Saturday, 28 April 2007

A wake-up call for the unions

Comment from a unionist After years of partnership with its workforce Fisher & Paykel have used some of the profits gleaned from this same workforce to sack them and replace them with even cheaper workers. The sharemarket cheered the move, pushing F&P's share price up 8 cents, or 2.3 per cent, to $3.60. EPMU Secretary Andrew Little said, "This has got to be a wake-up call for the Government that more needs to be done to foster high-wage, high-value manufacturing in this country," Blah, blah, blah. I saw a report on the job losses by F&P that was hidden away in a side bar of the EPMU newsweek that had a groveling quote from the union that it wasn't F&P's fault. That you couldn't blame them. Unfortunately I tried to get back to this site. But couldn't find it again. Everybody even union leaders are blaming the high dollar - and not the rapacious nature of capitalist companies like F&P, who they are in partnership with. But what does this really mean? What really causes it, and what does it represent? I feel that the high dollar is related to relative wage rates with our competing economies. Obviously our free market, anti-regulation bosses couldn't expose themselves as hypocrites by demanding the government cut wages nationally. But they are forcefully demanding a cut in government spending, which is a cut in the social wage. The employers are demanding that this cut in government spending be tied to a tax cut to business. TV3 news footage showed worried looking cabinet members leaving a meeting. The soundtrack reported that the government is reluctant to cut spending but, Cullen is considering the tax cut part of business demands. Obviously if taxes are cut for business, the government will have to cut spending, or alternatively increase the tax burden on the rest of us. Also, I have not seen or been able to find out anywhere how much profit F&P is currently making, I doubt it is a loss. But what ever it is, there seems to be an unspoken agreement in the media not to mention this.

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