- - - - - - - - - - - - -

Friday, July 16, 2010

Fire at will

RNZ and NZ Herald reporting on a TVNZ exclusive from last night about the Nats taking an opportunity of lull during Phil Goff's leadership of the Labour Opposition to extend the unfair dismissal laws into the large workplaces. The Union workplaces. And then all of sudden - having sacrificed the small, non-unionised firms when this nasty bill was first introduced - they start caring about the 90 day fire-at-will law? They are rich, aren't they, these damn unions.
They never offered a peep when the original law was going through - they were all soporific from John Key's jobs summit and never resisted what would not affect their members. They acquiesced in it. Can you recall the strikes and protests and the demonstrations and union mobilisation against the 90 day law when it came in? No? No, because there wasn't any. So much for solidarity. Solidarity of unions - not solidarity of all workers.

Of course that was just the beginning, but the unions were prepared to tolerate it at the time. If they had properly realised it they could have made it a line in the sand, but they didn't want to and their betrayal of the most vulnerable employees unable to effectively organise themselves ought to be recorded.

Those union bosses are sell-outs from Ken Douglas on down the line to Andrew Little and Labour Party hacks to boot so I suppose no-one should expect more than what they have(n't) delivered: a low wage economy dependent on large scale immigration as only "growth" factor and NZ residents paying foreigners interest on the houses their banks own.

Now the unions want support do they?

They have proved by their (in)action that they are only out for themselves. Why is it the public are supposed to start the process of giving a fuck about workers' rights when it is now their middle class members in the corporate and state sectors that will start losing their rights?

It's only awful and bad and unfair and a capricious probation period.... when it happens to union-controlled shop floors? But when it was happening to everyone else it was OK? Not a squeak from them then. Keeping their powder dry... for when they want to blow themselves up.

If anything the 90 day law should be applied the other way around - only to workplaces of more than 20 staff.

At the time of the bill's passage when they were blitzing everything through the House. I cannot recall any Union opposition at the time [except for Unite].


At 16/7/10 9:37 pm, Anonymous omar said...

Actually, Unite were very vocal in their opposition to the passing of the first 90 day bill and have consistently fought 90 day sackings.

"On Saturday Unite Union is presenting the "Rat Patrol" to help fight unfair sackings to the public in Aotea Square at 12 noon. Dozens of people have volunteered to join an on-call squad to protest against
employers who sack people unfairly."

"The RAT PATROL has been launched by unions and community groups to make sure no worker get unfairly dismissed under the new law."

Hell we even went to John Key's gaff...

"Prime Minister John Key is unhappy that protesters are targeting his home.

Unite Union protested at his Parnell house yesterday against the bill introducing a 90-day probation period for new employees in small workplaces."

So yeah I can recall some opposition at the time.

At 16/7/10 9:48 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Um, dude, there was plenty of union protest at the time of the original law. What on earth has driven you to come out with this?

At 16/7/10 9:48 pm, Anonymous Mike said...

Govt faces outcry over 'fire-at-will' bill
By Grant Fleming
3:32 PM Tuesday Dec 9, 2008

The Government is facing an outcry from unions and its opponents over plans to "ram through" a 90-day probation period for new workers before Christmas.

Prime Minister John Key today confirmed his plans to pass the controversial legislation - which will give businesses with fewer than 20 employees the right to instantly sack new staff - through all its stages before Christmas.

The surprise move to pass the law under urgency will mean the public and groups such as unions won't have an opportunity to make submissions on the bill.

The decision today prompted howls of outrage from Labour and the Greens which said it was undemocratic and arrogant.

Unions said the change, which gives bosses a 90-day grace period to dismiss new workers without exposing themselves to claims of unjustified dismissal, would strip about 100,000 workers at any one time of a basic employment right.


Labour leader Phil Goff said the public had been blindsided and should have a right to have their say on a law that removed basic rights.

"This piece of legislation which takes away those rights is going to be rammed through Parliament with no opportunity for public input," he said.

"That really is an outrageous act of arrogance and bodes badly for the future of this government that they are prepared to do so."

Mr Goff said the move would undermine workers' sense of security at a time when unemployment was rising.

He said it undercut Mr Key's rhetoric around providing security for workers in tough economic times.

Council of Trade Unions president Helen Kelly said the move to fast-track the law without giving the public a say was a "huge breach of good faith".

Green Party MP Sue Bradford said the move to pass the "fire-at-will" bill under urgency was a "disgraceful attack on workers' rights".

Mr Key said there were protections for employees from unethical bosses.

The legislation could provide an early litmus test for National's relationship with its support partner the Maori Party, which helped defeat the legislation in the previous Parliament.

Labour and the Greens called for it to stand by that position and to also vote against the Government's urgency motion.

"Maori workers are among those most affected by unemployment and job mobility," Ms Bradford said.

But Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia said the party was yet to see the legislation. It would consider its stance once it received it.

At 16/7/10 10:50 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here's one example from the top of my head. This was just what the EPMU did.


I suppose you'll brand the union movement traitors for not calling a general strike that no one would have honoured, but please don't try to rewrite history.

At 17/7/10 9:54 am, Anonymous Joe C said...

@OMar- shot, bro.

Fuck but I hate armchair keyboard warriors as much as the next man.

see you today Tim, outside JB hifi, for a bit of mass leafletting.

At 17/7/10 1:39 pm, Blogger Tim Selwyn said...

... with the exception of Unite. They are the only ones I see who are keeping it rea. I should have mentioned that - apologies to Matt, Joe, Omar and the warriors that protect decent pay and conditions for workers they do their members and the union movement proud. If the other unions were as staunch as Unite it would have been a different outcome - my armchair whinge is that all the Nats had to do was put the law on everywhere with less than 20 staff and that effectively bought the acquiescence of the big unions. They didn't go ballistic - they sat on their hands because it didn't affect their operations. Very shrewd on the Tory side.

At 17/7/10 11:08 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Still don't see any sign of 'aquiescence' from the union movement. You are selectively rewriting history Tim.

At 18/7/10 12:09 pm, Anonymous rhiannon said...

John Key on TV this morning saying he didn't think many employers would *choose* to participate in the 90 day probabtion periods - whats the point then John?!
We will be naming and shaming those employers who do - watch yourselves forkers!
When workers rights are under attack: stand up, fight back!


Post a Comment

<< Home