Friday, 10 April 2009

Calling for increased productivity right now is madness

By Auckland union activist  
10 April 2009 

Zespri has announced it will be dumping millions of tonnes of Kiwifruit. Zespri chief executive Lain Jager says the alternative would be a reduction in value of about 20c a tray. See Kiwifruit dumped to prop up price

You can mark the change from a recession to a depression when the capitalists start dumping and destroying food like they did in the 1930s to keep prices and profits up. 

In America they used to burn wheat, in NZ they drove cattle over cliffs, and armed guards were posted on the Wellington city dump to stop the unemployed “stealing” dumped food, in Brazil they burned coffee beans in the tinder boxes of trains instead of coal. 

This while millions of unemployed faced poverty and even starvation. In efforts to protect their profits, not only the destruction of workers jobs, but the destruction of the wealth created by workers gathers pace. 

Inevitably, as the recession deepens it won't be just kiwi fruit, it will be other food too, and probably soon brand new unsold manufactured goods will be being trashed as well. 

The market economy continues on its mad way. With the support, it seems, of CTU president Helen Kelly. She’s made repeated statements in support of John Key's call for even more productivity. While this may help profits, more productivity can only mean more overproduction and more job losses. 

Like Alice in Wonderland Helen Kelly must have dropped down a rabbit hole or passed through a mirror into a capitalist fantasy land, where everything is topsy turvey and nothing makes sense. 

Instead of trying to prop up profits by calling for more productivity, Helen Kelly, as head of New Zealand's biggest union body, should be calling for a mass united campaign to protect wages and jobs, and to hell with productivity and profits. 

If she is not prepared to do this, maybe she should go to the packing houses and try explaining her crazy market friendly theories to the kiwifruit workers and tell them that they will need to take wage and or job cuts, to protect profits. Maybe she could also go into the supermarkets and explain to the working class customers there why fruit needs to be so expensive.

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