Labour economics

Slight problem with Labour’s plan to tip the dregs into Forestry

Labour and the unions have made much of the death rate in forestry. At the same time unions resist compulsory random drug testing of forestry workers.

If those two contrasting positions regarding health and safety aren;t bad enough, Labour now wants to tip the indigent and lazy into forestry.

Labour is set to announce a plan to get long term unemployed working in forestry when Leader David Cunliffe speaks to an industry conference in Wellington this morning.

Mr Cunliffe will set out Labour’s economic plan for the forestry and wood products sector at the Forestwood Conference at Te Papa.

“We have a comprehensive policy package for the development for the forest, processing and timber industry”, Mr Cunliffe said last night.

“This package will be an example at a sector level of the economic upgrade that we outlined on Friday last week.”

Mr Cunliffe said forestry was an obvious area to start with. ¬†¬† Read more »

Going to custard in Australia?

As the good economic news keeps on rolling in in New Zealand spare a thought for our ANZAC cousins reeling under the legacy of a corrupt Labor government.

Tony Abbot sure has some work to do.

The poor labour force figures for December,¬†released¬†today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), have taken the toll on the Australian Dollar (AUD), with the local currency slumping 88.04 US cents as at 1.20pm a three-and-a-half year low.¬† Read more »

The poster kids for a living wage?

These two are the poster kids in Simon Collins latest article pimping the poor for political leverage.

SCCZEN_050913NZHDPTAUELANGI02_460x230

Apparently they are on the breadline because they aren’t paid a living wage. It certainly look like it…one loaf each for breakfast. And what do we find out from Simon Collins article…oh that’s right he is a SFWU union rep…hardly some random person found working, no, they put up a union rep to bleat and moan about how life is tough.

The living wage campaign, which Ofa backs as a delegate for the Service and Food Workers Union, suddenly leapt to political centre-stage this week when the two leading contenders to head the Labour Party dramatically endorsed it.

Suddenly? More like Robertson and Cunliffe needed the votes of SFWU delegates…like Ofa, who will be voting to select Labour’s next leader. Conflicted much?¬† Read more »

Living wage promise falls flat

While it might play well to the feral hard left the promise by the spendthrift candidates for Labour’s leadership have committed Labour to the pipe dream of a living wage.

But it hasn’t gone down that well with the voters.

living wage Read more »

The most significant change to employment relations in 20 years?

Viewer discretion advised.

Read more »

Valid Questions David Shearer and Russel Norman need to answer

Colin Espiner asked these questions yesterday. David Shearer and Russel Norman need to come clean on the answers.

There are so many holes in this policy I don’t know where to start. How much is a “fair price” for power, and who decides? The Government? How does Labour decide that a 300KW block will save households $300? And who pays for this, given that nothing in this world is free?

How does giving away electricity square with Labour’s stated plans to be more energy-efficient? Or to reduce greenhouse gases?

The Greens want to add “progressive pricing” – charging poor people less for their power – to the mix. Will Labour agree to this? How would that work? Is it fair? What about moderately well-off people who live in cold climates?

Labour claims its policy would create 5000 jobs. Seriously? How?

Will Labour compensate private industry for having millions written off their balance sheets?¬† Read more »

Manufacturing a crisis

The Greens and the EPMU…don’t they make a fetching couple, are manufacturing a crisis. The simple facts however prove their lies. They even have the audacity to question the statistics produced in the Household Labour Force Survey.

There is no sudden crisis in manufacturing – and by the way Labour opposes jobs at Heinz (a manufacturer).

Dodgy manufacturing figures and the high exchange rate are merely the cover Labour and the Greens are using for their loopy money printing policies.


Employment in manufacturing (000s)
2004 279.6
2005 283.7
2006 278.6
2007 271.1
2008 270.9
2009 263.3
2010 243
2011 249.6
2012 251.2
(000s) (%)
Change 2004-08 -8.7 -3.10%
Change 2008-12 -19.7 -7.30%

This table shows published annual averages for years ending June.

Source Statistics New Zealand. Household Labour Force Survey.

Wouldn’t it be nice if Labour and¬†the¬†Greens could tell the truth for once.

Deja vu all over again

ŠĒ•¬†Stuff.co.nz¬†and the tipline

Jobs advertised for a rebuilt Christchurch supermarket have attracted about six applications per position.

