Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has crossed the line

Credit: Comrade Jacinda FB page

A Prime Minister should never use the media to damage a New Zealand business. Regardless of their personal views on a New Zealand business, PMs should not use their access to the press to promote activist activity such as a boycott. Jacinda Ardern in her short time as PM has already crossed that line, acting not as a PM for all of New Zealand but as a union supported socialist activist.


[…] SaveMart’s clothes are donated via blue metal bins, found in most neighbourhoods around New Zealand, with some of the proceeds going to the Child Cancer Foundation.

At the Vodafone Music Awards last night Jacinda Ardern proudly told a reporter on the red carpet that her faux fur jacket was bought from SaveMart in Hastings.

After questions from Checkpoint today, a spokesperson said in a statement Ms Ardern “regularly buys upcycled and recycled clothing” and the faux fur jacket she wore to the music awards was bought “years ago”.

“As soon as she became aware of the issues at SaveMart under investigation by WorkSafe, she has not set foot in the shops again.”

SaveMart has until February 21 to comply with three WorkSafe Improvement Notices – “health and safety systems, worker engagement, and provision of personal protection equipment”.

That includes the requirement workers sorting clothes are offered gloves.[…]

Imagine if these kinds of statements continue and every time a person or a business is in the media because of union strife or complaints Adern’s office puts out a statement saying that she will no longer have anything to do with them or their products. Imagine the power this will give unions to damage the companies that their members work for. Currently, train drivers are striking in Wellington. Is Ardern’s office going to say that she will not set foot on a train again?

The train strike in Wellington has disrupted about 30,000 commuters, and National says it could be a sign of things to come if the union continues to use the transport system to flex its muscles.

Rail Maritime Transport Union (RMTU) workers started a 24-hour strike on Thursday, clogging the region’s roads, and there’s a warning it may not be the last.

The strike over employment conditions – specifically around penal rates and statutory days – comes after the union hit an impasse with train operators Transdev Wellington and Hyundai Rotem.

These businesses operate the trains on behalf of the Greater Wellington Regional Council.

National transport spokeswoman Judith Collins says the strike could be over a genuine dispute, but she believes it’s the unions flexing their muscles. “I hope I’m wrong on this one, but I don’t think I am.”

This is the first industrial action since 1994 to affect the Wellington rail network for longer than two hours.

National transport spokesperson Judith Collins said Wellington was in chaos, while the unions used the public transport system as a bargaining chip.

In this scenario, the employer is the local government so that will hopefully dissuade Ardern from making a statement about personally avoiding train travel in order to support the workers. The employers involved in the next union strike may not be so lucky. Ardern has crossed the line once already so there is no guarantee that she won’t do it again.

The unions were “feeling emboldened” under Labour which could lead to a situation like in the 1970s when public transport strikes were common, Collins said.


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