The sorry saga of the Hobbit has lent itself to a union bashing frenzy the like of which hasn’t been seen in many years. In some ways, it reminds me of Don Brash’s now infamous Orewa speech on race, which unleashed a tide of unexpected racism.
The madness continues, with Matthew Hooten writing in the NBR that perhaps the law around good faith needs to be reviewed :
Good faith is meant to be a mutual obligation, requiring parties to interact constructively. It covers the whole relationship between employer and employee, not just formal bargaining, and includes not only current but intended employers and employees – including those working under commercial contracts who want to become employees. … .
Not even in their fevered imaginations could it be considered good faith to conspire with militant union thugs across the English-speaking world to organise a global boycott of a vitally important project which already pays above industry averages – and all without even giving prior warning to the employer of their intention to do so.
Matthew Hooten isn’t known for his well balanced views on unions and workers’ rights and as a commentator, he can be a nasty piece of work – for example, he says in the piece that :
Australian unions are overbearingly powerful and notoriously corrupt, with historic links to organised crime.
And then he’s into more conspiracy.
Actors aren’t alone in making a mockery of “good faith.” Similar conduct is under way in secondary schools from the PPTA, a union with a history of communist connections. It has no intention of dealing in good faith with the Ministry of Education because its true objective is industrial havoc in election year. The primary teachers’ union will no doubt also find a pretext for havoc in 2011, probably over national standards – a policy which, like few others, has received overwhelming mandates from parents and voters. Other unions plan to sabotage the Rugby World Cup.
The whole piece is misleading, especially as (duh) performers employed as independent contractors in the film industry aren’t covered by the Employment Relations Act. Either Hooten completely misses the point, or is flying a kite for others. Watch this space.
I wouldn’t mind good faith being beefed up a it more. The government continues to maintain that its 90 day no rights law still has the protection of good faith. Of course there are no remedies available to a worker if good faith is breached, so it is pretty meaningless.
But to suggest that good faith could encompass prevention of global solidarity by and between unions is bizarre.
Next someone will saying that it’s a breach of good faith for global corporations to dictate labour laws in New Zealand!