The $20 million rebuild of the St Martins New World supermarket is nearing completion, with the store due to open in late September.

The former New World building, owned by Foodstuffs, was demolished after being severely damaged in the February 2011 earthquake.

About 169 staff received redundancy notices a month later.

Owner-operator Russell McKenzie said¬†advertisements for up to 200 positions had attracted a “phenomenal response” of about 1200 applications.

A reader comments:

How long before Labour repeats their stupid claims the last time a large supermarket opened in Auckland – that this was evidence that there is no long-term unemployment or welfare problem – it’s the lack of availability of jobs?¬† To be fair this is partly true, because Labour says they want more jobs, but oppose virtually every initiative National proposes to let real job creation actually happen.¬† And real jobs happen in the private sector, when people want stuff made or done, not because the government says it should be so.

In 2005, close to the height of the pre-GFC borrow, spend and hope bubble, I advertised for an IT Network Administrator, when I was told by a number of industry contacts that they had become hard to find.  I received over 80 applications for the one position.  About 90% were already employed and simply looking to shift to something else (it was a good brand) and most of the rest were almost new to the country immigrants or between jobs.  I ended up going with one of the immigrants, a South African chap who turned out to be outstanding, reliable and gave me endless opportunity to give him good natured ribbing about his accent and Saffer culture - he gave as good as he got, which was awesome.  I recall just 2 or 3 who appeared to be unemployed for any length of time.

Anyway, the moral of the story is that a 6:1 ratio is not conclusive evidence of a shortage of jobs (though I recognise there is much potential for more), most of it is likely to be employment market churn – people looking for something new, more handy to home, school, whatever.

Regardless, expect Labour, Campbell Live and State Radio to make up a nonsense story about this.

Will Labour Legislate against editorials like this?

Today the Herald and the Press wrote scathing editorials about Labour‚Äôs ‚ÄúBack to the Future‚ÄĚ pro union, anti growth wage policy.

The Press tells Labour it is dreamin’

The Labour Party claims its work and wages policy, which it released this week, will boost the country’s economic performance and generally provide a better future for workers. That is very unlikely. The policy’s strange mish-mash of bureaucratic centralised wage-setting, legislated higher minimum pay and repeal of some of the present Government’s liberalising workplace reforms has gruesome echoes of the unlovely 1970s. Far from being a forward-looking policy, as the Labour leader, Phil Goff, has declared it to be, it recalls policies long thought dead and buried.

The policy has been welcomed by unions, as well it might be. It could well have been written by them. The 1970s were the unions’ heyday and with this policy they no doubt see some chance of restoring some of their lost glories.

The Herald channels this blog.

It will not be easy to take the Labour Party seriously at this election if it comes up with any more policy like the one announced on Tuesday.

Labour needs an involuntary euthanasia policy for a number of their out of touch, unpleasant MPs, and this should begin with Darien Fenton. Readers will remember she is the genius that attacked the Mad Butcher as a class traitor, and now has got Labour two damning editorials for her untenably stupid Wages policy.

The DomPost likewise slates Labour:

 If wishes were horses, beggars would ride.

If living standards were determined by government decree, Labour’s new industrial relations policy would be a breakthrough contribution to an age-old debate.

Sadly for the low-paid workers Phil Goff’s party is trying to woo, wishful thinking has nothing to do with living standards.

The consequence of hiking the minimum wage from $13 to $15 an hour, as Labour is proposing to do, will be to deny more unskilled young job seekers the opportunity to get a foot on the job ladder. The consequence of telling international film producers it is our way or the highway will be for them to pack their bags. And the consequence of requiring all employers in an industry to offer the same minimum set of terms and conditions will be to ship more jobs off overseas.

The only winners from Labour’s work and wages policy, unveiled on Tuesday, will be unions, which can expect a temporary increase in members and influence.

I fully expect a hand-wringing angst-ridden post about the evils of media corporates hating on labour sometime soon from Clare Curran.

Chart of the Day

This chart shows why Labour’s new vaunted “Marty McFly – Back to the Future” industrial relations policy is doomed from the get go.

TRADE unions are a last choice when seeking greater flexibility at work, according to participants of the New Work Project.

Results from news.com.au’s survey of more than 22,000 Australian workers reveal that just eight per cent of workers say a collective agreement sought through a union would be the best way to gain greater flexibility options in their jobs.

And Labour says they are trying to bring us in line with Australia.