New Zealand Meat & Related Trades Workers Union

Some animals are more equal than others

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Some caucus members and union delegates may get more than one vote

Tracy Watkins discusses the role of the unions in selecting Labour’s next leader.

[N]ew rules giving Labour’s grassroots a 40 per cent say, and union delegates a 20 per cent say, would not be triggered. But in a move likely to ruffle caucus feathers, Ms Coatsworth appeared to stop any prospect of a deal in its tracks, saying the leadership should be decided under Labour’s new rules – “rather than behind closed doors in the caucus room”.

That puts the leadership in limbo for the next three weeks while up to 50,000 voting papers are sent out and candidates make their pitch at a series of meetings across New Zealand.

The candidates will be expected to abide by a code of conduct – which includes no personal attacks and no big-spending campaigns – before a new leader is announced on September 15.

The new rules were an attempt by the party’s grassroots to rein in caucus after a widening rift over policy and direction. But they could drive an even deeper wedge if the party and caucus back opposing candidates and cancel each other out, because the caucus vote counts for only 40 per cent of the total.

That makes Labour’s union affiliates, whose votes count for 20 per cent, the potential king makers and could deliver the caucus a leader that a majority of MPs don’t support.

What is interesting is it appears that some members could potentially have three votes and others two, while the grassroots members get just one vote.  Read more »

The Meatworker’s Millions

The Meatworkers Union has finally complied with the Registrar of Incorporated Societies orders to file proper accounts. Those orders came after the Meatworkers were busted by this blog and Rodney hide wrote to the Registrar. The Maritime Union is in the same boat…we await their true accounts.

Remember Helen Kelly described the holding to account of the Meatworkers Union to their legal and statutory requirements as “hatred

The accounts are revealing. The Owl is preparing further posts…but here are some headline numbers.

Meat Workers Union disclose losses and million dollar salary expenses – by the Owl

The NZ Meat Workers Unions filed their consolidated position of all the branches overnight and after previously reporting only the capitation income at head office levels and a cheery surplus of $17,672, revenues of $700k and salary and consultant costs of approximately $150,000.00 it can now be revealed that the true situation is vastly different from that portrayed.

In fact the Union had made losses of over $300k in the last two years paid out salaries and commissions of $1.29M and their revenue was a combined of $2.8M.

The whole integrity of the Incorporated Society Act is at stake.

More importantly the auditors qualify the accounts by saying they “have not received all the information and explanations as required”

More to follow…

MUNZ copies Meatworkers, breaking the law

The Owl has been digging into the Maritime Union’s affairs and it looks like they may well be in the same spot of bother that the Meatworkers Union is.

More importantly it may mean that Local 13 of the Maritime Union is an illegal union. They are collecting fees and only passing through capitation fees to the Maritime Union. Local 13 is not registered as a union and nor has it presented any accounts as required by law. My understanding is existing contracts and agreements are in the name of Local 13 and not in the name of the Maritime Union.

In my opinion Ports of Auckland should seek an immediate judgement from the courts on the validity of Local 13 continuing to negotiate and represent members at the Port.

The Owl’s findings are below:

MUNZ versus NZ Meat Workers Union

The Registrar Office has put the hard word on the NZ Meat Workers Union to file consolidated accounts and according to press releases this could add up to millions.

The issue lies around a word called “capitation” which means that all branches pay HQ a capitation fee of a set amount for the number of members each branch has.

I took the time to review other unions that have branches as well and the Maritime Union has the same set up.

2011 Accounts

Affiliation Fees $338,058.00

Registered Members according to Department of Labour Returns 2,580

Therefore average Capitation Fee $131.00

Annual Union Fees per member? At Local 13 the union fees depend on hours worked and are worked out at 1.5% of wages. That works out at between $10-$35 per week.

The majority of the Affiliation Fees comes from a branch called Seafarers $153,927.00

Owls Observation

The Owl has always said he doesn’t care what businesses spend their money on or what their business model is. What I do care about is process.

It looks like MUNZ has the same issue as the NZ Meat Workers Union and I wonder if the Registrar is taking the same hard line.

(Note: All information is available in the public domain and the Owl always apologises if incorrect.)