Council of Trade Unions

The carnage and fallout continues

The left is in disarray as Shane Jones edges towards the exit door. There is still a month of this while Jones still sits in parliament and there isn’t a thing Labour can do as commentators and journalists pick through the entrails of an eviscerated Labour party.

Michael Fox reports:

Shane Jone’s controversial departure has exposed divisions in the Labour Party, with opinion split on his qualities as an MP and the impact it will have on election prospects.

Supporters say he broadened Labour’s appeal while critics say he was overrated and the party is better off without him.

Left-wing political scientist and commentator Dr Bryce Edwards said the split has been apparent in the wave of commentary in mainstream and social media since the news broke.

“You’ve got a lot of people debating about whether he was a plus or a minus for Labour, whether he was a working class hero for Labour and whether he attracted that so-called blue collar vote, and whether he was a misogynist.”

Edwards labelled it an “identity politics dispute”.

“People are really talking about what Labour stands for and with Jones going does that mean that Labour has more or less ability to speak to so-called middle New Zealand and to traditional Labour voters? And there doesn’t seem to be any strong consensus on that.”

Former Labour MP John Tamihere said Jones represented a Labour constituency that was increasingly being sidelined as interest groups gained greater control.

“The real debate isn’t about Shane Jones, it’s about certain sector groups in Labour having far too much say in advance, well in advance of their constituencies in the street.”

The party was becoming dominated by “liberal academic elites” more focused on social engineering issues such as the so-called anti-smacking law than issues such as creating jobs which had a broader voter appeal, he said.

Jones had “cut through” on the latter, earning support for his campaign against the Countdown supermarket chain, where his accusations of bullying of suppliers led to a Commerce Commission inquiry, as well as his pro-development stance. Tamihere said he reached out to voters turned off by factional politics.

Former Labour candidate Josie Pagani agreed, saying those in the party who had rejoiced in Jones leaving “are guilty of sectarianism at its worst”.

The division in the party was between those focused on social mobility and those focused on social engineering – “we’ll make you better off versus we’ll make you a better person,” she said.

The Labour Party was there to support wage earners and promote better jobs and higher wages “and that’s the thing that unites everybody”.

Read more »

Change of heart from Business NZ – promises to stop troughing

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Business New Zealand Chief Executive, Phil O’Rielly, announced this morning that Business NZ will no longer accept government funding.

The change of stance comes after the Taxpayers’ Union exposed what Judith Collins labelled a ‘cozy deal’ between ACC, the Council of Trade Unions and Business NZ earlier in the year.

The Taxpayers’ Union has welcomed the new stance.    Read more »

Trotter’s Forlorn Hope

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“The Devil’s Own” 88th Regiment at the Siege of Badajoz. Watercolour en grisaille by Richard Caton Woodville Jr. (1856-1927)

Chris Trotter writes an impassioned post about the ‘game changer’ appointment of Matt McCarten as Chief of Staff to David Cunliffe.

It reads more like a forlorn hope.

“MATT McCARTEN? CHIEF OF STAFF! SERIOUSLY?” How many times have those words been spoken in the past 48 hours? Sometimes with barely suppressed excitement; other times in barely suppressed fury; but most of the time in a tone of utter disbelief that the speaker made no attempt to suppress at all.

The New Zealand Left suddenly finds itself in the position of the dog who caught the car. For years, slagging off the Labour Party as a bunch of neoliberal sell-outs has been one of the Left’s favourite pub and parlour games. But now, with one of this country’s most effective left-wing campaigners just one door down from the Leader of the Labour Opposition, the Left, like the bewildered pooch for whom the fun was always in the chase, has finally got what it wanted and must decide what to do with it.

That bewilderment had better not last too long. Because unless David Cunliffe and Matt McCarten start talking with unprecedented clarity about what’s wrong with New Zealand, what changes need to be made, and how Labour proposes to make them, then the Right’s political narrative – that Labour under Cunliffe has executed a lunatic lurch to the extreme Left – will be the story that sticks.  Read more »

Taxpayers’ Union uncovers Phil O’Reilly snout in the trough along with the CTU

pigs in the trough

Looks like the Taxpayers’ Union has uncovered its first decent story of union toughing.

Material released by the Taxpayers’ Union show a cosy deal between Business New Zealand, the Council of Trade Unions (“CTU”) and ACC has cost ACC-levy payers $19 million since 2003.

