Trotter on the Jobs Crisis Summit: Evasions and Promises

Chris Trotter is…let’s say disappointed…at?the?Jobs Crisis Summit:

LAST FRIDAY, Trevor Bolderson, a coal-miner from the West Coast, rose to his feet and asked: ?What are you going to do for my little town of Greymouth?? His question was directed at Winston Peters from NZ First, Russel Norman from The Greens and Labour?s finance spokesperson, David Parker. The venue was the ?Jobs Crisis Summit? organised by Mr Bolderson?s trade union, the Engineering Printing and Manufacturing Union (EPMU). Like the German workers of eighty years ago, he too was looking for salvation.

All he got were evasions and promises.

Evasions and Promises…nice.

The assembled politicians would only tell him what he and his workmates already knew. That the lay-offs of Solid Energy?s administrative and mining employees must be understood in the context of the Government?s plans to partially privatise the state-owned energy sector.

No one was willing to give Mr Bolderson an unequivocal commitment to re-opening the Spring Creek Mine. No one spoke of state ownership offering employees and their unions a greater role in managing New Zealand?s energy resources. No one denounced the madness of mothballing a highly productive coal mine and laying-off its highly skilled workers when international demand for its top-grade product is certain to recover as China?s stock-piles dwindle.

Here Trotter is being disingenuous…Spring Creek isn’t highly profitable and never has been.

Trotters solution should scare you all:

If New Zealand?s labour movement is to fare better than its German counterpart of eighty years ago, then not only must it formulate an equally radical plan for ?massive state intervention? and democratic restructuring of our economy, but also ensure that Labour, the peoples party, commits itself, body and soul, to making it happen.