Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Ideology for Evidence

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  • Russell Brown,

    It's fine to state your view, but to try and back it up by completely obfuscating the hard work of the employees who create the turnover that pays for their wages I believe is wrong.

    That wasn't my intention.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22749 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler,

    I think that making the eligibility for the period universal will tend to make its application nearly so.

    Just like the minimum wage?

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 3202 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic,

    WorkChoices, anybody?

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5416 posts Report Reply

  • Grant McDougall,

    The whole thing strikes me as a sop to not only National's core supporters, but more specifically as a sop to their right-wing and ACT.
    Clearly these morons don't know their history: the ECA went down like a cup of cold sick, yet they insist on bringing aspects of it back again, in effect.

    It'll be interesting to see how this affects the opinion polls, too.

    Dunedin • Since Dec 2006 • 759 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Meanwhile, on Kiwiblog, DPF leads his defence of the changes with the expert commentary of ... Kerre Woodham.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22749 posts Report Reply

  • Grant McDougall,

    As a strong and confident young woman, she gives him the blow-off.

    I hope to hell no one misreads or misunderstands that sentence...

    Dunedin • Since Dec 2006 • 759 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler,

    the ECA went down like a cup of cold sick, yet they insist on bringing aspects of it back again, in effect.

    That's a nice theory, but National won two elections after passing the ECA so it may not have been a big deal for as many people as you assume.

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 3202 posts Report Reply

  • binary.heart,

    "I'm with you in principle, but people really don't do that anymore."

    As a group of people they get together in organisations like the Employers and Manufacturers Association and lobbied National for the sort of changes we are seeing now.

    The sole purpose of these changes are to increase their power in the workplace. The way they wish to do this is to diminish if not kill off unions, and deny people basic workplace rights. If you are an employee and you don't regard the EMA and such as an enemy - you are not paying attention.

    Many people don't belong to unions and will see some areas of these changes as not affecting them, but many industry standards for payment and conditions spring from union collectives. They want to drive wages down everywhere, and this is a key way to do it. And by the way - is anyone out there feeling overpaid at the moment.

    "That wasn't my intention."

    Ok. Thanks in general for raising the issue on your blog. I'm glad this is getting more airtime and discussion.

    Since Nov 2007 • 19 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    Meanwhile, on Kiwiblog, DPF leads his defence of the changes with the expert commentary of ... Kerre Woodham.

    That's just because Torqeumada had to cancel due to a clashing engagement.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • jeremy gray,

    In related news, cabinet is expected to reach its' decision about the mining in national parks today, with an official announcement later in the week. The quotes from Key and Brownlee on RadioNZ leave me less than optimistic

    point chev • Since Apr 2008 • 44 posts Report Reply

  • 3410,

    This isn't compulsory.

    That's just hilarious.

    About as funny as the guy on NatRad yesterday who tried to argue that this is actually a good thing for employees, since if you're in a situation where your employer wants to get rid of you, then summary sacking might be just the incentive you need to get on and find something more suitable.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 2618 posts Report Reply

  • 3410,

    Kerre Woodham and Deborah Hill Cone:

    I'm sure this is just part of a clever viral marketing campaign for the new Alice in Wonderland movie.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 2618 posts Report Reply

  • TracyMac,

    As for the assertion that the ECA wasn't a "big deal", speaking as someone who was "made redundant" after 7 years, one year after the passage of the ECA, with no payout other than 2 weeks in lieu of notice, bullshit. There was also the small issue of the unions rolling over and playing dead as well (so much for 7 years membership of Jagpro, now Engineers).

    Of course, I should have "known" that redundancy provisions that were in the award agreement I'd had for so many years didn't roll over into the contract I "negotiated" - as I recall, the negotiation was in the lines of "take it or leave it".

    God only knows why National kept getting re-elected during that period. How many young or working-class people were voting at all around then?

    Canberra, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 701 posts Report Reply

  • Alastair Thompson,

    The Dominion FP picture story features one of their own - sub-editor Ali - who lost her dream job at Dunbar Sloan after only a couple of weeks. She left a secure job on the Fairfax sub-hub. The circumstances of that seem likely to end up in court - if that is possible.

    This example makes the point you made about labour mobility issues very clearly.

    I should think that this aspect of widening the law would have a bunch of negative economic impacts that even treasury and ACT would be greatly concerned at.

    But this law is mischievous in a multitude of ways. The following are two more real examples from my immediate circle of acquaintances.

    Example 2
    Severely deaf retail assistant at a pharmacy - pharmacy gets taken over and she signs new employment contract with new owner. Owner buys another pharmacy down the road - closes it and sacks some of the newly appointed staff under the 90 day provision. She had been working at the pharmacy perfectly well for four years. Left very distressed as to why she lost job.

    Example 3.
    Employer in Kapiti hires five young men in labouring jobs. Tells them his intention is to keep the best one and sack the rest in 2 and a half months.