The documents … show ACC knew that millions paid to Business NZ and the CTU to provide health and safety training did little, if anything, to reduce workplace accidents.

Recent ACC analysis concludes that, even with optimistic assumptions, for every dollar spent on the training 84 cents is wasted. 

A 2013 briefing to the Minister for ACC, Judith Collins, states that the CTU has found it “challenging” to meet its performance obligations even though it has been contracted for service since 2003.    Read more »

Greens trying to gazzump Labour in handing out the lolly

The Green party are trying to gazzump the Labour party in promising uncosted expensive lolly for voters. They have decided that they really care for parliament’s cleaners more than Labour because they want them to get the “living wage” first.

Labour left them out in the cold.

The promises to the CTU conference are getting more and more outlandish.

The Green Party says low-earning contractors at Parliament, not core public sector workers, should be first in line for a living wage.

In a speech at the Council of Trade Unions conference this morning, Greens’ co-leader Metiria Turei said her party would have a different priority to Labour in distributing a minimum wage of $18.40 an hour – known as a “living wage”.  Read more »

Two Faced Cunliffe caught lying again

This won’t be the last time David Cunliffe tries to get away with saying different things to different audiences.

When you lie you get caught.

One passionate and stirring message for the workers; one politically sanitised version of the same message for everyone else.

It seemed as if two David Cunliffes had turned up at the Council of Trade Unions conference in Wellington yesterday. There was the one who delivered a rousing speech which promised an immediate hike in the minimum wage to $15 an hour; the introduction of a “living wage” for low-paid staff working in the core public sector; the scrapping of youth rates; an extension of paid parental leave; further progress towards pay equity; and the speedy repeal of National’s labour relations law changes now before Parliament. This agenda was lapped up by the delegates who gave the new Labour leader a standing ovation.   Read more »

About time, great move by Collins

Judith Collins is moving to take another card way from the unions…she is going to spike their cash from ACC.

A $1 million government funding to the Council of Trade Unions to run accident prevention workshops is under review.

ACC Minister Judith Collins recently announced a near doubling of the amount of funding the Accident Compensation Corporation makes for accident prevention work, from $22.4 million to $40 million.

However that is accompanied by a review of existing programmes and in an interview with NBR ONLINE Ms Collins said she had told officials there are no sacred cows with regards to existing programmes.

“And I’ve told them if they need to kill sacred cows that need slaughtering, I’ll back them.”  Read more »

Alasdair Thompson sinks to a new low

When he isn’t commenting on women’s monthly cycles he is touting his book.

Now he has stooped to a new low…revealing he is a sanctimonious hypocrite and a shameless dodgy ratbag politician prepared to say and do anything to get elected.

Disgraced former employers’ boss Alasdair Thompson has switched sides and is speaking up for raising the minimum wage to $18.40 an hour.

Mr Thompson, 66, has revealed he privately lobbied Prime Minister John Key in 2009 in support of a union campaign to raise the minimum from $12.50, where it was then, to $15 – even though publicly he opposed it as chief executive of the Employers and Manufacturers Association.  Read more »

Irrelevant? Helen Kelly thinks so

Helen Kelly thinks I am irrelevant.

Yet she took time out of her busy schedule trying to screw over Peter Jackson and other Kiwi employers to comment about a supposed irrelevant blogger.

Council of Trade Unions president Helen Kelly said there had been a concerted attack on unions by Mr Slater. She said Mr Slater was “irrelevant” but was concerned about the port “putting the knife into its own staff”.  Read more »

Helen the Hobbit Hater at it again with the Horrid

Aided and abetted by the Herald on Sunday there is a something nothing article featuring chief Hobbit Hater Helen Kelly, moaning yet again about Weta and employment issues.

Foreign workers are being targeted for more than 500 visual-effects jobs for the production of the next mega-movie in The Hobbit series.

Wellington-based special-effects giant Weta Digital, co-owned by Sir Peter Jackson, has asked Immigration New Zealand for approval in principle to outsource 526 positions.

Weta says most are just extensions to visas that are about to expire and the company has a great record of hiring Kiwis, but Council of Trade Unions president Helen Kelly is questioning the company’s commitment to the local industry.

Apart from ads on the company website, she could not find evidence Weta had let Kiwis know opportunities were available, and questioned why another application was being made when Weta asked for 369 temporary work visas last year.

“They’ve done very little to bridge that gap. They don’t want to invest in (our) people.”  Read more »