Hosking on union strife under Labour

The nurses appear set to strike, the teachers are getting stroppy and the PSA is muscling up. Looks like the winter of discontent is coming from the civil servants not business.

Mind you business isn’t happy either. Mike Hosking says that strikes achieve nothing and drag us back to the 70s: Quote.

Looks like we are heading for a winter of discontent.

Nurses, IRD, MBIE, Burger King, Events Cinema, teachers, principals – have I missed anyone yet?

Thousands upon thousands are currently spending their hard earned time and energy working out whether they want to take some form of industrial action. It has been many a year since we have seen this sort of pending disruption in our workforce.   

In 2016 there were three strikes involving 430 people, those are latest numbers, and if you go back over the past bunch of years it varies year to year – but the indisputable statistic that smacks you between the eyes is the simple truth that we got on with life and turned up to work.

Industrial action was a thing of the past. As a kid who grew up in the 1970s and had holidays stalled because of the pre-determined Cook Strait ferry action, it was part of the social landscape of my formative years.

People like Ken Douglas and Pat Kelly were household names on the news most nights with claims and threats. There seemed there was always someone with a grievance, a claim, a stop work meeting or a picket.

As a result of watching all this, by the time I hit the work force at 16 and one of the first people to come and say hello was the company’s union representative, I had formed the view that, by in large, unions were of little genuine use.

And they simply spent too much of their time looking for trouble.

So even at 16, fresh out of home on the minimum wage, I turned down the several dozen offers that were made to join. And thought I might back my own talents and work ethic. End quote.

I was the same. I rejected the union. Their antics in the workplace when I was just a teenager and their bullying of people who disagreed with them made me and conditioned me to despise unions for a lifetime. Quote.

And the sad thing about what we are seeing right now is that it would appear we have not learnt from the past decade.

You don’t know you have it so good, until you don’t have it so good.

You forget about strikes and industrial action if there isn’t any.

But, if what we are seeing right now takes off, it will be the 70s all over again.

The nightly news filled with anger, grievance, strikes, pickets, claim and counter claim.

Not that there aren’t a few who probably deserve a better deal. But here’s your cold hard truth: Unions don’t get it for youEnd quote.

Not once, ever has a union achieved anything like what they claim they can achieve. After you deduct their fees and the lost time from industrial action few people ever recover the position they were in before union bosses advocated for a strike. Quote.

I have never once seen an offer of 2 per cent rejected by a union, a strike to follow, and the employer brought to their knees and a new offer of 9 per cent. It doesn’t happen.

They scrap over scraps, and all that ends up happening is a divisiveness in the workplace that could’ve and should’ve been avoided.

Unions do remember, members wise, are a pale shadow of what they once were.

So what we’re seeing right now is a recruitment drive. They have their old favourites in power, the Government have talked up the misery and woe, and the unions smell the good old days.

They live to feather their own nests, they long for memberships and subscriptions, and the power to have the nation’s boardrooms at their mercy.

They do not have this country’s best interests at the top of their lists. They didn’t under Pat Kelly, and they don’t now. End quote.

Union bosses who call for strikes never go a day without pay themselves. Self-serving, conceited and bullies bar none.

I despise unions. Those who have forgotten what it was like in the past are about to get a reminder.


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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.

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