Hard News by Russell Brown

Read Post

Hard News: A storm in any port

216 Responses

First ←Older Page 1 4 5 6 7 8 9 Newer→ Last

  • DeepRed, in reply to Graham Dunster,

    Something that has intrigued me for some time – despite the general antipathy towards unions there is one that gets very deferential treatment – the professional rugby players’ one. They get everything (and more) that ordinary workers could desire and seemingly no management issues. Maybe they’re considered to be honorary CEOs?

    I suspect it has something to do with the ‘aspiration delusion’ (alluding to Dawkins’ The God Delusion), which is really just morris dancing to the faux-religion of John Frum Economics – the delusion that anyone can be John Key if they simply work hard enough. The McMansion is their chapel, and the Hummer their ‘holy steed’. I wonder how many un- and under-employed post-grads they’ve met.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 4353 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    aspiration delusion

    Nice phrase. Might appeal to those who get all antsy if you use the words "false consciousness".

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4463 posts Report Reply

  • Angus Robertson, in reply to Graham Dunster,

    Maybe they're considered to be honorary CEOs?

    Except not many people like CEOs who are generally known to be right wing political BS artists.

    Professional sports unions are apolitical and respected for it.

    Auckland • Since May 2007 • 984 posts Report Reply

  • DeepRed, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    Nice phrase. Might appeal to those who get all antsy if you use the words “false consciousness”.

    Here’s another one that comes to mind… “the Joneses are bankrupt”.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 4353 posts Report Reply

  • David Hood, in reply to Angus Robertson,

    Professional sports unions are apolitical and respected for it

    Speaking as a Dunedin resident, and looking at the cost benefit to the city of our rugby purpose built stadium, they are most definitely political. It is just they do not specifically endorse a particular political party.

    Dunedin • Since May 2007 • 899 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz, in reply to David Hood,

    Apolitical == quietly supporting the National Party

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4463 posts Report Reply

  • Angus Robertson, in reply to David Hood,

    Speaking as a Dunedin resident, and looking at the cost benefit to the city of our rugby purpose built stadium, they are most definitely political.

    Apolitical in the sense that they will unbiasedly accept patronage from any and all governments / elected officials.

    Auckland • Since May 2007 • 984 posts Report Reply

  • DexterX,

    Tis link is far more fun than what I intedned to post - I love Tuesday and dinner with Key.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/timaru-herald/opinion/steve-braunias/6560746/The-Secret-Diary-Of-Len-Brown

    I was going to post on why facilitation hadn't tkane place and Prof Howarth morning report thang - along the lines that the MUNZ didn't see the dismissal bombshell as a real outcome of negotiation - and how "good" Labour Employment Policy left Unions and Workers with nothing but suboptimal outcomes.

    Then fiinishing it all off with why POA/ Peasrons states their/his position as bullet proof - I was unclear whether they/he was asking that this be seriously tested?? Was it an open invitation?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1199 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Stowell, in reply to DexterX,

    link is far more fun

    Still giggling, much to the annoyance of my trying-to-sleep beloved. I'm blaming you, DexterX, and your 666 posts :)

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 1574 posts Report Reply

  • andin, in reply to Angus Robertson,

    Apolitical in the sense that they will unbiasedly accept patronage from any and all governments / elected officials.

    Or in the sense of suckarse with a lot of tongue action.

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1230 posts Report Reply

  • Angus Robertson, in reply to andin,

    Yeah that.

    Auckland • Since May 2007 • 984 posts Report Reply

  • DeepRed, in reply to DeepRed,

    I also theorise that it's a symptom of a weakening middle class - if they start going downwardly mobile, they'll either deny it, or they'll blame others for their worsening position. Robert Reich's The Truth About The Economy once again comes to mind.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 4353 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    ACIL defends the 12% target for the Port they own on behalf of Auckland Council.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16759 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace,

    Sounds like the Councillors have decided today they are legal leaders not moral ones. This situation desperately needs some ethical leadership from Council.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 2096 posts Report Reply

  • DeepRed, in reply to Hilary Stace,

    Sounds like the Councillors have decided today they are legal leaders not moral ones. This situation desperately needs some ethical leadership from Council.

    If anything, it’s being left to the courts, as was also the case in the 1998 Aussie dispute. The articles on the councillors’ decisions didn’t name which way they voted. Surprisingly, the Port deliberatly isn't covered by the CCO legislation.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 4353 posts Report Reply

  • merc,

    But the mayor said the council could not intervene because legislation which set up the port ownership under a limited company prevented it doing so. He likened the case to a 2004 industrial dispute involving Air New Zealand where the government of the day, as shareholder representative, said it couldn't step in.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/industries/6582308/Ports-of-Auckland-pauses-redundancy-plan
    Except that the Govt. did step in with 850 million dollars just a bit further down the track. Money and people, they are different things ay?

    But the mayor, several councillors and the council's legal team said the council could not intervene. The port is run by a limited company, Auckland Council Investments, at arm's length from the politicians.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/industries/6580573/Council-votes-down-wharfies-support-motion
    And that is exactly why corporatism is a democratic epic fail.

    Since Dec 2006 • 2471 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to merc,

    democratic epic fail

    exactly as intended

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16759 posts Report Reply

  • merc, in reply to Sacha,

    Sadly yes. For us the voters there is no coming back from a privatised publicly owned company. I wish more voters knew this. By the time the company has been asset stripped and necessarily re-nationalised, we the voters have to pay for it all over again.

