patch himself into the National Party hierarchy.

      But Cunliffe and Little have been direct and honest. They have pinpointed what is seriously wrong within New Zealand. Like Cullen before them, they perform well for New Zealand.

      Only the wealthy benefit from National. Labour can rely on nobody. But their day will come. For the Wealthy get more and more cruel, day after cruel day. You know that.

    • bert says:

      “The squeals have begun from the greedies.”

      Nail on the head Patricia, nail on the head.

      The greedies( employers) will put fear into the media and portray this as evil. For those that don’t know what fear stands for:

      F alse
      E vidence
      A ppearing
      R eal

      • Observer Tokoroa says:

        Hi Bert

        “The squeals have begun from the greedies.”

        I get amused when people tell me that great wealth is good. But it is not. It is meant to be shared. Constantly.

        For wealth when kept, always goes to fewer and fewer persons. Leaving millions of persons impoverished. As if they were mere nothings.

        So we need to devise ways of capturing wealth from the few and sending it off to the many. The Guillotine was one method used by the methodical French.

        But in this day and age, we could rely on more subtle ways of separating “greedies” from their undeserved unearned manic wealth.

        So many things could be righted in society by the simple method of sharing wealth. It is true, that the word “sharing” is a foul filthy stink word among the greedies.

  16. patricia bremner says:

    Actually, Bill Birch and The Contracts Act wrecked our society.
    So those of you who think Labour won’t improve things, who are you going to vote for? Who is offering workers more?
    Or are you going to fence sit and have a bob each way?
    What are you going to say to your grandchildren when they ask why it is so hard to get a property?/Work?

    • David says:

      My grandchildren don’t know what a union is, let alone what can be gained by collective bargaining.
      Labour had the government benches and did little to rectify the impact the Contracts Act had and still has on workers. Why would Labour now go out of its way to repeal the Contracts Act as Labour really wanted to deregulate the Labour market but didn’t want to get their hands to dirty.

  17. patricia bremner says:

    Sorry, didn’t mean to post twice. My mistake..got cross.

  18. Kim dandy says:

    Got any other pics of Andrew besides this one?

    • mosa says:

      Well there was the painting of him in the nuddy, shit imagine the traction and attention they would get from that around the country…the next kiwi iwi tui billboards.

      It would provoke a reaction that’s for sure.

  19. patricia bremner says:

    There is a great picture on facebook of Andrew on the beach with his dog,
    another of him ringing the school bell. I looked at that and thought “yes, ring time on this rotten lot Andrew.”

  20. Cindy Lavache says:

    Labour is pretty much same as Nats now, with a slight benefit to workers. I’m voting NZ First this year. Sick of being dished up crap from Nats and Labour.

    • Louis says:

      Disagree that Labs are much the same as nats now. No way. But good for you for voting Winston will be pleased to get your support. An Horizon poll says that NZFirst voters want a Labour led government, not National.

  21. […] Their worker rights reforms were mild and their restrictions on foreign students gained support but ultimately hurt by the perception of the Interns. […]

  22. David says:

    Maybe Labour should give some thought to changing it’s name to something like the Liberal Democrats, as the title” Labour” infers a connection with manual or working people.
    I think Liberal Democrats would be more fitting and in line with their political ideals and aims.
    I can’t really imagine Labour singing The Red Flag in a meaningful way these days and they may achieve more traction with middle New Zealand.