    ^^^ all of the above circumstances are not how the law was intended to act and most could (but probbably won't) be litigated.

    al

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 220 posts Report Reply

  • Katita,

    National will get many many more votes from employees than it does from employers

    Not this employee they won't.

    it's the government looking after its core constituency, at the expense of others

    No surprise there either. I didn't vote for them for that very reason.
    That said, I do think the proposal for a doctor's note after 1 sick day and the selling back of annual leave is frankly nuts. In the "enlightened" EU some employers offer unlimited sick leave and 6 weeks + annual leave. I know, it's not really comparing apples with apples ...
    But, is this really the best National has to offer for economic stimulous? Not forgetting the national cycle way of course.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 65 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Dzug,

    A further point - Key Il Jong has been rabbiting on about how NZ needs the 90 day probation policy because all our major comparator countries have one - Aussie, UK, Bolivia, whatever. Last week he was arguing that we shouldn't stop Chinese citizens owning land in NZ just because NZ citizens can't own land in China and even said that we shouldn't make domestic policy on the basis of other countries' internal policies. So which is it then - we follow, or we dont?
    Further yet, his witless example of the migrant pizza delivery worker shows a scarey level of ignorance of his own and the two previous governments' immigration policies, which have been selecting skilled migrants for skilled jobs for years. Doh!

    Wellington • Since May 2008 • 10 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    If you don ' t have a margin after
    labour and other costs you don ' t have a
    business and nobody has a job .

    Not at the UK retailer John Lewis Partnership (operator of Waitrose) where the employers only the business and split the profits. Or at many other cooperatives.

    It's a diligently maintained myth that capitalism is the only effective way to organise an economy. (of course, people like Kerre Woodham are paid to help maintain that myth)

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Grant McDougall,

    the ECA went down like a cup of cold sick, yet they insist on bringing aspects of it back again, in effect.

    That's a nice theory, but National won two elections after passing the ECA so it may not have been a big deal for as many people as you assume.

    I disagree. National won the 1993 election by one seat, hardly a ringing endorsement. They only won in 1996 once Winston Peters had finished vacillating, again hardly a ringing endorsement.

    Labour abolished it in 1999 and I don't recall any great, wide-spread demands for it not to be.

    Dunedin • Since Dec 2006 • 759 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    Yes, you could equally say that Labour was re-elected twice after having abolished it.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    Not at the UK retailer John Lewis Partnership (operator of Waitrose) where the employers own the business and split the profits. Or at many other cooperatives.

    It's a diligently maintained myth that capitalism is the only effective way to organise an economy.

    I think it would be fair to say that in a free market economy you need some form of enterprise. Capitalism isn't at all in contradiction with cooperatives - it doesn't much care about how you structure a business or divide the profits.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Stowell,

    National won the 1993 election by one seat

    against a Labour Party led by mad-as-a-masturbating-monkey Mike Moore - a Labour Party still very closely associated with exactly the same economic policies Ruth Richardson had been busy implementing (against the inclinations of much of her own cabinet, including Bolger, who promptly tossed her).
    It wasn't a great time to be on the left in NZ.

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 2090 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Young,

    Could I suggest some footwork on this- such as tactical voting in Ohariu-Belmont and especially Epsom to dispose of Messrs Dunne, Hide and their satellite parties...? I'd like to see National and the Maori Party conduct a stable second Key term on their own...?

    Craig Y

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 564 posts Report Reply

  • Rosie,

    I support Sacha’s statement at the beginning of this thread. I think there should be some onus on managers improving their skills and taking responsibility for their hiring decisions. In NZ the level at which some interviews are carried out to establish if a person is suitable for a job would appear not to be high.

    I am under the impression that in the UK there is employment discrimination law relating to hiring which means the employer is “guilty until proven innocent” of discriminating when they hire. For example, if a short person doesn’t get the job over someone else and makes a complaint they were discriminated against for being short, the onus is on the employer to produce the documentation which proves why they weren’t hired. It means everyone gets asked the same questions in an interview and the answers are written down and it’s all very structured (This is only in theory – I am sure lots of people have had rubbish interviews in the UK)).
    Of course this sounds a bit harsh on employers but one benefit for companies who are doing this process properly is a big reduction in hiring the wrong people.

    Generally NZ mangers are pretty average and are not stepping up to the responsibilities of improving performance and getting the best out of their staff.

    If you need to get rid of staff within the three month period because workload significantly drops off you should still have to justify yourself. Getting rid of someone (who was employed on a permanent contract) because you had a big job on that lasted two and a half months is not ok.

    Of course a small business can have a disaster, lose a lot of work, and may want to use the three month period employment law to get rid of staff but they should definitely have to justify the dismissal.

    Is the intention of this law to give the employee a 3 month long interview?

    Auckland • Since Feb 2007 • 20 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole,

    And you implicitly point out, if employers want the best skilled staff, those who insist on probation periods are less likely to find them.

    Will many more semi- or un-skilled workers? Probably

    And Graeme, labour laws need to be crafted to protect those who have the least power to bargain. That would be who, exactly? Ah, that's right, those "semi- or un-skilled workers" who are the ones in the worst position to try and bargain away a trial period, the ones with the least job security to start with, and the ones most likely to be employed by exploitative employers.

    It's not the good burghers of Public Address who need protection from unscrupulous employers, given that the average PASer appears to be intelligent, skilled, eloquent, and generally able to approach an employment relationship from a position of power. Rather, it's the low-intelligence, monosyllabic, strictly-unskilled workers who will likely never be in a position to bargain from strength, that need to be at the forefront of any designer of labour laws. Sadly, it appears that National had exactly these people in mind when designing this law: as the ones who should be afforded the absolute least protection possible.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    It's not the good burghers of Public Address who need protection from unscrupulous employers, given that the average PASer appears to be intelligent, skilled, eloquent, and generally able to approach an employment relationship from a position of power.

    I suspect there are also quite a few, including me, out there in the contract world, where we take our chances, but reap other rewards.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22749 posts Report Reply

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