dodgy unions

The future of unions is the slow painful demise they deserve

Unions are no longer relevant to NZ society

Unions are no longer relevant to NZ society

Bryce Edwards writes a big long whinge about the future of unions at the NZ Herald.

It is a bit forlorn, but he tries to fill it with hope and promise. The bottom line though is unions are no longer relevant for modern workers. The numbers show that.

Many of the tributes paid to Helen Kelly in the last week acknowledged her success in raising the profile and positive perception of the union movement. More than ever before, unions are less reliant on industrial muscle and more on winning the public relations battle – getting consumers and voters on side with their campaigns and political interventions.

Kelly was a talented leader but the hard reality of union health remains grim. The movement she led has been barely holding its own after a catastrophic collapse in the 1990s.

The public isn’t necessarily convinced about unions. According to UMR’s 2016 Mood of the Nation report, unions are the second least trusted institution – with only 30 per cent of those surveyed having confidence. This is more than the media (26%), but less than big business (31%), churches (33%), and banks (44%).

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Early election for Australia?

It looks increasingly like there could be an early election in Australia so that Malcolm Turnbull can capitalise on Australia’s dodgy union and dodgy Labor scandals.

PRIME Minister Malcolm Turnbull says he is willing to call an early election and campaign on a policy of cleaning up the union movement, after a royal commission found it infested by louts, thugs, thieves, bullies and perjurers.

In his final report, Trade Union Royal Commissioner Dyson Heydon on Thursday recommended criminal charges be considered against 48 people and organisations and civil action taken in 45 other cases, but said this was just the tip of ?an enormous iceberg?.

Mr Turnbull said a federal-state police taskforce would continue to investigate referrals from the commission. The Government will also move to establish a new registered-organisations commission to regulate unions and employer groups. The commission would have similar powers to the Australian Securities and Investments Commission.

The Government also wants the Senate to approve by the end of the month a bill to re-establish the Australian Building and Construction Commission.

Mr Turnbull suggested he could call an early double-dissolution election if the March deadline was not met.

?We are willing to fight an election on this,?? he said.

?If this is not passed, if we cannot get the passage of this legislation through the Senate, then in one form or another it will be a major issue at the next election.??

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Another pre-Christmas strike… let’s play “Guess the Dodgy Union”

Workers for Freshmax, a fresh produce provider for Countdown supermarkets, have commenced a partial strike over discrepancies regarding poor pay and working conditions.

Twenty employees will refuse to work more than eight hours, alleging in a statement the company forces them to work until “the work is done”.

First Union organiser Jared Abbot says some employees have complained of having to work 16-hour days just to get work finished.

According to Mr Abbot, the lack of consistency over hours creates health and safety issues, especially when tired employees take control of heavy machinery.

Freshmax chief executive Peter Ellis says the company refutes the allegations made today and states the action taken by merely 10 percent of its workforce can only be described as a “stunt”.

“We were today advised by First Union that it was calling a strike at our distribution centre in Mt Wellington. This affects around 20 workers, less than 10 percent of our total workforce. The remainder of our staff are continuing to work. Read more »

Here we go again: Dodgy union threatens strike around holiday period. How 1970s of them

Don’t you just love public transport.

When the system breaks it affects everyone, and it can also be held to ransom by dodgy unions.

Unions intend balloting Auckland bus drivers about taking strike action unless their employer allows a city-wide stopwork meeting three days before Christmas.

They intend distributing postal ballot papers tomorrow, failing a guarantee from NZ Bus that the company will support an all-up paid stopwork meeting on Tuesday, December 22, without recriminations against their members.

The Auckland Tramways Union and First Union, representing about 1000 drivers and service staff employed across the Super City by the company, earlier gave it notice of a two-hour meeting to discuss negotiations for a new collective employment agreement.

Although the meeting at Mt Eden War Memorial Hall is scheduled for the off-peak hours of 11am to 1pm, drivers will also need time get back to their depots for evening commuter bus runs. ? Read more »

Rodney Hide on Dodgy Unions

Rodney’s been kind enough to read?my?book for the benefit of NBR readers

The stunning revelation of Whaleoil blogger Cameron Slater?s book ?Dodgy Unions?? is how little unions give the Labour Party.

I had always thought it was millions.

