New CTU boss hankers for compulsion without actually saying

In 1991 Jim Bolger passed the Employment Contracts Act, that act gave us workplace freedom, freedom to choose to not belong to a union.

Prior to that act of freedom, perhaps the last act of freedom passed by a National government we all had to belong to unions. Those were the same unions who interfered with our holidays with strikes, the same unions who halted a bridge being built at Onehunga for literally years and the same unions who mired the economy in the dogma of class battles.

When that act was passed freedom returned to the work place and outside of the state sector Kiwi workers embraced freedom. Unions now only represent under 10% of the workforce outside of the state sector.

The new CTU boss is upset by the level of union participation.

The Council of Trade Unions says the small percentage of workers on collective bargaining agreements is a poor reflection on the country’s labour record.

An International Labour Organisation study shows that about 15 percent of workers in New Zealand have collective agreements, compared to nearly 100 percent in Austria and France.

The study shows the number of New Zealand workers on collective bargaining agreements is less than in Albania, Russia and Bulgaria, and on a par with the United States.   Read more »

Government promises to axe Zero-hour contracts. You’d expect the CTU to be on board, right?

The CTU campaigned long and hard against zero hour contracts.

They forced the government to act with some tweets, a few petitions and few rowdies on the steps of parliament.

And John Key has caved…you’d think they’d be happy.

The Council of Trade Unions is urging the Government to stamp out controversial zero-hour contracts.

Workplace relations minister Michael Woodhouse has promised to stop zero-hour contracts and prevent unfair employment practices.

But the CTU says the Government’s Employment Standards Bill would do the opposite.   Read more »

Unions consider taking government to court over giving farmers a health and safety “get out of jail free” card


Michael Woodhouse’s bill is a dog, and not fit for purpose.

It beggars belief that National is even bringing in this woeful piece of nanny-statism but they are. What is worse though, is Labour and now the unions are fighting hard on this but from different angles.

Labour won’t vote for it because it doesn’t go far enough, and so risk not putting in place the one piece of legislation that might actually improve worker safety. Their hypocrisy is there for all to see.

The unions, however, are far more consistent….they want the law passed, but they want it extended to every business and are prepared to go to court to enforce it.

The New Zealand Council of Trade Unions will consider seeking a judicial review of the exclusion of farming from health safety reforms currently going through Parliament, president Helen Kelly says.

The Government changed a bill reforming health and safety law after it was introduced following intense lobbying from the farming sector.    Read more »

Council of Trade Unions Non Subscription Income


Following on from earlier posts we have looked at the Council of Trade Unions and their income stream. As may be expected the CTU gets income from its affiliates, but surprisingly this is only a very small amount of the money they received in the last financial year.

Subscriptions  Non Subs Income Total Income
Council of Trade Unions $1,611,291  $2,235,954  $3,847,245

Looking further into where the CTU gets its income from, we find they have a lot of what looks like state subsidised money filling their coffers.   Read more »

CTU loses one of its cash cows

For a long time the CTU and also Business NZ have been tucking the taxpayer for millions via a rort with ACC.

All of that has come to an end however with the government deciding that the millions poured into their coffers isn’t worth it.

Naturally the CTU is crying a river of tears.

As the government attempts to water down core provisions in its new health and safety law, funding to support high risk industry health and safety representative is also about to end.

The CTU has today announced that its Health and Safety Representative Training programme, supported by ACC since 2003, will be ending in its current form this November.

Business New Zealand and private provider Impac Services are also affected by ACC’s decision.

ACC has supported this training since 2003, and over 33,000 Health and Safety Reps have been upskilled by the CTU in this period.   Read more »

I wonder if the CTU will refund the donations now

The other day we wrote about the CTU using Give A Little to raise funds for their strike action against Talleys and AFFCO.

It seems they were all talk about the strike action, as it has been called off now.

A strike planned by Affco meat processing workers on Monday, and a rally at Parliament on Tuesday, have been called off.

The turnaround came after Meat Workers Union representatives met with Andrew Talley, director of Affco owner Talleys, plus iwi leaders Ken Mair and Tuku Morgan on Saturday.

Affco sites will meet in the coming days to consider developments. No further comment would be made by the union.

Workers at Affco’s eight North Island meat processing plants were to go on strike for two days this week in protest over what the union claims is their “third world conditions”.    Read more »


Helen Kelly reveals she has lung cancer



Helen Kelly has announced that she has lung cancer.

Council of Trade Unions (CTU) president Helen Kelly has been diagnosed with lung cancer.

In an email to trade union colleagues last night, Kelly said she would be undergoing additional tests to determine the prognosis.

“I have a string of appointments now and I hope by 9 March to have a plan of some sort,” she said.

“I am looking after myself and feel remarkably well all things considered.”

She thanked her colleagues for their “beautiful support” this week.    Read more »


Never listen to unionists, especially Helen Kelly

Helen Kelly vehemently opposed the filming of The Hobbit in New Zealand.

She nearly got her way with her henchmen from Australia.

But, over 300,000 visitors went to Matamata last year as a result of the Hobbit movies.

Matamata’s Hobbiton movie set last night hosted a group of international cruise customers accompanied by some Hobbit cast and crew.

Crystal Cruises chose Hobbiton to host its 25th anniversary celebrations for 500-plus clientele, with organisers hoping it will help put New Zealand on the world stage.

Hobbit actors Mark Hadlow, John Callen, Jed Brophy and Peter Hambleton mingled with the passengers on their guided 1.2km trek around the movie set.

Hobbiton has come a long way since it opened in December 2002 by hosting a half-full 12-seater van.    Read more »

Random Impertinent Question of the Day

What major union wrote in their recently published annual report under the heading 2014 General Election?

“The union (name left out purposely) lent significant financial and in-kind support to the CTU” (Reference Page 9 of the report).

But the CTU does not get involved in campaigning right?

They do not support Labour right?

They do not support the Greens right?

The union in question does not tell its members how to vote right?   Read more »


Face of the day


Quitting spots on popular Radio stations appears to have become a new sport amongst some women.

Read more »