    Since Dec 2006 • 2471 posts Report Reply

  • Mike Graham,

    Possibly a side-track, but if the port workers jobs are contracted out, would they be contractors or employees?

    How to tell a contractor from an employee

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 202 posts Report Reply

  • merc, in reply to Mike Graham,

    Very pertinent because this question has pulled NZ from pillar to post. When Labour are in charge it's best to be an employee, when NACT are in charge, a contractor.
    All is confusion and pain if you are a Sole Trader but.
    Ideologically NACT hate on staff, fact. We also have our own bad selves to blame, the whole employment status thing is fraught with class distinction, envy and illusion.
    Globally you make most capital out of staff, here in NZ you will make more out of owning the building they are working in.

    Since Dec 2006 • 2471 posts Report Reply

  • merc,

    Done deal save the council and Port Tauranga,
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=10792502
    Auckland and Tauranga have no land available, North Port has heaps. The only reason this would not make sense is...personal stake.

    Since Dec 2006 • 2471 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes, in reply to Mike Graham,

    but if the port workers jobs are contracted out, would they be contractors or employees?

    Like I said back on Page 3

    So, there is a difference between “Who you work for” and “Who pays you” so who looks after your rights? You got it , nobody.

    The Authority determined that Ontrack did not terminate McDonald’s employment, rather it ended its commercial arrangement with Allied for his placement.

    The wireless north ;-) • Since Dec 2006 • 4876 posts Report Reply

  • martinb,

    I did enjoy the show- but having watched it now it doesn't tally with Simon Wilson's editorial.

    He says in that editorial "It seems plain in this dispute that the port does not want to reach a settlement...It suggests the negotiations were a pretext in a plan to destroy the union."

    This view was not put on the show- the former coms person Karen Benland (sp? sorry!) said repeatedly that the company were willing to negotiate with the union and that the management were under pressure- not as Simon suggests that they were making the pressure.

    Nor was there any questioning about who or why there was pressure being placed on the management, still an interesting question given both Pearson and Gibson's previous employment at Maeserk, the remarks by Doug McKay and the report the council tried to prevent getting out, published in the Sunday Star-Times, that was the justification for the 12% claim.

    I thought the port had signalled in previous negotiations or court proceeding or something they were planning to casualise? Which also suggests that the union should have been more on the ball.

    Bit of a late contribution! Hope someone reads it...

    Auckland • Since Jul 2010 • 159 posts Report Reply

  • DexterX, in reply to martinb,

    I did enjoy the show- but having watched it now it doesn't tally with Simon Wilson's editorial.

    He says in that editorial "It seems plain in this dispute that the port does not want to reach a settlement...It suggests the negotiations were a pretext in a plan to destroy the union."

    Like you I enjoyed the show and I agree with your sentiment:

    It is interesting the nature of the work has been ignored.
    The question that the Employment Court will answer shortly is “Does law – the workers right to negotiate a collective agreement - have any place in the NZ working environment.

    The POAL mass dismissal in favour of contracting out has reduced people to mere input units.

    Should the MUNZ case fail it will be clear that workers have no “real” rights at law.
    I feel that no matter what position MUNZ took on behalf of the workers they represent the outcome would have been the same - No Collective Employment Agreement (CEA) and mass dismissal.

    The journey that MUNZ were on was that they were looking to settle a Collective Employment Agreement - the POAL were looking to casualise the workforce and chase a 12% return - there has been nothing that I have read that shows how a casualised in experienced work force will produce that outcome.

    An employment agreement that required people to work a 12-hour shift loading and unloading freight/containers onto and off ships I feel is dangerous particularly when the worker gets past the 10-hour mark in their working day. You add into that the flexible nature of the roster that is required - the company wants worker to chose between 5 and 12 hour shifts – you could well have people working several 12 hours shifts in a row. It become dangerous - the demand of having to concentrate on a task for significant periods and the complications and health affects of shift work.

    Under the new deal that POAL are seeking people will get killed. However that won’t be their concern is that they are contracting out.

    POAL have been disingenuous and spiteful – they have presented to the Public, and it has been swallowed by the Media, that port workers work 26 hours a week and earn $91. The truth of the matter is that people who work over 60 hours a week earn about $91 K.

    I have no problem with people who work over 60 hours a week making near on $100K.

    I agree with Rudman that “Feeble city leaders surrender right to a say on port”.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=10792426

    It is the thrust of things - govt policy – we are out sourcing democracy our right to elect people to make decision for us on the things we own has gone in favour of corporations that we cannot hold to account – the rate at which we do this will accelerate with the move to the super ministry.

    We outsource everything in the pursuit of lower costs and better returns without any real plan to deliver just that.

    Just do it – Think Super.

    Should the MUNZ case fail and contracting out prevail at the Auckland Port there will workplace accidents that result from the nature of the change of the working conditions and to my mind there will be blood on a the hands of a lot of people who have effectively washed their hands of the issue – that includes Mayor Len Brown.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1199 posts Report Reply

  • DexterX,

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1199 posts Report Reply

First ←Older Page 1 4 5 6 7 8 9 Newer→ Last

Post your response…

Please sign in using your Public Address credentials…

Login

You may also create an account or retrieve your password.