That?s because of the power union bosses exercise over the party. Union bosses get to vote for party leader, they block vote candidate selection, get a say on the party list, have a seat at the all-powerful National Council and carry a block vote at regional and national conferences.

No other group exercises such a power over any other party in New Zealand.

Indeed, it?s unclear how the Labour Party gets around the Electoral Act requiring ?democratic procedures in candidate selection? by financial members or by delegates ?elected or otherwise selected? by current financial members of the party.

Certainly, the power of the unions within the Labour Party breaches the spirit of the democracy provisions of the Electoral Act if not the Act itself. Imagine if the National Board of Federated Farmers? had a vote for the leader of the National Party, National?s list, electorate candidates and had a guaranteed seat at National?s Board of Directors. There would be outrage. And rightly so. Read more »

What is Labour trying to hide?

Sean Plunket asks on Facebook:


It’s a good question, and a newspaper discusses their plans for secrecy at their conference.

The Labour Party has closed the doors on vast tracts of its 99th annual conference this weekend, saying it wants to keep debate “in the family”.

The programme for its Palmerston North talkfest shows debate on policy proposals is closed to the media – a session that has been open in the past. ?? Read more »

New CTU boss hankers for compulsion without actually saying

In 1991 Jim Bolger passed the Employment Contracts Act, that act gave us workplace freedom, freedom to choose to not belong to a union.

Prior to that act of freedom, perhaps the last act of freedom passed by a National government we all had to belong to unions. Those were the same unions who interfered with our holidays with strikes, the same unions who halted a bridge being built at Onehunga for literally years and the same unions who mired the economy in the dogma of class battles.

When that act was passed freedom returned to the work place and outside of the state sector Kiwi workers embraced freedom. Unions now only represent under 10% of the workforce outside of the state sector.

The new CTU boss is upset by the level of union participation.

The Council of Trade Unions says the small percentage of workers on collective bargaining agreements is a poor reflection on the country’s labour record.

An International Labour Organisation study shows that about 15 percent of workers in New Zealand have collective agreements, compared to nearly 100 percent in Austria and France.

The study shows the number of New Zealand workers on collective bargaining agreements is less than in Albania, Russia and Bulgaria, and on a par with the United States. ? Read more »

Government promises to axe Zero-hour contracts. You?d expect the CTU to be on board, right?

The CTU campaigned long and hard against zero hour contracts.

They forced the government to act with some tweets, a few petitions and few rowdies on the steps of parliament.

And John Key has caved…you’d think they’d be happy.

The Council of Trade Unions is urging the Government to stamp out controversial zero-hour contracts.

Workplace relations minister Michael Woodhouse has promised to stop zero-hour contracts and prevent unfair employment practices.

But the CTU says the Government’s Employment Standards Bill would do the opposite. ? Read more »

Dodgy Union brings violence and bullying to picket lines at Bunnings stores


Bill Bradford stopping shoppers from entering Bunnings

I covered First Union in Dodgy Unions, and now they are running amok against Bunnings bringing?violence and bullying to the picket line as they trespass inside stores.

Little wonder that it is Sue Bradford and her ratbag husband Bill Bradford in the forefront of it all.

Scuffles have broken out and police have stepped in as more than 50 people protest in Auckland against Bunnings roster changes.

The Bunnings New Lynn, Botany, Mt Wellington and Manukau staff, who say they received great public support, began striking at 10am on Saturday.

First Union retail and finance secretary Myxine Gay said after the strike finished at 11am, staff stayed in position, chained to the entrance.

Police, who were already at the strike “keeping an eye” on the event, stepped in to move the protest on but protesters refused to move. ?? Read more »

Oh the possibilities (Lefties do not read any further )

Screen Shot 2015-09-29 at 7.57.14 pmAs the Whaleoil HQ designated dogsbody I have been assigned the task of processing all the Dodgy Union book orders. I put all the unsigned book orders in one pile and the signed book orders in another pile and finally the orders with a message in another pile. Due to a sacred buyer, book wrapper confidentiality clause I cannot reveal to you the messages requested so far. But I can tell you that both left and right wing buyers have realised that for only $10 more they can make Cam Slater write whatever they want. Really it is a recipe for trouble and if the Left Wing in particular ever realise the power they could wield over Cam they would be buying even more physical copies of the book than they already are. Imagine the possibilities…

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